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Audio Suggestions for your Commute

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Zoidy

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Zoidy


By Jeremy Elliott
Writer, Beat the Traffic
Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 12:09 PM

We spend hours and hours every week commuting in trains, planes and especially automobiles. Why not put that time to better use by listening to something good?

This will be an ongoing monthly feature highlighting great audio for your commute. Each month we’ll put together a few suggestions from various sources and you can post up (please share your suggestions too!).

The idea here is to make good use of that time – and ‘good’ is a term that will always be interpreted differently by each individual. You could easily say ‘don’t commute’ or ‘move closer to work’ but that doesn’t help. This is an article aimed at people who have chosen to commute and want to do something more productive, interesting or beneficial with the time.

Let’s get the usual litany of cautions out of the way – pay attention to your driving, walking or running, commute safely, setup your audio before you put the car in gear, highly distracting audio is not a good idea, etc, etc.

Starting with the easiest suggestions;

  1. Music/Radio – we all have our own tastes and preferences – music is a great way to boost your mood, relieve stress etc.  The only caution is that you pay attention to your speed – your favorite high BPM dance tracks might end up getting you a speeding ticket.  Rachel from Beat the Traffic just finished a road trip and her audio of choice and recommendation was the soundtrack to Les Miserables!
  2. Audio books – Going back to our earlier mention that ‘good’ will always be a subjective term you could start with ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’.  It really doesn’t have much to do with fixing motorbikes.  I also highly recommend Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Khanemann and the Dark Tower series from Stephen King. I do not recommend 50 Shades as something to listen to during the drive to work, refer to the earlier cautions on distracted driving.
  3. Sing! - You could be the shy type quietly humming the words, or maybe you are full tilt, full volume ‘top of your lungs’ singing.  Go for it – it might sound terrible but it feels great!  Remember that the open sunroof means pedestrians can hear you.
  4. Podcasts – There are thousands to choose from covering sports, business, comedy and more. Check out TED Talks Audio and Stuff You Should Know.  More recommendations will come in future installments.
  5. Language lessons – In a couple of months you could pick up the basics of almost any language. This would be great if you are planning on travelling in the near future, it might even improve your career prospects.
  6. Listen to yourself - You can easily learn a lot from just listening to yourself - your inner thoughts. Rather than mindlessly rolling through the miles and hours – say Hi to you and see where the conversation goes.

We will continue to have monthly updates with suggestions for books, music, languages and even suggestions for topics to ponder on your own. You just might end up looking forward to your next commute.

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