I always love listening to music. That started as a teenager, which a lot of people just thought of me as being antisocial, but I really was not. I used my Walkman a lot to pass long bus rides in my Boy Scout troop as we took our monthly trip to camping or destinations we visited. There were no video games allowed, and certainly no smartphones to play with, so all I had after sundown was my cassette tapes, of which I did not have many, and they had to be flipped over every half an hour.
Now that we have the Internet and digital services and streaming music, I could not honestly be happier. I used them religiously to get through my cubicle days working in the IT departments of some major financial companies back when I was temping from one project to the other. Even with coworkers on the same floor of the same building, so much communication was done by email or instant messenger that it was really possible to sit there with earphones in and listen to streamed songs for hours on end. I could honestly go all day without talking to the three people I shared a cube with.
Nowadays, I work for myself online, and still spend a lot of my time in front of a computer, but it is either at home or in a restaurant with WiFi. Since I am usually alone, I rely on music to keep myself focused and not going nuts. That’s why I love Pandora. Restaurants usually have streaming music of their own, but I do not always like it, and I need my own to block out the ambient noise around me.
Of course this has become a dual-edged sword. There’s a wealth and world of music I had no idea that existed out there that I am always exploring, but sometimes it is also very easy to get lost in it all and not have any idea what to listen to.
One thing I do love to do when traveling though is to find local stations that have formats or genres I do not get at home. I enjoy bookmarking them and then using them as a taste of streaming music from places far away from where I am at the time. It is an interesting way to add escapism on top of escapism, and it gets me through my day.