October 24, 2013

Music Can Soothe The Stranded Traveler

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Last Saturday I was stranded in the Cartagena Colombia airport for almost six hours.  I was not alone. Early that morning, the radar system at the Panama City airport went down, causing all flights in and out of it to be delayed.  As it's the hub for the entire region, which meant that all travelers in Cartagena would wait in the gate lounge until the situation clears up. 

By 3pm, we were all tense, tired and stressed out about our connections. The silence was deafening. Then, something magic happened.  Members of the University of Richmond symphony whipped out their instruments, tuned them quickly, and launched into an impromptu concert for us.  

Within seconds, the mood at the gate lounge was transformed from misery to ecstasy.  At this moment, I realized that music is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It can soothe our soul and make us forget our problems. When they finished, there were smiles all around. People begin to strike up conversations with each other and by 4pm, we got the good news that the Panama City airport was back up and running. Many of us talked about the power of music and vowed to listen to more of it ... especially when we were stressed out during times of travel.  

I shot a video of their first song. Note how loud the applause was, and how surprised they were at the positive feedback.  VIDEO: THE AIRPORT LOUNGE SYMPHONY. 

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