Flying high

The last place to escape?

I don’t fly that much for work, but when I do I love the solitude, escape and predictability of a long flight. Most of my longer flights are into and around Africa and the rest are around Central and Eastern Europe – flying for me provides a perfect time to reflect, to think, to imagine and to stop for a few hours and reconsider life. I’m not keen on travelling for work with my work colleagues – sorry folks I do love you but not right next to me on a flight for 8hrs.

I’m writing this blog as I take off from London Heathrow heading to Kenya to spend the week with PwC colleagues from our International Development Hub in Nairobi, I wrote my last blog on a flight back from Ukraine, maybe flights and blogs work for me but I think this reinforces the idea of flights bringing space to reflect.

Of course catching up on the latest movies, especially the ones that my partner refuses to watch, and reviewing bits and pieces of work is also on the agenda but mostly it’s the solitude of flight that helps me to think and reflect on life and work.

I’ve often wondered if I can find time to reflect more like this on the ground, the trouble is between the demands of my diary at work and my ‘work boss’, my fabulous PA, Sue, making sure I squeeze in everything I desire into my working week and then my ‘home boss’, my partner, Rodolfo, making sure we have wall to wall ‘fabulous’ life experiences, it’s just a little hard to get that reflection time. I guess I should, therefore apologies to the nice American man next to me on this flight for not wanting to talk to him, and thank the British Airways cabin crew for pressing the button for the privacy screen between our seats, phew.!!

Do you think are lives are too busy to give us proper space to reflect?

Time to think rather than just time to do has to be quite important for our civilisation I would have thought. We seem to have lots of time to talk about doing stuff – that’s a pet hate of mine – I often find myself shouting inside my head ‘let’s just do something now people’ – OK maybe I also say that out loud sometimes too. But I think that need to move, to make progress, to create action – sometimes that’s our biggest weakness. Can we really value doing nothing? – Just thinking, pondering, reflecting and then based on that reflection, perhaps do something even more amazing than we’ve ever imagined.

Could every person travelling alone today, on every long flight, imagine a wonderful new thing for their life? How amazing would that be, to deliberately and consciously realign oneself to refocus on some higher sense of meaning and impact for your life. I think that would be kind of cool. So rather than passing out Landing Cards maybe the crew should be passing out ‘what are you doing with your life’ cards. OK maybe a little deep, but maybe we should all ask ourselves that question a little more often.

So until I find a way to negotiate more time to think from either Sue or Rodolfo I shall continue to love and respect the space that British Airway, Air France, Ukraine International and Brussels Airlines give me. Thank you, here’s to a remarkable new thought emerging in the next 8hrs.