I love flying

It started on the backseat of my father’s Toyota Corolla when I was about six.

The dark orange family vehicle caused me regular stomach upsets, which over the years and despite my mother’s cleaning efforts gave the cabin its distinct and unforgettable fragrance. When my brother started fishing a couple of years later, the scent was enriched by a “batfish” who during a bumpy ride slipped out of the water container it was meant to stay in before ending up as the last supper of a big trout. For revenge, the small fish kept hiding somewhere between the car seats. And ever since, nobody was able to find it. It was all my mistake. My father gave in to me and bought the Toyota because I liked the digital clock on the dashboard. If it wouldn’t have been for the green fluorescent digits we might have ended up with my father’s first choice: a brown Ford Granada. Not that it would have made much difference, I got sick in every

car those days. The only relief was to stick my head and left arm out of the window, while imagining being a plane about to takeoff, leaving beneath us the long and winding road we were supposed to be driving on. During the cold Swiss Winters, my method was regularly under review by members of the family council, who had to balance potential pneumonia with yet another contribution to the car’s fragrance spectrum. I still prefer planes to cars. Only the other day, when my son and I were driving to school, we decided to push the power steering button of my Cinquecento car and started flying over Zurich’s rush hour traffic. The two of us knew it was only because of the car’s special feature that we made it in time for Scott’s lessons that morning. But it’s not just stomach issues and traffic jams that become smaller when we’re

above the clouds. The change of perspective can help us to leave old ideas behind in order to grow new ones. It’s liberating to be on the move and offline for all those who spend their time consuming yours. Yes, I hate our online society and the affect it has on people: the urge to constantly stay in touch without a reason. Surely a plane isn’t the only place where we can go offline. But nowadays, it’s about the only place where everyone has to accept it when you are. I would always deny that the reason why we opened our second office in Shanghai was the regular 12-hour journey between Europe and China. But I know that some of our agencies’ best work has its roots 33’000 feet above sea level. And even if this weren’t the case, I’d say it was, because I love flying.