This blue marble

– and yet it spins

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Flying in COVID-times, part II

Still six months ago one could order Kyrö distillery’s world-famous gin-and-tonic cocktail in Finnair business class. Now, going home there was no business class and no alcoholic drink service, only sachets of Kyrö distillery’s hand disinfectant gel. Times change.

The disinfectant came with a surface wipe for devices, armrests, and tray table, as well as a little booklet reassuring the passenger about the safety of cabin air. Perhaps it was required, as the two-by-two -seated Embraer 190 was packed with passengers going to Copenhagen.

For a while now, taxis in Copenhagen have had a protective screen between driver and passenger. It does lack in style compared to old-fashion limousine screens with little shuttable windows. Guess there is no going back in time.

Also, the screen carries a big bottle of – you guessed it – hand sanitizer. And as of mid-August, wearing a mask in the cab became a requirement, both for drivers and passengers.

(Copenhagen, Denmark; July 2020)

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Quick dip into Italy

AlpsSwoosh: across the Alps and into a way-too-fancy airport hotel where I spent a good 6 hours in a meeting. All I truly experienced of Italy was the sveltering heat outside and a plate of penne all’arabbiata.

Some crew and ground handling chaos later: swoosh back over the Alps again. Such is the life of an employee of a global company – until we run out of oil, or all the flying picks on my conscience too much.

(Over the Alps; June 2019)

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On the wing

wingsunsetOne random wing shot in my smartphone camera roll. I cannot remember where I was going, or where I came from. Helsinki, Copenhagen, Billund, London, Stockholm – could be any of them.

There is clarity up there, while I gaze out on the wing. There is time and space to think. To compose, reflect, and create. Some people are most productive in thought while walking or running. Others while taking a shower. For me it is the cramped airplane seat that works best. Not being able to leave my half a square meter space (possibly even less) for hours. This is when I review my behavior the past day, taking responsibility for the rights and the wrongs. When I walk through crucial conversations that need to take place. And it is when I revise the steps in my life plan: what to do, learn, read, and create next.

Voluntary confinement 10 kilometers in the air works for me. What works for you?

(Somewhere above Northern Europe; May 2019)

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Fire island

longislandI have only seen the coastline surrounding New York City from the air, and each time there is something new to discover. Fire Island looks like a wonderful place to visit for long walks on the beach and adventuring out in the shallows during ebb. Lucky locals.

(Above Long Island, NY, USA; April 2019)

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Great weather to fly

iceland35,000 feet above the Earth allows a new view, each time. For example how far Keflavik airport really is from Reykjavik city (above). And how icy and cold it still is in New Brunswick, when there are leaves in the trees in Denmark.abovevermontAnd how magnificent Mounts Katahdin and Hamlin look from the stratosphere. This is also the Northern end of the Appalachian trail. While my broken knees may never take me up on top of Katahdin, the Appalachian trail sure is on my bucket list – with a cheat start at the foot of the mountain.mountains(Above Iceland and North America; April 2019)

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Just a little light

bllThe only light of day here in Denmark may not be longer than five minutes. The sun only shows itself provided that the ever-ruling clouds give way. Sometimes weeks pass without direct sunlight. And I am struggling to remember that the sun has never left us. It is shining just as brightly, if only we fly a few kilometers upward in search of it.

(Billund airport, Denmark; December 2018)