2015: My Top 16 Moments

Tuesday 12th January 2016

  1. Bertrand Piccard let me cross the Pacific Ocean in spite of desperately wishing to do this exploration flight myself.
  2. My son, Deniz, and his wife, Ludivine, gave birth to a wonderful daughter and made me a grandfather for the first time, it is such an incredible feeling.
  3. My son, Teo, introduced me to Vipassana, 10 days of silent and intensive meditation, the perfect start of 2016.
  4. My daughter, Ela, who brings my energy to the highest level through her smile, her spontaneity and appreciation of life.
  5. Our mission director, Raymond Clerc, cleared my view in the most difficult situation over the Pacific Ocean, which helped me come up with the right decisions.
  6. Peter Frei, our configuration engineer, has been with me since the beginning of Solar Impulse and has always given me his honest recommendations, even if he knew it would not please me.
  7. If one person really impressed me this year, it was Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC. She has been so active, involved and effective in making COP21 this year a success despite the difficult and diverging political and environmental views between countries.
  8. When I arrived in Hawaii with Solar Impulse, I had the opportunity to enjoy a fantastic meal prepared by an incredible chef, Peter Foster, just hours after landing. It was a dream and such a nice way to reconnect with our terrestrial life!
  9. I discovered laughter yoga every morning in Ahmedabad with Ranjula who led me through this new practice.
  10. Dr. Li has since two years helped us connect with Chinese authorities to make our flight possible and welcome! Besides her professional obligations, I appreciated her personal concern for the whole Solar Impulse team.
  11. As we were considering staying in Japan over the winter because of the bad weather over the Pacific Ocean, I met the Head of Sapporo airport, who kindly offered us to use their airport if conditions further deteriorated.
  12. When I had to divert to Nagoya in Japan during my flight from China to Hawaii, the Governor of Nagoya Prefecture gave us a warm welcome, which made it all easier. He even invited us to stay longer and further develop Solar Impulse’s activities there.
  13. In Abu Dhabi, I performed some helicopter flight missions under the control of a security agent. I was so impressed by his dedication to his country and its Leader. It helped me further understand how the country is governed.
  14. I am so thankful to my friend, David Allen, who provided incredible hospitality to my entire family when waiting for me to cross over the Pacific Ocean. Thank god he didn’t know I would take so much time to finally make it!
  15. And my love for my wife, Yasemin, who has been so supportive and loving each day of this year.
  16. During the last days of 2015, I have been reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari. Read it if you want to step back and take some distance from what is happening in our world!

André Borschberg