Isn't life wonderful

black and white image.  Ted Branson holds a young Holly Branson in his arms
Image by Virgin.com
Holly Branson
Holly Branson's writing
Published on 11 April 2019

Isn’t life wonderful?

These three simple words defined the way my Grandad Ted looked at life. The joy he found in the simplest of things was infectious to anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him.

Grandad was wise, kind and passionate. He taught my dad, and indeed our entire family, to find wonder in everything that life presents us with.

A young Holly Branson with Ted Branson
Image by Virgin.com

Inspired by Grandad’s outlook, Dad shared this touching letter to our children following VSS Unity’s first successful test flight

Since Dad wrote this letter in December 2018, Virgin Galactic has continued to reach new heights. A second successful test flight saw Beth Moses become the first woman to fly on a commercial spaceship and five members of the Virgin family have now received their Commercial Astronaut Wings. In March 2019 the Space Foundation awarded Virgin Galactic the Space Achievement Award and in September the company floated on the New York Stock Exchange and revealed their future astrosuit spacesuits. 

The Virgin Galactic journey continues to prove that life really is wonderful and if you embrace it with an open mind and an endless sense of wonder, even the sky is not the limit.

Isn't Life Wonderful

Here’s one of my favourite snippet of Dad’s letter:

“Life, he used to say, is wonderful. That was it. Life is wonderful. And it is that simple but essential truth, above all else, which has driven me as I have built businesses, raised my family and embarked upon my many adventures.

“You are at the very start of life, it is an incredible gift and it is there for the taking. It will deliver highs and lows, trials and tribulations, failures and triumphs. But by living it to the full, by always trying to do the right thing and by never losing that sense of adventure which you now possess with such abundance, it will indeed be wonderful.”

Richard Branson smiles with his Ted Branson and Eve Branson holding a model Virgin Atlantic plane
Image by Virgin.com

Embracing this sense of wonder and curiosity has resulted in some of the most exciting moments in my own life too. It led me to climb Mont Blanc to launch Big Change, attempt to kite-surf the English Channel, swim across the Straits of Messina, tackle a half-marathon up an active volcano to complete the month-long 2016 Strive Challenge and attempt to sail across the Atlantic in the fastest boat ever built. These challenges each bought their fair share of mishaps, hardships and a few lessons learnt the hard way. But if I hadn’t been brought up to embrace curiosity and see a challenge as an adventure, I might have written them off as impossible from the start. The next adventure on the list is The Strive Challenge in October 2020!

Richard Branson and Holly Branson peck each other on the cheek
Image from Adam Slama

I couldn’t have gotten through many of these moments without the support of the people around me. Working alongside the amazing teams at Virgin, Virgin Unite and Big Change has taught me that meaningful progress can only be realised when we all work together. And as Dad writes in the letter: “We are all in this together - fellow travellers on spaceship Earth.”