As an international businessman, I am often required to work across multiple time zones and switching off from work and finding time to relax can be difficult. That being said, unwinding does not come naturally to me. I can trace this back to when I was reading for my PhD at Cambridge, or even to my schooling, and see the pattern throughout the twenty years that I have spent building my business, the Global Group.
However, this is something that I am working hard to be better at as it is important to achieve a strong work-life balance and make the time for leisure activities.
Personally, I make a special effort to ensure that I spend a good amount of time with my four young daughters. Even though I am constantly travelling around the world, I always try as hard as possible to travel back to Hong Kong on the weekends to see my children. Family is so important to me and in my opinion, it is crucial to make time to spend with your family as they are your most reliable support system. It gives me great pleasure to come home and hear all about my daughters’ lives and achievements.
As someone that is constantly jet-setting around the world and spends a lot of time in airports and on planes, I can share with you some of my top tips for relaxing and unwinding during international travel.
Firstly, I like to make sure that I do take some time out to do the things that I love whilst I’m flying long-haul. So, although I use some of this time to work, films are a passion of mine and therefore I always make sure to make the time to watch the latest movies during my flights. If I’m not in the air, then I love going to the cinema to watch the latest releases, and London’s West End is my favourite place for this.
I love to invest in cultural items as it allows me to combine work and relaxation. Some of my favourite things to learn about and invest in are fine art and fine wines. Cigars are also a passion of mine, and I am a member of a cigar club in Hong Kong, which is a favourite haunt of mine.
For me, studying is an activity that I also find relaxing, as I enjoy learning new things, widening my horizons and keeping up to date with the constantly changing world around me. It is important for me to ensure that I am as knowledgeable as possible about global trends and ideas as this is useful for me from a business perspective. But I also find it personally fulfilling. For example, I recently finished a course in FinTech from MIT, which I found fascinating and hugely enjoyable.
One of my favourite ways to fully relax and take my mind off the most pressing demands of work is to spend time catching up with my friends around the world. I’m very fortunate in that I do a vast amount of global travel, and I make sure I catch up with contacts whenever I can.
Finally, I like to invest in things that I can take travelling with me. I am particularly interested in discovering and acquiring the newest phones and computers. This is largely due to that fact that, not only are they attractive to have in themselves, they are also extremely useful and can be used for socialising and business. Keeping up to date with the latest advances in technology also means that one can save time and be more efficient, once you have mastered them, thereby freeing up more time.
Business travel can be draining but, with a little planning, it can also be a great opportunity to take a moment for yourself, recharge your batteries, and allow you to combine work and pleasure.