I’ve been on about 8 flights working abroad in the last month, and I thought it’d be a great time to share an extended day and week in my life working in places ranging from cafes and hotel rooms to somewhere in the sky.
Running a business and traveling for work can be a lot of fun, but it can also be difficult, so hopefully, I’ll be able to show you a realistic view of what it’s like to fly to multiple locations to work remotely.
Hey friends, Andrew here – hope you’re well!
You guys seemed to enjoy my previous day in the life a lot more than I expected, so here’s a look into a more interesting part of my life and the 7 figure media company I run – working with large brands, traveling, and balancing work and play. It’s a difficult balance to strike.
Let’s begin at the beginning of the week when I arrive at the airport, and take off together!
Business Class Lounge
So it’s about 10 a.m. after checking in here at Sydney Airport, and the first thing I do is go to the airport lounge, which I have access to thanks to my travel credit cards like Citi Prestige.
But, yes, airport lounges are little sanctuaries within airports where I can refresh and work even on a busy day.
I’m off to Malaysia as part of a business trip for the media company, where I’ll be doing some videography work for a couple of brands and setting up some meetings.
My emails were already piling up at this point, but before I jumped on my laptop to work, I grabbed some food from the kitchen area – I had a quick light breakfast at home, so I was starving.
The food in this airport lounge was a little meh, but hey, I can’t complain. It’s enough to get me started for the day.
The flight isn’t until 1 PM, and I prefer to arrive at airports early to get work done, especially if I have access to an airport lounge. I remember sitting here eating my late breakfast and feeling surreal that I was able to not only freely travel to a different country for work but also earn a good living from it – it’s not something I take for granted, and I believe that practicing intentional gratitude can help you live a more purposeful, happy life.
Anyway, before I became a life coach, I needed to get another plate of food, and the lounge was starting to clear out as people rushed off to their flights, so it was a perfect time to get cozy and start working without distractions.
In my previous day in the life, some of you were asking about what I do for a living and the type of company I run. To keep it short and simple, I do three things: help run an eCommerce store, digital marketing services, and media production for global brands. Before that, I was a Senior Digital Marketing Manager, but taking the leap, quitting my job, and starting my own company was possibly the best decision I’ve ever made aside from choosing to be with my partner.
The work I’m focusing on right now is emails, checking in with the team, and some creative writing for upcoming YouTube videos, and I spend a good solid hour on these tasks to ensure everything runs smoothly while I’m offline for this 9-hour flight.
Because we’re still a small team and, in some ways, a startup, I’m doing a lot of things myself and wearing many hats – I’m managing business operations, contracts, accounting, videography, emails – you name it, I probably have my finger in it, so my work week is filled with long hours. But, as they say, do what you love and you’ll never have to work another day in your life, and to some extent, this is true.
And, yes, I did just go get some more food, so don’t judge me. I’m about to board, and it’s a beautiful sunny day to fly out.
I was able to book Malaysia Airlines’ famous Throne Seat in business class – the name is explained by its two side cabinets rather than one resembling a throne and gives me a lot more space even more than the usual business class seat – so I took the opportunity to enjoy myself before returning to work.
I usually spend the first couple of hours of the flight snuggling up, taking in the scenery, and, of course, enjoying the meals, particularly on a business class flight. Seriously, these Malaysia Airlines satay skewers are to die for.
Normally, I’ll watch a movie while eating; this time, I watched Top Gun Maverick, and the turbulence on this flight made it feel like a 4D cinema experience.
I just spent the first few hours relaxing, eating, watching the movie, and filming content, so you could say I was “working” as well.
Personally, I enjoy working in the sky; it’s a great way to kill time while being productive, so I set up my laptop and accessories and sat down. I still like to keep it casual when working in the sky, so I read some contracts, planned my work week, and did other random admin tasks that I’ve meant to do for months but haven’t had the time for.
So, after all of the work, there were only 2-3 hours left on the flight, so I made the bed so I could take a short nap – I feel like it’d be a crime not to use the flay lay bed, I’m such a bad sleeper on planes, but this is the one time I can catch some z’s.
We arrived in beautiful Malaysia at 8 p.m.; there were some delays getting to the hotel, but I finally checked in at nearly midnight. By the way, Hyatt Hotels was one of the clients I worked with there, so they kindly put me in one of their suite rooms. I was so tired that I just went to bed and passed out.
A new day in a new city! Because my body clock is out of whack, I’m starting my day late at 9 a.m., but today is when the fun begins when working abroad.
I brush my teeth and perform my usual simple skincare routine before opening all the curtains, getting my bearings, and taking in the beautiful view and room I’m staying in.
If you’re curious, the very chic hotel I’m staying in is called Alila Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur, and I’m here with Hyatt Hotel shooting a videography project as part of the media company side of things, as well as shooting a YouTube video here to share with you guys!
A trip like this required a lot of planning, from the creative idea to the shot list, all the camera gear I had to carry, all the negotiations, back-and-forth emails, and so on. But now that I’m here, all the late nights have been well worth it.
That, I suppose, is a common theme in business: you reap what you sow, and, as we all hope, hard work is eventually rewarded.
And because it’s so important to me to pack well when traveling at such a fast pace, I’d like to share one of my favorite brands for quality carry goods: Bellroy.
I have their Compact Tech Kit, Toiletry Kit, and Lite Duffel Bag, which is everything I need to stay light, organized, and well-packed.
These products feature Bellroy’s well-known premium, eco-tanned leather and durable water-resistant woven fabric made from recycled materials, and they help me neatly compartmentalize all of my cables, toiletries, and tech.
They’re a B Corp, which means they’ve met high standards for social and environmental impact, and they’re a fantastic company to support. They also shared a link to get 10% off all Bellroy products so you can try them out.
I had a quick breakfast downstairs in the hotel lobby; usually, I like to go out and explore, but today is a really busy work day, so I set up my remote workspace, which includes my laptop, mouse, a few hard drives, portable speakers, and other such items which I also shared in the What’s in my Tech Bag and Essentials article.
But this view in front of me was fantastic to work with. It was a little after 10 a.m., and I jumped right into my workflow, organizing my to-dos and deadlines on Monday.com and Notion.
As a company founder, every day is different – sometimes, I spend the entire day filming; other days, it’s spent on creative and strategic thinking, back-to-back client meetings, or even just admin work and errands – it all depends. Today was a mix of everything – I was making sure things with the remote team were still getting done and managing the team, so I could get my own work done here, which was a lot of filming, client calls, and an in-person meeting later tonight.
I personally dislike phone calls; I believe that 99% of calls can be communicated via email. Because I work with clients all over the world, I’m frequently on calls at odd hours of the day, which is unavoidable when working for yourself.
After a few phone calls, I decided it was time to start filming, so I set up my Sony A74. What you see here is a behind-the-scenes shot of me filming a segment of my YouTube video, What’s In My Travel Tech Bag.
Most people don’t realize how much time goes into a single YouTube video; often, I spend a full day scripting, a full day filming, a full day editing, and then more time to fine-tune the video, so a single video can take over 30 hours of work from start to finish. But, once again, I adore making YouTube videos and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I also worked on the client videography shoot of the room and interiors, so two birds with one stone.
I went out to get lunch and discovered that I had been locked out of my room for nearly an hour due to a dead battery in the door lock; I wasn’t impressed. But what impressed me was the delicious Malaysian food; the entire meal was only about $5!
I took advantage of the opportunity to take a break and catch up on World Cup matches while eating. Let me know if you think Messi or Ronaldo is a better player – it’s a never-ending debate.
Of course, in a tropical climate, a storm could appear out of nowhere, making it even cozier inside the hotel, especially with a view of the storm high in the sky. So I resumed my afternoon work block, beginning some video editing. I like to work in long blocks with no distractions to make the most of my time and then play hard and unwind properly when I have the chance.
That’s exactly what I did today; I finished early at 6 p.m., and now it’s time to explore!
So I had a few friends and clients I wanted to see, but first, I met up with a friend for a round of rooftop tennis to decompress and get some exercise. The storm passed quickly, and it was extremely hot and humid; I adore tropical weather.
After tennis, we used the steam room and plunge pools to cool off before changing for dinner and a night out in the city.
Then we dined at Dewakan, which, funnily, received a Michelin star just weeks after we dined there and, according to my research, is one of Asia’s 50 best restaurants. It’s not something I always do, but it was a nice treat.
The head chef gave us a kitchen tour; it had such a lovely atmosphere with Modern Malaysian dishes that celebrated the country’s indigenous roots. I wholeheartedly endorse it.
Then we went to a rooftop bar with a client and a friend to cap off a reasonably productive work day abroad.
I can’t keep up this travel schedule all year. It may be glamorous and fun for a while, but I prefer working in my office and returning home to my family and friends. That’s just me; some of you may be able to travel nonstop for work; if so, please let me know!
I’m extremely grateful to be able to travel as part of the company I run, seeing more of the world, collaborating with international brands, and capturing the beauty of worlds unfamiliar to me. It’s a “work” for which I’m grateful, and I consider myself fortunate to be able to call my work my passion, but if you ask me as an optimist, I’d say that if you chase your dreams long enough, you’ll turn your passion into a career as well.
As my life evolves, I may make these days in my life an annual event, so let me know if you’d like to see more. For the time being, I’ll leave my What’s In My Travel Bag post here if you’re interested in the tech and bags I bring when I work abroad. Guys, keep chasing your dreams, and as always, thank you for joining me on this trip.