As there appears a glimmer of light to the end of this pandemic, life for many can begin to resemble some normality again – and I am dreading it. Of course the world needs to recover and economies have to rebuild. I write only about how this lock down surprisingly turned into my golden era, on every level my life and my families life improved.

To compound my dread of things returning to ‘normal’, when I see images of people needing an app for clearance to enter shopping malls and seeing plastic divides on restaurant dining tables; it is a world I am in no hurry to join again. This new world looks horrid.

I find it difficult to find many positives to me returning to normality. During this lock down, helped by isolating in the beautiful Koh Chang, I have become a better version of me before. It is the strangest experience and one I must learn from and do everything I can to continue life as I now know it.

Yes, for sure, most of the world will have suffered – this pandemic has been world tragedy; but it has enlightened me personally.

Let me start with a brief description of what has happened to me on all aspects of my life:

Work Efficiency and Productivity

Through conference calling using Zoom, Skype, Google and even Facetime, I am handling about 4 to 5 meetings a day from my desk in my bedroom on Koh Chang. It is super efficient. To handle 5 appointments in Bangkok in one day would mean wasting time traveling and it is tiring. I have saved so much time. On top of that I have been getting up between 530am and 6am, so my working day has been lengthened.

It has been insane how much extra work I complete each day.  When I arrived on this island 7 weeks ago a business partner and I decided to launch a new business in Bangkok, when I leave this island after 8 weeks later this business will be fully functioning, complete with a team in place, marketing plan and customers! My business as normal has also seen great new developments and I have another new project just weeks away from launching too. Let me take a deep breath for one moment, as in addition to this, I have two additional projects being explored.

I am not gloating, I am just telling you how it is. It has been a very significant two months of my working life.

Just incredible, all in only 8 weeks. So much has been achieved in such a small window of time. Being away from my normal routines has allowed me to become super focused and efficient. I am working more hours a day, having more meetings and still having plenty of leisure time. All by cutting unnecessary clutter, like travel.

Improved Lifestyle

Being isolated on an island with my family has been nothing short of magical. It is peaceful, I am relaxed, my body in tanned and life feels great. Even though I have been working hard I also have been able to stop by 5pm and that still gives me lots of time on the beach with my family. The weekends have been used to explore the island, take in the sun, play and swim.

My day begins before 6am and I am in bed by 830pm, by 9pm I am asleep – exhausted but very content.

My ‘lifestyle’ before this lock down would have been envied by many, but upon reflection although I did lots with my time I have learned less can be more. For example, you will not find me rushing to a shopping mall on a Sunday to kill time anymore, it did not nourish me mentally or physically.

Peaceful and Relaxed

Try as I might at the end of my working day in Pattaya when my family and I take a stroll along the beach or go for dinner, I am not relaxed. I cannot find peace at the end of the day. My mind is still racing with work issues and I cannot relax walking along a crowded promenade – as beautiful as it is.

Even going into a restaurant, I feel merely part of the cog and systemically caught up in a routine that I don’t want to be in.

For all the benefits of living in a vibrant and exciting town like Pattaya, I have thoroughly enjoyed having more space with less people around me.

I need to understand how I can feel so relaxed and at peace here in Koh Chang at the end of such a tough working day? I can only conclude its from being on an island which mentally detaches you from the wider world.

Less Gluttonous

In Pattaya and in Bangkok, I am drawn into the world around me. I eat a pastry when I stop off for a 10minute Starbucks break, I have a few pints of beer with my evening meal when we eat out. I eat and drink too much, and often it is not that healthy.

In Pattaya I went to the gym 5 times a week but my results were minimal.  Here in Koh Chang I have been eating out far less, as we have not be allowed, and eating healthier. I still have a couple of beers or glasses of wine in the evening but it is minimal. I have not been drunk once in two months.

Much Fitter

I have been doing crossfit five days a week for one hour a day and taking one run of around 5km to 10km over the weekends. My crossfit is done overlooking the beach and my run is through the beautiful streets of Koh Chang. It is blissful. I have dropped from 89kg to 86k and now look like a trained athlete! Rewind just one year ago and I tipped the scales at 96kg. I have improved my work and my health simultaneously, just incredible.

I Read More

Through greater efficiencies and use of time I have made every part of my day count. It means I have found time to read each evening before I slept. I am learning new things and I have enjoyed this very much.

How do I maintain this?

The whole experience has made me question how I approached life and how I integrated into society pre-pandemic.

– I have emerged like a superhero version of my previous self, just by doing things differently.

I must switch more meetings to online rather than face to face, using face to face strategically. I must maintain my new improved disciplines and I must question everything to how life was done before. My hope is many more people do this. I am currently looking at my kids schooling as I think there are better options to how it currently operates and it also locks us as a family in to one location – in many ways, just like this pandemic has controlled our movements and freedoms.

Maybe all this lock down has done is allowed me to discover myself and what I really want from life?

I have read about how this lock down will allow a number of practices we did before to be reset and for us to find another way, I just wonder how many of us would have learned from this experience. I mean really learned, life changing wise. I feel like I want to reverse my life, but I have yet to work out how it would work properly and longer term.

Where I choose to live is also very important and I need to remove the barriers stopping me spreading my wings more. We do not need to live the way the world or society tries to tell us.

Life is so short and tragic that we owe it to ourselves and family to choose the best options to get the most from our time on this planet.

However fantastic my life was before this pandemic, I have learned so much from this ‘time out’ that I want to now turn the chapter to reveal a life more extraordinary and suited to what my family and I want to get out of life.  Why settle for anything less?


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