A work, life and safety balance

Whether it’s braving the elements or indulging in familiar comforts, these jetsetting travel professionals know how to have good, safe fun outside of work

Clockwise from top left: Samson Tan; Anthony Wong (centre); Richard Tobin; Andrew Carroll; Hamish Keith; Larry Lo and Thilak Weerasinghe

Hamish Keith, group managing director, Exo Travel, Thailand
I am a keen cyclist and enjoy touring and racing. Given my work responsibilities and travel schedule, it is not easy to stay in shape, especially for racing, so I try and use every business trip opportunity to get out on a bicycle.

I try to avoid the hotel gym and usually find a way to rent or borrow a bike when travelling, even when visiting major cities. This not only helps me to stay in shape but also ensures that I experience far more of the destination than what a regular business traveller would see. – Xinyi Liang-Pholsena

Anthony Wong, group managing director, Asian Overland Services Tourism & Hospitality Group, Malaysia
My favourite activity is being out in nature. I like to go trekking and canoeing. I am always prepared for emergencies and carry a small first aid kit, water, compass, machete and lighter. I make it a point never to go trekking in the jungle after 4pm. I also keep fit by exercising regularly. – S Puvaneswary

Larry Lo, CEO, Westminster Travel, Hong Kong
Skiing represents the greatest and most exciting enjoyment for me. Once we begin to ski above the beginner level and venture to the advanced slopes, safety is certainly of paramount importance to all – whether it is taking a line through the trees, dropping off a cliff, testing the speed limit on an empty brake or simply making sweet power turns.

Ski safety is really a matter of personal choice. Skiers are normally advised to do warm-up exercises and use proper ski equipment. A helmet and goggles are a must and skiers should be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions.

Regardless of how risky skiing is, the allure of conquering the slope is an incredible attraction. – Prudence Lui

Neng Publico, manager, Covenant Travel and Tours, Philippines
As a woman who at times travels alone, being informed is my biggest weapon. But as unreliable websites are rampant, I’m careful that I read only the credible websites and travel advisories from official sources. I also plan my trips well, up to pre-arranging transportation and accommodation.

Another caveat: Don’t call attention to yourself and dress appropriately. You’re an easy target if you’re alone in a small street reading a map and keep asking passers-by for directions. – Rosa Ocampo

Thilak Weerasinghe, chairman/founder of Lanka Sportreizen, Sri Lanka
I do a lot of mountain climbing, hiking, walking and biking when on overseas travels, visiting peaks in Germany and Switzerland, boating in the Netherlands and engaging in water sports, diving and wind surfing in the Maldives.

In fact, it was my pet sport – wind surfing – that got me into tourism. I love nature and the environment and make use of precious time during overseas travels to appreciate nature.

As a safety precaution, mountain treks that take up a whole day should be pre-planned and accompanied by a team. It’s also important to have the right shoes and clothes and an emergency kit that includes an oxygen unit. – Feizal Samath

Richard Tobin, chief, Setouchi Tourism Authority, Japan
When I am on business I try to stick to my routine by waking up an hour early and exercising in my hotel room. I tend to do body weight exercises like sit-ups, push-ups and squats. I also stretch every morning.

Walking is another important part of my routine and is a great way to learn about my surroundings while staying healthy! Going for walks in the morning keeps me away from all of the hustle and bustle of nightlife, and allows me to learn about the area. – Kathryn Wortley

Praveen Chugh, managing director, Business Travels India
My favourite hobby is hiking as it is a good way to remain fit and active. Generally, I prefer a day hike in the scenic countryside.
Depending on the terrain, I usually wear hiking boots and carry water and food, a map, sunglasses, a first aid kit and rainproof gear. An insect repellent also comes in handy.

To be safe, I usually hike in a group with a professional hiker and ideally a doctor as well. I also follow the news to keep abreast of the latest happening across the globe. – Rohit Kaul

Andrew Carroll, global head of sales and marketing, Exotic Voyages, Cambodia
Being an avid golfer, I always look at finding some spare time during a business trip to play a round of golf on a new course.

However, this does bring some concerns – after a long flight, jetlag and all that ensues from travel, the body is far from prepared for strenuous activity.

With this considered and also to clear my mind, I bring my yoga mat with me on my travels. Thirty minutes of yoga each morning allows my body and mind to recover. – Marissa Carruthers

Samson Tan, CEO, GTMC Travel, Singapore
I enjoy playing my favourite sports like golf and water polo. Typically I will also take a jog or brisk walk around the hotel vicinity. To keep myself safe, I make sure to wear proper walking shoes and stay aware of my surroundings. – Paige Lee Pei Qi

This article was first published in TTG Asia December 2016 issue. To read more, please view our digital edition or click here to subscribe.

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