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Asia CommentTaipan

Learning to live out of a suitcase

Retro suitcase of a traveler with travel stickers-adobe-2022

The pandemic is teaching bankers new skills

The Covid-19 pandemic has upskilled many of us in the banking industry.

From appreciating the four walls of our homes and family members, to polishing our culinary skills when facing lockdowns, we inched up and conquered working remotely.

Now that borders are slowly opening, many of my friends are fast learning an entirely new skill: living out of a suitcase for weeks, sometimes months, on end.

Earlier this week, I caught up with a DCM banker, usually based in Hong Kong but who had freshly arrived in Singapore.

His travel itinerary was mind-boggling. He had planed a five week work trip across countries and continents, sprinkled with breaks in between to meet family and friends in those locations. After all, you need a long trip to justify spending a week in quarantine in Hong Kong.

My friend couldn’t stop raving about how happy his clients and colleagues were to see him in person again. Even internally, things he couldn’t imagine asking for virtually were approved within a couple of minutes, showing him the power of in-person meetings.

He did admit, though, that living out of a suitcase for five weeks does get quickly tiring.

His trick to stay healthy and sane? For health, he squeezed in a run every day; and for his sanity, he ensured every hotel he stayed at had a stocked mini bar with his favourite whiskies. Now that’s what I reckon is a good work-life-health balance.

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