What is your morning routine?
I normally wake around 5:00am, six at the latest. Moving straight to the living room I feed the cat, pour a coffee, and settle on the lounging sofa next to the balcony. This is my morning office, and for the next few hours I will complete my work for the day.
I live in central Bangkok in a high rise condo, so the views below are of trees and the morning bustle. Early hours in Bangkok are surprisingly relaxed as song birds bounce between branches on trees below; Orioles, Bulbuls and exotic birds you don’t really expect to see among the surrounding concrete.
Buddhist monks are also more active at this time of day, walking the streets for morning ‘Bintabat’ and collecting offerings in their alms bowls. Locals wake and appear, offering donations while being blessed by the monks.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
Almost three years now. I can’t see it changing any time soon. If it does change the only difference will be the surrounding scenery. A similar routine in Tokyo may be cool…
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
Before living in Bangkok I worked a 9 to 5 in the UK. Back then I would struggle to wake at 7.30am, and on days off I could sleep through to midday. Mornings are a lot easier when the weather and lifestyle are less miserable.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
No need for an alarm. When the sun rises I wake up, bright and chirpy. I can snooze at any time.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
My mornings end around 9.30am. This is when my wife wakes and I am on breakfast duty; heading out onto the streets below to pick up snacks from local street food.
My most common breakfast is creamy Tom Yum Kai (hot and sour soup). It’s more of a lunch dish than breakfast, but by this time I am hankering for a proper feed. Moo Ping (grilled marinated pork) and sticky rice are my other breakfast favourite.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I need one.
Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
Emails are one of my first tasks to complete, but it does depend on the importance.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning, either for calls/messages or social media and news?
My phone died a year ago when travelling in the Philippines. To date I haven’t replaced it. I prefer my phone free life.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Write, edit images, and schedule a post for the day on my websites.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
You mean booze? I generally wait ’til after breakfast.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
We travel a lot, so this is where my morning routine becomes a hassle.
I always wake hours before my wife Fanfan, and as budget travellers we rarely have two room accommodation. If there’s a pool I go to the pool but generally I am forced to sit quietly in a corner or lock myself in the bathroom. For hours. You will often find me in hotel corridors boiling kettles.
What do you do if you fail to follow your routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
This rarely happens. The most likely time would be with jetlag, or screwed up times from overnight travel. Even with hangovers I force myself to wake early and drink a coffee.
If it does happen I would just catch up on work in the afternoon and maybe order in food to save a bit of time.