From South East Asia to Lockdown....

Jamie Ellis
May 15, 2020
From South East Asia to Lockdown....

DeskLodge welcomes back Old Market’s Lead Host Sam Daly who returns from his travels around South East Asia to a slightly different working environment than the one he left six months ago.

Find out how Sam has adapted since coming back to work, what he has missed about DeskLodge and what he has been up to.


What is it like to be back in the UK albeit under strange circumstances?

To be back in the UK is bitter sweet. On one hand I enjoy being back on home soil, seeing my family, no more planes (thank god) and the glorious end of lugging around my 25kg bag that was like a new and irritating limb that I had to live out of!

But, on the other hand, my newfound freedom was brought to an abrupt halt from the coronavirus and not from choice. After playing cat and mouse with COVID and doing some country hopping in its evasion, we were ultimately defeated. I sadly bought a plane ticket home. It was the sensible thing to do.

I decided to take it upon myself to self-isolate for the full 14 days in a cottage get away, where we sat by a lake, feeding ducks and chickens and went on countryside walks. It was lovely and a nice break.


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 We then went home, I now understood the quote “home sweet home”. Being home, everything felt great and it’s nice to have my family around me. I’m currently living with my mum, dad, sister, brother-in-law and my nephew so it keeps the sanity which is a big plus.

I spent my first few weeks lounging, working out, and having endless quizzes on Zoom. It’s nice to speak to friends and even though these are very strange times, I feel I have bonded with people now more than ever!

I’m now back to work for DeskLodge four days a week and liking having something to do. I have my new, hand-painted set of drawers that I work from it each day, sat in my bay windows and also part-time people watch!

Travelling Asia and not having a permanent base once felt normal but now sat at home with family and working from my room feels so normal, it’s crazy how quickly humans can adapt.

What have you missed most?  

Food. I don’t even know where to begin with Asian cuisine, if you know you know. I loved experiencing all the national dishes, home cooking and street food everywhere I went. When you can get a full meal for £1.50, not to mention sides and a could you not be happy? With each country I’d visit I would Google what foods to look out for and follow my nose in the hope to stumble across these miraculous dishes and all the other wonderful snacks on every street. My taste buds had never been happier.


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What are you looking forward to about returning to DeskLodge?

I have been back for a week or two and I’m enjoying many aspects of it. I like seeing everyone’s faces again, including a new face that I haven’t met before and seeing how you’re all doing.

Working from home has also been attractive as I am fortunate to have a nice set up to sit at all day so I’m enjoying getting back into the swing of things. It’s been six months since I’ve had to think about work, I was quite worried about feeling stressed etc but now I’m back its been absolutely fine and I am enjoying the steady pace of getting back up to scratch with it all


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Did you spot any weird and wonderful coworking spaces whilst on your travels?

Yes! Coworking had found its way to most countries that I visited. They ranged from very small run-down places to IKEA-esc styles and then of course, the super whacky ones. I would always peer through a window out of interest and take a peek if I saw one.

Japan definitely takes the prize home for “weird and wonderful” coworking spaces though – If I remember correctly we stayed in a high rise next door to a coworking space that had a giant astronaut head hanging from the ceiling and when I say giant, imagine it was about the size of a car!

Have you been inspired to do anything differently since taking time out of the rat race?

I can’t say that I have come back as a super-spiritual hippie or anything, although my hair may tell a different story. But I have gained a much bigger understanding of many cultures and developed a much bigger positive outlook on life.

I feel like I have more energy now and fresh thoughts for my future, I am now going to save for a house with my partner (and of course save to have many pets), this is my next goal in life.

I have also been inspired by the respect and loyalty found in South East Asian countries and have learned from them myself, I’d like to think I will put this to action in my life now I’m back home. Oh, and also not to mention I got nine new tattoos whilst traveling and I plan to get many, many more when I can back in the UK!


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Thanks Sam!

As well as returning to DeskLodge, Sam has also been championing the NHS and dyed his moustache (yep, the beard has gone) rainbow colours to raise money for the NHS. Donate to his Just Giving page here and watch his tik tok video here.


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If you would like to know more about Sam’s travels read this dramatic and fun account of his first 48 hours before he finally reached his paradise island! It’s so Sam, you will love it!

Sam’s Travel blog - Surviving the first 48 hours!