Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Hayley Peacock-Gower, Chief Marketing Officer at Aurora Expeditions

Hayley Peacock-Gower is the Chief Marketing Officer at Aurora Expeditions, a company specialising in small-group adventure travel experiences to the Polar Regions and other wild and remote destinations.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I have the privilege as CMO leading Marketing, Comms and PR for a pioneering Australian company – Aurora Expeditions – to doing great things, sustainably in expedition travel. We are passionate about growth with purpose, and we take travellers on life changing destinations to some of the most incredible off-the-beaten path destinations on earth.

I have been in Marketing and Media for over 20 years and have had the privilege of shaping and driving the direction for many well-known global brands.

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

My day starts at 5am. I have always been an early riser and (bit of a sunrise chaser)– no alarm is needed. You can usually find me on the sand by 5.15am-ish at my local beach for an early walk/run and swim. It is the best start to the day! Then it is back home to get my son (12 yo) off to school and head into the office. 

We are a global business, so the day is filled with collaborative meetings around the globe on various time zones across the US, UK and France and South America. The meetings top and tail the day usually.

Most of my Marketing team is based in Sydney – and our office days are filled with planning, collaboration, creation – and we also like to have fun – snack times, time out in the open air are essential!

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine? 

Our business is flexible. We have office days and remote working days. It is a hybrid model. And as we work on many different time zones this becomes quite critical. However, the most important aspect is high performance – output, delivery, and results. We have a talented team so there is trust to deliver what needs to get done – and flexibility goes hand in hand with that.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Nature is essential to work life balance. Taking out time in nature with no laptops, no phones, no emails is invigorating.

Family time. I just love dinner times to connect with the ones you love; deep conversation, laughs and good food (these are always without devices).

And for me it is about prioritising exercise, sleep, water, clean eating (and the occasional treats) and knowing when you need to take work home. 

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life? 

With COVID, you have had to live without some things – and you did not get to do the things you always could, so you had to really look at what’s important to you.

Importantly one healthy habit that always changes life and perspective is travelling – so to do that AGAIN recently is just so good! 

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

A few of my fave podcasts are BBC Earth Podcast, Sean’s Carroll’s Mindscape and The Daily NYT

Newsletters: a few to call out The Explorers Club, Nat Geo, Sh*t you should care about, The Hustle.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I love listening to music, so I cannot live without my BEATS!

My top most-used apps are: Wordle, Instagram, NBA (big basketball fan) + WeatherZone

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?   

Love to read interviews/stories of everyday heroes (especially single parents and good people who give back – volunteering their time for good). 

Reading how they manage the good, the bad – and the juggle. How they make it all work – and keep smiling every day is inspiring.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Enjoying life beyond work with people you love, and trust is what makes life exceptional and well balanced. And get up for that sunrise, it is so worth it! 

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.