Tue, 2 September 2014
This week on elllo.org we hear from Dan, an Americna businessman working abroad, and he talks about why he likes to live in Bali and why it is a good place to set roots.
The full episode online comes with a video, quiz, audio vocabulary and a speaking/listening challenge. You can get it here or at the link below:
Transcript of the Conversation
Todd: So now Dan you live in Bali, Indonesia, which is a very beautiful place and you do a lot of business in Southeast Asia. Why do you think Southeast Asia is a good place to do business?
Dan: Well, one of the primary reasons is the lifestyle. If you are generating a reasonable income on western standards, you can—what we do is, you know, perform some global arbitrage. You can take that western level salary and move it to a developing area of the world like here in Southeast Asia, and your purchasing power is much greater.
So if you’re selling products in a higher valued economy like Germany and you’re living in Vietnam, you’re going to be able to experience a much higher lifestyle. And we call that concept arbitrage. You know, currency markets and stock traders have used that kind of concept all the time because they’re dealing with very liquid assets. In our case, you know, our locations weren't always so liquid. It wasn’t always so easy to change your location. Now with internet style business, it’s getting easier.
So primarily, the lifestyle, I found that that’s a great tool for recruiting because staff, they want to have a great lifestyle too. So if you can set up an office in a place like Bali, Indonesia, it’s like paradise on earth. It’s so beautiful here, people want to join you, and so it’s great for recruiting as well.
Todd: Do you find it’s harder to get work done in a beautiful place. I mean, Bali is basically paradise. Can you still follow the nine-to-five work grind and get things done?
Dan: I find that I get more work done in Bali because the cost of living here is lower on all fronts. Not only is food cheaper, rent cheaper, but it’s easier to get people to help you out to do things. For example, in United States, I can't afford to pay somebody to do my laundry. It’s too expensive. But here in Bali, I have somebody do my laundry and that saves me two hours a week.
Simple things like that start to add up. It’s a very relaxed and healthy place that helps me focus on work. I have a lot of friends that live in New York city for example and they spend so much time traveling on the train, making money to afford living there, and I see that as a much more stressful, difficult environment to really be productive and creative. Here in Bali, I have no problems focusing on my work.
Todd: So what kind of work schedule do you follow, like do you work every day? Do you work like eight hours straight? Do you work at night? Because you’re dealing with different time zones with people all around the world. You said your market is mainly in the States. Could you talk a little bit about your work routine?
Dan: Sure. It’s actually defined by what I feel like my biorhythms are. To use a really colloquial phrase, car guys in United States use a term called torque band. And that’s when your engine is the strongest—at what time your engine the strongest? And for me that’s 7:00 to 11:00 in the morning, and 7:00 to 11:00 in the evening, and right now it’s sort of 2:33 PM. This is generally a time that I would relax. I would close my computer. I would get in the pool. I’d meet with some friends, maybe take a walk, listen to some podcasts, and relax until dinner time. After dinner time have a coffee and continue working.
So, it’s primarily for me, that just seems to be when I’m most creative and I have no idea why.
Todd: It sounds like a nice life.