Elaine Chou was working in finance in Beijing when she decided that her true calling was helping people resolve their personal problems. She now practices hypnotherapy for mainland Chinese clients from her home in LA via Skype.
In Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago to interview Dave Sperling of Dave’s ESL Cafe and my old bandmate Paul I was treated to an impromptu interview opportunity when I discovered that my host’s girlfriend was herself an expat and digital nomad with a pretty unordinary job. Originally from Taiwan, Elaine Chou was working in finance in Beijing when she decided that her true calling was helping people resolve their personal problems. After earning her masters degree in psychology in China and training in counseling and hypnotherapy in California she created a niche career for herself counseling clients in mainland China via Skype and using hypnosis as one of her main tools – all from, well, wherever she can access the internet.
Stay tuned here for our really cool chat with Elaine about escaping an unsatisfying job, the Chinese people’s openness to therapy and hypnosis, and living the laptop job dream.
Shout out to Mario for the couch in LA! And just for fun a little theme music for the post.
What a crazy trip to Korea. So much jammed packed in I haven’t had time to share any proper photos, videos, stories. Will have to do it from the US. But in 16 days I interviewed several old friends and acquaintances for Rootabaga, I met up with tons of old friends, hung out with an actress, a model (impressed yet? 😎), an old rock star I was a fan of in the 90s, ate amazing meals, drank more than I should have and saw remote places I’d never been. Can’t wait to share more soon…
Been trying to choose a logo for Rootabaga. It’s tough. But at least the office is comfy – on the island of Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia. After quitting my job in Hong Kong, I needed a little vacay before starting more interviews in Korea and the US. This was the perfect spot.
No podcast episodes planned from Cambodia but it is a stop along the way – and I did run into an old colleague who, like myself and a couple of upcoming Rootabaga guests, hails from Alabama. He’s a long-term expat – a small-town Alabama lawyer who ended up teaching in Asia and eastern Europe and resides part of the year in Cambodia with his wife. Had a few too many Angkor beers and forgot to take a photo together but did manage to take a few shots of Phnom Penh the last few days.
Just a couple of hours after our post yesterday kind of semi-officially announcing the no-turning-back point for the Rootabaga podcast, fate would have it that an absolute internet legend (in at least one very wide international circle) gave an enthusiastic “yes” to my invitation to be a guest. Can’t tell you how stoked I am. He’s a great guy and his “idea” has helped thousands, probably tens of thousands of people, since the very very early days of the internet. As probably one of the very first and most successful digital nomads ever, he’s been a huge inspiration to me and even this podcast. I’m not going to give away more just yet but at least half of you will know who it is and I find it amazing that he has not been the subject of a podcast if not documentary. If you guess who it is, don’t say. If you recognize that this is about you, thanks again and can’t wait to meet you in person in Los Angeles this spring! (and don’t accept any other invites before that!) 😎
This post is a week after the fact but it really just sunk in today when I got an email from HR confirming my resignation on January 8 from a very comfy salary (at a soul-sucking job) and overinflated job title (assistant vice president/research division at an investment bank!!??) to pursue one crazy idea – a podcast about a bunch of expats who pursued their own crazy dreams to start unusual careers in foreign countries.
I could just wait till the whole thing is finished and drop ten episodes on the world all at once but I thought it would be much more fun to share the whole experience as I ramble and tumble through it. So it starts here.
Shout-out: I would not be to this point at all without the encouragement and ideas of two amazing people that this page won’t let me tag (??) – Murashka at Thumb it up / Hitchhiking around the world , who was with me when the idea sprouted and was an inspiration, sounding board and motivator in the early days and Wendy, whom I’ve known since middle or elementary school and who has not only been a sounding board and motivator but also become a creative and technical contributor and full time partner in the whole damn crazy thing. Thanks y’all!
If you’re interested in this project please follow here or head over to our Facebook page to see the podcast in the making.