EP 025: Mikkel Thorup – Lets Us All Into His World Of Adventure, Reading And History

Mikkel Thorup speaks on The Expat Money Show

Mikkel Thorup – Lets Us All Into His World Of Adventure, Reading And History.


Why Mikkel Thorup Decided to Interview Himself

This is a momentous occasion for the Expat Money Show.  Episode 25! Pretty impressive really! 24 guests, 24 amazing stories have been recorded, listened to, and downloaded from all over the world.  Mikkel wanted to celebrate this achievement and record his story, his adversities, his love of travel and entrepreneurship.



Is anything achievable with the right books, right coach, right attitude?

In this episode of Expat Money Show, Mikkel Thorup decides to let you into his mind and to tell you a little bit about himself. Where he’s been, and where he wants to go. For many of his listeners, you know where Mikkel Thorup started and the adversities he overcame as a child.  For many of you listening to Mikkel Thorup’s compelling story will help you understand why it has become his life passion to help other entrepreneurs achieve their goals. Why he is so compelled with being a world-renowned coach and mentor.



In this episode Mikkel Thorup discusses:

Top 3 questions that his listeners want to know ….


Absolute top 5 books that helped change his life


  • Tao Te Ching written 500 BC by  Lao Tzu interpreted by Steven Mitchell


  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol S. Dweck





And for the complete list of Mikkel Thorup’s most influential books… the books that every entrepreneur MUST read you can follow this link:



What Mikkel Thorup’s favourite countries have been to visit? Listen in to find out why he loved these countries so much!

  • Morocco
  • Colombia
  • Iran



Why does Mikkel Thorup study Chinese?  

Mikkel explains in depth why he feels Chinese is the language of the future and why you might want your children to know this valuable language skill.



Highlights of Episode 25

  • What Mikkel Thorup has been up to lately
  • What amazing books he has read in the past few weeks
  • His upcoming podcast with Stephan Spencer, the #1 SEO expert in the world
  • Why he is so excited for June and July
  • Courses, Books and Projects for The Expat Money Show
  • Facebook Live with Daniel Mac Sweeney, Gabe Lara from Superconference GKIC
  • Daily Vlogs
  • And so much more!


Final Thoughts:

Make Sure to listen to the Complete Episode to understand the mind of Mikkel Thorup himself and to celebrate Episode 25!!!

Make sure to comment below your thoughts on books you’ve read that have helped change your life, countries you’ve visited and what you learned from your visit and anything you really want to discuss here on the Expat Money Show!



Read Full Transcript

[00:00] We all dream of seeing the world, but the realities of living somewhere outside your place at birth can be daunting to say the least blood come to the expat money shall helping you make the most out of your overseas career through conversations with successful expats, uninvested entrepreneurship, self improvement, and continual education, all last sharpening your financial acumen. Now, please welcome your host with over 20 years of overseas experience Mikkel Thorup

Welcome, welcome, welcome, this is the Expat Money Show. My name is Mikkel Thorup and today we’re going to do things a little different to celebrate our 25th episode of the Expat Money Show. I thought today I would answer some questions from our listeners, let you know some news and updates of what I’ve been up to and where I’ve been, and maybe tell one or two stories. So today I am in Singapore. Beautiful, beautiful Singapore. I think I’ve been here at least a half a dozen times this year. I have to keep coming over for work and I love it here. I used to live in Singapore back in, I want to say 2009 or maybe 2010 for about 12 months. It’s a beautiful country. I really enjoy it here. I think you’d have one of the greatest expat communities in the world is heaps of people from all over the planet and there’s lots of big advantages to being here.

[01:18] Specifically the safety, the wages that you get here. The food is unbelievable. For me, the weather was a little bit much though that that humidity just killed me. Being a guy from southwestern Ontario, cold, cold, cold Canada, coming to such a hot, humid place was very challenging for me at the time. Now saying that it is very interesting that I’ve spent the last seven years living in the Middle East, literally in the desert, but somehow I’ve been able to become accustomed to the dry heat, but that humidity is still kills me and I just got back from China the other day. I was in China for a week for a vacation. Real vacation this time, not seminars, not conferences, not traveling for work, real vacation. So I flew over to China, I was in go young in grade Jello, so a smaller province. It’s in the mountains.

[02:14] It’s stunning. Beautiful. They’re very, very clean, no pollution and not so crowded. It’s very different than say Beijing or Shanghai, which I’ve been to both numerous, numerous times. Chang had been there maybe 15 times I want to say, and I just went over. I ate tons of amazing food. I played Mahjong every night. I drank Chinese wine with all the guys and I went shopping for some new houses and stuff like that for some new properties, maybe a bit of investment, maybe I’ll build another home there. So China was amazing. I just got back to Abu Dhabi really fast, had to drop my stuff, changeover, grabbed my work things and then take a flight over to Singapore. It’s now I think, I don’t know, 2:00 in the morning or something. Singapore. And of course I am jet lagged. So I thought I would record this really fun episode for you guys.

[03:05] Try to give back a little bit and answer some questions and reach out to the community. So last month was really amazing for me. I flew to Orlando, I was in Orlando for about a week and I actually went there with my brother and I haven’t had a chance to travel with him a lot since. Well, it’s been years really. We used to travel all over the planet together. We actually lived overseas in Australia and New Zealand together for three years and we went to Fiji and we went to Hawaii and a bunch of other amazing places and it was really great to be back with him, but we went for super conference which is one of the biggest and the best direct response marketing conferences in the world. And actually the main headliner is Dan Kennedy who is the legend, the myth of the grandfather of direct response marketing. Watching him on stage, do his speeches and do his talks and then being able to shake his hand and get his picture and an autograph and have a conversation with him was really incredible for me.

[04:05] He’s one of my biggest mentors and I’ve learned so much from him over the last year. It’s just been an unbelievable. But I also got to see Adam Witty on stage. I used to, I got to see Dr Mike Lawrence. I got to see bill glazer, all amazing marketers in their own right. Really interesting things that they had to say and I was really blessed to be there and to be able to share that with my brother. I thought that was really amazing. So this last week, because I’ve been on vacation, I’ve been able to read and catch up on some courses and a lot of material that was starting to pile up for me. So this last week I read some amazing books. I know you guys know what a voracious reader I am. If you guys follow me on Instagram or on other social media as I’m always posting lots of pictures of the great books that I read and this week was no exception.

[04:52] So this week I read ask by Ryan Levesque, which was really phenomenal, a little bit complicated, but I think I will go through it a second time, but then I’d say about 80 percent to 90 percent of it really sunk in and made sense to me. The first go. Now I just need to implement some of the things that he was talking about. A lot of the concepts I had heard before just following Russell Brunson. I know that he must have got a lot of the ideas originally from Ryan Levesque, but it was a fantastic, fantastic book. So I definitely recommend that I read money, sex kiss. It’s the Gene Simmons Book. I think he wrote it about 10 years ago. It’s hilarious and so well done. And he is such an amazing marketer and businessman in his own right. He’s so contrary to what 99 percent of the people out there will teach you or we’ll talk about.

[05:43] It was really refreshing to read some of his stuff. And for you guys who don’t know, he was the lead singer of kiss. They’ve gone on for, I don’t know, 40 years or something like that to make music and not just the music, but then he did with kiss products and the publications, the books and the magazines and the comic books and the collectors edition things that he did and does over the last 40 years has just been unreal. He’s made literally hundreds of millions of dollars doing it and just broke every mold of how the music industry, how musicians promote their music and promote their brand. He’s such a king at personal branding in an age where we didn’t even have social media, so reading that was really fantastic experience, so I definitely recommend that one as well. I just started reading Tribes by Seth Godin. Great Book as well.

[06:35] I’m probably about halfway through, still a little bit to go. Probably Finish that at the pool tomorrow. Shouldn’t take more than an hour or two and I read trust-based marketing by Dan Kennedy. Once again, I read Dan Kennedy probably every single week. I take at least one or two of his courses every week. I did a course from him on adding personality. To your copywriting and I just started blue ocean strategy, which is a great concept, but a really fucking boring book. Actually. I’m listening to it on audiobook. I think that’s part of the problem. I think it’s the actual person’s voice that just drives me nuts, so I’m about an hour into that or maybe two hours into that and I kind of want to blow my brains out. I know the concepts are fantastic. I understand the outline of the concepts very quickly. They are very important. There’s no doubt about it.

[07:25] They are very important concepts, but I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get through this book. It’s a little bit boring for me. I might just go to Amazon and order the paperback edition and then be able to read it myself. That’ll make things a lot easier I think. And then of course I read my newsletters. I’m on four different paid newsletters that I receive every month, so those are like little miniature booklets almost when you get all of the material. So going through all those and then of course heaps of podcasts and other audio files and courses and classes and training and all kinds of fun things like that because you guys know me, I am constantly educating myself. I am constantly trying to learn and understand and get new concepts that I can put into my business that I can help you guys with that I can teach that I can experience, you know, and I take a lot of this stuff and I package it up.

[08:14] And with my coaching and my mentoring programs that I do, these things are very important. When you, when you coach and mentor other people, you can not just sit back and rest on your laurels. You constantly have to be out there, you have to be hungry. You have to be looking for the new thing and the exciting thing and make sure that you understand all of the fundamentals. And I find that reading, a lot of the people will talk about the same thing, the same fundamentals, but they will have their own opinion about how it should be done or how not to do it. So it’s really good to get those different types of perspective and then like I said, some things are just completely off the wall. Some things I had just never thought of before, like in regards to the gene simmons books, some of his concepts and thought processes it, it will never would have came out of my brain in a million years.

[09:04] So for podcast episodes, I just recorded one with Stephan Spencer. It was an amazing conversation and I don’t say this lightly. I really had an amazing experience with him on the phone. It’s quite funny because he’s one of the world’s leading experts in Seo. He literally wrote the book on it. He wrote the art of Seo. It’s a best seller book, but it is a behemoth. The book is over a thousand pages long detailing Seo. He runs a podcast about Seo. He’s been on more than 100 stages, speaking about Seo. I think he’s been into it. I think he’s been working in Seo since 1999. Like the guy really, really, really knows his stuff. And the funny thing is I interviewed him for 60 minutes and we didn’t talk about Seo once.

[10:02] So what did we talk about? Well, he liked me is huge into continual education. He is huge into seminars and mastermind groups and training courses and books and things like that, which I am as well is some of my biggest passion. And actually I didn’t know this about him before I had sat down for the interview. I knew that he ran his own podcast and he was an author and he owned his own business and it spoke from stage and all of these amazing things. But I didn’t realize the passion that he had for learning and for seminars. He’s a self proclaimed seminar junkie and I thought this was hilarious. I thought this was great. So it’s a really good interview. It’s quite funny because I introduce him as being the SEO expert and then we don’t talk about Seo at all in the entire interview.

[10:51] But I thought I would leave it in there because. And I don’t want to spoil too much of a surprise, but because I was able to secure him for a second interview. That’s right at the end of the interview, I got quite brave and uh, and I asked him to appear on the show again the following week so that, that episode, I promise this one, I really promise, I promise that I will get him to talk about Seo. I’m going to get them to unlock so many of the secrets or magic as I always like to call it, of Seo. Now he promises me that Seo is actually a science, but it doesn’t look like a science. To me it looks like magic. Maybe it looks like black magic. I don’t know. So I’m going to definitely get him to go into depth on this.

[11:38] This is not going to be a basic introductory prairie. What is Seo? How does it search engine optimization work? I want to really get into the details. I want to get into the nit and gritty stuff. I know that a lot of you guys out there, a lot of the listeners are advanced. I know a lot of you really read and study and are veracious hungry knowledge course taking animals and I love that about all of you, so to be respectful of your time, I’m not going to be doing a 60 minute interview with one of the leading authorities on Seo and making it really boring, really introductory, very basic things. How’s that sound to you? So what else have I been up to in the last month? The last week, the last couple of weeks? Well, I have been interviewed four times on other people’s podcasts in the last couple of weeks. I’ve done a couple of facebook lives, which has been really interesting.

[12:35] I got interviewed by Daniel Mac Sweeney in financial freedom forever. His facebook group with I think about 3000 or maybe 4,000 people that it goes out to. So that was quite a blessing. That was quite an experience to be in front of such a live audience online. I lot of my content that I do is obviously recorded like this podcast. So it’s. It’s a very different experience. It’s usually just me and one guest speaking one on one. I do do my vlogs that go out on facebook live. When you go to the Expat Money Show facebook page, I think you can actually go to facebook.com, forward slash Expat Money Show. I would like to say I hope I got that url right. I will definitely put a link to that in the show notes at [inaudible] dot com to make sure that if you guys are not connected on facebook yet with me, you guys really need to do that because the vlogs are awesome.

[13:33] They started out as daily vlogs and I would like to make them daily vlogs. Again, I am just trying to juggle about a 5,000 different things at once, but yeah, those facebook lives are a lot of fun. I usually do about seven to 10 to 12 minute videos talking about one topic, an idea or something that came up and always just trying to teach you guys one thing and go in depth on it and put it in my own perspective you could say, but yeah, being interviewed on a facebook live with thousands of people is definitely a different experience for him, but I really enjoyed it, you know, it’s just not my first time doing things like that, but I had a great experience so you can definitely check that out at financial freedom forever. It’s a facebook group with my buddy Daniel McSweeney, awesome guy, and then I got interviewed by Gabe Laura on growth zone.

[14:20] That was awesome. It actually got picked up by GKIC and a shared throughout their groups, so that went out to thousands and thousands and thousands of people and then yeah, a few other interviews that I did, but definitely expect to see me on some more podcasts coming up in the next couple of months. I think it’s a really fun way to do things. You know, I love interviewing other people. I have such a passion from learning from other people, but at the same time to be able to share some of my own knowledge and my own experiences in a broader sense. It’s interesting being asked the questions is not something that I’ve been as familiar with you can say, but I like it. I’m definitely want to explore it more because I will start to do more speaking from stage and more presentations, more webinars. There’s lots of really fun things coming up.

[15:04] So I want to make sure that I am prepared for that. And uh, definitely the best way to get prepared for it is to actually go out there and do it. Not just talk about it but actually go out there and do it. So I’m trying to think of a couple of the other things that I’ve been up to and I wanted to tell you guys that I started using this new app and it’s called calm. Cal Am calm and it’s a meditation APP now. I tried to use headspace before, but trying to fall asleep or trying to meditate and having a man’s voice in my brain did not make me feel very relaxed, especially when I’m trying to go to sleep. I don’t know what it is. Maybe you can relate, I don’t know, but the calm APP has a very beautiful soft woman’s voice.

[15:50] The hap is beautifully laid out. It’s like 10, 15, 20 minute meditations. They’re all guided meditations. You can set them for different things, so emotions or feelings for stress or anxiety or sleep or and they have different meditations based on each one, so I really enjoyed that. I’ve been doing that for about six weeks now. I think I’ve done almost every day for six weeks, so it definitely has become a habit in my life, which I really enjoy. I actually used to live at a meditation center when I lived in Guatemala. I don’t often talk about this, but when I hitchhiked through central and South America, I took 18 months. Basically I had a tent, a couple jars of peanut butter and some scruffy clothes and I just started hitchhiking. I was young, like I was in my early twenties at the time and I came to this amazing place called San Marcos and it was on logo, the Atitlan in Guatemala, and I spent, I don’t know, four, maybe five months, I think it was five months in Guatemala, and I lived at a meditation center, so I was doing yoga three times a day.

[16:58] I was sitting on a rock and just meditating and contemplating life. I was studying neurology and Kabbalah and lots of really interesting things like that and I have to say it really was one of the most peaceful, most calming times in my life. I had a lot of healing to do with some things that had happened to me, happened from me, happened for me when I was a teenager and it was a really big time in my life, but that whole trip was just amazing. Going through central and South America for 18 months, I literally think that the place is just magical. I love the Latin people. I love the Hispanic nature of the culture and the food and the language and the music and the dance and the history. It’s just so vibrant and it really is magical. So I hadn’t done a lot of meditation since then, so it had been many years for me since I had done that.

[17:51] So coming back to meditation felt quite full circle for me. I was really excited to get back into it and it definitely has had a positive impact on my life. So I would suggest to you, I would recommend to you. I would highlight to you that if you’re not meditating perhaps it might be something that you might want to also put into your life. So June is coming up and June is going to be a very exciting month for me. June is actually going to be one of the most exciting months for me and it is probably pretty opposite from what you might expect now. Normally exciting for me is traveling around the world, going to seminars, meeting amazing entrepreneurs and marketers and business owners and attending masterminds and all kinds of really fun, fun, fun things like that. But this month, June coming up and maybe even possibly July is really the opposite.

[18:46] So June and possibly July I am going nowhere. I’m not going to fly at all. It’s not 100 percent confirmed and you have to see I have to figure out a few things, but if I have my way, I will be in Abu Dhabi for the entire one to two months. I will not even step foot on an airplane. I will not leave APP. Would that be. I will not go anywhere and what I am going to do is I am going to. Right. That’s right. I am going to be starting my new book, which is a very exciting project for me. It has been something that I’ve been thinking about for many, many years now and I have had people telling me for 15 years or maybe 20 years that I need to write my book. So I will be doing the outline for that. The topic, the theme, everything like that is being decided right now.

[19:42] I’m really thrilled about that. So that is one of the main projects. The other main project, and I don’t want to give away too much details about this because it is a little bit top secret, you could say a little bit hush hush, but I am starting my own course, my own training program. I can’t divulge too much information right now, but I promise you it is going to be amazing. It is going to be unbelievable. It’s going to be spectacular and it’s going to help people and I think it is going to break down a lot of false belief patterns that people have about what they are able to do, where they have to live, how they have to structure their lives. It’s really going to be a lot of mindset. I’m going to get some of the greatest experts in the world on their fields, onto the training platform and I’m going to pick their brains.

[20:29] So there’s gonna be lots of interview style because you know how much I do love interviews. I do love contribution. It is about collaboration, not competition, so I’m really happy to get these people on. I’m just securing some of the guest speakers who will come on and present, but like I said, it’s going to be an amazing, amazing experience, so make sure that you are signed up to learn more about that. I will be announcing all the details on the expat money. Sure facebook page and I will also be sharing that with my newsletter that goes out by email and if you guys have not joined onto that, you can sign up for free@expatmoneyshow.com and you’ll find the links there. They’re either at the top where there at the bottom. Just take a look around the website and I promise you’ll find them in there, so make sure you get signed up for that.

[21:17] Hey guys, we’ll just take a quick break. What are the key things that I try to hammer home to all expats is you need to have more than one source of income. CanNot be relying on that one paycheck from your job overseas. Got To get that side hustle guys, pound for pound, dollar for dollar. The Best Roi I have seen is through entrepreneurship. On episode number 19 of the Expat Money Show, I had dave Woodward as a guest. Dave basically gave us a masterclass in how to build an online business using funnels that actually makes you money. The specialty software that they and I use is called click funnels. It’s the most powerful software in the world for entrepreneurs and you can get a 14 day free trial by going to ExpatMoneyShow.com/funnels to try it out. That’s ExpatMoneyShow.com/funnels. Try it out for yourself with zero risk and see what it can do for your business ideas. Visit ExpatMoneyShow.com/funnels for your 14 day free trial now.

[22:26] So I thought it’d be fun to answer a couple of questions from the listeners, from the audience and share with you guys some of the things that I get asked on a regular, regular basis. I would probably say the most common question that I get, and I honestly do get it almost every single day, sometimes two times, sometimes three times a day is what are your favorite books? What books have influenced you the most? What books do you like to read? What Books Changed Your Life? So it’s not an easy question. Honestly. It’s really not an easy question. I have read literally thousands of books. I’ve been at this for a very long time. I’ve been reading consistently progressively for information for I want to say 22 years, 23 years, something like that, and I’ve read literally thousands of books now. I go through these massive stints of what I like to read, what I want to learn about.

[23:25] Often if I find a topic that I’m interested in, I won’t read one book about it. I will go out there and I’ll find the thought leaders, like all of the major thought leaders that are experts on that one field, and then I’ll read all of their books and then I’ll form my own opinion based on what they said. So say if you read about copywriting, I will read all the by David Ogilvy. I’ll read everything by Dan Kennedy, I’ll read everything by Joseph sugarman. I’ll read everything by all of these guys and at least a half a dozen other ones and then I learned from them and I put things together in my own style and I internalize it. I think that just reading one book and just following one person is maybe not the best way to do it or maybe it has not worked for me. I think it’s always great to have one or two gurus that you definitely follow one or two thought leaders, but if you’re trying to understand something as a whole, there’s not one person who knows all of it and you need to make things in your home.

[24:20] So. But some of the books that I’ve really have had a massive impact on me. The first one that definitely comes to mind is a book I read actually not even that long ago, like two years ago, I want to say, and it’s called mindset by Carol dweck. Mindset. For me, this was such a massive life changer. It’s a quite a substantial book and the majority of the book are examples of exactly what she’s talking about. Just basically proving this one idea and the idea. I can summarize it very quickly for you. So she talks about having a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset basically believing whether you have control over things, whether you’re able to make progress to things happen to you or are you able to effect things and I thought it was really interesting because when I was growing up, my family had told me that I was very smart.

[25:11] Now I don’t know if you guys know a lot about my story, but I was diagnosed with a learning disability when I was a small child, so I was told that you are gifted, you have a very, very high Iq. I think my Iq tests and it was sad, something at like 147, but you have a learning disability now. We know it’s just basically a type of dyslexia which made things very difficult to read and write. When I was a child and spell reading, I have conquered absolutely and I think that’s why I’m super proud that I’m able to read at this level is because of what I had to overcome as a child. I didn’t learn how to read until I was in grade five, grade four, grade five. They actually pulled me out of my home school and sent me across town and they didn’t really understand what was going on with me and you can imagine what that was like being taken away from my neighborhood school and moved over to the other part of the city and men put in a classroom with all these people and told that you have something wrong with your brain.

[26:14] Something something in your brain does not work the same as other people. Great things to hear, but you know, it’s 1980s. What do you expect? So yeah, it’s a type of learning disability, but I was told by my family that I was very smart. I was always told I was very smart and for me if I was a very smart that meant that I did not need to study that. If I was truly smart than I should just understand this stuff. If I was truly smart than I would just. I would just get it. I would get it the first time around, and so what I did was I actually, I lied. I would tell people that I would understand things and then I wouldn’t do it or I wouldn’t ask questions. I wouldn’t ask for help. I wouldn’t let anyone know that I did not know what was going on or I did not understand things at school was very frustrating for me.

[27:00] I had a very tough time throughout school and growing up, you know, all through my teenage years, my twenties, even into my thirties, my mindset still carried around a lot of this baggage and when I read this book, it was just so freeing for me and I would just definitely recommend it for anyone who believes that things were a certain way without any real proof for it. They think that something is just the way it is and that’s how it is and you can’t do anything about it. You can’t change it. With this growth mindset, you understand that actually you can change anything and you have responsibility and you can take responsibility for your life, so I really love that book. One of the other books that I just absolutely adore is a Malcolm gladwell book called outliers and I’ve spoken about it a bunch of times on other people’s interviews, but I wanted to mention to you guys as well.

[27:50] I think he’s just such a prolific writer. The way that he highlights is points, how he takes one concept and then uses research and different storytelling and different types of mediums to explain that. This one concept to his reader is just phenomenal and I have a lot of personal reasons why I really enjoyed this book that I’m not really gonna get into in this conversation, but I promise you go out there and get that book. It is just so fantastic. That is so phenomenal. I’m trying to think of some of the other books that really have affected me during my life. I know that the Prophet was a big book when I was a lot younger. I probably read the profit without exaggerating at least 50 times 100, maybe 100 times. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s. It is a very short book. You can read the whole thing cover to cover.

[28:39] If you’re just reading the words, you can read it extremely fast, but if you are reading it and reflecting on it and contemplating what is said, it’s a huge book like it’s, it’s a monster, you know, don’t, don’t be fooled by the physical size of it compared to what is actually the content that is inside and on that same line is the Dao de Jing. I can’t remember the translation, which translation I have because I have. I have probably about five translations of the douching, but there’s one specific one and I will have to find this one. I’ll, I’ll tell you why. I will put the links to it@xpatmoneyshow.com on the show notes for this episode for episode number 25. Like I said, I read the Dao de Jing many times, many different copies of it, and this is by far my favorite one. Really puts all the other ones to shame, so definitely find that link that I will put because I can’t remember who translated it now off the top of my head, but it is so good and it’s.

[29:40] It’s another one of those books that I’ve read probably at least a hundred times and spent hours and hours contemplating the content that’s in it. I used to read it every night before bed and what my mother used to say to me was she actually gave me the book and she told me. She instructed me when I got it was before you go to bed, open the book on a random page and that is the message that day that is meant for you. And I thought that was very beautiful and really affected me. You know, a little bit of fate, a little bit of magic like I said, and being meant for me that day. Especially as a teenager when I was going through difficult times. Being able to open that and feeling like that information, that knowledge that was there was meant for me at that moment had a really profound effect on my life and who I am and who I grew up to be.

[30:30] So I definitely think that those last two books really shaped who I was growing up as a teenager going into my twenties would liars is just a book that I fell in love with and I’ve read a couple of times and then mindset was a book from maybe two or three years ago, which really was a paradigm shift for me. I’m trying to think if there are any other great books that kind of filled in that gap. You know, from my teenage years to my thirties and rand. I’ve read everything that Ann rand has wrote all of her lectures, all of our articles, all of her novels and her books and everything. During my twenties, I got massively into Ann rand. The fountainhead was a life changing book for me and that atlas shrugged was crazy, crazy book, but honestly I don’t even know how to describe the effect that that book had on my life.

[31:24] Hanrahan. It’s such a thought leader, you know, from. I don’t know. When did she write that 70 years ago or something like that. I want to guess. Yes. She had a huge impact on the way that I view a capitalism the way that I view money and monetary exchange now I know that she calls the objectivism was her philosophy. I think I will actually go out there and I will pick up those books again. I have to go buy new copies of them because my copies I think are still back in Canada and I don’t have access to them, but I’m going to reread both of those books. Maybe I’ll talk about my opinion of them now 15 years later from the first time that I read them. That is a very long answer to a very simple question. What are your favorite books? But you can see how serious I take this.

[32:09] So on the same vein of questioning is what are your favorite countries? What are your favorite countries? Mckell. Oh my God. You thought books was a difficult question to answer. Countries is 10 times more difficult, is 10 times more difficult and it’s 10 times easier at the same time. I have visited nearly 100 countries in my life that is even more amazing considering I didn’t even start until I was a teenager. These are all countries that I went to on my own. These are all countries that I purposefully went to not being dragged around as a child and not understanding what was going on. It started as a teenager and now I’m still traveling really extensively. Twenty years later I will highlight a couple of the countries that I just loved and I just thought were just so fantastic and I don’t know if it was just my personal experience because of the people that I met there or how other people see them the same that I do.

[33:03] If you have visited any of these countries, I would definitely love to hear from you. I would like to know what you think, what your opinion is, what, what were the special ones for you to have you been to these countries? What was your experience there? Maybe you guys can shoot me a message on one of the posts on facebook or at the bottom of the show notes. If you guys write your comments on there. I read every single one that comes in and I promise to reply to you as well. So the first one that comes to mind is Morocco. Wow. What a gem of a country. I first went there, I think I was like 19 years old. I was backpacking through North Africa and I came in from Spain. I took the ferry over from Spain and I had a 60 day visa and I was there for 60 days.

[33:50] If I had. I had a 90 day visas, I would been there in 90 days. If I had a had a 12 month visa, would have been there 12 months. The country is unbelievable. It’s so diverse. You have the High Atlas Mountains, you have the Sahara desert, you have the Mediterranean coast, you have the Atlantic, you have these Portuguese walled towns, and you have small little Berber villages in the mountains. It’s just so intense and the food is amazing there. I’d say it’s some of the best cuisine on the planet. They have such French influence in Portuguese and Spanish influence and the Moore’s are able to do so much with this. They have the Arabian food and the Berbers. They have their own types of cuisine and you know, your border Algeria and it’s just like it’s just a melting pot with so many different things and it was my first time ever visiting and and I, I don’t want to be offensive to anybody but what we would call a developing nation now.

[34:49] Please do keep in mind that this was 20 years ago that I was there. I’ve been back many, many times. Actually. I go and visit a good friend of mine. They’re in Casa Blanca named Allah and the country has come a long way in the last 15 to 20 years, but one of the things that really struck me about Morocco and something that I had never seen anywhere else on the planet is these people who had nothing. I mean they were very poor. They were very poor in monetary ways, but they were not poor in culture. They were not poor in spirit. They were not poor in many other regards. And what would happen is I’d be walking down the street and someone would see me and they would just be curious like who is this random skinny white kid walking down the street with a giant red backpack, you know?

[35:48] And they would come and say hello and they would invite me over to the house for dinner and this didn’t happen. Like once this happened, like over and over and over, and they would just randomly invite me to their house for dinner and I would go over and half the time they wouldn’t even speak English. And I don’t speak French and I speak Spanish now, but I did not. At the time, so we would just find other ways to communicate. We would have magazines and we would point at pictures, we would pantomime and we would act and and we would tell stories and even though they didn’t have a lot of money, whatever they did have whatever they were able to cook or make their tea or whatever they had to give, they would and they always had a massive smile on their face and it really touched me and it really made me realize how connected all human beings are on this planet and I really fell in love with the country and I go back often now.

[36:42] What are the other countries that just warmed my heart was Columbia when I spent two months in Columbia. That was during when I was hitchhiking through central and South America and I took the yard over from Panama. I rented a yacht with a few other people and they had a crew and everything and we went through the sandblast islands and it was like literally paradise. We took I think five days or six days and sailed over and we got them to cut the Ham. Yeah, and it was so different than Central America. It was crazy. Like local, local, local, local, and it’s a difficult country to explain because the world community seems to paint Columbia as you know, top 10 most dangerous countries in the world. And I was like, yeah, well you know, stuff does happen there or stuff did happen there, but it happens everywhere.

[37:37] Like there’s all kinds of crazy shit that happens all over the planet. Just look at what’s going on in the United States right now with these school shootings and it’s just despicable. Like stuff like that just makes me absolutely sick to my stomach and I would caution people to judge other people’s countries or other people’s cultures. Look in your own closet before you start making negative comments on others. Like, and I’m not saying that Canada is perfect by any means. Certainly we are not and I have no patriotism towards Canada at all and I don’t mean to insult the United States, but I would just really encourage anyone out there to go and visit Colombia. They have some of the most kind people. It is one of the countries with the most natural beauty I’ve ever seen. I know they’ve got the Pacific side, the Caribbean, they’ve got the Atlantic, they’ve got the Amazon River.

[38:29] They’re high up in the Andes mountains. They have huge cities. Bogota with 8 million people. They have the pre columbus ruins like I went and hiked last year data and it is the last city trek out of Santa Marta and there is some of the most prominent ruins in South America after a Matcha [inaudible] and there’s just like no tourists there at all because they’ve all been scared away and this was once again, this was a long time ago. I was there, but what a phenomenal experience. Like I remember I was in Bogota and I was coming back from the Canadian embassy. I had to go and get a passport while I was there because I’d been gone for so long. My passport was going to expire. So what’s the Canadian embassy? And when I came out I didn’t actually know where I was. I was quite lost so I went and asked some random gentleman where candalaria, which was like a district and area in Bogota where this area was and he actually got on the bus, paid, got on the bus, took me to that area.

[39:29] When we got there he took me out for coffee and for lunch. Then we walked around the area and just chit chatted for like an hour and then once he knew I was safe and I was fed and you know, and after we chatted he got on the bus and he went back the other direction. He went like, he wasn’t even going that way, but he took like an hour or two hours out of his day to make sure I was safely taken there and then to talk with me and he was so interested and I was just like, wow, that is just amazing. You know? Like I’d never had anything like that happened to me before and I certainly never saw anything like that growing up in Canada, that type of hospitality and I really felt like the people of Columbia, they were sad that the rest of the world paints them in such a negative light and they all felt this sense of responsibility to show foreigners what the country has to offer, what they have to offer as a people and a culture and a community and I always encourage people to visit Colombia because I think they just do a phenomenal job of that.

[40:36] Let’s see. I’m getting very nostalgic right now. Some of these countries, they have some really special places in my heart. Another one that really springs to mind and is probably a pretty random country for a lot of people that they will totally misunderstand, but I. I asked you to, to hear me out completely before you dismiss what I’m going to say. I’d say the Third Act, these are not really in a specific order of best to worst or which one I liked the most, but the next one that I really think about, his Iran, Persia. Wow. I think it was 2012. I went there, so this one’s a little bit more recent compared to the other two. I went there I think in 2012 and I spent 10 days and it was a very different experience than the other ones. The other ones were mostly hitch hiking and backpacking.

[41:23] I was a poor backpacker you could say where Iran, you know, I was already doing like a healthy six figures for myself. I was in a much better place so I hired a private guide and a driver and for 10 days we just drove around Iran and you know, my guide spoke perfect English and then of course Farsi and just translated everything for me and just introduced me to people all over the place. Just the pair of us, when everywhere the access that I got to things and to people and to two experiences was so different because he was able to just open that door for me and he knew exactly where to go and there was this giant trade embargo going on with the United States and well, most of the rest of the Western world and Iran and uh, one of the main reasons that I had decided to go there, like at that moment was because the US had moved one of their largest armada’s into the Persian Gulf and the embargo was getting really, really, really strict because of the rounds nuclear program, which I also think he’s a little bit hypocritical, but that is a, another conversation for another day.

[42:31] But yeah, I went to Iran because I just thought that if the Western world decides that they’re going to invade, this country is going to be a very different story now. You have to remember that Syria was still quite strong. Libya was very different situation at the time. He ran, had a lot of allies at that point and Iranian military, it was very different. It’s this was not Afghanistan, you know, this was not going to be come in and steam roll over the country. These people were going to fight back. This was a country with a lot of allies who were going to step in and I really saw it as being world war three. We were not careful and I just felt like what happened in Iraq was not just a loss of Iraqi culture and history and heritage. I really felt like it was a loss of world history and world heritage and it made me very sad when they got invaded and what happened to their country.

[43:27] I did not want that to happen to Iran and I and I wanted to make sure that if we did enter into a giant war, that I had a chance to view these types of things up close and personal. This history before the whole place got sacked and I, I was honestly scared at that time that this was going to happen. Now of course, you know we’re in 2018 right now and thank goodness never came to any of those things, but it, it was really tense at that time. So when I went into Iran, the the economy was really crashing. They were, they were just starving from outside influence, like they were not having food come in. They were not having imports brought into the country from a lot of countries that they did in the past. But I went to this country and you visit these monuments and these ruins and a Shiraz and tyronn and is fine and Yazd and it’s like anywhere else in the world there would be 2000, 4,000, 5,000 tourists all lined up to take pictures and you get there and it’s like, just you, like there’s nobody else there.

[44:38] You have them to yourself all to yourself. I’m like, Holy Shit, this is crazy. This is like absolutely unreal to have that type of an access to things that were 2000, 3000 years old. These ruins, like I went to see a fire. This, I think they called it like the eternal flame. It was a a Xerostomia and temple and I walked in and I had the guy explained and the fire there has been burning for something like 2000, 600 years nonstop. It is the roster and temple they have been feeding this one fire, this one flame for over 2000, 600 years like that is mind boggling. That is mind boggling to see something like that and to be so close to something. It’s so much history and so like when you look at today and something that happened this week on facebook or something like that and it seems so important and yet you look back at history and if like over 2000 years of different things going on and this one fire has been burning the entire time being fed by humans in the name of faith.

[45:48] It’s really. It was really crazy. Anyway, so those are some of the countries that just had a profound effect on me and like I said before, some of the books that just really affected me as well. Oh, those questions, they took way longer to answer than I thought I was going to get to. Probably a couple of the other ones. One of the other ones that come up a couple of times is why do I study Chinese? I will try to answer this one really, really fast. Somewhat fast. I studied Chinese because I hedge everything in my life. I have a big background in options trading and I really look at my life as what can I hedge? So what does that mean? Basically, I think I am right about things. Everybody thinks that what they know and what they understand they are right about.

[46:33] If you don’t think that you’re right about something, then probably you don’t think that thing, you know, but what I tried to do is I try to hedge my bets and everything in life is a bet. It is every choice that you make. It’s a bet you know, either you’re right or you’re wrong. Do you understand or do not understand? So my perspective is that English is the most important language on planet earth and I’m a native English speaker, so that is a bet, a bet that in the next 10, 20, 50, a hundred, hundred and 50 years that English will be the most prevalent, most important language in the world and the language for business. And at the moment it’s still is, it still is, but Chinese is coming up very fast, extremely fast. I’ve been to China at least 20 times, I want to say maybe more, probably more to be honest.

[47:28] And I own properties in China and I go on vacation to China and I love the culture and I love the food. And I think that the history there is fascinating. I’ve taken a lot of courses on Chinese culture reading, like I said, the Dao de Jing. I studied martial arts a lot when I was young and I loved that aspect of the physical aspects as well. And I really see that learning Chinese is hedging my bets that a lot of people are really going to need to speak this language in the future. And certainly our children will certainly, our children will and I would encourage everybody to start getting ahead and even if they don’t want to learn themselves with, they have young children at home to start hiring a tutor or finding courses or programs or different ways that they can have at least a basic understanding of Chinese because a lot of the Chinese people do not speak English and there are.

[48:23] I don’t have exact numbers in front of me, but I would definitely argue that there are more native Chinese speakers on the planet than there are native English speakers on the planet. It’s just that they are very condensed in one area, but that’s changing really fast. And this country that was poor for a long time is now becoming extremely wealthy, extremely rich. And I don’t just mean the government. Like we know the government of China is massively rich, but I mean the people themselves, they have huge stores of cash put away in bank accounts, under mattresses. They have gold, they have resources. They’re extremely frugal. They don’t live in a debtor nation like we do. Like in the West. A lot of the people, you know, if they stopped getting paid for two weeks, they would have nothing. They would not be able to pay their bills, which is a scary thought.

[49:14] It’s probably why I’ve started this podcast is to try to help people with their finances and help them realize that they need to have more than one hustle. So I learned Chinese because I had y’all my bets. I think that China is coming up very fast and they have been coming up fast for the last 20 years. Now a lot of the media will say that China’s growth is slowing, that the economy is not what it used to be and all of these things. And I would say that either they do not understand what they are talking about or they understand that they are lying to you because China is still a monster. They are coming up so fast. The economy is still growing at a rate that you know, most western countries would kill for and honestly they do kill for, you know, it’s really, really important study this type of language and it’s a beautiful language, isn’t it?

[50:10] Is Not as difficult as people say. It is certainly not impossible. You just need to put in the time and the effort you just need to put in the time and the effort. There are lots of courses, lots of classes, programs online, offline books, flashcards is a million different things, million communities out there. There’s even apps where you know, you can give someone to your time and they practice their English for half an hour and then, you know, they give you their time and you practice your Chinese with them and you know, technology has brought all of these things so, so close together. So I hope you guys enjoyed today’s episode. It’s been really fun to make. It is a different format for me. I’ve never tried anything like this before. I would love to hear your comments, what you think of it. Definitely send me your questions.

[50:58] You can send them on the ends of the show notes. Like I said earlier, I make sure I read every single one and I respond to every single comment. That’s an Expat Money Show.com. So if you scroll down to the bottom of any of the podcast episodes or any of my blog articles and you ask a question on there or a comment, I promise you I will respond and I will get back to you if you guys want to hear more. If you guys want to learn more about the books that I’m into that have a books that have influenced me and helped me and some recommendations on some fantastic reading. I suggest you go to x pat money show.com forward slash 100 books. That’s Expat Money Show.com forward slash 100 books. I created this list for you. It is 100 books that every expat entrepreneur should read and they’re all linked so you guys can find the resources exactly what you need.

[51:58] We’ll make sure that that is there for you when you need it. It’s a pdf. You can download it, keep it next to you, keep it safe on your computer and whenever you were looking for anything interesting to read, you can pull up that list and take a look. I’ve read all of the books on there and they are the ones that really affected my life and really helped make me successful and let me do the things that I want to do, like travel all over the planet, invest in really fun countries in different ways and be an entrepreneur end and also have this podcast and connect with you so I hope you enjoy that. It’s Expat Money Show.com forward slash 100 bucks. Anyways, guys, I will see you in the next episode. Be on the lookout for that Stephan Spencer episode. I promise it is unbelievable and you guys are just going to love it. Make sure to download that one. Share with your friends, share it with your family. Tell everyone it’s a great episode. There’s lots to be learned in there and he’s such a smart guy. I’ll talk to you guys soon. Just.

[53:00] Hey guys, thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode. Earlier on the brake I mentioned to you the funnel software that has not only allowed me but actually taught me how to make money online, and you can get a free 14 day trial of the software by going to Expat Money Show.com forward slash funnels. My suggestion to you would be registered right now for free. Take the 14 day free trial, beat the absolute shit out of it. Try out all the features, take the free training and then see if it makes sense for your business right now, go to ExpatMoneyShow.com/funnels to try it out for yourself. There’s actually zero risk and everything to gain. Try it out now at ExpatMoneyShow.com/funnels. Thanks guys.

[53:50] This episode maybe over what’s your journey to greatness continues by visiting our webpage and signing up for our newsletter for convenient access to new episodes, show notes, and other crucial resources. Visit ExpatMoneyShow.com We look forward to you joining us on the next episode of the expat. Money shall save travels.



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About The Host, Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup; the host of The Expat Money Show, has spent nearly 20 years in continual travel around the world, visiting more than 100 countries including Colombia, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Iran.

His goal now is to help Expats just like you to generate additional streams of income, eliminate your tax bill, and take advantage of offshore structures so you can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again.

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  1. […] Ep: 025 Mikkel shares his own opinions about China and Mandarin and what he is doing in his own life to […]

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