Arbitrage Your Life To Enjoy All The World's Bests
Nov.17, 2014, Paris, France: You can afford a much better quality of life when you manage your lifestyle depending on where you’re living.
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
Earlier this year Vicki and I ended a long stay in Thailand. Then we spent two months on the west coast of the United States (Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle), and just over a month in Paris.
We concluded that at street level Paris costs roughly double the west coast of the United States. The United States in turn costs roughly double Bangkok or Chiang Mai in Thailand.
For example, a small, plain cheese pizza for one person costs 12 euro in Paris, 6 euro in Seattle (US$8.50), and 3 euro in Thailand. A small espresso in a Paris bar costs US$4, about double that of Starbucks in Portland. A monthly bus pass costs US$100 in Paris, US$50 in Los Angeles. A hamburger in a bar costs US$20 in Paris, US$10 in Portland, and US$5 in Bangkok. A light bulb cost 4 euro in Paris, 2 in Los Angeles, 1 in Bangkok.
So given that Paris costs double Los Angeles and Los Angeles costs double Bangkok, other things being equal, you'd choose Bangkok, right?
Not exactly. First of all, other things are never equal. Bangkok has a tropical climate, Los Angeles a desert climate, and Paris the inevitable Northern European rain and cold. Bangkok has a king, Los Angeles a middle-of-the-road democracy, and Paris a leftist world view. The three countries differ in language, culture, and other specifics. You may have many friends in Bangkok and none in Paris, or the other way around.