Who: Dr Loretta Chen, 46, is a Singaporean professor, writer and entrepreneur based in East Honolulu, Hawaii.
The adjunct professor at universities including Stanford teaches leadership, entrepreneurship and marketing. She is also the co-founder and chief executive officer of Smobler Studios, a metaverse architecture and Web3 design agency. Books she has authored include her autobiography Woman On Top (2014) and Mana Wahine: Power Women In Hawaii (2019).
Her latest book is M/Other (2022), a collection of stories about women who, among other things, have terminal illnesses, or were sexually abused or incarcerated, and how they experienced “otherness” in motherhood. Priced at $30 and available at Kinokuniya, the book will be launched at a private event on Feb 16 at 2am: dessertbar.
“My perfect weekend is waking up to see the sunrise. The day will start at about 3 or 4am. I will drive by the ocean and up to Makapu’u on the extreme eastern end of the island of Oahu. I will then come back down and take in the beauty of Hawaii.
I will do my morning meditations and get my coffee, usually vanilla macadamia by Roy’s.
Unfortunately, when I talk about my perfect breakfast, I have to shift my reference to Singapore because, in Hawaii, I won’t have that at all. I like prata, and sometimes I have lontong, mee pok with lots of chilli or, if I really want something light, century egg porridge.
In Hawaii, I would get the mochi waffle at Koa Pancake House.
Then I would try and get some reading done. I like reading books on philosophy, self-improvement and the metaverse. I have read Matthew Ball’s The Metaverse, Zero To One by Peter Thiel, and Originals by Adam Grant. I am always in between a variety of books at any one time. I am also reading Ray Dalio’s Principles.
My house is beautiful – it is five minutes from the ocean and has a huge garden. I like sitting on the couch with my 18 cats and having my lunch. But it is not as blissful as it sounds because they will want food.
I am really not a homemaker, I’d rather just buy food. There is a Whole Foods grocery store nearby, and there is Foodland, which is like the equivalent of FairPrice. I have pretty healthy meals, but might indulge in Korean fried chicken sometimes.
Then I would jump on my stationary bike sometime in the afternoon and aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes while listening to podcasts on streaming platform Pandora, such as The Prof G Pod With Scott Galloway, Planet Money, TED, Kara Swisher and BBC.
I am super athletic, but I had osteoarthritis really young and it went undiagnosed until I was 40, by which time I had had 10 operations. I cannot do high-impact activities so I do a lot of walking (with music).
When I am working out, it has to be to dance music like David Guetta or Calvin Harris. Other than that, I listen to a lot of bossa nova and sappy South Korean music.
Whether in Hawaii or Singapore, I may go for a walk if I am not too busy. Recently, I walked from my house, which is near Telok Blangah, all the way to Sentosa and back.
If I am feeling very extravagant, I would buy a really fancy dinner – there is a restaurant in Hawaii called Roy’s Hawaii Kai – and then I would head home.
If I have had my workout, unwinding is just heading to bed, reading, playing with my cats, putting on my sleeping mask and falling asleep. I always sleep with my cats, particularly Ningje, who always puts his butt on my face. There are at least four or five cats in my bed when I sleep. That’s a pretty perfect weekend.”
This article was originally published in The New Paper.