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Career

What I learned about life, work, and activism from a Burmese punk entrepreneur
What I learned about life, work, and activism from a Burmese punk entrepreneur
Published On: July 25, 2016
If you lived under one of the most notoriously totalitarian regimes on the planet, you’d probably just want to blend in, go about your business, and fly well under the government’s watchful radar. But that’s precisely what the 27-year old lead singer of a politically-charged Burmese punk band meets grassroots charity doesn’t do.    Kyaw Kyaw and I met by chance during my recent travels through Myanmar. We’d been set up by a friend of a friend and I was promised a quirky city tour and a few beers. Little did I know I was hanging out with a well-recognized Burmese activist who’s made international headlines and narrowly escaped imprisonment for his politics, activism, and philanthropy.    As we snaked Continue Reading
Small Ways to Make a Big Career Change
Small Ways to Make a Big Career Change
Published On: June 29, 2016
Initiating a big change in your personal or professional life can be overwhelming. Whether you want to go back to school, change career fields, stop smoking, relocate overseas, or start a family, there’s never a right time or secret formula to navigating big moves like these.    In April 2013, I changed my entire life in 30 days by landing an international business development role that would send me to live in a new country every three months, quitting my management consulting job, selling everything I owned in New York City, and packing my life into one giant suitcase, where it has remained until now, more than three years and five continents later.   This kind of “life overhaul,” as I Continue Reading
Health

So You
So You’re Happy, Now What? Is Happiness the End Goal?
Published On: August 18, 2016
  A lot of things you only learn after you’ve made the mistake, sometimes again and again. And this is how I learned about the pitfalls of happiness.   Ever since being dumped out from my blissful university days into the bleak and disorienting labor force at age 21, I’ve been on a mission to design a lifestyle and career that would make me happy -- and help my peers do the same.    It sounds like a noble purpose, and I’ve managed to be reasonably successful at it by building a popular self-development blog, coaching dozens of my peers through major career and life transitions, and writing for a few mainstream media names. I also managed to land my dream job, Continue Reading
3 Steps to Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness
3 Steps to Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness
Published On: June 22, 2016
Only recently did I realize I’m exhibiting signs of borderline insanity.   I’m facing a very fulfilling present moment, a career and life situation that has miraculously worked itself out to support my ideal lifestyle. I’m traveling the world, doing work I love, maintaining my friendships over the distance, and becoming closer with my family. I’m actually happy.    Or rather, I could be happy if I allowed myself to be.   I’m not completely happy because I’m constantly worrying about being this happy in the future. I’m thinking along the lines of, “Oh man, I’ve kind of got it made right now. I should enjoy this, but I’m also terrified that it’s all going to fall apart and I Continue Reading
Life

How This Small Change in Thinking Helped Clarify My Purpose and Reignite My Motivation
How This Small Change in Thinking Helped Clarify My Purpose and Reignite My Motivation
Published On: July 15, 2016
I’ve been suffering from a bout of a serious “illness” lately, one that bloggers and entrepreneurship gurus don’t seem to cover very often: feeling deeply, darkly unmotivated.   Over the past few weeks, I’ve been living in one of the hippest and most inspirational cities on the planet -- Berlin -- and sticking my toes into what, with the recent Brexit decision, is about to be Europe’s most dynamic locale for technology, start-ups, art, and creativity.   But I’ve been having serious blinking cursor syndrome...for weeks.   Not only did I have writer’s block and feel paralyzingly unmotivated to work on my usual projects, but some days I couldn’t even think of anything in the whole world to Google and just learn about.   I’d Continue Reading
Use this Trick to Look, Sound, and Feel More Successful
Use this Trick to Look, Sound, and Feel More Successful
Published On: July 1, 2016
Do you ever walk away from a conversation (or from stalking someone on the Internet) and think to yourself, “How does that person have it all figured it out?” Everything about them gives off the vibe of success -- or imminent success. The public health undergraduate with experience in East African rural medicine, working at the intersection of IT and healthcare for a Fortune 500, and applying to top medical programs in her spare time. The public policy guru who just published her first book and is beginning her foreign service tour in Asia, all before the age of 27.    Then there's you. You're working at a decent company in a job unrelated to what you studied, fantasizing over a Continue Reading
Travel

The Unexpected Way a Year of Travel Completely Broke (and Rebuilt) Me
The Unexpected Way a Year of Travel Completely Broke (and Rebuilt) Me
Published On: July 28, 2016
  Today marks precisely the one-year anniversary of the day I left my job (one I loved, by the way) to travel for 14 months. I left with the intention to become a freelance writer and develop my coaching business, and see what the experience of becoming a real digital nomad would bring. I’ve done all that, stepped far out of the 9 to 5 norm, traveled widely, meditated deeply, and permanently changed my orientation to life.   But beyond all that, I’m now left feeling, for lack of a better description, blank and broken -- but not necessarily in a bad way. Allow me to explain.   Traveling for this length of time, punctuated by adventures ranging from hitchhiking Continue Reading
How Exactly I
How Exactly I’ve Lived Nomadically for 3.5 Years (LB30 FAQ)
Published On: July 7, 2016
I’ve been overseas for three and a half years now -- two and a half working, one as a gap year to explore freelance writing and coaching -- and people always want to know “how I do it.”    And almost everyone back home says something like, “I wish I could do that, too!”    Well, you can, you just have to be ready to put up with all the crap I put up with to make it a reality.   People shoot me emails all the time about where I live, how I decide where to go, how I fund my travels, what job I had to let me travel, and how I plan my wardrobe. This post is Continue Reading
Health

Photography

About Me

About Me

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Hi, I’m Elaina and these are my thoughts on the most important decade of our lives.

 

Originally from New York State, I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in International Studies and Mandarin in 2011. I worked for a Fortune 500 company as a management consultant in NYC until April 2013, when I quit in pursuit of growth and adventure. I took a job in international business development and moved to a new country every 3 months for two years. During that time I lived and worked in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Turkey, Mongolia, Paraguay, South Africa, Qatar, Oman, and Guyana.

 

Now I’m traveling indefinitely since September 2015, paying my way as a digital nomad: writing, career coaching, travel planning, and blogging. I write about self-development, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world.

 

Most importantly, I want to help YOU find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Read on or get in touch: elaina@lifebefore30.com (I answer every email)!

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Current Location: Berlin, Germany

 

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Previous Location: India

 

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Three years ago, I changed my whole life in 30 days. I scored the job of my dreams, quit my job in New York, sold everything I owned, moved to West Africa, and never looked back. Read about it here.

 

Now I use Office Hours to help my clients do the same.

 

Do you want to travel but are scared to quit your job?

Do you want to find a job overseas but don't know where to start?

Do you wake up in the morning dreading what's ahead?

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