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Career
5 Steps to Ace Your Informational Interview
5 Steps to Ace Your Informational Interview
Published on September 11, 2014
Photo credit: Unitedemployment.com   If you've been following along here at Life Before 30 or even working with me personally in my office hours, you know the importance I place on what I call “informational interviewing” - seeking out roughly 30 minutes with someone you admire to casually position yourself for a current or future position at their company.   Informational interviewing works because it connects you on person-to-person basis with someone at a company that may otherwise have a hyper-competitive hiring process. By gaining human traction, you're more likely to get an invite to have your resume seen by not a robot and line up a “real” interview for a position at a later time.   Core philosophy here: […]   READ MORE
My 30-Day Life Overhaul
My 30-Day Life Overhaul
Published on April 10, 2013
If you had told me on March 10, 2013 that in the next 4 weeks I would fly myself to Spain for a job interview, accept an offer to join a tiny European company (in an industry I didn’t even know existed), willingly consent to move to a new country every 3 months as part of the position, and quit my job as a management consultant in New York City, I probably would have demanded you drag me to the nearest shrink to make sure I hadn’t totally gone off the deep-end yet.   But alas, this is the truth, and I am delighted to announce my escape from doing something I wasn’t really happy doing, but just too scared or […]   READ MORE
Don’t Get Depressed, Get Motivated: It’s Our Responsibility To Want More
Don’t Get Depressed, Get Motivated: It’s Our Responsibility To Want More
Published on February 17, 2013
  Photo credit: Forbes   To the despairing “Fed-Up Employee” who anonymously penned this woeful Forbes piece, I feel your pain. Your heartache and distress is palpable. You echo the voices of tens of thousands of ambitious, unapologetically idealistic recent graduates entering the job market who are all about to pull their hair out over the meaningless, thankless nature of a lot of our work.   But you know what the trick is here? To acknowledge these thoughts and feelings, embrace them as valid and important to you, and then turn them into purpose-driven action as quickly as possible.   As Pamela Slim says, “hating your job intensely is not a business plan” (although I think that’s all a part […]   READ MORE
Travel
Road Warrior Secrets: 15 Little Things I Never Travel Without
Road Warrior Secrets: 15 Little Things I Never Travel Without
Published on October 28, 2013
Photo credit: Hostelling International USA   When people ask me where I live, I jokingly reply, “out of my suitcase.”   These days I am perpetually packed for 11 months of the year, never knowing if I will land in the South Pacific or Siberia.   True story: I was in Istanbul, packed for a 3-month assignment in Papua New Guinea when my office called to tell me my project was canceled and I’d be heading to Mongolia instead.   Slight change of plans, right?   Although my situation is a bit extreme, like all travel warriors, I know what I need, I know what I don’t need, and I know how to charm the airline staff at check-in so […]   READ MORE
My Amazonian Wake-Up Call
My Amazonian Wake-Up Call
Published on December 24, 2012
  A week ago today I was sleeping in a hammock strung between two Brazilian nut trees, content after a big meal of fresh fish we caught in the river and smoked over our fire in the jungle.   The simplicity of Amazonian life was an easy highlight of my trip in Brazil. I spent five days at the end of my month of travels fishing, bird-watching, trekking, alligator hunting, camping in the jungle, and star-gazing with a local family about four hours northwest of Manaus.     We took the boat out at dawn when the animals were most active, ate leisurely lunches, napped through the rainforest storms, set up camp in the jungle in the afternoons, and spent […]   READ MORE
Why I Travel
Why I Travel
Published on November 13, 2012
  As I prepare to hop on my flight to Rio de Janeiro for a month-long vacation in Brazil, I have been taking note of all the reasons I am excited to once again hit the proverbial road.   For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a solo backpacking veteran – I spent 3 months traveling through Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru last year and spent 4-5 months solo in the Middle East, Asia, and parts of Europe over the past couple years.   There’s an indescribable thrill to flying to another continent with nothing more than your passport, backpack, and guidebook – and a rough idea of the possibilities awaiting.   I also remember the feeling of […]   READ MORE

 

Life
Our Single Biggest (Self-Imposed) Barrier to Success
Our Single Biggest (Self-Imposed) Barrier to Success
Published on January 27, 2014
  Photo credit: The Daily Digi    A few weeks ago, I found myself hunkered down in a hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant in Midtown West, slurping up spicy red curry and intensely discussing 10-year plans with a good friend of mine, fighting our hangovers with New York soul food and good conversation.   He's a former investment banker turned financial analyst for a major national sports league, but dreams of becoming a movie producer. Already having some impressive career changes under his belt, he is still enamored with how to make the Hollywood dream come true.     I myself was back in town after out-maneuvering the cushy management consulting ladder in favor of becoming a legally nomadic media agent.   […]   READ MORE
Can You Outrun Your Lizard? Fighting Fear and Taking Risks
Can You Outrun Your Lizard? Fighting Fear and Taking Risks
Published on March 1, 2013
I went to my first ever yoga class class last night. That’s right, I live in New York, and I don’t actually do yoga. I think I might be the only one.   However, I’m recovering from the flu and thought the free “Yoga To The People” classes might do the trick to loosen me up, calm me down, and get me doing more physical activity than moving the cup of Gatorade from the nightstand to my mouth. (Yeah, having the flu sucks...)   When I showed up, the room was already packed with East Village hipsters deep-breathing and practicing their warrior poses. There was even a middle-aged guy covered in tattoos doing headstands in the corner, looking impossibly serene.   […]   READ MORE
The Bad Habit of Beating Ourselves Up
The Bad Habit of Beating Ourselves Up
Published on October 24, 2012
I danced for the majority of my life growing up, but gave it up when the choice became writing my senior honors thesis or going to dance team rehearsal.   I haven’t danced for about 2.5 years now. That is, until this morning when I woke up and randomly decided to rekindle this old passion by taking an “advanced beginner” jazz class at Peridance Capezio dance studio on 13th street.   Unfortunately, this was a group of undercover semi-professionals and I was flustered from the moment I stepped into the studio. Even the warm-up exercises gave me heart-palpitations. Clearly it had been awhile.   After 45 minutes of floor warm-ups and 250 crunches later (didn’t see that part coming), we launched […]   READ MORE
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About Me

About Me

aboutme

Hi, I’m Elaina.

 

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 until April 2013, when I quit in pursuit of growth and adventure. I now move to a new country every 3 months, where I execute marketing projects in emerging markets.

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Current Location: South Africa

 

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Previous Location: Paraguay

 

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Top 10 Tricks for Budget Travelers

As someone who has done a fair amount of vagabonding, I have become something of an expert on spending months on the road with very little money. People tend to think I’m secretly rich because of the amount of traveling I do, but reality couldn’t be any farther from that assumption. It all comes down to saving well, planning properly, and spending strategically.

 

Here are my personal top 10 tricks for not going Read more

Recent Posts

Recent Posts

  • 3 Steps To Overhaul Your Relationship With Money

    Source: JamesAltucher.com

    Source: JamesAltucher.com

     

    Step 1: Know The Enemy, Define What You Control

     

    What explains why are there 9 different kinds of ketchup in a supermarket in Canada and no running water in Kenya? What contributes to rising divorce rates, falling birth rates, and over-population? What has incentivized America’s widespread consumption of processed foods? What stands as a Read more

Recent Posts from Tumblr

Recent Posts from Tumblr

Recent Posts from Tumblr

  • Camping in the Gobi, Part 2

    Sunsets in the Mongolian countryside are simply spectacular. With vast stretches of emptiness punctuated by a few lone mountains rolling in the Read more

  • Camping in the Gobi, Part One

    Traveling across the great steppes of Mongolia takes a solid team. If your 4×4 breaks down in the middle of nowhere with Read more

  • The back alleys of Osaka will make your head spin. Watch out for Read more

  • In 2012, the United Nations Development Programme and partners built a floating school in the middle of the Makoko slum in Lagos, Nigeria. The 3-story structure buoys Read more

  • Horseback riding is a way of life in Mongolia and children start learning from their families at a very young age. This little guy already had the attitude to match his impressive riding skills, taken in Terelj National Read more

  • Timket is one of Ethiopia’s most important Orthodox Christian holidays, which commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. Celebrations include parades, music, drum circles, and Read more

  • Harar is an overwhelming collision of cultures, a world halfway between Africa and the Middle East, with a splash of India and a touch of Cairo. If Read more

  • Lagos is the largest metropolis on the African continent and its traffic volume swells accordingly. Some Nigerians commute up to 4 hours in each direction for work, with traffic at a complete deadlock most of the time. Here, Read more

  • There’s something special about Sukhbaatar Square on a sunny autumn morning. The area bustles with locals playing games, riding bicycles, and dressing up in traditional clothing for Read more

  • We became lost several times on the roadless, snow-packed steppes of northern Mongolia as Read more

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Career Designing, Resume and Cover Letter Overhauling, Job Interview Practicing, Application Preparing, and Adventure Planning

 

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Interviewing the President of Paraguay earlier this year. That was cool, but I’d rather work with YOU!

 

JANUARY 1-MARCH 1 2015

 

TAKE THE 60-DAY LIFE OVERHAUL CHALLENGE!

 

Last year, I changed my whole life in 30 days. Like, scored the job of my dreams, quit my job in New York, Read more

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