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About Me

About Me

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Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because 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 to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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My 8 New Year’s Resolutions for 2015

Posted on December 31st, 2014

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2014 went by in a flash. I rang in the New Year in New York and Barcelona, spent 4 life-changing months in Ethiopia, got an exciting job promotion, lived in Paraguay for 3 months, took a last minute trip to Mexico, reunited with my best friends at UNC to indulge our nostalgia for college, took a gamble on an assignment in South Africa, and closed out the year sailing in the Seychelles. I started an NGO, saw the World Cup final in Argentina, went on my first safari, road-tripped across Ethiopia with incredible local friends, radically improved my Spanish working in South America, and made several life-long friends. I also almost quit my job, suffered from serious loneliness, had lots of food poisoning, got my heart stomped a good amount, almost got killed a few times, and spent several weeks under the covers questioning pretty much everything I was doing. But that’s normal, right?

 

All ups and downs considered, I’m very happy with some of the changes I made in my life during the past year, some trivial and others vitally important to me. I put a greater priority on my blogging and freelance writing work and, as such, landed a few pretty well-paying gigs as well as a few others that are providing great exposure. I made more time for reading and reflecting. I stopped doing things just for the sake of doing them, like binge drinking or seeing touristy places when I travel. I changed how I eat to include as much natural and organic food as possible AND I started flossing. I was also much better at staying in touch with my family and closest friends and reaped the emotional rewards as a result.

 

My biggest rule with New Years Resolutions is to not over-commit myself. Each one of the items listed below is simple, practical, and linked to my core values so I actually care about doing them. Some of those values reflected include: intellectual enrichment, physical health, and personal relationships.

 

Here are my 8 Resolutions for 2015. What are yours this year?

 

1. Undisturbed reading time every night. As in, turn off my phone, close the computer, get comfortable in bed, and snuggle in for a good, long, uninterpreted reading session.

 

2. “Morning” pages. I’ve been curious about the concept of “morning pages” for a long time, which is said to have very concrete benefits for writers and people in general. BUT I’m not a morning person. Since there’s no sense committing myself to a resolution I just won’t do, I’m going to go with “do morning pages whenever I feel like”–as long as it’s the recommended daily session.

 

3. No more night caps. I’ve done a lot of reading on personal health, especially sleep habits and the negative affects on sleep from consuming alcohol before bed. Studies show that any alcohol consumed within 3 hours of bedtime begins to act as a stimulant a few hours after ingestion and disrupts your quality of sleep. So here’s to no more glasses of Merlot before bed and feeling drastically more well rested every morning.

 

4. Saying yes more. At 25, I have reached that time in my life where I largely know who I am and what I want and I’m not afraid to not do things anymore because someone else thinks I should do them or because I think I should do it versus genuinely wanting to do it. That has made me more of a strong “no” woman this year, which has its perks, but I think now it’s time to strike a balance and keep saying yes, taking leaps, acting with courage, and doing new things without over-thinking.

 

5. Weekly walks. I got better at including some form of exercise in my life in 2014–I started going to dance and yoga classes in Joburg and even bought running shoes, sports bras, and yoga pants, none of which I never owned before–but I still fail to exercise with any kind of doctor-recommended regularity. In 2015, I want to go for walks at least twice per week for physical and creative inspiration. Stephen King has done this for decades and if it’s good enough for him it’s good enough for me.

 

6. Morning water rituals. I’ve read about the idea of drinking a liter of warm water every morning as soon as you wake up before eating in order to cleanse your system, and it sounds like it has lots of health benefits. Guess this is also part of saying yes to trying some new things. 

 

7. Being kinder to strangers. I always preach that the true test of someone’s character is how they treat people of no real “consequence” to their lives like taxi drivers, waiters, and bellhops, but I fail to always practice showcasing my best character with these same people. (Especially in New York City–crowds make me angry.)

 

8. Less swearing. Swearing just showcases a limited vocabulary and vulgarity is not very professional, ladylike, or inspirational. I’m cutting out the f-bombs–at least in English–and focusing on articulating all of my thoughts and ideas better in everyday conversations.

 

 

What are you planning to change in the New Year? I’d love to hear more about your goals for yourself – big or small – so comment below or drop me a line at elaina@lifebefore30.com.

 

Remember, I’m giving away free 30-minute Office Hours sessions until January 15, 2015!

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About Me

About Me

IMG_5937

Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because 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 to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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Five 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.

 

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Currently in: Malawi

 

 

Previously in: Berlin

 

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What’s Hot

Recent Posts

Coaching

Coaching

Step into my office!

 

Five 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?

Read more

Like Me on Facebook

Like Me On Facebook

Follow me on twitter

Follow me on twitter

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Elaina on Instagram