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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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A Yogi Perspective on How to Invite Love into Your Life in the New Year

Posted on January 10th, 2018

Three months ago, it dawned on me that I had a very conflicted relationship…with my femininity. I struggled with how to be strong without just impersonating the masculine nature, I struggled with feeling uncomfortable when men expressed a physical attraction to me, and I struggled with how to be and feel beautiful without that defining me society.

 

I also struggled, like many of us, with an underlying sense of loneliness in my life that I assumed only a partner could fill. I thought I was “ready” and “open to love” — but the reality was that, in that state, I would have created just another dysfunctional, co-dependent relationship.

 

Fast forward to the start of 2018 — and, for the first time in eight years, I’m genuinely happy being single. The underlying sense of loneliness is gone as I’ve found the ability to meaningfully connect with everyone around me at any given time (the Dalai Lama says this is the reason he’s never suffered from loneliness even as a celibate monk). Instead of looking for a single partner to offer companionship and support, I’ve found new ways to support myself and connect with everyone — from the barista who serves me a coffee to diving in more deeply with old friends.

 

Finally, at long last, I feel truly ready and open for love when it appears in my life. I’m not looking for it and I’m not bothered by any “lulls in the action” (for once!). 

 

In the spirit of full transparency, the biggest factor in my transformation was discovering hatha yoga. Ha and tha literally mean sun and moon, masculine and feminine, yin and yang — and this form of yoga is about balancing these polar forces within ourselves and honoring them in others and the world around us. It came to me at precisely the right time in my life and helped me address an issue in myself that I only vaguely understood and lacked the tools to work on.

 

Even if you’re not up for becoming a devoted yoga practitioner, here are a few of the other, smaller and more daily practices I’ve identified that have made the biggest difference in opening myself up to love and continuing to work on embracing the most beautiful version of my own unique femininity.

 

1. When I see other couples, I celebrate their love.

To be honest, I used to cringe and get jealous when I saw other people happily in love or expressing affection for one another. Now I celebrate it! I admire their love and send them blessings. I figure if I’m able to be completely positive towards all love and relationships, even (and maybe especially) ones that aren’t my own, the universe will eventually allow them to flow to me, too.

 

2. Getting off the apps — forever and ever amen.

As a constant traveler, I’ve done my fair share of Tinder-ing. It’s had its pluses, but I also see it as a troubling commodification of people and connection. As I’ve made this huge transformation in myself, I’ve realized the only way for me to find the kind of man I want in my life is to let the universe bring him to me in an organic way. I don’t want to “shop around” for that connection and the man I want to be with isn’t going to take that approach either. He’s going to be out there, busy doing his thing, and I am going to be out here, busy doing my thing, and we will collide when we’re supposed to.

 

And I 100% believe the same for you! You don’t have to necessarily delete all your apps forever, but try going awhile without them. Try looking up from your device, engage with others, join community-oriented groups, and get busy with your own beautiful life mission. He or she WILL show up!

 

3. Purifying my language around love and sex.

I stopped swearing, full stop, three months ago. And what a difference I see by choosing to stop polluting my mind with gross language. I can’t control how other people speak, but I can choose to use better language myself, especially by eliminating the f-word when it comes to discussing sex, “hooking up,” or anything else. I prefer to use terms like “we were intimate” or “we made love” in reference to sex, which also reflects the types of interactions I’m looking for and puts those beautiful terms out there so I can receive them, too. I would also argue it’s a sign of refinement and maturity that I don’t have to resort to those kinds of low resonance words to express myself anymore. 

 

4. “Man and woman”

Another note on language, I started using the terms “man” and “woman” exclusively when talking about, well, men and women. No more guys or girls or dudes or babes — let’s acknowledge that we are at an adult stage of life and use more appropriate terms. To me, it’s a sign of respect and acknowledging that we’re all living archetypes of the divine masculine and feminine.

 

5. Expressing gratitude for every man in my life — past and present

Why would the universe bring love into the life of someone who is eternally ungrateful for the experiences she does get? Up until very recently, I was constantly criticizing the men who did come around as being “not good enough” or mourning that I wasn’t getting enough love.

 

Instead of taking that perspective, which seemed to further deplete what was heading my way, I started being extremely grateful for all my past experiences and systematically going back and being grateful for each person and looking at his best qualities and what I learned from that experience. In reality, I had a lot of love in my life! 

 

6. Cut the cords

Some yogis believe that we stay connected by an energetic thread to all our former partners, which means most of us carry these unconscious connections with us throughout our whole lives. After seeking advice from an experienced healer in southern India, I set aside some time to lovingly and intentionally “cut the cords” tying me to any past lover and felt very liberated by that experience. I also chose that as a time to express gratitude via the exercise I stated above and set intentions for how I want to use love and intimacy in my life going forward.

 

7. Accept the love that comes

I had a difficult situation recently where I fell in love with someone who also loved me, but in a different way than I wanted and expected. After a lot of conflict with him and myself, I realized one big thing that spills over from romantic relationships to all kinds of human relationships: I can’t control how people love me. If they love me at all, that is, I should accept their love and be grateful for whatever way they choose to express it. There’s a lot of gray areas in life and love, and expectations are always a call to lessen the ego!

 

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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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Currently in: Malawi

 

 

Previously in: Berlin

 

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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.

 

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

 

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Currently in: Malawi

 

 

Previously in: Berlin

 

img_6015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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