travel-money1

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.

As Seen On

About Me

IMG_8880

 

I started this blog back in 2011 when I was a frustrated management consultant in New York City, wanting to make the most of my 20s but feeling constrained by the options I saw for my career and for my sudden lack of freedom to travel and live the adventurous life I imagined I could live after graduating from university. 

 

Over the years, I've developed my own way of structuring my life that's involved a lot of fear, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of making it up as I go. I've managed to build a career in international project management and sales working for companies like IBM and Uber while still traveling to over 55 countries and spending over 16 months freelancing and traveling the world. 

 

I find most digitial nomads and travel bloggers on the internet to be really intimidating. How can they possibly earn enough to live like that for years and years? Are they all just "coaches" who help coach people to also become coaches? 

 

IMG_7854

 

I've been nomadic for 4 years, living out of my suitcase. Last year I traveled for 14 months through Asia and Europe and this year I will again take 12 months to work on creative freelance projects. In between these freelance periods I held a contract for Uber doing international operations work in Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand and before that I spent 2.5 years at a media company that sent me to live in places like Ethiopia, Paraguay, South Africa, Nigeria, and Mongolia. 

 

This is the full disclosure: I can live like this because I alternate between jobs where I hold an international role (and thus let me travel) and freelancing where I earn just enough to stay afloat while also living off my savings from the previous job. It works for me and helps me live out of the mold. I'm not a full-time career digital nomad who does web design to make money and has a hugely successful online business. Nor am I bound to 9 to 5 roles that force me to work my way up some corporate ladder. I've developed skills that let me step in and out of contract or short-term professional roles and also skills that let me earn enough money to live in affordable overseas destinations. 

 

I believe I can help you do the same. 

 

I started this blog to share my story, share insights into personal self-development that have helped me become a better person and navigate my unconventional path with confidence, and help other people figure out a lifestyle that makes practical sense and also makes them happy. 

 

IMG_3762a 

 

Read some of my favorite posts below or get in touch to set up a coaching session with me or just say hello and let me know who you are, why you're reading, and how you're finding your way in the world: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

 

8 Practical Ways I Make Travel a Major Part of My Life and Career

 

FAQ: How Exactly I’ve Lived Nomadically for 3.5 Years

 

How to Survive a 9-to-5 Job When You’re an Entrepreneur at Heart

 

When You’re Different: How to Stop Comparing and Find Courage to Live Off the Beaten Path

 

The Most Practical and Effective 4-step Process for Exploring Your Purpose

 

22 Ways to Figure Out Your Next Career Move

 

How I’ve Managed to Fit My Life into 2 Suitcases for 4 Years: A List of Everything I Travel With as a Full-Time Nomad

 

A few things people may want to know that I get asked a lot:

 

– I'm from Buffalo, NY originally. I did not grow up with money. I've worked since I was 15, doing everything from cleaning tables at a local pizza place to being a resident advisor in college to make money.

– I went to UNC-Chapel Hill for undergrad and studied International Relations and Chinese. 

– I have almost 6 years of professional experience: 2 years in management consulting, 2.5 years in sales and business development, 6 months in NGOs, and 8 months in start-up operations. 4 of these 6 years were international roles.

– I have spent almost 2 years doing freelancing work and traveling while I do that work. If you're interested in remote roles but don't have a blog or your own business (yet), check weworkremotely.com for some opportunities. You can also travel for free by using workaway.info. This is not an unattainable lifestyle, it just takes committment. 

– I am debt free. I had a full scholarship to go to university and being debt free has facilitated a lot (but not all) of my freedom. Write to me if you have loans (you can still do all of this) or if you're thinking about going into debt for college or grad school (basically: don't do it). 

– I speak English, Spanish, and Chinese pretty fluently and know some Portuguese and Arabic. These skills have definitely helped me get hired abroad. 

– I freelance by developing content for startups and brands and coaching people through tough career transitions, helping them find jobs overseas, or starting a small business or otherwise making big life changes. I've also helped people plan big adventures and long-term travel. 

 

IMG_5324

 

Thanks for stopping by. Send me an email at elaina@lifebefore30.com and tell me about yourself. I read and reply to all the emails I get. You can also sign up for a 1:1 coaching session. Find out more about how I could help you over on my Office Hours page. 

 

Before you go, I've kept Life Before 30 free of advertising for 5 years and dedicate most of my free time to maintaining it. If you've found its content helpful, please consider supporting the site with a small donation.

 

Sign Me Up

Sign Me Up
I'm planning something big! Stay in touch and be the first to know what I'm up to.

Sign Me Up

As Seen On

As Seen On

As Seen On

Current Location

Current Location

Map

Browse Articles

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

Instagram

Elaina on Instagram

As Seen On

As Seen On

Sign Me Up

Sign Me Up
I'm planning something big! Stay in touch and be the first to know what I'm up to.

Sign Me Up

Current Location

Current Location

Map

Browse Articles

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

Instagram

Elaina on Instagram