About Me



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 (you can read about My 30-Day Life Overhaul here). I found my dream job that let me move to a new country every 3 months as a project director for a company specialized in emerging markets. I did that for over two years until I resigned (for now) in September 2015 to travel indefinitely, running a small business to pay my travel expenses. These days I’m a blogger, freelance writer, photographer, travel planner, and career coach.


I am thrilled to be living out this important part of my life to the fullest – and I want to help every one of you feel the exact same way! That’s why I started this blog in September of 2012. I don’t preach quitting your day job and traveling aimlessly; my message is to dream big, take risks, and live your twenties (and beyond) as a great adventure. If that means travel, wonderful. If it means finding your dream job at an established company, great. If it means starting your own small business, that works too! It’s all about identifying your mission, pursuing what you find fulfilling, and rejecting constricting norms and ideas.


Some Things I Think

I am embracing the present. I like listening, but I think I need to speak out more. I think we all need to use technology less. At some point, I think everyone should travel alone and live out of a backpack for at least a year. I think we were all put on this Earth together for a reason. I believe in a God. I want to treat people the way I want to be treated, but I am not always successful. I accept my personality flaws and embrace them as what makes me unique. If everyone spoke more than one language, the world would be a better place. I understand that I cannot change people. But I like helping others. I believe in having experiences, not things.


Above all, I believe that life is an adventure.


Some Things I’ve Done

I wrote dozens of books when I was in primary school, complete with my own 64-crayon illustrations. I have never broken a bone, but I once fell off a camel named Michael Jackson. I love traveling and I’m proud of my adventurous streak. I have studied in Singapore and China, worked with non-profit organizations in Guatemala and Egypt, worked in New York, West Africa, and Asia, and backpacked solo in four different regions of the world. I throw myself into situations, cultures and languages full force. I have been financially independent since the age of 17 and one of my parents is a cancer survivor. I am an only child. I have finally learned to cook for myself. I jaywalk and drink a lot of bubble tea.


What I Do Now

At the moment, I travel full-time and use this blog to promote innovation in how my generation approaches the intersection of life, career, travel, and self-discovery. I encourage pursuing unconventional goals, traveling and exploring more than society tells us we can, and altogether living intensely. I write about managing professional and personal development, feeding healthy entrepreneurial desires, nurturing a global network, and promoting success as how well we embrace the journey of life.


Additionally, as someone who has successfully landed – and left – a corporate job in favor of an experience better suited for my spirit of adventure and entrepreneurship, I also provide career-coaching to other twenty-somethings looking to shake up their professional lives, rebuke the norm, and find meaning in the early stages of their careers.


As an experienced traveler and backpacker, I also serve as a travel consultant, helping adventurous twenty-somethings plan both short trips and extended backpacking sabbaticals.


Find out more about my consulting packages on the Office Hours page. I’d love to work with you!




Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoy discovering what I’ve created around here. If you have anything you’d like to share with me, just drop me a line at elaina@lifebefore30.com. 

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Current Location: Burma





Previous Location: Thailand




What’s Hot

Recent Posts

Recent Posts

  • Make the Law of Attraction Work for You

    You probably know that remarkable person who travels the world and always comes home like, “And the people were just so kind! Everyone invited me into their home for supper and let me hold their babies and, wait, look at this beautiful jade necklace a woman in China gave to me! She just gave it to me!”


    And you also probably know that other remarkable person who travels the world and always comes home like, “Not my kind of place. Read more

Office Hours

Office Hours


Step into my office!


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?

Read more

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