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About Elaina

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.

 

You can read about My 30-Day Life Overhaul here.

 

I love what I’m doing now. I get paid to travel and explore unique corners of this Earth, and I have a degree of autonomy and accountability in my work that I never thought possible at my age. I am growing at a much more rapid pace as I learn about the world hands-on, meet people who teach and challenge me, and have time to reflect about what I want to tackle next.

 

I am thrilled to be living out this important part of my life to the fullest – and I want to help every one of my peers feel the exact same way! That’s why I started this blog in September of 2012.

 

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

In addition to my day job, I 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 Coaching 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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Life Before 30

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Current Location: South Africa

 

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Previous Location: Paraguay

 

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What’s Hot

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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

  • 5 Steps to Ace Your Informational Interview

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    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 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

Office Hours

Office Hours

Step into my office!

 

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

 

Presidente

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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