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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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Another One-Way Ticket: How I Keep Doing Things Differently

Posted on June 28th, 2017

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That would be me holding a one way ticket to Berlin last week, embarking on a new chapter and another twist in my wacky, unstable, unconventional adventure through life.

 

Over the past two weeks I've flown from work in New Zealand to home in Buffalo, NY and finally over to my other home. in Berlin — three continents in 10 days and my mind and body are just catching up to start asking what I know some people around me must be thinking: What are you doing with your life?!

 

In short, I left Uber after 8 months on the international operations team of their global mapping deployment. I was traveling almost every two weeks to launch a new city, working in 15 cities in 3 countries (Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand), and picked up a lot of new skills and experiences thanks to that role (and was also exhausted and lonely a lot of the time, to be honest). I was on a short-term contract, which fits into my way of combining work, save, travel, freelance that sustains my nomad lifestyle

 

I've saved up enough money from Uber to have at least 9 months of adventuring ahead, which includes spending the summer in Berlin, getting back to India, volunteering in East Africa, writing, coaching, exploring new business ideas, and hustling to find creative ways to make money while I'm on the road.

 

If you're new to my lifestyle design, it basically involves: work professionally overseas for awhile, live a minimalist lifestyle to pocket all my income (if I'm away for work, they pay my housing and expenses so I can pocket my salary), then spend large chunks of time doing my own thing.

 

What do I mean "do my own thing?" First of all, I find I'm simply more challenged by hustling than coasting along in a 9 to 5 job where expectations are relatively clear and the boundaries of how I can live are pretty well-defined. Some people would be overwhelmed by frequently stepping in and out of jobs and stability, but that's how I thrive. 

 

Between gigs, I get very creative. Suddenly, anything is possible. I write on here, at Fast Company, Fortune, Huffington Post, and Business Insider, and have a couple other freelance writing gigs that pay the bills. I help other people design unconventional lifestyles and I'm launching an adventure travel brand next month (stay tuned!). I'm also toying with other ways to make money by offering services for other nomads, exporting favorite products I find on my travels, and writing content for startups. (If you want to work on something together, now's a good time to get in touch.)

 

At this important juncture in my life, I'm doing a few things to stay sane — because I'm human and the instability and uncertainty (financially and otherwise) still gets to me: 

 

Saying yes to more. I want to invest in and grow my blog right now, so I'm opening myself up to more partnerships and guest posts (something I never did before). When people write to me and propose something wacky, I'm more inclined to say yes and see where it goes. I'm showing up to events in Berlin and I'm going on dates. I'm thinking about the best possible outcome, not the worst.

 

Knowing what should be a no. Part of being a good hustler is also being shameless about saying no. For instance, I recently unsubscribed myself from a bunch of job listings for jobs I realistically don't want. I'm not applying to every opportunity that comes across my desk, even when I know I'm qualified and it could be good money. I'm still saying no to advertising on Life Before 30, drinking alcohol, and buying things I don't need.

 

Morning pages. I have a new practice I swear by: waking up every morning and writing 3 pages stream of consciousness. It's an old creative method developed by Julia Cameron and it's delivered amazing results for me: huge waves of inspiration, clarity in what I'm going after, creative brainstorming space, and deeper emotional awareness.

 

Accepting myself. I'm starting to really know who I am. I'm a happy hustler, I love my simple life, I love freedom and mobility, I love sharing my ever-evolving story, and I value all of that more than titles and power and money. I'm not cut out for climbing the corporate ladder or being CEO of a huge enterprise, but there's nothing wrong with me because of that and there's nothing wrong with those who are. 

 

Overall, I realize the happier I am with myself (and it's hard work to get there), the less judgemental of others I am. I can meet anyone and not be intimidated because I'm just over here doing my own little thing and I'm totally cool with that and they can be over there doing their own thing and I'm totally cool with that, too. We'd live in a much more tolerant world if we were all more content with our own paths. 

 

Here's a few photos of my journey over the past few weeks. I'm excited to settle into Berlin for the next two months, further develop my creativity and small entrepreneurial instincts, launch a new travel project I'm stoked about, and plan the next 6-12 months of purposeful nomadism. 

 

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On the beach near my Uber assignment in Tauranga, New Zealand

 

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Flight from Auckland, NZ to Buffalo, NY

 

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My "minimalist" life exploding on the floor in my parent's house

 

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Quality family time: Me and my dad on Father's Day

 

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Like father like daughter — Dad tempting me with huge maps in our kitchen. Plotting the next adventure…

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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.

 

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?

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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

Instagram

Elaina on Instagram