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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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Battling the Back to Work Blues

Posted on December 14th, 2016

I’ve been working with professionals who are unhappy in their day jobs for several years now, helping them to use love, creativity, and minimalism to break free of social and economic conventions and find the work and lifestyle they love. We usually succeed and it feels amazing for all of us.
 
Right now, I’m doing the entrepreneur two-step, alternating between working stable 9 to 5 jobs and then traveling and pursuing my own stuff full-time for as long as I can afford it. It’s an unconventional way to set my life up, but it works for me. There’s no one way to set up a life that let’s you do what you want, which is why I don’t preach that everyone should quit their job or become a digital nomad or start their own company or whatever other lifestyle cookie cutters other bloggers might try to use on you. There’s just different formulas for different goals and different people and I just want to support you in doing what’s most authentic for you. 
 
So, now I’m coming off of 15 months of freelance work and I’ve taken a global operations role with a major company in their emerging markets. It’s a pretty amazing gig and it’s going to fulfill my goals for the moment, letting me gain new experience professionally while saving up a ton of money for my next adventure. 
 
Unfortunately, I’m having a tough time readjusting to a 9 to 5 lifestyle, and one that has me living in a random country far away from any family and friends. I’m also frustrated with various things that they already know about (important point: always (productively) voice your concerns) and hopefully these aggravations are just temporary, but it’s still really tough right now.
 
The funny thing is, now that I find myself unhappy in a professional circumstance, the last thing I want is my own advice.
 
Despite having written for a handful of major media outlets about how to make the best of a tough day job situation, I find myself back at square one, trying to re-think through how I’m going to make myself feel better.
 
The first thing that’s helping right now is laying out all my alternatives and realizing that I’m choosing this. That this is my doing. I can walk away, I can find something else, I can go back to freelancing, I can go back to school, I can travel again or volunteer or do anything I want. I’m a human being with free will. But I’m choosing to stay. Because there are certain goals I have and certain benefits I’m receiving from this, and those things, in my particular situation, come with trade-offs. And now I know what those trade-offs are and I’m still choosing this. So I need to own that. Understanding that I’m responsible for my temporary unhappiness, makes me feel a hell of a lot better for some reason.
 
The second thing is, I’m making a killer daily routine for myself. Not something hyper-efficient like neurotic Tim Ferriss would come up with, but some guidelines that are helping me maximize my time with a paycheck. I’m up at 7am everyday for the first time in years and that has its benefits, too. I make time to meditate a little bit, have a nice coffee mid-morning, and I can even squeeze in a little bit of editing work on my lunch break. After work, I dedicate all my time to writing and I allocate a minimum of two hours to reading every night before bed. I’ve read six books in five weeks (I told you, no friends) and I’m starting on a meaningful selection of the classics, something I’ve always wanted to do. 
 
So essentially I’ve done two main things: I’ve taken control of what I can take control of (my time outside of work) and aligned it to my longer-term goals, passions, and interests to the greatest extent possible. That makes it a lot better. I can make money while still making progress towards the things my values are firmly oriented around. And I’ve taken control of what I was feeling I had no control over, which is the job itself. Although I can’t control the specifics of what I’m not enjoying about it right now, I do I control my will to show up every day and sock away that paycheck in my savings account, and I control my will to have a dire personal life for the sake of professional growth. Those are my choices, and if I continue feeling this way, I’ll make different ones.
 
Now throw in a serious helping of gratitude and some reflections on just how easy I’ve got it compared to the men and women I’ve seen in dire circumstances all around the world who work without being able to exert any type of control over their lives and earn mere dollars a day, and I start feeling the proper effects of a good perspective shift. The men I saw pounding gold for the temples in Burma, the church boys I saw riding bikes across Mexico with enormous statues on their backs, the women with families of ten or twelve children in Guatemala, the Bolivian miners who walk two hours up a mountain to work every day… 
 
And suddenly I feel a bit more well-balanced about griping about my wide spectrum of opportunity, as well my personal role in exercising the gift of my free will to decide how I live, what I put up with, and what I don’t. 

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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