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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. These are the best years of your life and you deserve to be FREE! 

 

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 lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for 5.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York in 2013. You can read my full story here. I’m now living my dream, settled in Bali, Indonesia, fully independent and working happily on projects that support my deepest passion! 

 

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 now make my living helping others break out of ordinary living and get clear on their mission in life. I get paid to help people MANIFEST THEIR DREAMS like I did — how cool is that?  

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’ve always done things a bit differently and I think there are SO many feasible ways for people to live “off the beaten path”. I hope my blog lets you see what’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. Drop me a line at elaina@lifebefore30.com or apply to work with me directly! 

Be a Conscious Technology Advocate: What to Say to Friends Who Are Always on Their Phones

Posted on April 10th, 2018

 

The other night I was sitting in a circle with two friends who were really being fully present with one another. We spoke in turns, sharing softly and really listening. Then another friend suddenly came over, totally in a different vibe, shared a long, loud story and then proceeded to drop down into his phone, typing a message and hopping in and out of the rest of the conversation, not fully with us and not fully with his texting companion either. 

 

It was a scene I’ve been a part of a thousand times — and it was so frustrating and insensitive for those of us who were willing to give our full attention to him and yet not receive that same courtesy back.

 

I’m sure you all have that one friend (or many) who you’ll run into and you’ll start speaking and then halfway through the conversation she’ll pull out her phone and glance at it or quickly type a response to something while you’re still talking. How does this make you feel? How does the interaction change? Do you say anything? 

 

Lately I’ve gotten very vulnerable and very vocal when these types of situations arise. I’ve taken it upon myself to (lovingly) call out my friends — and sometimes even strangers — about their inconsiderate use of technology and actually do something pretty unthinkable these days: ask for their full attention.

 

What I want to share in this piece is some of the language I’m using to do that as well as how it’s being received. I really believe if we can master this skill and have the courage to speak up when technology is interfering with real human connection then we can slowly create more conscious technology behavior in our society.

 

The essential component here is not just what words you use but how much love you say them with. You can actually say anything in this situation as long as you say it with love and compassion. You really want to engage and there aren’t many beings in this world that don’t want real connection with others. You’re helping both of you to achieve that by speaking up. 

 

Here are some of the ways I’ve been responding to the situations I described above. The next time someone whips out their phone mid-conversation with you, try something like this: 

 

  • “Hey, is now still a good time to talk? I see you looking at your phone, so it seems like you need to take care of something there first.”  
  • “I see you’re busy right now. I really want to connect, but if you need to catch up on messages, we can just meet up later.”
  • “If you’re being called to check in with your phone right now, that’s totally cool, can I just circle back when you’re done?”
  • “I’d love for you to join us in this conversation. Would you mind putting your phone away so we can all be here together? I want to hear about how it went with Mary today at work.”
  • “I feel really vulnerable when I say this, but I want to be here and now with you. Could we both agree to put our phones away for dinner?”
  • “I feel distracted from what we’re talking about when you check your phone.”
  • “Could we do a no-phones catch up session?”
  • “Would it be too direct of me to ask for your attention while I share this story?”
  • “I’m sure you’re really good at multitasking, but I don’t feel heard right now. Let’s talk when you’re finished texting.”
  • “Could you wait until after we hang out to post that photo?”
  • “Okay, I’ll just wait while you do that.” 

 

Most of the phrases above have been met with understanding, although it usually makes the person really flustered because not many people are open or courageous enough to say something to this kind of culturally-accepted rudeness. Occasionally it even starts a good conversation about presence, technology, and our natural human weakness in the hands of this addictive device. And occasionally it makes someone really uncomfortable and they’ll quickly find a way to exit the conversation — usually out of embarrassment or because they aren’t ready to interact on such an authentic level with me. 

 

My favorite and least aggressive way to respond in this kind of situation, especially if there’s a power imbalance in play (someone more senior at work, someone I don’t know very well, someone I’m really attracted to), is to respond with complete silence. I simply stop talking and see if they notice. I’ll hold the space and make it clear that I’m waiting for them. This can be done really sweetly with a playful smile or more seriously if the situation calls for it. 

 

These are just some examples to help you speak your truth. If someone is staring down at a screen while you’re putting energy into sharing something with them, then please feel empowered to point out what’s happening. 

 

And the same principle applies the other way around. Don’t be the person who’s typing a response to someone on the other side of the country while a beautiful being is sitting in front of you. Someday that person will no longer be with us. Be with her now. 

 

And please don’t play a role in the situation where two people are being so unconscious that they are talking to each other and typing at the same time. Be the one who looks up first. Be the one who holds the silence until others catch on. Be the one who speaks up. Be the one who offers her full attention. 

 

Ultimately, leading by example is the most powerful way to create change

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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. These are the best years of your life and you deserve to be FREE! 

 

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 lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for 5.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York in 2013. You can read my full story here. I’m now living my dream, settled in Bali, Indonesia, fully independent and working happily on projects that support my deepest passion! 

 

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 now make my living helping others break out of ordinary living and get clear on their mission in life. I get paid to help people MANIFEST THEIR DREAMS like I did — how cool is that?  

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’ve always done things a bit differently and I think there are SO many feasible ways for people to live “off the beaten path”. I hope my blog lets you see what’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. Drop me a line at elaina@lifebefore30.com or apply to work with me directly! 

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Currently in: Bali

 

Previously in: India

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Hey friend, thanks for finding me!

 

I’m sure there’s a reason you landed here. Maybe we’re meant to work together and your whole life is about to flip upside down… That tends to happen with my clients as they transform from the inside out.

 

I work with extraordinary, brave, and self-inquiring souls who are ready to do the inner work required to launch them into the next huge chapter of their life. I work with people who are willing and ready to wake up and become more alive and aligned than ever before! 

 

Does any of this sound like you?

  • Successful on paper but not fulfilled inside
  • Feeling like you’re working so hard but not getting anywhere
  • Knowing you’re destined to do

Read more

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