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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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Notes from Brazil: Why We Should All Slow Down

Posted on December 22nd, 2012

There is nothing that will bring your frantic, modern life to a grinding halt quite like sitting alone on a tiny beach on an island off the coast of Brazil and watching the sun rise for three glorious hours.

 

And that is exactly what I did one serene November morning.

 

Brazil sunrise

 

 

After waking up in the middle of the night in my small room near the shore and finding myself unable to fall back asleep, I crept outside barefoot and sat in my pajama shorts in the cool, wet sand, catching a glimpse of the first crack of dawn at 4:30am. 

 

I watched the sky slowly morph into a light pink, a soft hue still shadowed by grey nighttime clouds. I saw the groggy fishermen wake up and haul their boats out to sea in the near darkness. They dropped nets into a sea that began to glow with a fiery orange reflection of the emerging sun. I went to bed at 7:00am to a pristine, blue morning sky, not the slightest bit tired.

 

If that sunrise was a meal, then I savored every forkful, sipped on my favorite wine, and polished off an impeccable dessert.

 

And it was pure food for my soul. It energized me. It reintroduced me to old friends of humanity: peace and simplicity.

 

It occurred to me as I sat mesmerized by the ultimate tranquility of Mother Nature that morning, with my toes in the chilly sand and my breathing still, head clear, and spirit worry free, that I hadn’t watched a sunrise in three years. Because there is “no time” in my busy, self-important life to sit and do nothing except watch the sun inch its way out of a deep slumber.

 

And what a shame that is.

 

That sunrise encapsulated a lot of what Brazil did for me: it taught me to slow down.

 

For several weeks of my trip, I wound up traveling with an Israeli guy who is my complete polar opposite. He shows up late, walks slow, focuses on eating, drinking, and smoking, and has zero motivation to “see the sights.” Saying he is laid-back is an understatement.

 

We almost drove each other crazy, if it weren’t for the unlikely (and highly amusing) friendship that blossomed between us. He would jokingly yell after me when we were walking around Salvador in my clipped New York stride: “Amiga, amiga – tranquila! We are not late for anything…we are traveling!”

 

Eventually I caught on. We sat and drank from coconuts at least once a day with no talk of plans for after the coconut. We ate long meals. He helped me cancel at least half of my plans for Brazil so I could see less in order to experience more.

 

Back in New York, the impact is palatable.

 

When I catch myself running to a train that is coming again in two minutes, I say to myself: Amiga, amiga – tranquila!

 

I have stopped walking and looking at my phone at the same time. I will not have my obituary read that I was hit by a bus trying to respond to a text message.

 

I leave my laptop at work and come home computer-free, ready to enjoy cooking dinner and pursuing my hobbies, not checking more email. Email is a soul-killer.

 

Instead of mentally planning my next rendezvous, I enjoy the bar I’m at, the food I’m eating, and the directly person in front of me.

 

The list goes on of the baby steps I am taking to more fully embrace what I am doing at the moment, eliminate my self-inflicted stress, and slow down.

 

Now go watch a sunrise. It’s good for your soul.

 

Brazilian soul

 

 

  

 

What in the past has made you realize that you need to slow down? How do you manage to enjoy smaller moments in life? Share in the comments section below!

  

 

Did you find this article helpful? Please share with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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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.

 

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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