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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. 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! 

Can You Outrun Your Lizard? Fighting Fear and Taking Risks

Posted on March 1st, 2013

I went to my first ever yoga class class last night. That’s right, I live in New York, and I don’t actually do yoga. I think I might be the only one.

 

However, I’m recovering from the flu and thought the free “Yoga To The People” classes might do the trick to loosen me up, calm me down, and get me doing more physical activity than moving the cup of Gatorade from the nightstand to my mouth. (Yeah, having the flu sucks…)

 

When I showed up, the room was already packed with East Village hipsters deep-breathing and practicing their warrior poses. There was even a middle-aged guy covered in tattoos doing headstands in the corner, looking impossibly serene.

 

yoga

Photo credit: Time Out New York

 

It was everything I had hoped for.

 

Over the next hour, the room of wall-to-wall yogis was coaxed through a rhythm of posing, balancing, and dramatic exhaling by our breathy instructor who spoke exclusively in metaphor.  I eventually gave in to the mood, my focus shifting inward, my movements becoming more fluid, and my entire body finding relaxation.

 

We were somewhere on the floor, balancing on one knee and one elbow with fingertips stretched towards the ceiling, when our crunchy granola instructor purred, “The mind has a way of talking the body out of doing things. So move fast, before the mind stops you from acting.”

 

In reality, she was imploring us to switch to some other equally-as-ridiculous pose before we collapsed in sweaty heaps on our mats, but that little pearl of yogi wisdom got me lost in thought.

 

As human beings, we’re good at keeping ourselves comfortable.That’s probably what we do best, actually. We resist change, fall into routines, avoid food we don’t recognize…Heck, we almost have a nervous breakdown ordering something new at Starbucks. We require coaxing, or having the rug totally pulled out from underneath us in order to really do something different.

 

What causes this is what Seth Godin calls the “lizard brain” in action – part of our cerebral complex left over from when we had to escape predators, catch our dinner with spears, and generally minimize risk-taking because that’s what kept us alive. It still exists, and nowadays it’s a professional nuisance.

 

As I find myself on the brink of some pretty radical change – like flying myself to Europe for a job interview that could result in selling almost everything I own and traveling the world for an undefined period of time – I am trying to act before my mind catches up and comes chasing after me, wanting to throw a leash around my neck and drag me back to comfortable, predictable, BORING safety. The lizard brain wants to put me in time-out for even considering behaving like such a reckless lunatic.

 

But I can run. And I’m going to outrun my lizard.

 

As I drag out the suitcases, print the boarding passes, and tell my friends and family, the possibility of this other life is becoming more and more tangible.

 

The craziest part is I have no idea if I’ll come home from Barcelona with a job offer and a few weeks to really say goodbye to everything, or if absolutely nothing will change. I think this kind of uncertainty would drive a lot of people insane.

 

But you know what most people say when I tell them I literally bought myself a plane ticket to Europe for the chance at a job that would uproot my entire life and send me to countries my parents will definitely have to Google?

 

It’s not, “You spent how much money on what exactly?”

 

Or, “You’re crazy. Why can’t you just be happy with what you have now?”

 

It’s: “I wish I had the guts to do that.”

 

“You do have the guts!” I want to scream back at each of them.You just have to pick a target and move fast – before you talk yourself out of leaving behind what you trust to pursue the beauty and excitement of the unknown.

 

Back in that New York yoga studio, I kicked my ankle into outstretched fingers behind me, balancing precariously on my left elbow as my knee formed an unlikely angle above my body. I wobbled, but I focused on myself, forgetting how the more experienced yogis were doing. 

 

I acted fast, and succeeded in getting my body to act before my mind could articulate that the likelihood of toppling over into Mr. Dreadlocks next to me was approximately 92%.

 

Outrun the lizard.

 

And life will be that much more colorful and rewarding if you do.

 

yoga1

Photo credit: Eileen Bailey International

 

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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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Follow me on twitter

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