travel-money1

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.

As Seen On

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

 

Suggested Posts

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.

As Seen On

As Seen On

As Seen On

Sign Me Up

Sign Me Up
I'm planning something big! Stay in touch and be the first to know what I'm up to.

Sign me up

Location

Current Location

Map

Current Location

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

As Seen On

As Seen On

Sign Me Up

Sign Me Up
I'm planning something big! Stay in touch and be the first to know what I'm up to.

Sign Me Up

Current Location

Current Location

Map

Browse Articles

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