travel-money1

Career

  • September 25, 2017 Not many people go from riding around the desert on a fire-breathing dragon for a week to working in one of the poorest countries in the world. And I definitely overestimated my ability to go from the corporate world of Uber to my alternative life in Berlin and Burning Man and then straight to rural ... READ MORE
  • September 7, 2017 By now, we all know that the future of work is autonomous, location-independent, skill-based, and increasingly creative. Studies predict that more than 50% of the US workforce will be freelance by 2020 and global GDP is expected to get a $2.7 trillion boost from “gig economy” roles by 2025.   At this point, we can continue ... READ MORE
  • August 15, 2017   Many of us stand at the crossroads of a bewildering array of interests. At any given point, we may be pursuing a successful career in product management while also toying with the idea of getting a PhD or opening an art gallery. We may be walking down the path of becoming a doctor but are ... READ MORE
  • August 2, 2017 There was a comical moment when I came back to Berlin to start freelancing again and said to my best friend, “Am I going to be bored?” Coming from a serious office job, it all seemed so scary (even though I spent 14 months freelancing and traveling in 2015): hustling for every dollar, wide open days without ... READ MORE
  • May 15, 2017 I’ve spent the past month squirreling away on a project that’s hopefully going to play a very interesting role in an industry I love — but it’s also set up to make exactly $0, for now. In fact, I’m actually dumping a substantial amount of money into professional design work, branding, and domain negotiation. It’s a ... READ MORE
  • April 4, 2017 If you’re a frequent reader, you may have noticed I’ve taken a long break of silence for the past month. The truth is, I’ve been going through a crisis of my own and it seemed ironic to write anything where it seemed like I knew what I was talking about during a time when I’d ... READ MORE
  • February 6, 2017   For a writer, there’s nothing like finally seeing your name under the big media brands you’ve always dreamed of writing for. You think, has this been photoshopped or did they really publish me?    This month I got published for the second time on Fast Company and now have the opportunity to start talking over opportunities to ... READ MORE
  • January 26, 2017 Some people don’t believe in luck. There are idioms in countless languages that mean some variation of “you create your own luck” or “the hardest-working people are also the luckiest.”    And then there are cultures like the Chinese, who believe luck is more of an ingrained biological trait, like the color of your hair, than a ... READ MORE
  • December 6, 2016   Whether you’re running your own business or working for a big corporation, you’ve probably experienced days where you feel stuck in a rut, unable to tap into your creativity, and nothing seems interesting. I call it “blinking cursor syndrome,” a state in which I don’t want to compose an email, write an article, work on a side project, or even ... READ MORE
  • November 19, 2016 This week in particular I’ve received dozens of emails that all go something like this: “My name is Jessica, and I’m a recent graduate of the University of Virginia. I studied marketing, but my greatest passion is for the arts, especially telling the stories of those in the physically or mentally disabled communities. I want ... READ MORE
  • October 19, 2016 Sometimes when I write to you, only poetry comes out.    A lot of you are stuck, Frustrated and unsure Where to move, What job to take, Long hours, feeling lost in the masses. You want to feel passionate Know you’re on the right path Build an identity with your job title And have all the right plans. Bored by the options you’ve been given You question, ... READ MORE
  • September 27, 2016 Eventually I landed my global dream job, but it took two years. Since then, I’ve learned to help other young professionals find the international jobs they really want, and my clients have gotten hired everywhere from Ethiopia to Colombia. I’ve also helped raise awareness that professional global opportunities beyond teaching English or joining the Peace ... READ MORE
  • September 21, 2016   I try to read a book a week and I'm often guily of reading more than one at a time. It's safe to say I'm a huge book worm, always have been and always will be. I never understand why people play video games, watch TV or movies, sing karaoke, go to bars, or do ... READ MORE
  • September 4, 2016 If you’re an entrepreneur at heart, nothing can be more frustrating than clocking in at a traditional 9 to 5 job, feeling like you’re just biding time and saving money until you’re ready to work for yourself.   But this is one time in your life when it’s really important to feel one way and act ... READ MORE
  • July 25, 2016 If a tiny group of punk rockers in one of the most historically oppressive countries on the planet can pool their kyats to feed the neediest people in their community, then all of us can take greater risks, form stronger teams, and feel empowered to tackle more meaningful gaps in our society and economy. We ... READ MORE
  • June 29, 2016 Initiating a big change in your personal or professional life can be overwhelming. Whether you want to go back to school, change career fields, stop smoking, relocate overseas, or start a family, there’s never a right time or secret formula to navigating big moves like these.    In April 2013, I changed my entire life in 30 ... READ MORE
  • May 24, 2016 One of the most overused — and least understood — words in the professional development space starts with N: networking.   If I use it in my articles or when working with clients, everybody’s like, “Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m supposed to go to events and pass out my business cards and send follow-up emails and suck up to ... READ MORE
  • May 15, 2016 Last week I took four flights for two days straight to get from the capital of Nepal to my hometown of Buffalo, New York. I packed up the backpack I’d been living out of for 8 months and plopped back down into the middle of America and the middle of something that looks like most people’s ... READ MORE
  • April 3, 2016 The best part of introducing this technique into my own life has been the tangible improvement in my creativity, retention of information, and ability to reflect on my experiences and articulate those reflections to others. It’s like being a student all over again, only I’m fully in charge of the subject areas, the examinations are ... READ MORE
  • February 24, 2016 If your current job is draining and unfulfilling but you don’t know what to do instead, or you’re thinking about moving to a new city or country but you don’t know where, or you want to go back to school but you’re not sure what to study, then you’re at one of the many crossroads ... READ MORE
  • February 12, 2016 No matter what, we all find ourselves asking: Why is that some people seem to possess an uncanny ability to come up with one great idea after the next, when the rest of us spend years of our lives staring at blinking cursors and filling Moleskine pages with half-baked business plans? What we need to do ... READ MORE
  • December 13, 2015 To anyone who’s unsatisfied in their current job, especially big corporate roles where it feels like you’re doing nothing but exchanging time for money, this is your survival guide. I want you to keep your big dreams alive, but also see the huge benefits and opportunities sitting on your doorstep every morning as you saunter ... READ MORE
  • August 20, 2015 Everyone wants to escape the cubicle. The centuries-old 9 to 5 model is beginning to lift, and innovation and technology are helping us take our talents beyond the conventional workplace. I’m a strong believer that this is a tremendously positive shift, but with the “glamorization” of the entrepreneur or the digital nomad, we have to ... READ MORE
  • July 21, 2015 Whatever situation you’re in, at some point you’re going to wind up asking yourself: “What do I do next? Where do I go from here? How do I figure out my next step?” In my experience, there are three distinct stages you must pass through in order to be able to answer these questions: turning ... READ MORE
  • June 21, 2015 One of my most recent coaching clients is an IT developer from Washington, DC who wants to work for herself so she can create a lifestyle that supports traveling, working from home, and raising a family. Her biggest obstacle, she admits, is finances. In her 30s, she still has a pile of student loans, only ... READ MORE
  • June 2, 2015 Back in 2012, I received an email from LinkedIn congratulating me on being among the “Top 5% Most Viewed Profiles on LinkedIn.” Three years later, I’m still getting about 200 hits a week on my profile. Naturally, I’m a bit of a junkie, but it’s because I believe that proper use of this tool can ... READ MORE
  • May 28, 2015 Because there is a serious danger in turning every verb in our lives into a noun. We can make documentaries and not be a documentary filmmaker. We can paint and not be a painter. We can teach and not be a teacher. We can dance and not be a dancer. We can play guitar and ... READ MORE
  • April 27, 2015 Roughly two years ago today, I made some very big changes in my life… all by deliberate choice. I purposely left a good, safe, stable, normal job. I purposely left behind one of my favorite cities on Earth. I purposely removed myself from the lives of all my friends and family. I purposely said goodbye ... READ MORE
  • February 21, 2015 Can’t decide whether or not to stay in your current job, accept a new offer, or stay on the job market? When my best friend had to choose between multiple job offers (or staying put), this was my candid advice to her. READ MORE
  • September 11, 2014 By conducting a healthy number of informational interviews using this framework, you will be able to open your own doors to interesting companies, forge human connections, and expand your network of personal and professional contacts that lead to real jobs and opportunities down the line. READ MORE
  • August 6, 2014 Taking risks can help you craft new talents, bolster your confidence, or entirely overhaul your career. Instead of waiting for the chance, you take the chance. This is no foreign concept to Gen Y, many of whom are chronic job-hoppers, but too much job-hopping can actually your endanger future career prospects. The higher calling, therefore, ... READ MORE
  • November 9, 2013 LinkedIn is my go-to tool, even when I’m happily employed. Because I never know when I may need to make a switch, it’s best to have an organized platform that enables me to survey my options at all times. READ MORE
  • October 6, 2013 One of the most common questions I receive from this site is: “How did you find your job?” “How can I find one I love just as much?” Here is my attempt to answer this question with as much step-by-step practicality that I think is more or less universally applicable. READ MORE
  • April 10, 2013 I am delighted to announce my escape from doing something I wasn’t really happy doing, but just too scared or confused about how to make things better – a situation not uncommon for today’s 20-somethings who find themselves caught between high ambitions and the murky waters of reality. READ MORE
  • February 17, 2013 We’ve all heard the phrase, “to whom much is given, much is expected.” We have been blessed with so much that it is our responsibility to demand more of ourselves and our bosses and our workplaces and our economy. Because we CAN, we HAVE to. The only way we can make our world better and ... READ MORE
  • January 19, 2013 It seems like everyone out there who is “successful” only portrays how good they have it, how cheery they are, and how smoothly their lives are going on a daily basis. Where do they mention these gray cloud days? Where do they talk about actually feeling scared and worried? Are they emotional robots? READ MORE
  • January 6, 2013 We can no longer try to “work our way up” – we have to innovate our way out. Trying to wedge ourselves into the next rung of another bureaucratic ladder is counter-productive – for ourselves, our companies, and society as a whole. READ MORE
  • January 3, 2013 Now what I’m realizing is that becoming successful in something I’m truly passionate about will indeed take time, money, practice, and failure. That’s because the road less traveled isn’t paved. It’s bumpy. It’s uncomfortable. But it is SO much more exciting. READ MORE

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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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.

 

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