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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! 

Discover Your Authentic Self and Live the Life You Really Want With This Little Method

Posted on March 31st, 2016

For all the various questions I get from readers of my blog, from “How do I land my dream job?” and “How can I network with confidence?” to “How do I nail all my job interviews?” and “I have no idea what to do next in my life, what do I do?”, there is really just one answer: You have to know what you want.

Have you ever gone shopping without a list? I do that sometimes (which is against my golden principles for money management) and I actually get dizzy, like so physically uncomfortable I have to call it a day and come back when I know what I need to buy. Especially here in India where the bazaars of swirling colors and beggars and spices and silver literally leave me breathless if I don’t go in with tunnel vision. I either spend hours and buy nothing or duck into a shop for a few minutes and come out running to the ATM. Mindless. Similarly, have you ever tried to book a flight when you were really flexible on the date or location? As a nomad, I do that frequently and it gives me nightmares about missing my flight or winding up in Tokyo instead of London.

Personally, I need decisiveness when it comes to these kind of practical matters, and I find it’s the same when it comes to life. Just like the markets in India, anything and everything is for sale, but you need to know what you’ve come to buy. You have to know what you want.

So how do you know what you want in a life that’s constantly assaulting you — through the media, education, friends, family, religion, government, literature, and every other expression of social attitudes that originate outside of you — with ideas of who you should be, what you should want, where you should live, what kind of lifestyle you should have, etc?

While that’s essentially the topic of my entire blog and I’ve written dozens of articles about it, lately I’ve been exploring one particular avenue to figuring out what you want and living the life you’ve always dreamed of: spontaneity.

Knowing yourself and knowing what you want from the winding bazaars of life comes down to having access to your authentic self, but how do you get there? How do you know what’s authentically you and what’s mere social programming? The answer again: spontaneity.

We’ve all been there, in those little moments of life where we stand on the razor’s edge of who we are and who we want to be: a presenter asks for questions but you don’t speak out, a stranger looks lost but you don’t help, the music starts but you don’t dance, a girl smiles at you but you don’t speak. And she walks out of your life and you don’t dance and you don’t help the stranger and you don’t satisfy your curiosity. And you don’t really live.

I’ve begun to combat those moments of hesitation by following what I call the three second rule. I know that if I don’t respond to my gut instincts within three seconds, my defensive ego will take over and the noise of my social conditioning will drown out the little voice that says “Go! Do it! Speak! Dance!”

Just this week I went to visit a tiny village in the foothills of the Himalayas and sat alone by a small river watching two local women chop firewood on the other side. I was lost in thought about who they are and what their lives might be like when I saw one of the women struggling to load the enormous pile of firewood onto her head. Her fragile neck wobbled and her knees shook and before I knew it, I had dropped everything and sprinted across the shallow river and stumbled awkwardly up onto the shore. I grabbed the pile of wood, with its sweet smell wafting into my face, and lifted it onto a dark, silky head covered in delicate fabric. The women giggled uncontrollably in shock and delight and motioned for me to follow. Minutes later I was seated in a one-room house, their children’s bright faces smiling down on me, sipping warm chai, and seeing for myself who these women are and what their lives are like.

Spontaneity drove me into my real self, the self that instinctively wants to give, love, and understand. There were at least two possible realities in this circumstance: one where I watched alone, afraid to intrude, and one where I embraced humanity and let our very distinct life lines cross in an unlikely moment.

I followed the three second rule, and I understood right then and there that those little moments are the gateways to our true nature.

If you can begin to honor your little impulses in every day scenarios, you will begin to gain access to your innermost chamber of secrets, where the real you resides, with all your raw desires and motivations. Tap into that, and you can start to build a life of real meaning, in the big questions of career and purpose and love, and in the smaller questions of helping, expressing, and fully participating in this world.

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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

What’s Hot

Recent Posts

Coaching

Coaching

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

Like Me on Facebook

Follow me on twitter

Follow me on twitter

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Elaina on Instagram

Please enter an Access Token on the Instagram Feed plugin Settings page.