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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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Give Your Dreams a Deadline

Posted on October 26th, 2012

I went for drinks this week with my coworker, Chrissy, who had just graduated from the same program I’m in at IBM and now works in marketing. While the original intent of our meeting was to discuss a new role her company was trying to fill, our conversation quickly metamorphisized into analyzing the precarious balance of hope and reality that shapes our lives and careers in New York.

 

Somewhere along this wandering verbal path, Chrissy mentioned her friend who had managed to score a 7-month leave of absence from his company to go travel the world.

 

Of course my ears perked up.

 

As it turns out, his best friend had suddenly passed away, awaking him from the slumber of taking life for granted, and he was ready to quit his job and travel the world.  However, he was apparently so good that his boss agreed to let him go do whatever he needed to do and come back 7 months later.

 

Now that’s a sweet deal.

 

One of the things I have decided that I absolutely will do in the next 5 years is take a year or two off to travel.  Like sell everything that can’t fit in a cheap storage unit, live full-time out of my backpack and train/bus/boat across the continents.

 

You know, before you get married and have kids and your life is over.

 

Just kidding.

 

I’m happy with life at the moment, gaining skills and experience in New York, but I know I can’t bear to work Stateside much longer. The world is calling.

 

I tell Chrissy all of this, and then she confesses that one of her biggest goals is to take time away from work in the next couple years to volunteer in sub-Saharan Africa or South America.  She had already started a Peace Corps application. 

 

So there we sat dressed in our corporate garb, sipping our margaritas in a trendy East Village bar and planning how to escape it all – all while trying to ignore our buzzing Blackberries.

 

Then Chrissy said something that really hit home: it all starts with setting a date.  This is what her friend, who is now enjoying Oktoberfest in Germany and picking up Italian in the streets of Rome, had told her before he left on his 7-month adventure. 

 

Making your dreams come true, changing life however you want to see it change, all starts with the simple step of telling yourself when you are going to make it happen.

 

Giving your dreams a deadline. I love this.

 

As Chrissy and I wove through the flocks of pedestrians and taxis flying down Avenue A on the way back to our apartments, we set our dates. We told each other the date on which our goals and dreams will come true.

 

Now that’s pretty bold.

 

And empowering as hell. 

 

Author’s note: This post was originally written in October 2012. By April 2013, I had quit my job, accepted an emerging markets position with an international media agency, and packed all my Earthly belongings into two suitcases. As I result, I have spent the past 2 years moving from Nigeria to Ethiopia to Mongolia and everywhere in between for work assignments. By February 2014, Chrissy successfully took a leave of absence to work in Tanzania and travel East Africa, and now she works for the International Rescue Committee. It all started with cocktails on Avenue A, giving our dreams a deadline.

 

Calendar-Tight-Deadlines

Photo credit: Jeanniesullivan.com

 

 

What do you do to make sure you stay on target with big goals? Have you ever set a deadline for a big dream and had it come true because of that? Share in the comments section below!

 

  

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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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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

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Elaina on Instagram