travel-money1

Health

  • October 1, 2017   I’ve been single for 8 years now, so this may very well be one of those “take my advice because I don’t need it” situations. Take it for what it’s worth, but being a single nomad for as long as I have has allowed me to stand (quite happily) at the sidelines as the relationships of most of my friends regularly go down in flames.    My objective point of view and deep fascination with the human animal has always allowed me to see what the once-happy couple couldn’t see and identify the root causes of such painful heartbreaks.    That — and I’ve also been casually dating on every continent on the planet for the better part of a decade. You name a kind of man and I’ve probably dated one: Australians, Kenyans, ... READ MORE
  • April 4, 2017 The last time I got drunk was in May 2015, when I was (ironically enough) living in Qatar. It’s a big thing for Doha expats to do boozy brunches on the weekend and that was officially the last time I went out with the intention to get intoxicated.      It’s been two years now, and I’d never go back to how I lived and partied before.    At the time, I didn’t expect to give up drinking permanently. Ramadan was approaching and that was simply the last boozy brunch we’d be able to do for awhile as the country moved into a religious period of fasting, sobriety, and reflection. Coincidentally, I also lost all of my friends in Qatar — they quit their jobs, got fired, moved to a different country, you name it ... READ MORE
  • February 12, 2017   Some blogs talk mostly about quitting your job to travel the world. Some talk about becoming a digital nomad or full-time entrepreneur. And others talk about helping you find your dream job.   Mine talks about how to do all of these, because there are many ways to build a lifestyle that works for you.    I’m a digital nomad, small-time entrepreneur, and freelance writer, but I’m also an international project manager who has worked for several major companies over the past 5 years. I lead parallel careers, sometimes working the 9 to 5 grind, sometimes spending extended time on the road paying my own way. I’ve come up with a formula that works for me, using my corporate experiences to provide some stability for a very amorphous set of passions.    Most recently, I’m coming ... READ MORE
  • October 21, 2016 I don’t need a long list of friends, Especially not ones in the traditional sense. I only want the open, laughing, enchanted ones, Those who live most richly in present tense. READ MORE
  • September 16, 2016   I want to share a short little story that has a big message.    I just got back from Burning Man, and one of my biggest takeaways was about radical self-expression. I think Burning Man might have been talking about how to dress at the event, but I came away understanding it as how I should express myself not with clothes, but with words: clearly, concisely, openly, honestly, and directly.    By keeping this in mind as I explored the whole wild world of Black Rock City, I cultivated many new friendships, deepened my existing ones, and even connected more profoundly with random people during the briefiest interactions.    It was in the midst of cultivating this mindset and putting it into practice that I…met a guy. Because we met in such a special place with our radically purposeful ... READ MORE
  • August 18, 2016 What I assumed was the end goal is definitely not the end goal. For anyone with the privilege to choose, the capacity to care, and the consciousness of a pervasive unity throughout the human race, we are called to more than a life that protects the right to feel good most of the time. READ MORE
  • June 22, 2016 Only recently did I realize I’m exhibiting signs of borderline insanity.   I’m facing a very fulfilling present moment, a career and life situation that has miraculously worked itself out to support my ideal lifestyle. I’m traveling the world, doing work I love, maintaining my friendships over the distance, and becoming closer with my family. I’m actually happy.    Or rather, I could be happy if I allowed myself to be.   I’m not completely happy because I’m constantly worrying about being this happy in the future. I’m thinking along the lines of, “Oh man, I’ve kind of got it made right now. I should enjoy this, but I’m also terrified that it’s all going to fall apart and I won’t ever have a chance to be this happy ever again.”   So instead of just enjoying where ... READ MORE
  • June 9, 2016 Human beings are born in “seeking mode.” Our deep and constant drive to search (for what, we don't seem to know) is one of the defining characteristics of our existence. No matter what we do, what we have, or where we go, we want to do something else, have something else, and go somewhere else.     We're like the cat who meows no matter what side of the door he's on.    Indian thinker Osho calls this the “black hole,” a persistent gap in human consciousness that renders everything we want meaningless the minute we have it, and perpetuates the restless, fervent search.   No person is exempt from this pursuit. The rich, poor, young, old, educated, uneducated, religious, nonreligious all go on seeking.    We take jobs, relationships, money, power, education, sex, and prestige and hurl ... READ MORE
  • April 6, 2016 I pouted, pleaded, whined, and argued, but nothing was getting me into the meditation chamber. The middle-aged Indian man with a formidable mustache and topaz eyes, the guardian of Auroville’s famous Matrimandir and my current adversary, was not budging. “You can come back on Tuesday morning between 10 and 11am and book an appointment. Now please step aside.” Tears burned in my eyes and my cheeks flushed as I realized a line of other yogis, hippies, and those truly holier than me had overheard the petty conflict over the literal location of where my concentration on becoming a better person was supposed to take place. I was in the wrong. To access one of India’s most unique and, in my opinion, powerful places of meditation, there were some basic rules to follow. But I ... READ MORE
  • March 16, 2016 My relationship to technology is a tumultuous one. On one hand, I run an online business and praise both the independence and connectivity it provides, while on the other hand, it often strikes me as nothing less than an assault on my ability to think, feel, plan, and be human. I recently spent almost two weeks in rural India on a silent meditation retreat, which was a forced technology detox. For me, it demonstrated how wonderful life can be without a phone, Internet, and the senseless barrage of information and communication that comes with being constantly attached to a parallel digital universe. During those two weeks, my attention span, focus, and self-awareness SKYROCKETED, partly due to deep meditation, but also because I wasn’t tethered to everything and everyone who wasn’t actually in ... READ MORE
  • February 21, 2016 I’m still not sure what inspired me to enroll in one of the most intense meditation courses in India last month, but I’m sure glad I did. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, an insane roller coaster of struggle and growth, anger and happiness, agitation and tranquility — emotions racing from one spectrum to another minute after minute, hour after hour, for 120 hours of silent meditation. Here’s a very personal, light-hearted look at what I experienced. READ MORE
  • February 21, 2016 I experienced everything from fits of rage to epiphanies about my purpose in life. I had sessions where I thought I would literally go insane from the hurricane-like force of my own thoughts, and sessions where I understood the beauty of life in such a profound way that I broke down in tears. Read on to discover my top lessons learned (so you don’t have to spend a week and a half on a cushion in silence in India if you don’t want to!). READ MORE
  • December 18, 2015 Routine and monotony are common features of modern existence. Most urbanites with steady jobs wake up at the same time every day, drink the same coffee, socialize with the same people in the same handful of places, eat mostly the same food, sit at the same desk at work, and live in the same neighborhood they’ve lived in for several years. READ MORE
  • November 10, 2015 It’s a disease I caught back in high school, or maybe even middle school, as I jockeyed for first place in every thing I did. Sure, that ruthless hard work paid off, but isn’t there supposed to be time to enjoy it? Aren’t we called human beings, not human doings? Where is the time to just be? Is it socially acceptable to even mull over the possibility of having an idle moment? READ MORE
  • October 16, 2015 Have you also realized that we often spend all day thinking about what we’ll do when we get home and then when we get home we spend all evening thinking about the next day? The scary thing is, if we spend our lives this way, we never truly live. If we keep projecting ourselves into future scenarios that will never transpire in the same way we envision, we lose out on the only real opportunity to get closer to the life we dream about: the right now. READ MORE
  • August 25, 2015 I turn 26 in a couple weeks and as someone who is a freelancer and losing eligibility to be covered under my parents insurance, I had to purchase my own health insurance and use the marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act to enroll. Initially, it was a huge headache, which you’d know if you have even looked at your state’s health marketplace, but now that I’ve come out on the other side, it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought when I first started. READ MORE
  • August 4, 2015 Implementing just these five simple life changes can drastically enhance how much you sleep, how well you sleep, and how great you feel as a whole. READ MORE
  • July 6, 2015 In May 2015, I gave up alcohol for 2 months while living in Qatar, the longest I had ever gone since introducing alcohol into my regular diet and lifestyle as a college student. The experiment taught me a lot about the role of alcohol in business and society, as well as its long-term effects. Most encouragingly, I learned that there’s scientific proof that giving it up even for a short period of time can reverse the damage, which I clearly noticed in myself after going 60 days dry. Here’s how and why I did it. READ MORE
  • June 25, 2015 One of the best things I’ve ever done for my total health and well-being involved giving up something most of the world is also addicted to: coffee. Read about how I did it, how long it took, what I found out about the harmful affects of caffeine, and how it led to a positive domino effect on my whole diet. Here’s a hint: I got rid of my brain fog, I’m more articulate, my memory has gotten better, I’m naturally well-rested, and have a calm energy throughout the day that I could never have achieved by relying on coffee. READ MORE
  • June 20, 2015 Beyond the scope of work, I think even things related to personal development need to clocked in and accounted for. Essentially, you need to be scheduling time for making yourself a better person. This comes back to honoring the concept of mindfulness, which essentially means having your mind and body in the same place at the same time. Harder than it sounds, isn’t it? READ MORE
  • June 1, 2015 The insights I gained during this reflection period will follow me for the rest of my life, all thanks to the fact that I decided to press the pause button, slap a big “work in progress” sign on my forehead, and exercise my freedom to “un-busy” myself while I picked up the pieces of who I had become over the past 25 years and formed a new, better, stronger arrangement. 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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