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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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How Come No One Writes About the Gray Cloud Days?

Posted on January 19th, 2013

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Photo credit: www.static.weddingbee.com

 

This week I had approximately 3 nervous breakdowns. I would say that’s about normal these days. I’m working a full-time consulting job (Read: Lots of hours in a windowless conference room churning out dense PowerPoints for our client, who takes on some bizarre God-like status everyday from 8-7. Sigh.), trying to launch 2 side projects, growing my blog and other social media, having what sort of resembles a social life in New York City, seeing someone new, and, oh, eating and sleeping – sometimes.

 

WHY DOES NO ONE TELL YOU DOING ALL THIS IS A RECIPE FOR SLOWLY LOSING YOUR MIND?

 

Because even if they did tell me this, I’d still take a huge, jaw-breaking bite out of this insanity sandwich.

 

It actually is fun, I swear. Most of the time.

 

And it is the only way I know how to go about trying to improve my life for the future.

 

On Wednesday though, came the week’s worst nervous breakdown, spurred by the last thing you will ever guess: A really outstanding, celebration-worthy performance review at work. I had earned the highest possible rating for someone at my company this year, and my manager was hurling glowing praises at me.

 

So WHY was I on the verge of a serious panic attack?

 

Because all this represented to me was that I could be good at pretty much anything, even stuff I don’t have an ounce of passion for. Translation: I am an EXPERT hoop-jumper. You make the rules, and I will play by all of them in order to win the game.

 

For me, this spelled failure. I had simply put my head down to the grindstone and churned out “excellent results” by someone else’s standards. Not mine.

 

Anyway, those days are soon going to be a thing of the past. Let’s recap the week’s successes that were achieved between panic attacks and sleep deprivation:

 

  • Lots of inspiration. I made a long list of more topics I want to write about on this blog, I found more mentors whose material I am earnestly devouring, and I feel like I am generally moving in the right direction.
  • I made contact with an awesome guy who launched a Beijing-based firm that places Americans with ~2 years of work experience and Mandarin skills in Chinese companies. He said they would love to have me as soon as I clock out on those 2 full years of corporate experience.
  • My blog and Twitter following is growing, slowly but surely.
  • I identified a mountain and a half of free, informative life-coaching resources and posted more ads online. Anyone who has experience in this field, I would really love your advice on getting started.
  • I had very productive calls with my side-hustling buddy, who will actually be in NYC this weekend, so hopefully we can get some serious work done. 
  • We are in the process of launching a summer internship for college juniors and seniors for one of our projects. Once we land our first official intern, celebrations will be had!

 

But the bigger story of the week was actually feeling pretty worn down, both mentally and physically.

 

Despite all the progress I’m making, clouds of self-doubt and self-defeat kept blowing in, making me feel like my dreams are actually ridiculous and my ideas are stupid and hoping to live like my idols do is naïve. Even worse, there was a lurking notion that deep down I am just an ungrateful brat who is all wrong and should just accept the very-good-by-most-people’s-standards life I have and shut up. Who wants to hear me talk anyway? No one is listening.

 

That is what I heard in my head all week. On top of that, I was running around like a madwoman, drudging through longer-than-usual hours at work, ignoring phone calls from friends and family, and not sleeping enough. 

 

OK, I’m done now. I am not here to dwell on the negatives.

 

I just wanted to share this because 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?

 

I hope one day I will be “successful” and someone will read this and be like, “Oh, she’s human? She thought she was going to totally belly-flop into a giant swimming pool of failure? She doubted every idea she ever had? Cool. That means I can have those feelings, acknowledge their existence, and move on.”

 

So here I am, acknowledging that I actually think I suck, but am just going to steam-roll over those feelings until they suffocate under my deliberate actions and positive thinking.

 

graycloud

 

 

 

How do you cope with your “gray cloud days”? Share in the comments section below!

 

 

Did you find this article helpful? Please share with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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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.

 

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

Instagram

Elaina on Instagram