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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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Life is More Than Just a Series of Career Moves

Posted on May 28th, 2015

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Image source: www.dmchiropractic.my

 

I’ve been putting a lot more legwork into my blog these past few months, and it’s paying off. In addition to my normal paid gigs and doing free guest posts for The Muse, Brazen Careerist, Thought Catalog, and Escape the City, I’ve miraculously managed to score a syndication deal with Business Insider (this week I got 42,000 hits in 3 days on this piece) and finally got the attention of the founder and chief editor of the Matador Network. I’m getting emails from people from all over the world and writing back and forth with each one of them has opened up mutually-beneficial dialogues with people I would never have known in my life if not for blogging.

 

So naturally people, especially my close friends, are starting to ask: “This is all great news. But what’s the plan? Do you want to become a writer? A digital nomad? Do you want to monetize your blog?”

 

And my response? There is no plan.

 

And I am loving it! I’m having so much fun! For now, I don’t want the pressure of doing this for a paycheck bigger than the little ones I pull in here and there. I’m doing it… just because.

 

Sure, I have ambitions to share my writing on bigger platforms, but first I need to write more, write better, and have more life experience. I want to write a book someday, but I’m not rushing into it. I DON’T want to monetize (cheapen) my blog, and I don’t think I would enjoy being a full-time digital nomad like Tim Ferriss or hundreds of other bloggers preach about. I’ve been traveling non-stop for 2 years, have another year of travel planned, and then I want a home base. I want community. Eventually, I do want to be a bit more “normal.”

 

I also recently launched my photography website, www.elainagiolandophotography.com, and have invested hundreds of dollars into the hosting, design, and logo when not one single peso is coming in from it. It’s not sustainable. It’s not a business. It’s a glorified hobby and I love that. I just wanted a place to showcase a thing I like to do, and have another medium for sharing what I see in the world and telling stories. I’m doing it… just because.

 

I have a habit of doing things like this in my life. True story: I majored in Chinese in college, and the question I get most in any job interview is “Why did you study Chinese?” and I have to give them the most boring answer ever, “Because it was fun? Because I was good at it? Loved the food. And there is still literally nothing more satisfying than turning around in an elevator anywhere in the world and scaring the daylights out of the poor Chinese people gossiping in the corner. That, and knowing all the words to every Jay Chou song (karaoke champs do the best business I reckon).” I still get hired, I still use the language, and I still plan to work in China, but the point is, I did it because it was true to my inner being. To my natural talents. I did it because I loved the intrinsic poetry of the language. Because I couldn’t pull myself away from studying characters every night in the library. Because I couldn’t not understand that part of the world. I did it… just because.

 

Take another example. Recently I’ve started taking an obsessive-like interest in nutrition and America’s industrial agriculture policies lately. I’ve overhauled my diet, given up coffee and alcohol (gasp!) and preach nonstop to anyone who will listen about the horrors of the meat and dairy industry. So naturally people have been asking, “Does this mean you want to go to public policy school? Or nutrition school? Or become a lobbyist? Or another Food Babe?”

 

And I want to jump up and down and scream, “No!! Can’t I just have interests? Can’t I just learn about things in the world and care? Can’t I just talk and write about them and as just an ordinary an informed citizen? Why does everything have to be about money! And credentials!”

 

My message is this: life is more than a series of career moves.

 

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 not be a guitarist. Not everything we are interested in has to achieve a status, an income, or become another title for us. It doesn’t have to go on our resume, online, or anywhere outside of the private delight of our homes and minds.

 

We can do things because they are beautiful. Because they are fun. Because we are alive in the moment. Because we think they are important. Because we want to give. Because we’re learning. Because we feel challenged. Because we feel good. Because we want to express ourselves. Because a little voice told us to do them.

 

We can do things… just because. And I encourage you to go on and live your life and do just that. And do it proudly.

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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.

 

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?

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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