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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 I Overhauled My Life and Career in 30 Days

Posted on April 10th, 2013

If you had told me on March 10, 2013 that in the next 4 weeks I would fly myself to Spain for a job interview, accept an offer to join a tiny European company (in an industry I didn’t even know existed), willingly consent to move to a new country every 3 months as part of the position, and quit my job as a management consultant in New York City, I probably would have demanded you drag me to the nearest shrink to make sure I hadn’t totally gone off the deep-end yet.

 

But alas, this is the truth, and I am delighted to announce my escape from doing something I wasn’t really happy doing, but just too scared or confused about how to make things better – a situation not uncommon for today’s 20-somethings who find themselves caught between high ambitions and the murky waters of reality.

 

Fortunately, my experience has proven to me what people are capable of when we simply resolve to make things happen and throw all caution to the wind in fierce pursuit of our goals.

 

Here’s the full run-down on what I have done in the past 30 days in case we need to catch-up a little bit…

  • Resolved to change my life by getting a new job overseas
  • Secured job interviews in support of that desired change
  • Flew myself to Europe for a shot at a dream position
  • Underwent three full days of tough interviews
  • Got offered the job
  • Accepted it on the spot
  • Negotiated my new job’s start date
  • Officially quit my job in New York, turned down counter-offers, and defended my decisions to onlookers
  • Bought plane tickets to Taiwan and Japan to live it up for a month 
  • Pinched myself about 500 times to make sure this was all really happening

As I plow through so much change in such a short period of time, it’s pretty much a miracle that I haven’t had a crippling nervous breakdown by now. Instead, I’m finding myself energized by the changes I have been able to make in an effort to take life by the balls and stop complaining about being in a position that I didn’t like.

 

Here are a few reflections on what I have learned and experienced in the past several weeks that have helped me achieve these results. Hopefully this will inspire you to create powerful change in your own life, as well!

 

First things first, it is vital to know exactly how you want to change your life and have a clear vision of what your ideal situation would look like. Once you identify what change you want (a new apartment, a better relationship, a different job), you can then develop your plan of attack. For example, I knew that I wanted to leave consulting, work in a new industry, and live overseas, so I was able to focus on finding international jobs in smaller, non-corporate environments, which minimized the time I spent searching and allowed me to execute my goal faster.

 

I would personally recommend only trying to change one major aspect of your life at a time. Trying to lose 15 pounds, get a new boyfriend, and job hunt all at the same time will leave you exhausted – and probably fat, lonely, and unemployed, too.

 

Second, give yourself a firm deadline. If you tell yourself, “I am moving to Los Angeles on June 1, 2013,” that goal becomes a lot more tangible than “I’d really like to live in LA in the future.” Then TELL EVERYONE (within reason), “I’m doing X by Y date!” You might have a countdown going on Facebook or choose to write about it on your blog. It doesn’t matter, as long as you don’t keep your new vision of change and your deadline a secret. Public accountability increases the likelihood of follow-through!

 

The next step is to implement your plan with unapologetic tunnel vision. You are motivated to change your life, you have a deadline, and your friends and family are cheering you on – now it is time to execute with an inexhaustible gusto! For weeks before, and certainly during, the 3-day interview process for my new job in Spain, I did not eat, sleep, or remotely even consider doing anything else except preparing for the selection process. In the end, my tunnel vision paid off, and I left Barcelona with the coveted job offer in hand. The key was putting blinders on to anything that did not support achieving my goal and doing it at 110mph. 

 

Once changes are taking place, it is important to not second guess yourself. I’ll be honest – when I realized that taking this new, exciting job meant having to actually call my boss to QUIT my current job (and sign lots of serious documents, cancel my benefits, give back my cell phone, laptop, corporate card), I got some serious cold feet. “Am I making the right decision?” “Isn’t this all happening a little too fast?” “What if…?” But I was able to reassure myself with the strength of my original vision and proceed with confidence in my decision-making abilities.

 

I also learned that nerves are totally normal and don’t mean you are doing anything wrong; they just indicate your body’s awareness that unfamiliar, but exciting things are happening. As you adapt to your new circumstances, those red-hot nerves will fizzle out.

 

The last, perhaps most important thing I’ve learned in the past month of making head-spinning, whirlwind life changes, is to just take it one day at a time. If I had thought about all the mind-numbing logistics and other fear-inducing things I would have to tackle along the way (like literally selling everything I own except one suitcase full of clothes), I may have never even had the courage to start down this path in the first place. And then I would still be sitting behind my desk in New York, wondering what life would be like if I just left it all behind for awhile. So I allow myself to handle about 3 tasks per day related to the change I’m making (today: negotiate Verizon contract termination, cancel corporate card, and secure a new subletter for my apartment), and spend the rest of the time trying to enjoy the present moment.

 

This has been my formula for success (and sanity) over the past several weeks, and I believe you can radically change your life in this time frame, as well. Finding a new job, losing weight, reviving a friendship, getting a boyfriend, learning a new skill, breaking a bad habit, moving to a new city, you name it – it can be done in 30 days if you have the vision, a deadline, confidence, and the determination to execute.

 

 

Liked this article? Please share on your favorite social networks below! Or write to me at elaina@lifebefore30.com and tell me about how you plan to overhaul your life.

 

 

 

Planning on making a big life change? Visit my Office Hours page and schedule a 30-minute session with me to get your plans in motion!

 

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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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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

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Elaina on Instagram