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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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My Amazonian Wake-Up Call

Posted on December 24th, 2012

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A week ago today I was sleeping in a hammock strung between two Brazilian nut trees, content after a big meal of fresh fish we caught in the river and smoked over our fire in the jungle.

 

The simplicity of Amazonian life was an easy highlight of my trip in Brazil. I spent five days at the end of my month of travels fishing, bird-watching, trekking, alligator hunting, camping in the jungle, and star-gazing with a local family about four hours northwest of Manaus.

 

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We took the boat out at dawn when the animals were most active, ate leisurely lunches, napped through the rainforest storms, set up camp in the jungle in the afternoons, and spent our evenings hunting and cooking dinner. And talking. And being present with nature and one another.

 

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Then it came time to go home. The trip was over and my job in the States was awaiting. In a matter of twelve hours, I was transported from one jungle to another – from the Amazon to New York City. In another twelve, I was sitting in the office, staring at my computer and coming to terms with this vastly different human reality.

 

And it felt like I had just been hurtled through the surface of a frozen winter lake, the icy water piercing every pore of my skin, choking the air out of my lungs.

 

I had gone from a place where the people still live fairly similarly to how we all lived thousands of years ago in the jungle – primarily concerned with finding food, shelter, and water for our friends and family – to a place where people are intensely preoccupied with things so far from human necessity.

 

In this urban jungle, people talk very seriously about things like “becoming a globally integrated enterprise” and “making visual dashboards of the client’s key performance indicators.”

 

People ask for reports about a market comprised of the “shares” of companies (and then their biggest concern is which font to use to send it to the client, who will never read the report anyway).

 

Guys and girls use “apps” to find romance, eat food processed beyond recognition of the natural ingredients, wear drab clothing with suffocating collars, and run fast to catch underground trains where they all sit and ignore each other because they are too busy staring at small, glowing screens.

 

How did we evolve into this? How are we so far removed from what we need as human beings? Do we need a globally integrated enterprise or visual dashboards or a stock market?

 

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Drop one of our ancestors into today’s unrecognizable world and we would see that although we have not changed much as human beings, our ways of life have undergone a drastic revolution. Where is our connection to the natural environment that once sustained us, which we now destroy to create this artificial world?

 

Make no mistake, I am a law-abiding citizen of today’s modern jungle, and I am not advocating that we return to our primitive days of hunting and gathering. I am simply grateful for the realization that some aspects of my life are fundamentally disconnected from what is important on the greater scale of human existence.

 

If I can survive sleeping in a hammock, fishing for my dinner, and wearing the same clothes day after day, then I certainly don’t need a fancy job, a nice apartment, an extensive wardrobe, or my blasted iPhone.

 

We all make the choice to need or not need these things. And I am now making the choice to begin to gradually eliminate obstacles I identify to living a simpler, happier life.

 

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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

 

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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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