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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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On Change and Giving Things Up: Saying Yes vs. Saying No

Posted on August 14th, 2015

I’ve made a lot of lifestyle changes in the past four months: I completely overhauled my diet (no sugar, no processed foods, 80% less meat), gave up coffee, eliminated alcohol, stopped drinking soda, the list goes on. Now that I’m back in New York for a bit, everyone living a fast-paced American lifestyle can’t imagine how (or why) I say ‘no’ to so many things we automatically say ‘yes’ to in our society.

 

I’ve actively decided not to preach that everyone should follow the changes I’ve made for myself. Instead, I want to advocate for everyone simply realizing that they have the power to — and should — experiment, and then use that direct self-knowledge to make informed decisions about what they choose to consume and how they live their lives.

 

Beyond this, I really want to emphasize that these kind of choices aren’t hard to make. Everyone is aghast when I order something non-alcoholic on the menu at happy hour or suggest a juice date instead of coffee. Many people question the rationality behind it. Some want to talk me out of it (and bring me down with them). What I have to explain is: Number one, these are personal choices and I’m not imposing them on you. Number two, I’m not actually saying ‘no’ to all of these little things; I’m saying ‘yes’ to something so much bigger.

 

This is where the good stuff comes in. I’m saying yes to long-term health. I’m saying yes to glowing skin and organic energy levels. I’m saying yes to waking up feeling refreshed. I’m saying yes to being my best self. I’m saying yes to being fully present in the moment. I’m saying yes to bigger life values that have crystallized for me during the past few years. And once you and I are driven by these kind of life-directing values, beliefs, and goals, saying ‘no’ to what distracts and inhibits those big things becomes an effortless gut reaction.

 

The same goes for spending and saving money, for example. Once you have something that gives your life meaning and direction, your financial behavior will naturally align to that big goal or value. You will know in your core consciousness that spending an extra $100 on clothes or booze won’t bring you closer to what really matters, so you let those mindless extras go. Your entire life has found a new center of orbit and, just as gravity keeps life on Earth in order, your values become the force that orients every aspect of your life. The opposite can also be true: without living for something more important, all the unimportant things effortlessly slide into those cracks.

 

Another example. Whenever people choose to make a big change in their lives, they usually feel overwhelmed, are subject to self-doubt, and feel questioned in some way by family and friends. The same principle applies: you’re making a change (or should be making a change) not because you’re running away from X, but because you’re so motivated to reach Y. When I left my previous job, many people think it was because I hated it and was escaping the corporate drudgery (and maybe I haven’t done a good job at explaining myself). That was a small part of it. Actually, I liked my old company and I had wonderful colleagues and a promising path ahead. I wasn’t saying ‘no’ to that when I left as much as I was saying ‘yes’ to something so much more exciting, something so much closer to my values. Think about when you leave a relationship. You aren’t (or shouldn’t be) saying ‘no’ to that one person, you’re saying ‘yes’ to your faith in finding a better partner for each of you.

 

This, my friends, is how I like to frame decision-making and moving forward with important life changes, whether they be career, health, or relationship oriented. Always focus on what you’re accelerating toward, not what you’re leaving behind. This positive alignment of your life based on a conscious determination of your priorities and values will fill you with the excitement and inspiration to naturally forge the correct path ahead — for you.

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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?

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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