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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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The Top Books I’d Recommend to Anyone Looking to Change Their Life and Career

Posted on September 21st, 2016

love-books

 

I try to read a book a week and I'm often guily of reading more than one at a time. It's safe to say I'm a huge book worm, always have been and always will be. I never understand why people play video games, watch TV or movies, sing karaoke, go to bars, or do just about anything else. I'm always thinking, "But there's so many books to read!"

 

Since I often get messages asking what my favorite books are or what I'd recommend for someone in the middle of a life crisis or career transition, I finally decided to do a post dedicated to my absolute must-read books that truly bestow the power of self-transformation on their readers.

 

Hint: Read all of these immediately, slowly, and with a pen in your hand. Take notes, review what you read, and practice what these gurus preach! These have ALL changed my life SIGNIFICANTLY.

 

In order of preference…

 

1. The Work We Were Born to Do by Nick Williams

 

The Work We Were Born To Do by [Williams, Nick]

 

For some reason, it's not very well known, but it's the closest thing to the Bible for self-development gurus that I've come across. Nick has inspired a lot of my work, and if you read my blog pretty frequently, you'll notice some of the same themes in our writing, coincidental and otherwise (I frequently attribute ideas to this book).

 

Hands down, it's the best synthesis of psychology, spirituality, career development, and motivational self-development I've ever read. It took me months to get through because I was scribbling down notes, quotes, and ideas he inspired so frequently that it took weeks to finish a single chapter. Loaded with value and inspiration.

 

2. Mindset by Carol Dweck

 

 

The cover looks horribly cheesy or just plain boring, but Carol is smart, charming, and delivers value from the VERY FIRST chapter. She shares the psychological theory she's devoted her career to (widely acclaimed as one of the country's top researchers in social psychology) and gets inside your head with hundreds of anecdotes and real-life stories that allow you to put what she teaches into practice in your own life.

 

If nothing else, read the first chapter so you understand the theory. It really does have the power to change everything you see and do.

 

3. The Road Less Traveled by Scott M. Peck

 

The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by [Peck, M. Scott]

 

Scott Peck takes you through his own life and counseling practice with dozens of anecdotes to get his readers re-thinking everything they think they know about LOVE. This book, now dog-eared, highlighted, and scribbled all over, helped me start seeing problems as gifts, and I view it as an intellectual and spiritual staple to be referenced time and again. 

 

4. Intimacy by Osho

 

Intimacy: Trusting Oneself and the Other (Osho Insights for a New Way of Living) by [Osho]

 

What looks like a book about love and relationships is more a book about individual spiritual evolution, so maybe he should have reworked the title a bit. I'll give you a couple quotes that should paint a better picture:

 

"Hell is within you — and so is paradise. They are not geographical spaces, they are your spirtual spaces."

 

"Life is a search — a constant search, a desperate search… there is a deep urge to seek, but one knows not what one is seeking… Frustration seems to be the destiny of humanity because whatsoever you get becomes meaningless the very moment you have it. You start searching again… The poor are searching, the rich are searching, the ill are searching, the well are searching, the powerful are searching… and nobody knows exactly what for… It seems there is a gap… in the human mind. In the very structure of the human consciousness there seems to be a hole, a back hole… The search does not allow you to be here and now because the search always leads you somewhere else. The search is a projection… an idea that somewhere else is what is needed…"

 

"Unless you have sought the seeker, all your search is meaningless."

 

"Life is a beautiful mystery to be lived — not a problem to be solved."

 

5. Courage by Osho

 

Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously (Osho Insights for a New Way of Living) by [Osho]

 

Another masterpiece filled with Osho's characteristic simplicity and wisdom. I think I highlighted half the book, so I'll spare you my quotes. It's a book about why humans are fearful, and how to overcome everything from the fear of love, loss, and rejection to our ultimate mortal fear of death.

 

6. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

 

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by [Tolle, Eckhart]

 

I read this before my 10-day silent meditation experience in India and thought it was an excellent intellectual primer for what I was able to physically experience on a very deep level through Vipassana.

 

I highly recommend reading this slowly, taking notes, and having a strong meditation practice to accompany it, for fear of rendering it highbrow spiritual hogwash without a real mechanism for practical application. Buddhism Plain and Simple is actually a really good pre-requisite.

 

7. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnege

 

 

I leave this one for last because it's so commonly recommended, but for good reason. To be honest, I hadn't actually read it until earlier this year, and my first thought was "better late than never." I love the timeless anecdotes that keep it practical and ready to be implemented in your day-to-day life.

 

There you have it, my two cents on the best books out there to help you develop your mind, heart, spirit, and career.

 

Readers, I'd love to hear your recommendations! Shoot me an email at elaina@lifebefore30.com and tell me about the books that have changed YOUR 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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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.

 

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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

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Follow me on twitter

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