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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 Very Simple Secret to Doing What You Love

Posted on November 19th, 2016

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Today I'm going to tell you the secret to doing what you love. And it's going to be brief.
 
This week in particular I've received dozens of emails that all go something like this: "My name is Jessica, and I'm a recent graduate of the University of Virginia. I studied marketing, but my greatest passion is for the arts, especially telling the stories of those in the physically or mentally disabled communities. I want to be able to pursue my dreams, but I'm not sure how to start or how I can make a living doing this. Can you help me?"
 
My response to all of these emails comes down to something like this: there are just two things you need to do. You need to be able to sustain yourself economically and you need to do what you love. These two things can, and usually must (especially at first), happen independently of one another.
 
When I realized I loved writing, I simply started writing more. Friends that love film-making have simply started making films. Other people I know that love painting, so they spent their weekends painting. As a writer, I had a "normal" job for 4 years before I was really able to make enough money as a freelance writer and coach to travel and live without a fixed salary. I still alternate between periods of working for a company and working for myself. 
 
My friends that love films and painting all produce marvelous works, while still working in a variety of "day jobs." Others choose to live on a very minimal wage just to be able to do 100% what they love and nothing else — I know several professional musicians and dancers that do this and are very, very happy and the economic trade-off makes sense to them. And still others I know make very good money doing what they love, but they aren't necessarily the lucky ones. Many times they have to do projects in their field or art that they'd rather not do, but the money makes it hard to say no. 
 
The secret to doing what you love is simply doing it, regardless of whether it becomes your career. If you don't do what you feel called to do, you'll suffer by trying to sweep it under the rug or chalk it up to impracticalities. And best of all, the only way to eventually make money from doing what you love is to do it, and watch it evolve over time, with sufficient dedication and investment, become something someone will find worth paying for. 
 
I've had engineers passionate about music come to me and say they want to transition into a career at a record label, but they don't even have a portfolio. Not a single song they've produced, not a single artist they've helped manage, not even a single gig they've done in their hometown. If you don't have experience doing what you're passionate about, paid or otherwise, how can you expect to transition this passion into the workplace or into a self-run business?
 
Whatever stage of life you're in — fresh graduate, young professional, mid-career — you need to do what you love and you need to make a living. To do this, you need to have a skill in your back pocket that appeases the economy and pays your bills, and you need to nurture an active dedication to your calling that appeases your heart and brings your gifts into the world. The kind of lifestyle you design to achieve these two things is up to 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.

 

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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

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Follow me on twitter

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