travel-money1

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.

As Seen On

What I’m Asking for This Thanksgiving

Posted on November 28th, 2013

I am terribly worried that I am not thankful enough.

 

Actually, I am painfully aware that I take most things in my life for granted and succeed in fooling myself into believing otherwise.

 

This morning I rolled out of my warm bed in Ulaanbaatar, running off to meet one of the most important men in Mongolia. For a 24-year old, I pretty much have my dream job, traveling to different countries and interviewing their CEOs, Presidents, and Prime Ministers.

 

I put on a suit and look pretty damn good. Youth and health are on my side. I know someday I will struggle to remember when my eyes were wrinkle-free, hair free of coarse gray strands, a mouth full of straight, pearly-white teeth.

 

The night before, I had dinner with friends from Russia, Australia, Mongolia, Spain, England, and Austria, all curled up together around Chinese hot pot tables, passing big trays of meat and vegetables back and forth, laughing until we cried, making plans for dog-sledding on the weekend, and reminiscing about camping in the Gobi desert last month.

 

I have parents who love and support me from 6,000 miles away, and a little kitten I adopted here who loves me, too. My bank account is not looking too shabby these days, and I feel professionally, personally, and financially free.

 

But all of this washes over me in the blink of an eye, unnoticed as I hurry out the door at 9am, preoccupied by a million unimportant details of the day to come. Another day living the dream.

 

…Right?

 

As I hurtle down the stairs, I nearly fall over a homeless man sleeping in my stairwell. It is negative 30 degrees Celsius outside, and his skin is worn like brown leather from the cold. His tired eyes peek through the wool blanket, blinking up at me as he rouses out of his frozen slumber. A half-empty cup of tea sits beside him, a reminder that someone thought to bring him something warm and sweet today.

 

I catch my breath and continue on my way, still stuffing papers into my briefcase as I stumble down the stairs, into the car, and down the icy roads of Ulaanbaatar, late to see the man who may sign a $50,000 advertising contract with my magazine.

 

Life is strange.

 

On the way to work, I receive an email from my mother in New York. Yesterday was my dad’s birthday, a blip on my radar, and a day that came and went without a phone call from their daughter half-way around the world. She is crushed, and I am a failure of a child.

 

A child running around, pretending to be an adult, but whose lack of meaningful responsibility becomes evident when she lets down the ones who matter most.

 

A dull pain washes over me.

 

On paper, I classify myself as someone who is grateful for what she has been given, but the devil is in the details. I am not sure my small, daily actions mirror the image of someone who is humble and appreciative of her life.

 

What I’m asking this Thanksgiving is: What do I share with the world? What are the tangible, positive outputs of my humanity each day? Who is grateful for me today? Who says “thank you” to me on a daily basis, and why?

 

I worry someday I will wake up with the same feeling I get when my alarm rings every morning and I open my bleary eyes for the first time, the sensation of my peaceful wonderland slipping away, the morning sunshine piercing through my dream clouds. It’s the feeling of losing something inherently wonderful that I can’t return to, something only tangible in that alternate universe of the night.

 

One day my youth, health, freedom, optimism, and all the other dozens of immaterial gifts I have received from the universe will vanish. I will be nostalgic for what I never truly embraced and cherished while I had it.

 

I don’t want that.

 

So I am acknowledging my ungratefulness, my forgetfulness, my thoughtlessness, and I am waging war on these symptoms.

 

I WILL be someone worth thanking.

 

 

image

 

 

 

What are you thinking about this Thanksgiving? How do you cope with taking things for granted in your life? Share in the comments section below!

 

 

Did you find this article helpful? Please share with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

Suggested Posts

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.

As Seen On

As Seen On

As Seen On

Sign Me Up

Sign Me Up
I'm planning something big! Stay in touch and be the first to know what I'm up to.

Sign me up

Location

Current Location

Map

Current Location

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

As Seen On

As Seen On

Sign Me Up

Sign Me Up
I'm planning something big! Stay in touch and be the first to know what I'm up to.

Sign Me Up

Current Location

Current Location

Map

Browse Articles

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