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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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This Will Help You Save More Money Than Anything Else

Posted on May 29th, 2017

“Why should we all use our creative power…? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold, and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money.” — Brenda Ueland

 

save

Money is an inconvenient but necessary evil we all have to deal with. We’re too far down the rabbit hole to pretend it’s less important than it really is.

 

In my own life, I’ve been able to change jobs, leave jobs, travel to 55 countries, and build my own small business mostly because I’m an expert at managing my money — and I’m always motivated to help more people become financially savvy. Because if you can stay out of debt, become a minimalist, and save religiously, you can purchase your ticket to freedom.

 

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” Life seems complicated because we make it complicated; life gets easier once we let it be easy. Money is a huge complicating factor so we just have to simplify our relationship to it.

 

I’ve previously shared my tactical approaches to saving money and promoting financial health, which all essentially boil down to living well below your means, spending strategically, and leading a values-driven life. That means you don’t spend $500 on shoes because you’ve learned not to generate your self-esteem from wearing Jimmy Choo. Instead, you might spend $500 on a new guitar because playing in your band is as an important focal point of personal relationships, passion, and creativity for you. (The good stuff.)

 

And there’s that word. It only recently dawned on me that my philosophy for rejecting consumerism in order to uplift ourselves as values-minded individuals in a money-minded society hinged on a crucial but unsuspecting element: creativity.

 

I believe it is only by learning to fully unleash our creativity that we discover our higher purpose as humans. And it is only by discovering our higher purpose that we’re able to tune out the malevolent voices that command us to exchange our time for money and our money for shoes.

 

Because we are bigger than shoes. We were born to create. We were born to think and question and express ourselves and change things.

 

I think the real reason the starving artist stereotype exists is because a person who has come alive to his creative purpose is willing to go through anything to achieve it. (And when I say “artist”, by the way, I don’t just mean musicians and painters. I also mean teachers, performers, entrepreneurs, authors, diplomats, and activists. Anyone who does the thing they’re meant to do in the world is an artist.)

 

You don’t see a musician on the cusp of getting a record deal or a woman working night and day to start a charter school running out to buy the new iPhone. These artists are too focused on investing every dime they have back into the work they’re called to do. They’re happy to live in a smaller apartment and wear last season’s jeans because they’ve found it.

 

They’ve found the thing that makes them tick, the thing that gives them the real version of what iPhone buyers hope to feel for just a few fleeting seconds when they take their new device out of the box. They’ve found what commercials, corporations, and society at large told us we’d feel when we bought this product or got that promotion or moved to this neighborhood or achieved that bank balance.

 

Because we didn’t find it there and we never will. It’s the artists who have found the source. And when you have the source, you don’t get caught up in the distractions, the things that claim to be what you already have. You suddenly require and desire much less from the world because you’re paradigm has shifted from take and consume to give and create.

 

Flip this critical switch in your life and you’ll be free forever. You’ll look at money for what it is: a tool that allows you to feed and bathe and house yourself so you can continue on doing what you’re really here to do.

 

You won’t have time to go shopping because you’ll be too busy organizing the march or finishing your first draft or finalizing your elevator pitch. You won’t be tricked into buying a new car or thinking you could win people’s admiration by hosting them in your new penthouse. You’ll recognize those things as the dead-end shortcuts to true fulfillment. People will respect you for the sparkle in your eyes, the conviction in your voice, and the contribution you’re working on making in the world. You’ll be motivated by the energy you receive from this awakened purpose of your life, not by benchmarking yourself against numbers on a bank statement.

 

If you’re reading all this and know you still need to discover that artist within you, resist the urge to buy anything you don’t need. If you feel lost, don’t buy an expensive sweater, squirrel that money away. You’re better off saving it until you’re able to reorient your life around an authentic inner purpose.


If you’re simply not there yet, spend more time dabbling in any creative interest you have, volunteer your talents in the community, read widely, self-educate, and actively listen for the little whisper of guiding instinct. And while you’re waiting, don’t chase a certain way of life because of the riches it promises. If it’s not what you’re meant to do with your unique creative spirit, you’ll wind up being very poor anyway.

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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?

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?

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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