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Health

  • January 19, 2019 Mediocrity Agreements   How many connections or relationships do you have in your life that are keeping you locked in the status quo?    How many people do you just “hang out” with, who also work the same kinds of jobs and live the same kind of life you live and don’t challenge your perspective, don’t inspire you to be more or do more in the world?   How many people are you spending time with who you know would actually be threatened if you started upping your game, started doing what you always dreamed about doing, started moving forward at a much faster pace?   You’d leave them behind, that’s for sure. And they wouldn’t want that.   It’s not to say these people have bad intentions for you — not at all! It’s just that they are not the kind ... READ MORE
  • July 26, 2018 10 Tips To Keep Yourself Healthy While TravelingGuest post by Warby Parker     The awesome part about traveling is having the ability to detach yourself from your usual environment, enjoy a new culture, and make memories with friends and family.   Traveling also has its downsides. It’s easy to forget about your overall health while on planes, buses, boats, and staying in hotels. Not to mention, public places are breeding grounds for all sorts of bacteria that could definitely ruin your trip.    Here are some tips and tricks to help keep your body and mind in check during your travels.   Keep your hands to yourself. Try to not touch too many surfaces while traveling. Bathrooms, door handles, and tables are homes for all kinds of bacteria. Wash your hands and make sure to keep your hands away from your eyes, mouth, and nose. ... READ MORE
  • April 10, 2018 Be a Conscious Technology Advocate: What to Say to Friends Who Are Always on Their Phones   The other night I was sitting in a circle with two friends who were really being fully present with one another. We spoke in turns, sharing softly and really listening. Then another friend suddenly came over, totally in a different vibe, shared a long, loud story and then proceeded to drop down into his phone, typing a message and hopping in and out of the rest of the conversation, not fully with us and not fully with his texting companion either.    It was a scene I’ve been a part of a thousand times — and it was so frustrating and insensitive for those of us who were willing to give our full attention to him and yet not receive that same courtesy back.   I’m sure you all have that one friend (or ... READ MORE
  • March 20, 2018 Want to Listen to Music That's Actually Good for Your Soul?I’ll never forget walking onto a side stage at the Oregon Eclipse festival last year, where I had been invited to cover the rise of “transformational music festivals,” and hearing the artist on stage beating a djembe and singing about saving the planet’s water.    Water?    Every other stage was playing house, techno, or bass music — but here was someone with real instruments, a killer voice, and a message about coming back to the Earth.    She went on to sing about finding our voices, about facing our fear, about becoming politically active, and about friendship, and community. I wish I remembered who she was, but what stood out to me was where she was from: Hawaii.   And that became yet another sign that led me to spend two months living on the Big Island, ... READ MORE
  • January 27, 2018 Interested in Astrology? My Recommendation for an Amazing Natal Chart ReadingAs someone who’s approaching her Saturn return (this intense period of maturation and building or re-building that takes place in every human’s life between the ages of 28 and 29), I wanted to reach out and learn more about what’s happening.   The first time I had an astrological reading done, it was in southern India at a well-regarded ashram by a recommended astrologer and it was SPOT ON. I went in as a skeptic, curious to see if any of it would resonate with me, and I was blown away.   Then, over the course of the past few months and a lot of work on myself, I’ve had a few instances of being deeply and spontaneously connected to the cosmos. One night in December, I had a very small trigger pulled by ... READ MORE
  • January 10, 2018 A Yogi Perspective on How to Invite Love into Your Life in the New YearThree months ago, it dawned on me that I had a very conflicted relationship…with my femininity. I struggled with how to be strong without just impersonating the masculine nature, I struggled with feeling uncomfortable when men expressed a physical attraction to me, and I struggled with how to be and feel beautiful without that defining me society.   I also struggled, like many of us, with an underlying sense of loneliness in my life that I assumed only a partner could fill. I thought I was “ready” and “open to love” — but the reality was that, in that state, I would have created just another dysfunctional, co-dependent relationship.   Fast forward to the start of 2018 — and, for the first time in eight years, I’m genuinely happy being single. The underlying sense ... READ MORE
  • October 1, 2017 7 Rules to Simplify Your Dating Life   I’ve been single for 8 years now, so this may very well be one of those “take my advice because I don’t need it” situations. Take it for what it’s worth, but being a single nomad for as long as I have has allowed me to stand (quite happily) at the sidelines as the relationships of most of my friends regularly go down in flames.    My objective point of view and deep fascination with the human animal has always allowed me to see what the once-happy couple couldn’t see and identify the root causes of such painful heartbreaks.    That — and I’ve also been casually dating on every continent on the planet for the better part of a decade. You name a kind of man and I’ve probably dated one: Australians, Kenyans, ... READ MORE
  • April 4, 2017 Two Years Later: Why Changing My Relationship to Alcohol is the Best Thing I Ever Did for Myself The last time I got drunk was in May 2015, when I was (ironically enough) living in Qatar. It’s a big thing for Doha expats to do boozy brunches on the weekend and that was officially the last time I went out with the intention to get intoxicated.      It’s been two years now, and I’d never go back to how I lived and partied before.    At the time, I didn’t expect to give up drinking permanently. Ramadan was approaching and that was simply the last boozy brunch we’d be able to do for awhile as the country moved into a religious period of fasting, sobriety, and reflection. Coincidentally, I also lost all of my friends in Qatar — they quit their jobs, got fired, moved to a different country, you name it ... READ MORE
  • February 12, 2017 You Don't Always Have to Quit: Ways to Actually Be Happier at Work   Some blogs talk mostly about quitting your job to travel the world. Some talk about becoming a digital nomad or full-time entrepreneur. And others talk about helping you find your dream job.   Mine talks about how to do all of these, because there are many ways to build a lifestyle that works for you.    I’m a digital nomad, small-time entrepreneur, and freelance writer, but I’m also an international project manager who has worked for several major companies over the past 5 years. I lead parallel careers, sometimes working the 9 to 5 grind, sometimes spending extended time on the road paying my own way. I’ve come up with a formula that works for me, using my corporate experiences to provide some stability for a very amorphous set of passions.    Most recently, I’m coming ... READ MORE
  • October 21, 2016 The Kind of Friends I Need (Poem)I don’t need a long list of friends, Especially not ones in the traditional sense. I only want the open, laughing, enchanted ones, Those who live most richly in present tense. READ MORE
  • September 16, 2016 A Short Story That Might Just Change How You Communicate With Everyone   I want to share a short little story that has a big message.    I just got back from Burning Man, and one of my biggest takeaways was about radical self-expression. I think Burning Man might have been talking about how to dress at the event, but I came away understanding it as how I should express myself not with clothes, but with words: clearly, concisely, openly, honestly, and directly.    By keeping this in mind as I explored the whole wild world of Black Rock City, I cultivated many new friendships, deepened my existing ones, and even connected more profoundly with random people during the briefiest interactions.    It was in the midst of cultivating this mindset and putting it into practice that I…met a guy. Because we met in such a special place with our radically purposeful ... READ MORE
  • August 18, 2016 So You're Happy, Now What? Is Happiness the End Goal?What I assumed was the end goal is definitely not the end goal. For anyone with the privilege to choose, the capacity to care, and the consciousness of a pervasive unity throughout the human race, we are called to more than a life that protects the right to feel good most of the time. READ MORE
  • June 22, 2016 3 Steps to Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness Only recently did I realize I’m exhibiting signs of borderline insanity.   I’m facing a very fulfilling present moment, a career and life situation that has miraculously worked itself out to support my ideal lifestyle. I’m traveling the world, doing work I love, maintaining my friendships over the distance, and becoming closer with my family. I’m actually happy.    Or rather, I could be happy if I allowed myself to be.   I’m not completely happy because I’m constantly worrying about being this happy in the future. I’m thinking along the lines of, “Oh man, I’ve kind of got it made right now. I should enjoy this, but I’m also terrified that it’s all going to fall apart and I won’t ever have a chance to be this happy ever again.”   So instead of just enjoying where ... READ MORE
  • June 9, 2016 On Pursuing Happiness: What to Do When What You Want is Always Out of Reach Human beings are born in “seeking mode.” Our deep and constant drive to search (for what, we don't seem to know) is one of the defining characteristics of our existence. No matter what we do, what we have, or where we go, we want to do something else, have something else, and go somewhere else.     We're like the cat who meows no matter what side of the door he's on.    Indian thinker Osho calls this the “black hole,” a persistent gap in human consciousness that renders everything we want meaningless the minute we have it, and perpetuates the restless, fervent search.   No person is exempt from this pursuit. The rich, poor, young, old, educated, uneducated, religious, nonreligious all go on seeking.    We take jobs, relationships, money, power, education, sex, and prestige and hurl ... READ MORE
  • April 6, 2016 How I Cope with My NegativityI pouted, pleaded, whined, and argued, but nothing was getting me into the meditation chamber. The middle-aged Indian man with a formidable mustache and topaz eyes, the guardian of Auroville’s famous Matrimandir and my current adversary, was not budging. “You can come back on Tuesday morning between 10 and 11am and book an appointment. Now please step aside.” Tears burned in my eyes and my cheeks flushed as I realized a line of other yogis, hippies, and those truly holier than me had overheard the petty conflict over the literal location of where my concentration on becoming a better person was supposed to take place. I was in the wrong. To access one of India’s most unique and, in my opinion, powerful places of meditation, there were some basic rules to follow. But I ... READ MORE
  • March 16, 2016 7 Golden Rules for Managing Technology and Taking Your Life BackMy relationship to technology is a tumultuous one. On one hand, I run an online business and praise both the independence and connectivity it provides, while on the other hand, it often strikes me as nothing less than an assault on my ability to think, feel, plan, and be human.   I recently spent almost two weeks in rural India on a silent meditation retreat, which was a forced technology detox. For me, it demonstrated how wonderful life can be without a phone, Internet, and the senseless barrage of information and communication that comes with being constantly attached to a parallel digital universe.   During those two weeks, my attention span, focus, and self-awareness SKYROCKETED, partly due to deep meditation, but also because I wasn’t tethered to everything and everyone who wasn’t actually in ... READ MORE
  • February 21, 2016 Running Log of My Thoughts During a 10-day Silent Meditation Retreat in IndiaI’m still not sure what inspired me to enroll in one of the most intense meditation courses in India last month, but I’m sure glad I did. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, an insane roller coaster of struggle and growth, anger and happiness, agitation and tranquility — emotions racing from one spectrum to another minute after minute, hour after hour, for 120 hours of silent meditation. Here’s a very personal, light-hearted look at what I experienced. READ MORE
  • February 21, 2016 What I Learned from 10 Days of Silent Meditation in IndiaI experienced everything from fits of rage to epiphanies about my purpose in life. I had sessions where I thought I would literally go insane from the hurricane-like force of my own thoughts, and sessions where I understood the beauty of life in such a profound way that I broke down in tears. Read on to discover my top lessons learned (so you don’t have to spend a week and a half on a cushion in silence in India if you don’t want to!). READ MORE
  • December 18, 2015 135 Ways to Break Your Rut, Get Inspired, and Reignite Every Part of Your LifeRoutine and monotony are common features of modern existence. Most urbanites with steady jobs wake up at the same time every day, drink the same coffee, socialize with the same people in the same handful of places, eat mostly the same food, sit at the same desk at work, and live in the same neighborhood they’ve lived in for several years. READ MORE
  • November 10, 2015 Are You Perpetually Productive?It’s a disease I caught back in high school, or maybe even middle school, as I jockeyed for first place in every thing I did. Sure, that ruthless hard work paid off, but isn’t there supposed to be time to enjoy it? Aren’t we called human beings, not human doings? Where is the time to just be? Is it socially acceptable to even mull over the possibility of having an idle moment? READ MORE
  • October 16, 2015 Keep Calm and Practice These 12 Tiny Transformations for Your Life and HappinessHave you also realized that we often spend all day thinking about what we’ll do when we get home and then when we get home we spend all evening thinking about the next day? The scary thing is, if we spend our lives this way, we never truly live. If we keep projecting ourselves into future scenarios that will never transpire in the same way we envision, we lose out on the only real opportunity to get closer to the life we dream about: the right now. READ MORE
  • August 25, 2015 How to Enroll in a Health Insurance Plan When You’re Self-Employed and/or Turning 26I turn 26 in a couple weeks and as someone who is a freelancer and losing eligibility to be covered under my parents insurance, I had to purchase my own health insurance and use the marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act to enroll. Initially, it was a huge headache, which you’d know if you have even looked at your state’s health marketplace, but now that I’ve come out on the other side, it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought when I first started. READ MORE
  • August 4, 2015 5 Easy and Scientifically-Proven Ways to Improve Your SleepImplementing just these five simple life changes can drastically enhance how much you sleep, how well you sleep, and how great you feel as a whole. READ MORE
  • July 6, 2015 I Went 60 Days Without Alcohol and This Is What I LearnedIn May 2015, I gave up alcohol for 2 months while living in Qatar, the longest I had ever gone since introducing alcohol into my regular diet and lifestyle as a college student. The experiment taught me a lot about the role of alcohol in business and society, as well as its long-term effects. Most encouragingly, I learned that there’s scientific proof that giving it up even for a short period of time can reverse the damage, which I clearly noticed in myself after going 60 days dry. Here’s how and why I did it. READ MORE
  • June 25, 2015 How and Why I Gave Up Coffee (Cold Turkey)One of the best things I’ve ever done for my total health and well-being involved giving up something most of the world is also addicted to: coffee. Read about how I did it, how long it took, what I found out about the harmful affects of caffeine, and how it led to a positive domino effect on my whole diet. Here’s a hint: I got rid of my brain fog, I’m more articulate, my memory has gotten better, I’m naturally well-rested, and have a calm energy throughout the day that I could never have achieved by relying on coffee. READ MORE
  • June 20, 2015 8 Things That Should Be on Your Schedule But Probably Aren'tBeyond the scope of work, I think even things related to personal development need to clocked in and accounted for. Essentially, you need to be scheduling time for making yourself a better person. This comes back to honoring the concept of mindfulness, which essentially means having your mind and body in the same place at the same time. Harder than it sounds, isn’t it? READ MORE
  • June 1, 2015 The Power of Alone Time: My Experience Crafting My Own 4-Week Retreat and Why I Think You Should Do the SameThe insights I gained during this reflection period will follow me for the rest of my life, all thanks to the fact that I decided to press the pause button, slap a big “work in progress” sign on my forehead, and exercise my freedom to “un-busy” myself while I picked up the pieces of who I had become over the past 25 years and formed a new, better, stronger arrangement. READ MORE

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. These are the best years of your life and you deserve to be FREE! 

 

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 lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for 5.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York in 2013. You can read my full story here. I’m now living my dream, settled in Bali, Indonesia, fully independent and working happily on projects that support my deepest passion! 

 

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 now make my living helping others break out of ordinary living and get clear on their mission in life. I get paid to help people MANIFEST THEIR DREAMS like I did — how cool is that?  

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’ve always done things a bit differently and I think there are SO many feasible ways for people to live “off the beaten path”. I hope my blog lets you see what’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. Drop me a line at elaina@lifebefore30.com or apply to work with me directly! 

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I’m sure there’s a reason you landed here. Maybe we’re meant to work together and your whole life is about to flip upside down… That tends to happen with my clients as they transform from the inside out.

 

I work with extraordinary, brave, and self-inquiring souls who are ready to do the inner work required to launch them into the next huge chapter of their life. I work with people who are willing and ready to wake up and become more alive and aligned than ever before! 

 

Does any of this sound like you?

  • Successful on paper but not fulfilled inside
  • Feeling like you’re working so hard but not getting anywhere
  • Knowing you’re destined to do

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