About Elaina

Hi, I’m Elaina and I like to travel a bit differently than most people.

Over the past 10 years, 6 continents, 60 countries, and countless adventures. I’ve fallen in love with a certain breed of travel: slow, unusual, and purposeful. The kind of travel that doesn’t look to anyone else for guidance or permission. The kind that takes us deep into places we never even imagined.

To me, travel isn’t about going halfway around the world to take a photo of something we’ve always known is there, but about putting down the camera and holding the hand of someone we could have never dreamed existed.

I treat travel the way I treat life — like an epic journey. Travel is about going to the farthest ends of the Earth to acknowledge each other, to teach and to learn, and to feel deeply uncertain and uncomfortable. It’s about realizing that our wildest dreams are already alive out there — and honoring the human instinct to explore them.

My breed of travel is less about hostels, backpacks, and guidebooks and more about couchsurfing, hitchhiking, and motorbiking. I like to travel slowly, deeply, and boldly. I like to set challenges for myself: to traverse an entire region only by local bus, to spend only $200 for an entire month, or to attempt a week-long Himalayan trek alone.

I like living in places for extended periods of time, especially places that are a little off the beaten path. I’ve spent at least three months living or working in countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Mexico, and Qatar.

Some of my favorite travel memories are living with a host family in a village in Guatemala for two months, lying under the stars next to the chief of the Hamer tribe in Ethiopia, road-tripping along the coast of Guyana, and dog-sledding on a frozen river in Mongolia in the middle of winter.

I love long road trips and getting lost. I love making local friends, sleeping in hammocks, and telling jokes in new languages. And I love the pain of leaving pieces of my heart scattered everywhere I go.

I like that I don’t know or don’t remember the names of some of my favorite places. I like that I may never find them again. I like that it means I can’t tell you exactly where to go or how to follow in my footsteps. And I don’t want to do that either.

What I do want is to inspire you to create your own adventure, take a purposeful journey into the world, and discover all the different ways travel can move you.

If you want to know more about my back story, visit www.lifebefore30.com, the career and lifestyle blog I’ve been running for the past 5 years that helps people travel, find purposeful work, and change their lives for the better.

–> That’s me in my “normal life”! I love coffee (almost) as much as I love travel.