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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Here we go again: ITB Berlin with bloggers, book presentations & big travel projects for 2016

Since about 10 years, I find myself regularly attending the world largest travel trade show ITB in Berlin. But one thing has really caught me by surprise this year: “Even at the beginning of the fair, I hardly have any more time slots for travels available this year …!” Since our early beginnings at the start of this decade, the travel blogging world has clearly become a lot more professional: Starting with book projects back at ITB 2014, moderating a panel discussion for the World Tourism Organization at ITB 2015, and now book presentations, EU-projects & more international travel projects in 2016. Taking from what my equally successful colleagues such as Janett Schindler, Gudrun Krinzinger, Gerhard Liebenberger, Christine Neder or Yvonne Zagermann have to say, it’s clear I’m not the only one. Almost all of us, who have invested years and years into building our network, carefully selecting who to work with as well as where to go & how to cooperate, are now faced with the same “challenge”, albeit not new:

 

Good people are simply in demand.

“Elena, nice to meet you, how are you?! Actually, I am looking for someone regarding a social media & blog campaign …” Robert Kropf, of the Austrian digital publishing house Insiderei, starts talking to me after a “chance” meeting at the ITB media centre. I haven’t seen Robert in two years, but him and I both remember our first networking meeting and all of our successful developments ever since. And this is how it goes … “Send us an offer, will you … Let me see what we can do. … Do you still have any time available this summer, actually?!”

And this is me “just wanting” to spend “two hours in Canada” on the first day of the fair, because that’s where I’m actually headed this year: 10 weeks in Canada. Completely creative, on an individually designed & supported journey.

Alle Jahre wieder: Auf zur ITB Berlin, der größten Reisemesse der Welt mit über 180 Ländern und mehr als 120.000 Fachbesuchern während der ersten drei Tage …!

Here we go again, ITB Berlin: More than 180 countries and more than 120.000 trade visitors during the first three days of the fair …!

 

Canada, my love: Hier tüftle ich gemeinsam mit Barbara Ackermann und ihrem "Team" an kanandischen Ausstellern an meinen Reisemöglichkeiten für den "Indian Summer" 2016.

Canada, my love: Here, my colleague Barbara Ackermann and I are forging plans for my travel period during this year’s “Indian Summer” in Canada.

 

Dazu gehört ebenso, von selbiger zum Kanada-Abend in der kanadischen Botschaft eingeladen worden zu sein ...

This includes a happy party invitation to the Canadian Embassy later that day …

 

… sowie für ein großartiges Foto mit "meinen Niagara-Girls" zu posen, welche mich dann mal spontan zu einem Helikopter-Rundflug über die Niagara Falls eingeladen haben … Aufregend !!

… as well as posing for a photograph with “my Niagara girls”: So good to meet you and I do look forward to my Niagara helicopter ride later this year. Whoa – Amazing !!

 

But what would be the largest travel trade show in the world without its most famous sentence: “Good to see you again!” Especially among bloggers …

… things get naturally creative anyway: Learning how to do your own “blogger’s chocolate” at the fair, for instance. Tasting cherry beer. Celebrating birthdays, successes, meetings in general. Tweeting & posting about it immediately. More than ever, taking care to negotiate with partners on a respectful, eye-to-eye level. My dear book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, is a great help in this sense, supporting my career as a published author for all negotiations on end. I just love to pass on individual copies to trusted bloggers, colleagues and networking partners around ITB Berlin.

Meine lieben KollegInnen und Kollegen zu treffen macht Spaß und bringt uns alle weiter: Hier mit Petar & Monika Fuchs (TravelWorldOnline), Melanie & Jürgen Schlotze (LifeTravellerz) sowie Janett Schindler (Teilzeitreisender).

Meeting my dear colleagues for some fresh ideas: From left to right with Petar & Monika Fuchs (TravelWorldOnline), Melanie & Jürgen Schlotze (LifeTravellerz) as well as Janett Schindler (Teilzeitreisender).

 

Prost auf die Blogger-Freundschaft seit nunmehr vier Jahren, liebe Janett !!!

Cheers to having met and become friends some good four years ago now, dear Janett …

 

… sowie das endlich geglückte Wiedersehen samt Buchübergabe, liebe Anja!

… as well as our final meet-up again, dear Anja!

 

Selbstgemacht schmeckt's am besten: Schoko-Workshop am Stand von VisitFlandern - Kreativ Reisen mitten auf der ITB Berlin!

“I do and I remember”: Chocolate workshop at the booth of VisitFlanders at ITB Berlin!

 

Großartig auch, die guten Mädls aus England, Sarah Lee & Becki Enright (v.l.n.r.) wieder zu sehen, welche ich zuletzt in Österreich wiedergetroffen habe.

Lovely to meet my English girls, Sarah Lee & Becki Enright (from left to right), who I last bumped into #inAustria.

 

Happy Birthday, Kash! Noch jemand, der international stets Beachtung und Anerkennung findet: Kashyap Bhattacharya von BudgetTraveller.com

Happy Birthday, Kash! Another one who always receives some well-earned attention in the international blogosphere: Kashyap Bhattacharya, of BudgetTraveller.com together with Melvin Böcher (right), founding member of iambassador.net.

 

Danke für so viele Momente der Freude, lieber Dylan, lieber Terry (v.l.n.r.)!

Thank you for all those moments of joy, dear Dylan, dear Terry (from left to right)!

 

Auf der Messe selbst muss dann auch Platz für dieses Gruppenfoto sein: "Nur Österreicher, bitte" - Unser Reiseblogger-Dream-Team aus der Heimat!

Check out my Austrian dream team from back home: Austrian travel blogger meet-up at ITB Berlin!

 

Eine besondere Freude ist es mir auch, meinen lieben KollegInnen Nicole & Pacelli aus Brasilien mit ihrem Blog "Agenda Berlim" geholfen zu haben, das nächste brasilianische Bloggertreffen in der Stadt Berlin zu organisieren. Mehr über meine Rede im Rahmen des letztjährigen könnt Ihr hier nachlesen.!

It’s also a total pleasure having met Nicole & Pacelli (“Agenda Berlim”) from Brazil and assisting them in getting the third annual Brazilian blogger meet-up going in the city of Berlin later this year. Read more about my speech in the second such meeting here!

 

On another level, “cultural tourism in Europe” is clearly progressing, too. We have come to introduce our new EU project EUROPETOUR, Creative Tourism Austria as well as this year’s cultural tourism study analysis.

Did you know that an average day spent at ITB Berlin adds up to a good 10 kilometres on foot? No wonder I’ve changed from my ballerinas to the much more comfortable jogging shoes by the end of Day 3. Tickling toes pay off though, especially in the light of truly successful events: Some 20 media representatives have gathered for our press lunch at ITB’s restaurant Brandenburg, including a presentation of the “Deutsche Reiseanalyse” (German travel research), the European Union project “EuropeTour about cultural tourism in rural areas as well as Creative Tourism Austria, celebrating five years of existence this year.

Dieses Jahr erhält der Kulturtourismus eine eigene großflächige, sogenannte "Culture Lounge" ...

This year, cultural tourism is represented at this rather inviting “Culture Lounge” area …

 

… in der unter anderem von unseren EuropeTour-Projektpartnern Lara Buschmann und ihrem Klosterland-Netzwerk ...

… where our EuropeTour project partners Lara Buschmann and her Klosterland network …

 

… die Ergebnisse der diesjährigen Kulturtourismus-Studie vorgestellt werden.

… introduce the results of this year’s cultural tourism study.

 

Wir schließen mit der Präsentation von EuropeTour.tips an ...

We conclude with our presentation of EuropeTour.tips …

 

… sowie dem Pressegespräch von Kreativ Reisen Österreich an.

… as well as our presentation of Creative Tourism Austria and our close-knit, European collaboration.

 

More & more, it is all about sharpening your own profile. I am paying tribute to this trend with my recent blog relaunch as well as the continuous presentation of my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”.

After my first book presentation as part of the London World Travel Market last year, speaking at the Second Congress of the Brazilian bloggers in the city of Porto, my first reading & round the world trip presentation in Krems and many more presentations ever since, the ITB Berlin means another opportunity for introducing my “Creative Traveler’s Handbook”. Right now, I have even been asked to submit a contribution for an Indian Journal on creative tourism, with this year entirely following in this trend. It has once more been a great pleasure to receive support from my national partner, the Austrian National Tourist Board in Berlin for hosting this book presentation at ITB Berlin.

Thank you all for coming !!! 😀

Von der Übergabe an meine Freundin Eva von Wien Tourismus ...

Handing over my book to my talented friend Eva, working at the Vienna Tourism Board …

 

… bis zur Delegation aus Nepal & Bhutan ...

… all the way to meeting this delegation from Bhutan & Nepal …

 

… meinem Team ...

… to my team …

 

… der Welttourismusorganisation ...

… of the World Tourism Organization, here with Montse Navarro (left) and Marina Diotallevi from the department “Social, Cultural & Ethical Dimensions of Tourism” …

 

… und schließlich zur Buch-Präsentation in der Halle der Österreich-Werbung, war es ein schöner Weg während der ITB 2016.

… to the book reading event at ITB 2016, it has once more been a lovely presentation journey.

 

Danke Euch allen ...

Thanks to all of you …

 

… für so viel tatkräftige Unterstützung und Interesse! Hier, am Stand von Puracomm & Centro de Portugal ...

… for so much interest and support, especially by the team at Puracomm & Centro de Portugal …

 

… habe ich Glückskind dann noch einmal gewonnen: Und zwar eine waschechte Reise nach Portugal !!!

… where I’ve even managed to win myself a trip to Portugal !!! Whew – complete with four nights in a splendid Serra da Estrela hotel, rental car & flight support for travelling there. Thank you so much, dear Nelson Carvalheiro, for making it all possible after meeting for the first time at last year’s World Food Tourism Summit in Lisbon.

 

Bis bald auch in Kanada, ihr Lieben ...

See you soon in Canada, too …

 

… schön war's im Rahmen der Buchpräsentation auf der ITB Berlin!

… lovely for all of you to join us in Berlin!

 

So all that’s left is to share one or two more words about Berlin. Where to sleep in style. And which food market clearly is a hot tip for your next visit to the city …!

Every time my dear friend Monika and I talk about where we stay this time round, the look on people’s faces goes from astonishment to concern: “Well yes, we are staying at the Cube Berlin Mitte … Those are some kind of container lodges, centrally heated and right in the middle of Berlin, close to the S-Bahn ‘Nordbahnhof’. The bathrooms, too, are in separate, centrally heated and ultra-modern ‘Cubes’, really nothing to complain about … special indeed, I have to say. In summer, it must be awesome to stay in style right next to the large beach volleyball ground attached ..!”

Nicole & Pacelli, my expat friends from Brazil living in Berlin now for some six years, also take it on to show me “their Berlin”. We start with a stroll around Berlin Moabit and our visit to the Arminiusmarkthalle, a district and its food market I have NEVER even heard of before but now cannot recommend highly enough. Close to Berlin Mitte and our Cube Lodges, be sure to visit both them and Moabit district when in Berlin!

Von den Cube Lodges Berlin Mitte ...

From Cube Lodges Berlin Mitte …

 

… über den genüsslichen Stadtspaziergang Berlin Moabit mit Nicole & Pacelli, den beiden Expats aus Brasilien ...

… to a lovely walk in Berlin Moabit with my dear expat friends Nicole & Pacelli from Brazil …

 

… ist es schön, hier im "Foodie" Heaven ...

… it’s nice to finally end up at “Foodie” Heaven …

 

… der Arminius-Markthalle in Berlin Moabit anzukommen.

… “Arminius” market hall in Berlin Moabit.

 

Darauf trinken wir: Prost, meine Lieben ...

Cheers to that, my dear friends …

 

… auf dass uns das Leben nicht trennt, sondern eint: Blick auf den ehemaligen Verlauf der Berliner Mauer am Potsdamer Platz.

… and to being and celebrating lift together, rather than separated: Commemorating the not-too distant past at the former segregation line of the Berlin Wall, at Potsdamer Platz.

 

Check out my Flickr photo album for even more impressions about ITB Berlin 2016:

<a href="https://flic.kr/s/aHskvJ9ozy" target="_blank">Click to View</a>

Disclaimer: We have been invited by Cube Lodges Berlin Mitte during our stay in Berlin. All opinions are my own.

Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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