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?
“What kind of (unusual) ability did you ever wish for on any of your trips? Which country would you choose to live? What language would you still like to learn?” Aaaah. I really love this kind of questions, as they serve to stimulate my creative travel spirit. But “blog boomerangs”? To be quite honest with you, I haven’t at first fully understood the concept either: You receive a “virtual boomerang” from a dear friend or colleague of yours and are supposed to answer his or her questions about your life and thoughts as an online travel writer.The “boomerang” then gets thrown at the next couple of writers, and so on, gathering interesting insights along the way. For the benefit of you, dear readers – and just because we travel writers love to share with you our most exciting travel destinations, craziest ways to travel and funniest travel experiences. After that, each one of you is to nominate 10 further travel writers you want answers from: Ask them whatever you always wanted to know!
Who I have nominated for my questions is what you will read at the end of this article. First of all, let us focus on what questions dear Stefanie has had in stall for me! Stefanie writers for an Italian travel diary called “Azzuro Diary“. In her latest post, she has “thrown the blog boomerang” at me and interviewed “Creativelena” about the following:
Good question! My favourite travel destination at age 18: London. For an entire nine months, I followed on the footsteps of this fascinating culture, shopping & world city, polished up my English, made some first international friends, found my way round the big city, learned how to dance “X’Press Yourself” R’n’B – and postponed big life decisions: After all, how would you know what you want to do / study / work at only 18 years old? No way! Let’s go abroad for a start, is what I was thinking. 😀 And still my advice for every young person to this day!
New Zealand. I LOVE Aotearoa, the “land of the long white cloud” in the Southern Pacific Ocean and will probably have a life-long love affair with it. It was in New Zealand that I decided I would one day write a book. The topic? Travelling, of course. 😉 Altogether, I stayed there for a full 18 months living, working, travelling and writing: My very first blog, “Kiwi-Elli” dates from this time, and even later, on my second round the world trip I continue to write about New Zealand on the Tripwolf travel blog. New Zealand just means so much to me, it is difficult to put it in words. Let us talk pictures, therefore!
Health issues and knowing how to pack are certainly important issues when travelling, especially thinking big, long-term round the world trips. My travel preparations do vary over time, though: Leaving for New Zealand in 2008, I was still studying travel guides such as the Rough Guide to New Zealand, whereas today I like to be led by local inspiration and creative networks, such as the Global Greeters in Buenos Aires. For South America, I would not recommend vaccinations unless you absolutely want to go to the jungle: My yellow-fever vaccination exploring Peru or the Iguazú Falls was definitely not worth the side effects I had at the time.
What I do recommend you check out though are travel fairs such as World Travel Market in London or the Travel Market ReiseSalon in Vienna: Personal meetings with local operators or other like-minded people are definitely a help. And of course, I use the Internet for travel planning, be it apps, blogs, social media or other. As an online travel writer, I do look for the kind of secret tips or unusual travel destinations my colleagues recommend. Mongolia might be well known, however Yvonne’ personal travel reports, videos and comments about her adventures do make you want to go there even more (thank you, Yvonne from JustTravelous!). 😉
I might be wrong, but speaking from my current point of view the big cities of China are where I really do not want to go. Especially since I recently saw an image of Beijing being covered in smog – totally crazy, like ground fog here but only made up of pollution. Add to this the fact that cultural heritage just gets torn down (old houses in Shanghai), human rights violated and individual opinions sabotaged, it all becomes even less attractive for me. At the same time, I feel a certain fascination and curiosity following my life principle “Do not judge before you know!”. So in a way, I do like to know: How is China for real? How are the people there? What are their concerns? I think the only way to know is to go there and find out for myself one day. We shall see!
Sustainability in tourism is definitely important to me. I do mind socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial travel offers, given that local people get to benefit from the activity. Sustainability in travel is also about my very own contribution during the exchange with the local culture: How am I able, thanks to my network, knowledge and skills, to contribute to a successful travel moment & experience exchange for both the locals and myself as a traveller? How do local people think about tourism in the bigger picture of things? What happens with the environment? If local governments or operators do not care, I become less enticed to care and travel there, too. Quality has to prevail – for the benefit of future generations and all of us.
Another good question, really! Give me a moment to think. While searching my memory, I again find myself back in New Zealand, where I spent almost one and a half years in 2008 / 2009. On my very first travels across New Zealand’s South Island, I often wished for my friends and family to be there with me, and be it only for the moment: “Beam them over, Scottie!”. The view of a magic landscape, a tasty dish, a warm word of the locals as part of an extraordinary meeting did make me think about the following phrase: Happiness is only truly lived when shared. Is it?
Yes, there is: I always try to learn from the local people and bring something new & creative back home: Be it the preparation of typical Argentinian empanadas, crafting my own traditional jewellery in New Zealand or experiencing the Mate ritual in the South American Andes. Ever since having lived in and supported “Creative Tourism New Zealand” in New Zealand, this is my way to go: I owe countless magical moments around the globe to this trend of creative travelling. They are not mentioned in the typical travel guides, are entirely unique and hence all the more special: The best creative travel moments arise from a perfect meeting of (open-minded) travellers and locals. Magical, really.
That is a good question. When I went trekking in Peru, I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO use the following kind of transport after two strenuous days walking up and down mountainsides and having to walk back up on the third day (starting at 05.00 a.m. without breakfast and in complete darkness … seriously, what was I thinking?):
Well, I already lived In New Zealand, country I continue to mention over and over around here, so I guess it does not count. The same goes for countries such as England, Spain or France, having lived in London, Paris and Madrid during my student times. So what about … South Africa, country where my travel friend Toni has made a living since almost ten years now? Australia would be an interesting candidate, too: People are very chilled out there and it is not far from New Zealand. 😉
And how about South America? After all, countries such as Argentina, Chile or Peru continue to fascinate me to this present day. I think I would go for … hm. Could I go for the joker of not having to take my decision as a poor libra star sign suffering from indecisiveness? 😀
The top question for an multilingual brain child such as myself !!! My mum has this way of going on about me still having to learn Italian in addition to English, French & Spanish. Somehow, I always think about it – but no Italian man, job offer or else has yet led me further south. And without living in the country, feeling an interest for its culture and history or without any desire to live or work there, I would not want to learn the language: Half-hearted efforts are not my style, I get much too passionate about little details too soon. Sounds funny, but that is exactly how I feel. Maybe, it is Maori then which I picked up and trained a few years back. Of course, this again takes us back to – New Zealand. 😉
Last but not least, it is going with the flow. This is exactly what I prefer in travelling, although I am aware that this might not always be possible, safe or advisable. I do admit that in all those travel years, I have always referred back to being safe by knowing the local lingo. It gave me confidence over everything else too: “It is going to be fine”, and well it did. Everything really. Long live travelling, learning, love & laughter! Especially about oneself and in a perfect embrace with the local people on this Planet Earth.
……. Well. The travel bug has almost carried me away now. Here I am, still having to introduce you to further travel writers who are to catch my “blog’s boomerang” with 11 more questions about travelling! Shame on me. Since “Creativelena” is an international, bilingual travel blog, I will draw upon the knowledge of my international blogging colleagues worldwide. What I want to know from you is:
And the blog boomerang goes to … these talented ten travel writers whose answers to my questions I look forward to:
Are you, too, interested in joining in the fun? I look forward to your feedback here: Leave me a message using the comment form or send me the link to your blog article! Do not forget to tell your friends either: After all, the blog boomerang is meant to keep moving and inspire all of us to travel even further.
I look forward to reading all about your adventures and tips! 😀