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?
Everyone has them. Everyone knows them. Everyone loves them. And this time, I am asking you: What is YOUR life dream?
Today, I will tell you mine. Where it came from, where it will lead me and … my thoughts and feelings connected to it. Pretty much all at once. And yet worth reading. For those who have the courage to follow their destiny, to make things happen and to inspire other people in the process are the true, wise heroes of our times – at least in my point of view. My anticipation about this big project at hand joins up with the inner peace that lets me know, for example, that the bank account is only a means to an end. That the individual experience in life always outweighs the many possessions we might have. That rather than materialistic wealth, we should base ourselves on the many positive connections we make with other human beings, for this is the only true capital we will ever be able to achieve by sharing & multiplying it at the same time. And so, here I am.
Three years ago, I have already been on a round the world trip. For almost ten years, I have dedicated a big part of my professional & private life to “my” area of expertise, “Creative Travel”. Forever, I have dreamed about writing a book. And now …
… the time has come. Because the best moment to do anything is always now! And who would know this better than you, dear Ursula, full of life force, inspiration and passion for travelling, for blogging and for the Burgenland, who unfortunately had to leave us all too soon? It is really important what we decide, say or do, each day. And so, I tell you now: World Travel Life Dream it is! 😀
New Zealand, the love of my life in terms of travel destinations. It is here that I lived for one and a half years, assisting with the international development of Creative Tourism New Zealand, as well as travelling the entire country in the most spectacular and breathtaking way. This time, too, I will visit the “Land Of The Long White Cloud”, Aotearoa New Zealand! Oh, happiness.!
The stages of my trip are as amazing as they are impressive; each one of them on its own right. In the selection and research, I was guided by the major destinations of the International Creative Tourism Network to devote myself to the central task of my reporting as a travel blogger and aspiring book author: What is “Creative Tourism“? Where in the world can you experience this form of interactive culture travel? How is creative travel organized, distributed and marketed? What are the key messages in travelling ” the creative way”? Who is creative travel for? What advice can I give as a travel expert with many years of experience in international tourism management and as a long-term creative traveller myself?
My book on Creative Travel, which is due to appear in 2015, aims to provide answers to these very practical, hands-on questions addressing the international travel community. I am particularly pleased that the topic has already been quoted several times by such well-known international authors as Janett Schindler (“Teilzeitreisender”), Janice Waugh (Solo Traveler) or Sarah & Terry Lee (Live ShareTravel):
#CreativElenaRTW: From 3 November, 2014 to 9 February, 2015, follow me as I travel in five different continents, climate zones and many more cultures around the world.
If I count the individual destinations of my creative round the world trip, I still cannot quite believe it. This much however is certain: Embarking on this journey will once again change me in a most exciting way. Time & context. The people I meet, the connections we make, the insights we will all gain for the benefit of the wider community. True to myself, I plan to travel “the culinary-creative way“. To me as a cosmopolitan, open-minded Earth citizen, this means showing respect, and curiosity for the culture of the people I meet in every place, to actively approach them, to learn from them and to increase everyone’s knowledge and understanding in the process. I am lucky enough to be in touch with professional stakeholders in each one of the destinations I am travelling to, who have already shown support in the preparation of my trip. So here it is, then!
- 3-6 November, 2014: London World Travel Market & Eating London Food Tour. My love for this enjoyable and incredibly delicious way to experience cities such as Bangkok or Porto has already found its way on the blog here: “Food Tours Worldwide – A Moveable Feast“! Now, I am looking forward to continuing the series of such discoveries in cities like London, New York or Miami. Because yes, that is where I will be going soon! But let us start right from the beginning – each destination at a time.
- 6-13 November, 2014: Reykjavik & Creative Iceland. Here, I am eager to get to know both the country of Iceland as well as the possibilities for creative journeys. Iceland, a life (travel) dream! So exciting !!!
- 14–18 November, 2014: New York City & Urban Oyster Food Tour. Maybe even a Big Apple Greeter Tour after I had such a great time on a Greeter Tour in Buenos Aires? In any case, I am glad to see the overwhelming, dazzling and impressive metropolis of New York City (again): Last time, at 14 years old together with my family, I still remember looking up the Twin Towers …
- 18–30 November, 2014: Santa Fe New Mexico, host of the first International Creative Tourism Conference in 2008 and ever since successfully known as “Santa Fe Creative Tourism“. I am already looking forward to experience the professional marketing of the city as one of the first creative travel destinations in the US, excited about what to do and who it is I am going to meet there.
- 1–3 December, 2014: (Stopover in) Miami !!! And an experience of – Miami Food Tours. (Thank you for your recommendations, dear Monika Fuchs of TravelWorldOnline & Taste Porto Food Tours). And maybe just a couple of days relaxing, spending the pre-Christmas season by the beach and then … oh. Life!
- 4–14 December 2014: Porto Alegre, Brazil & Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo. In 2013, this destination in the south of Brazil launched the country’s first Creative Travel Network and wrote their own manifesto about it! Amazing. Again, I am already in contact with the local authorities and now just have my hopes up for understanding the Brazilian Portuguese …? ;)
- 14–24 December, 2014: City, Island & Pacific Ocean hopping from Buenos Aires via Santiago de Chile on to EASTER ISLAND and then to New Zealand … a pre-Christmas experience of a kind, I would say. In the city of Buenos Aires, I will visit my dear friends & travel writers Aldana & Dino together with their son Tahiel, who blog at “Magia En El Camino” and who also happen to work on their first travel book! Beautiful, and certainly inspiring to all of us! I have met Aldana & Dino on our fascinating journey to Mendoza Wine Festival in March 2013 – as the travel life goes …! And then Easter Island … my dear, I am so curious about this island and its mysterious culture, the massive Moai statues far away from any mainland, 3000 kilometres off the Chilean coast. Across the Pacific Ocean, I will then move on to …
- 24 December 2014 – 14 January, 2015: NEW ZEALAND. Yessssss !!! No trip around the world would be complete without me visiting New Zealand. That is how truly, madly and deeply I am in love with this country. It is also the place where it all began, so to speak: Back in 2003, the world’s first creative travel network Creative Tourism New Zealand was launched there by charming expat couple Denise & Crispin Raymond. Less than five years later, I was already there and took over the inspiration and idea together with my father back in Austria, launching our own network of Creative Tourism Austria. At this stage, my time in New Zealand will see me (re)visiting the current providers of creative travel in New Zealand, meet some old friends and make new ones, as well as embarking on a four to five day hike along the Heaphy Track as one of the Great Walks of New Zealand. Nature pilgrimages such as this one are only to be found in New Zealand – simply breathtaking. And tere on the other side of the world, this adjective never goes out of fashion!
14–20 January, 2015: Philippines. During ITB Berlin in March 2014, I remember having had a wonderful conversation with a lady named Eleanor, who told me all about her enthusiasm for creative journeys in the Philippines. It was not long until she had convinced me to put her destination on my list of travel destinations moving around the world. I am already so excited as to what will await me there. (World Youth Day & the Pope visiting on those dates have me choose another time to travel to the Philippines: Japan, I am coming!)
- 14-20 January, 2015: Japan. I am sooo curious for Japan: Thanks to a wonderful conversation with creative travel visionary Rebecca Wurzburger in Santa Fe, New Mexico, who has connections to the development of Kyoto & Kanazawa as a creative travel destination, I have now decided to change my travel plans accordingly. Yes! I have never even been to Japan. And yet, I ultimately trust in travelling there in exactly the way I prefer – meeting the locals over creative, interactive culinary adventure experiences. Wonderful. Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa: Brace, brace. I am coming !!!
- January 20 – February 1, 2015: Nepal. NEPAL !!! Wow, I am so much looking forward to my visit of this country with its mystical aura, its fascinating highlands, its culture and its people in all their facets and stories. Do you have any tips for me? Bring them on! Nepal, here I come. :D
- 1–9 February, 2015: Sharjah. “Where / What is that ?!” Almost without exception, these have so far been the responses to my announcement of travelling to Sharjah as part of my creative round the world trip. Let me explain: Sharjah is one of the seven United Arab Emirates and actually does provide travellers with interactive cultural experiences – or so is my current understanding from the conversations we have had at ITB Berlin as well as further, subsequent discussions ever since. Again, I am very, very excited about what will, for example, expect me during the “Sharjah Light Festival” taking place from 5-9 February, 2015. Definitely, this will be a brilliant conclusion of a journey that I shall never, ever forget.
So. Now you know about it all.
#CreativElenaRTW – “CreativElena Round The World“: This is the international hashtag / keyword I will be using for linking all posts here on my travel blog and through Social Media to keep you updated on my creative travels & experiences around the world. Enough material to fill many possible travel books, I guess. And if at some stage I fail to be inspired of anything more, I will just let the travel riches of the past ten years float by and allow myself to become inspired by my own, inherent passion for creative journeys wherever I go. :D
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