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?
Table of Contents
New Year is here, and I have heard many people among you say, “Thank God the old one is finished. Let’s move on from 2016 … What a year.” Well, what a year indeed! As you know, I tend to focus on the good rather than the bad. On what propels us forward, rather than on what instills and perpetuates fear. On what causes us peaceful moments of well-tended reflection. On what offers us those smiles. “What I feel grateful for in 2016“, is the name of that article I wrote, and I encourage you to read it with a smile also.
Many people chase happiness, but it is like the old tale of the butterfly and the garden: Don’t go chasing butterflies. Look after the garden so they come to you … What I mean is that, essentially, you should focus on feeling happy along the entire journey (of life), and less be thinking of happiness as “the ultimate goal” to achieve. More than ever, I feel it matters what we say and do to each other, how we make each other feel. Nobody should ever leave our sphere of influence without feeling better than before. That’s when the happiness of pursuit has the power to spread like a warm wave throughout our entire being, and really make us a better person in that process.
1. Learning more languages.
Definitely. Being able to communicate in several different languages has the power to shift your reality. By understanding others in the most literal way possible, I am able to enlarge my sense of awareness, relate to situations of everyday life across continents and borders, and feed my own happiness by a powerful sense of achievement: Wow, that’s so interesting! She understands me. Now I get what he says … What an interesting way to look at things. Ha. And so on, and so forth …
The language I intend to master in 2017 (my seventh), is Italian. Yes! “Finally”, my mum would exclaim happily, shifting gears from first English, then French, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and now Italian. All Roman languages, essentially. But still. I will be travelling to the Amalfi Coast, the city of Salerno in Southern Italy for two weeks in April, and shall grant you a short window into Italy already: Thank you, dear Caspar Diederik, for this rather excellent travel video about your Italian food love affair!
2. Travelling to a country I last saw with the eyes of a young girl.
I am excited about going back to Greece in 2017. It has been more than 20 years since I was last there. This year, it is thanks to an EU project that I am travelling back as an international expert for cultural tourism & Social Media communication. The aim is to strengthen, and further develop, religious cultural tourism in Greece. An honour as well as a challenge for me to be on board this prestigious project. Let’s get this party started !!
3. Speaking about, and sharing, the quintessence of your achievements.
I feel extremely honoured to give a one-hour speech at the Finnish travel fair “Matkamessut”, talking about how to move “From Niche to Business” in the international blogosphere of creative travel. Together with my treasured peers as part of the #NBEFinland Nordic Bloggers Experience, it will be a unique opportunity to learn from, and share the insights of, my almost ten years of business with trusted supporters from across the globe.
Later on in the same month, I will be giving another speech back home in Austria, this time about my personal journey on the Portuguese Way of Saint James. Read on if you want to learn more here.
4. Spending more time with the family.
Again: Definitely. Especially if you move around as much as I do. Ever since I have returned from Canada, I have spent virtually all my (free) time meeting the people I care about the most. I have exactly the same resolution for 2017. And swiftly organised a ski trip in Zell am See as a Christmas present for my mum, with my brother and my dad joining us as well. The four of us have always travelled together, and it will make this trip extra special for all of us.
In addition, I will have to travel and see the young family of one my dearest friends in France, Anne-Laure: My beautiful French lady will be a mum soon, and together, we shall share the happiness of a new life by the Atlantic Sea …!
5. Teaching. Sharing. Encouraging. Inspiring.
Exactly what I love doing the most. To be empowering people, by virtue of being a direct role model, teacher, moderator, or else, instilling a (renewed) sense of self-belief and self-confidence in them. After my first round of talks in early 2017, I have been asked to teach an entire term’s worth of “Cultural & Urban Tourism” at the Austrian University of Applied Sciences FH Joanneum in Styria, to an international team of Austrian, German, Slovenian & Hungarian students. This includes hosting a two-days excursion, teaching them the “theory of cultural tourism”, and coaching them for their seminar papers. I can hardly wait to share my international case studies from all over the world with them !!! It will be one kind of a particularly rewarding experience, on all levels.
In addition to teaching cultural tourism, I will also continue to teach Tourism English for members of the Lower Austrian train companies, essentially heading back to Lower Austria’s most beautiful mountain regions in Mitterbach am Erlaufsee, as well as Puchberg am Schneeberg. Once again, it is all about fostering the courage to speak and express yourself in a foreign language, and I shall do my best in order to help my team achieve their goals.
6. Moving slightly out of your comfort zone.
As a pilgrim, I shall deliver my first Social Media seminar in Spanish in June 2017. “EUROPETOUR”, the European cultural heritage project I am responsible for as their international communication expert, will see me travel to the northern regions of Spain, in Cantabria, for the purpose of our annual project meeting. The mountain village Potes is an ancient pilgrimage site, and I shall take it on myself to walk there from down the coast, covering the “Camino Lebaniégo” off the main Camino in a distance of three to four days. Then delivering the Social Media seminar with fresh insights and well-balanced expertise. In Spanish. Claro!
7. Moving waaay out of your comfort zone.
Canada calling … Again. If you have followed me in 2016, you will know about my love for this country as well as its people. I simply feel I have to go back in 2017, what with the “Maritime Provinces” due East, Québec city, as well as parts of Central & Northern Canada left to discover. Oh, and into the Rocky Mountains again for sure. They have really and truly captured my heart ..!
And you? What are your resolutions for 2017?