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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?

Asking Around Austria: 10 Answers from 10 Influencers. Today: Christina Leutner & CitySeaCountry

Dear Christina! Today, we would like to know more about your work as a “digital influencer“. How important are community & networking for you, and where will the way still lead you both personally as well as in business?

We are curious to know more! Thank you for taking part and answering my interview. Here we go 🙂

 

How do you personally explain your “digital influencer” status through www.cityseacountry.com ? What is necessary to succeed, according to your belief?

I don’t really like the term “digital influencer”, as I don’t see myself as “influencing” other people (it reminds me of nerve-racking TV ads). My readers are between 24 and 45 years old. I believe that what they are looking for, is content that inspires & informs them, which is exactly what I see myself doing. Personally, I want to share experiences, destinations, and products I feel I can identify with, experiences that will make me, and others, want to travel to a particular place.

In order to be(come) a successful travel blogger, content creator, and entrepreneur, you need a lot of patience & perseverance. Most are tempted to give up, and I believe that being successful, is having found your very own niche and doing what you love. You must trust that eventually, hard work will pay off.

What is more, I found networking to be key. Cooperation instead of competition. Networking, and working with others, has always opened up new opportunities, and new projects, for me.

 

What has been your most successful project through “CitySeaCountry”? How do you measure and evaluate that success?

My most exciting project so far has been working together with Canon. 20 years ago, my father started taking pictures on a Canon camera, and I have been one of the brand’s early adopters, all the way to being a sports photographer at the World Cup ski race in Garmisch. Ever since, I take all my photographs with Canon, which has now resulted in a cooperation project with them for the summer as one of only two bloggers all over Austria. Personally, I attribute this success to being authentic, and real when writing about my experiences.

 

Why do you (still) attend travel trade shows, networking events, conferences, etc.? What are some of the most important criteria here?

I hardly ever attend travel trade shows and conferences, since I’m a natural introvert. Much rather, I like to meet other bloggers and clients in person, rather than being overwhelmed in the multitude of a big crowd. Probably one of the top reasons why I still haven’t made it to the travel trade show ITB in Berlin ..

Statt Reisemesse, beim "Mini-Bloggertreffen" mit CreativElena in Südafrika - Prost! Foto (c) Christina Leutner / CitySeaCountry.

Cheers to travelling together in South Africa, Christina! Picture (c) Christina Leutner / CitySeaCountry.

 

It’s been several years now since you’ve become a trusted travel publisher in the German-speaking markets. Where will your spheres of influence still lead you? What are some business opportunities you would like to develop further?

My goal is to become 100% location independent in my work. I do this by currently working on image video projects for hotels and travel destinations, Social Media consultancy, websites, articles, and photographs on a commissions basis. Of course, the aim is to make CitySeaCountry more known, too.

In the future, what I would like to develop more, are workshops & training units about blogging & online marketing, drawing on my ten years of experience as a teacher / principal, as well as my digital marketing & Social Media studies.

"Do what you love, love what you do": Kreativ Reisen an der Costa Brava.

“Do what you love, love what you do”: Creative travel in Costa Brava. Picture (c) Christina Leutner / CitySeaCountry.

 

What is your single biggest tip for those wishing to work with you?

As a professional blogger, I am above all an entrepreneur. Work means money, and this needs to be valued as such – even or especially when going on a trip. Blogtrips are work, above all, managing Social Media, filming, editing, and writing all in one go.

I also recommend my business partners not to look only at the number of followers, but also whether the blog fits their niche, how long it has existed, and whether there is a professional strategy behind it. As bloggers, we are naturally creative and can offer a lot of ideas to those wishing to work with us.

Last but not least, I always stress the issue of longevity: Blog posts stay online for a very long time, articles keep on reaching readers way beyond the opportunities of print media. It is important, therefore, to check the age of a blog: If it is very new, chances are it might disappear again just as quickly.

 

How do you go about researching your next trip? Do you yourself value the opinion of other travel influencers, or do you prefer being surprised over planning ahead ..?

I get most ideas from other bloggers, or my favourite Social Media channel Pinterest. Pinterest works image-based, like a search engine. I add and save pins, and gather them in a secret wall for my next trip. Check out my blog for a review of how I like to work with Pinterest.

 

What is your single biggest inspiration in travel? And in writing (sharing, filming, etc.)?

I am always fascinated by just how beautiful our world really is. No matter where I’ve been: It is always worth taking time for slow travel. Likewise, I have found many exciting details up on the walls of buildings, or out in the nature, which I might otherwise have missed.

Zeit haben beim Reisen: Genuss sowie der Blick für die kleinen Details bedeuten viel.

Taking time to enjoy the little things on your trip. Picture (c) Christina Leutner / CitySeaCountry.

 

What do you always carry with you on your trip?

I always carry a camera to take pictures and to film, my iPhone as well as my GoPro. Plus, my MacBookAir, as well as some books. You can never have enough books! Then of course, I always have my Bullet Journal with me, for taking important notes and keeping a physical memory of things and ideas.

And, you will never see me without my “McGyver” handbag! McGyver, because according to my niece, you can find everything inside this bag a (wo)man needs in this life. 🙂

 

How do you (really) relax? Allow us a glimpse into your busy everyday life …!

On the road, I love the adventure, nature, as well as a little luxury, and great vegetarian / vegan food. Once I am back from my trips and off work (which does not happen very often), I like to relax on the couch with my two cats, or out on the deck chair during summer. Reading, too, is very relaxing for me.

 

Last but not least : Give us three reasons we should immediately check out your blog for! What is “CitySeaCountry” all about? What do readers most comment on? What are you particularly proud of?

Three good reasons?

  1. Adventure
  2. Luxury
  3. Roadtrips

Plus: Vegetarian / vegan food.

That’s what you should really check out CitySeaCountry for.

What am I particularly proud of? That despite my impatience, I have managed to stick through and make it through the first few years of hard work in blogging, all the way to where I am today.

Kompliment an viele Jahre guter Arbeit: Blick vom Tafelberg in Kapstadt in Kooperation mit der Südafrikanischen Tourismusbehörde. (c) Christina Leutner / CitySeaCountry

Congratulations to years of good work, and a little reward: A personal invitation to travel to South Africa, as extended by the South African Embassy. Picture (c) Christina Leutner / CitySeaCountry.

 

Thank you so much, dear Christina, for this interview!

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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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