So it is happening. The moment has come. My first “baby book”, about to be written, crafting messages of the heart, planting trees of my own thought and sharing pearls of worldly wisdom in this one single piece called, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook“. It has been years in the making. Decades, as far as my writer’s soul is concerned. Its birth is now imminent. And I am awake to its beauty.
Imagine a tree. Strong, powerful, its branches reaching out, touching and supporting the lives of other creatures around it. But where does it come from? It all starts with an idea. The chance of planting one single seed. A whole Earth to nurture it. A lonesome drop of rain to awaken it.
“Elena, for you it’s easy. …” That’s dear Terry Lee speaking, Terry my friend & beautiful companion spirit in this world full of inspiring writers, publishers, opinion leaders and thought-provokers.
“One day, you are going to write ‘The Creative Traveler’s Handbook’.”
Three years and one round the world trip later, I am. “Elena, we can’t wait to read your book.” – “Your book has a capacity to inspire many more people.” – “Just focus on your book dear Elena: Everything else will come with it – and from it.”
I am nervous in a good way. This is what I like to say to people around me. My whole life, I have had this dream of “writing a book one day“. By putting it up nicely on the shelf of life’s horizon, it has always been there as a kind of romantic fantasy. A guiding light in a world growing up surrounded by books, awake to the vivid imagery words can create and forever fascinated by the inspiration of authors to say something more accurately, more beautifully, more precisely, over the ordinary phrase or word. An inspiration that has guided me all the way to that “one particular day”. And that day has now come. I am really nervous, actually. In such a good way – making this book “the best it can be”, that is.
“You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t curious.”
My whole life, I have always remembered being naturally curious. Learning, and in particular the study of foreign languages, has always proven easy to me. Like second nature. I would read one sentence in a book and write it down in the exam, simply because I liked the sound of it. As a major in English, I chose Ernest Hemingway. But I did not want to study English literature, nor translation sciences ending up “sitting in a room, translating books”. My thoughts aged 18 literally were: But what about my other languages and interests? What about French & Spanish – and everything else I am interested in?
So I came to study tourism management, opening up a world of different subjects and providing me with the opportunity to find, and build, a totally unheard-of career path: A creative travel, travel blogger lifestyle & business model.
“So what is creative travel? And how exactly do you make money?”
The two single most questions I get asked ALL. THE. TIME. The world over. Even writing this, I have to smile. Again. And launch into an explanation that goes a bit like this: “Well, creative travel is interactive culture travel really. Everything where hands-on, active learning experiences in direct exchange with the local people of the particular place you are visiting, are concerned. I am now writing ‘The Creative Traveler’s Handbook‘ addressing this rather recent phenomenon in culture travel for travellers across the globe, providing hands-on tips and advice as well as sharing inspirational travel stories on the subject. As far as my own income in all of this is concerned … ” – “Yes?” – “… I am self-employed in my fifth year of business now. I speak five languages fluently, offer services as a business, tourism & PR consultant, do the odd translation & teaching contract, love being hired as a public speaker and work with several people across different continents. Everything from my Facebook feed to my outlook on life is multilingual, multicultural. I believe in the beauty of sharing skills and empowering people. My greatest happiness in this life is that I channel whatever energy, respect and inspiration I get from my peers and partners around the world through my very own skill sets and abilities, building a better life for myself and others around it.” Usually, what follows, is a kind of awed silence. And / or laughter: “Elena, do you need an assistant?!” – “Don’t you want to come and stay with us for a while? We really like your energy.”
“Staying” is relative when home is where your heart is: Out with people the world over. At this stage, I feel like quoting Picasso: “I work, I work, and in order to relax, I work a little bit more. Art is everywhere. And so is my sense of inspiration.”
Stay tuned, is all I can say. As much as I am, “tuning in” to the very message that is about to express itself through ‘The Creative Traveler’s Handbook‘. A life dream come true. “Are you not afraid of what might follow after you have realised this one particular, important life dream?” Again, the answer is just smiles. I believe that it will only be the start of something more: More books perhaps. And poetry. More languages, travels, and meeting people, definitely.
Keep trusting. The world is still an awesome place.
The very first in a series of life mottos I have picked up along the way of creative travel all those years ago in New Zealand. Ah, New Zealand! Brace, brace, dear readers, as the first story in ‘The Creative Traveler’s Handbook‘ is actually summing up “New Zealand in a Paua Shell” – essentially, the cradle of my very own creative travel career path living and working in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will love reading it. As much as I shall enjoy writing it. Right here. Right now. The time has come.
Because the best time to do anything is always now.
Here’s to book projects, life dreams and their realization !!! 😀