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?
Monday morning, 09.00 o’clock. Expectantly, I take a look at ten friendly, yet somewhat tired faces. (Almost) Like at school, I catch myself thinking. “What a good idea, Elena, for you to prepare the photo exercise for us …”, one of the local team members, tells me. “It really got us going in a much needed, Monday-morning-encouraging kind of way!”
Translated to English, this means working on training local members of staff at each of Lower Austria’s (mountain) railway companies, such as the Mariazellerbahn or the team at the “Gemeindealpe Mitterbach”, to speak better tourism English. “Yes, in fact, we always have more of those foreign visitors … Lots of Hungarians, in our case. This autumn, we will even do a course in Hungarian”, the team of the Schneebergbahn updates me on their progress so far.
On the day leading up to my two-day teaching seminar, I take care to travel early to what is known as one of Austria’s climatic spa resorts, the lovely little town named Puchberg am Schneeberg. It nestles right at the foot of Lower Austria’s highest mountain, the famous “Schneeberg” at just over 2.000 metres above sea level. The photos I use in my first exercise the next morning are all from my hiking tour that very day, motivated to reach further into this pristine mountain area only about an hour away from Vienna.
I’m loving it. “If you’ve got a question – any question – about saying something in English, you can even call me at four a.m. in the morning … That’s not a problem really, it’s easy for …” – “Really?!” My students in front of me start giggling, then rise to a roar. “Sure”, I add full of confidence, then having to laugh myself. – “Will you give us your number, then?” I must say I really like them. My team here in Puchberg am Schneeberg.
2014 saw the first in a series of language trainings here at the Schneebergbahn; this year I am back building on to the vocabulary we’ve trained earlier. As part of our advanced language course, we train real customer dialogs, build questions & answers in relevant contexts, talk about personal experiences and give recommendations. More than grammar & vocabulary, I always try and focus on encouraging staff to see the use, and build up their confidence, in speaking English as a foreign language – a language so natural and innate to me, second only to my mother tongue German.
And you, when will you decide to come and visit the area around the Schneeberg in Lower Austria? Here are several more travel tips to help you plan your stay. Enjoy & see you soon!