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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?

Košice: European Capital of Culture & a Cradle of Creativity!


Tourism Product Development, International Collaboration, Workshops & Conferences 0

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“Dear Elena Paschinger. I am contacting you on behalf of an international conference aimed at innovative destination management in tourism, which will take place in Košice, Slovakia. The conference focuses on best practice examples of innovative know-how exchange and experience in tourism destinations. We would be delighted if you could speak in front of our audience. Thank you in advance for your time!”

I am still travelling on my #CreativElenaRTW creative trip around the world as the above words reach me via email by dear Marián Matusák, on my way from Japan to Nepal. And yes, I am indeed delighted! What an opportunity, I am thinking in between worlds, with Europe at the time still far away. But such is the nature of our everyday lives in terms of connectivity: We can start preparing conference speeches and entire programs from a distance, literally the world over. Which is wonderful. And deserves a special mention of this unique conference here in South-Eastern Slovakia, a “world apart” from its capital city Bratislava which I explored only last year.

 

“This one is different”, Miso Hudak smiles and literally takes me by the hand, leading me around “his” Košice – the way only a local would.

The way I knew I would love. “So you have been to Bratislava?”, he repeats as we walk away from the historical centre of Košice, to learn what makes up “the remaining 98% of town”. Where the actual people live. Where the soul of the city resides, as expressed through astounding public art spaces & simply amazing street art graffiti. “The South-East of Slovakia, close to the borders with Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and Poland, is very different from the ‘West’. In fact, I don’t believe in the concept of nation-states anyway – much more so in regional cohesion and local initiatives.” Listening to Miso, who has written a book about Košice in the most unusual way possible, I find we agree on many concepts, despite the obvious differences in our individual backgrounds & everyday lives. “You like street art graffiti? Come on, then. Let’s adapt this tour to meet your very interests!”

Košice, in South-Eastern Slovakia, I find truly opens up to you upon second glance.

Košice, in South-Eastern Slovakia, truly opens up to you upon second glance.

 

To understand what I mean by that, we have to leave the historic city centre ...

To understand what I mean by that, we have to leave the pretty facades of the historic city centre …

 

... and walk out to where ...

… and walk out to where …

 

... there is an actual (over)view of the city, as from this shopping centre at the western edge of town.

… the people live & we get an actual (over)view of the city, as from this shopping centre at the western edge of town.

 

Košice, too, gives way to constant (re)development: Miso is pained by having his childhood memory of a traditional local market flattened only to build a new soccer stadium.

Košice, too, gives way to constant (re)development: Miso is pained by having his childhood memory of a traditional local market flattened only to make way a new soccer stadium.

 

At the same time, just around the corner, my eyes widen over this amazing "piece" of street art graffiti !!

At the same time, just around the corner, my eyes widen over this amazing “piece” of street art graffiti !!

 

And would you know that Košice people care about, and support, the victims of Fukushima in Japan?

And would you know that Košice people actually care about, and support, the victims of Fukushima in Japan?

 

Especially love this one here, too. My favourite among all street art we saw that day, in fact!

Especially love this one here, too. My favourite among all street art we saw that day, in fact!

 

Art in public spaces often serves as a means of orientation in a city whose apartment buildings often take on a more uniform appearance.

Art in public spaces also serves as a means of orientation in a city whose apartment buildings often take on a more uniform appearance.

 

Really enjoyed a unique view & insight into everyday life culture in Košice thanks to my local walk with Miso Hudak: Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Really enjoyed a unique view & insight into everyday life culture in Košice thanks to my local walk with Miso Hudak: Thank you so much for this opportunity!

 

CARAT conference kicks off with communication experts from Košice, Ukraine, England – and Austria. Love the international mix & inspiration!

In 2013, Košice has enjoyed international attention for being a European Capital of Culture city, hence a lot of development programs have since stimulated and increased the region’s cross-border cooperation & strategies for (creative) tourism development. “We are so pleased to have you here in Košice. Participants will be interested in a range of topics: Destination management, innovative forms of marketing & PR, tourism product development. Your inputs are greatly appreciated!”

Words like these spur my creativity.

Indeed, the feeling I have during my presentation is one of sharing my most recent insights & knowledge from travelling around the world, researching & publishing about creative tourism networks worldwide and being involved with countless examples of innovative PR & tourism destination management since many years already. I have been truly touched by feedback from my conference participants: “Elena. It was such a pleasure to meeting you in Košice. You opened a new ‘tourism world’ for me: Creative Tourism, which is not developed in my region. You brought a nice and very interesting idea of how to attract more tourists to our region by establishing and providing ‘creative services’ to visitors. Thank you very much for that. I also love your amazing stories about travelling, different destinations and people! Great job! I do believe your book will be very helpful for those who are planning their trips worldwide!”

Thank you so much for this, dear Nadiya! It will be my pleasure to keep moving & inspiring people!

Košice, European Capital of Culture in 2013 ...

Košice, European Capital of Culture in 2013 …

 

... deserves more than just being heard of: Indeed, I recommend you to visit the entire area, as I have been left with a desire to explore more in this particular part of the world!

… deserves more than just being heard of: Indeed, I recommend you to visit the entire area, as I have been left with a desire to explore more in this particular part of the world!

 

And for now, honoured to have my contribution valued for everyone concerned! ;)

And for now, honoured to have my contribution valued for everyone concerned! 😉

 

Creative tourism networks international presentation for the carat conference in kosice from Kreativ Reisen Österreich / Creativelena.com

 

The audience is listening, interactive & supportive!

The audience is listening, as interactive & supportive as you could wish for!

 

And what a pleasure to meet & network with Paul Bourne and his creative theatre mission during this CARAT conference !! Check out his

And what a pleasure to meet & network with Paul Bourne and his creative theatre mission during this CARAT conference !! Check out his exciting website & company here.

 

No conference finishes without a visit to a cosy local wine cellar restaurant (HOME, is what I feel in here, finally, after all these months of travelling round the world ..!).

No conference finishes without a visit to a cosy local wine cellar restaurant (HOME, is what I feel in here, finally back in a wine cellar after all these months of travelling round the world ..!).

 

Let us hope Košice & beyond will see me back soon! After all there is the beautiful High Tatras mountain region to be explored, only a good hour away from the city … or how about a long-distance (food & wine) hiking trail into the border regions? Definitely up for that, after all my recent adventures in that sense: Košice, count me in!

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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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