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?
I am emotional. Big time. 18 months living in New Zealand and back there two years ago as part of my round the world trip, I have just come off watching the “Whale Rider” on DVD. I know. Wonderful story, beautiful emotions and scenery, great actors, storytelling and the likes. I have seen it before. But the magic stays the same. Just the same. The movie still brings tears to my eyes, the landscapes still play with my imagination, the little tweaks in the Kiwi accent and sceneries of an everyday life continue to remind me of Aotearoa New Zealand and my own life there. I am in love with New Zealand. I think I will always be. It is deeply woven into my experience of freedom, of a spirit of travel, of human kindness, curiosity and openness for the world, of my professional career working to develop creative tourism and encourage cultural understanding of people around the world. I am emotional. I love it. Let me bring some of the magic home to you.
The Pancake Rocks, West Coast of the South Island, are just one of the country’s major attractions to overseas visitors.
Besides displaying absolutely gorgeous landscapes, New Zealand features an amazing abundance of (largely endemic) wildlife. For instance: The New Zealand yellow-eyed penguins, this one living off the East Coast of the South Island just north of Dunedin.
One of my most favourite landscapes of all times: The 120 km drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound, passing the so-called Eglinton valley named after a Scottish explorer. Taking this weird posture, I am actually trying to jump there …
The Mirror Lakes on the same road are famous for their pristine waters reflecting the towering massive of the Southern Alps.
Yet even on a dull day, the mist & scenery in New Zealand still play up a tune of magic ..
Fortunately enough, you are never (really) alone in Kiwi land: Here, I remember road-tripping with my friend Katie of the Rutherford family in the city of Queenstown, South Island New Zealand.
The light … The beautiful, eternal, special light of the south. It is almost indescribably beautiful and touches everything with a sense of magic. I SWEAR the colours in New Zealand appear to be brighter than elsewhere on the planet. Seriously! (Ok. I am still emotional 😉 ).
Oh darlings … We all love a bit of fun don’t we. I almost (almost!) bought this little fella in a souvenir shop strolling around the “ridiculous tourist shops” with friend Katie … Remember sister? Haha!
“World-Famous in New Zealand” …
… wonder what that may be?! Kiwis are proud of their own country. Reminded of their roots, they will smile kindly enumerating the realms of their greatest passion with commitment and care. “You must absolutely go and see this place … be sure not to miss that mountain trek … and oh, the lakes .. the beaches ..” Woven into an innate desire to help, to be open and to be truly interested in your story and what brought YOU to Aotearoa New Zealand, is a Kiwi sense of pride about their own land & culture. You cannot help but feel entangled in it. It is a pride celebrated by all cultures and visitors who come to see it. It is passionate and chilled-out at the same time. “No worries mate … sweet as … she’ll be right!” Hard to describe it ay. It’s really best you go there and see for yourself. Before you go, do drop me a line though. “ElenaAroundTheWorld” has written extensively about New Zealand on the Tripwolf Travel Blog before. Besides, you can quiz me for pretty much everything Kiwi-related. I shall at least have an opinion about it. And some great stories to tell …
Another element of “Kiwi pride” has become their absolutely fantastic coffee & carrot cake combination all over the country. GO for it, folks 🙂
The icing on the cake … Standing in front of a landscape like this, looking out over the Marlborough Sounds near French Pass Sea Safaris.
Sunset romance in Golden Bay, North-Western tip of New Zealand’s South Island.
There goes a happy girl … “Surviving” the otherwise placid Abel Tasman Coastal Trek after a big storm the night before, you come out stronger (and happier) after a real sense of adventure!
Down, down under (in Te Anau, the gateway to New Zealand’s number one attraction Milford Sound), is where I worked for more than half a year as a nature guide, just overlooking this lake and on the other side of the primeval mountain forests. What an experience (of a lifetime!). I was 25 years old back then … ah, the times!
The water does its magic … Rain in Milford Sound coming off as a spray down the mountainside.
Tourists clearly love it … 😀 A group of Japanese visitors gathers on the Milford Explorer boat in Milford Sound on a wet day in the autumn of my most recent visit back in the year 2011.
There we are, ready to draw the final card … One of the most beautiful highway I have ever driven on this planet, I guess: Just nearing the turns into Milford Sound, the beauty of the New Zealand Southern Alps unfolds in the magic of an early autumn day.
I love New Zealand. Have I mentioned this before? 😀
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