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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?

Nominated for the “Liebster” Award: 11 Travel Questions & Answers by Creativelena

“Dear Elena. I would like to nominate you and your blog for the ‘Liebster Award’ – care to answer a few questions? Kind regards, Eva.”

Eva’s message reaches me on 25 September 2014 after having already been nominated by Tanja a day earlier.! I am actually on a trip exploring the legendary BURGENland in the east of Austria, only to be heading to Portugal for a creative trip into the Algarve region and celebrating my birthday in Porto … oh, Porto. 😉

In short: Of course, it is my pleasure to participate dear Eva, dear Tanja – it will only take a moment this time … ! But this moment has come now. Just ahead of my next big life adventure – a creative research trip around the world (!) – I would like to respond to being nominated for the Liebster Award by answering the following questions. After the interview, I am going to nominate five more travel bloggers whose blogs excel in terms of passionate storytelling, hence whose answers to my questions I deem especially worthwhile. THANK YOU once more for nominating me in the first place! Check out more of my answers about my travel philosophy in this interview here.

1) How do you cope with culture shock while travelling?

Watch. Notice. Cope. Find the right words in order to break the ice (the many languages I speak and my positive, open-minded nature are an incredible help here!). And then, I also start seeing the differences in other cultures as something very natural, differences that still hold certain commonalities that help bridging potential gaps – humour for instance, or talking about family life. “We are united in our differentes“, is one of those sayings that comes to mind here.

Einheimischen und einem Schamanen aus der Nähe der Stadt Cuzco südamerikanische Schokolade-Bällchen gemacht. Ist es zu fassen? :D

Culture shock can even be seen as something unique and exciting, such as learning how to make little chocolate balls with a local and a shaman from Cuzco, Peru – after all, we all love chocolate don’t we. 😀

 

2) Can you imagine working as a volunteer?

I have already done that, even several times – check out my travel posts about all the adventures down under in New Zealand …! If volunteering also includes “Couchsurfing“, then I am already living this philosophy in full. I just think it is great to volunteer your services without having to think about money all the time. So YES, I would clearly answer that question with a Yes once more!

3) Is sustainability an issue for you when planning a trip?

Of course it is. Sustainability as a model is based on three pillars – ecological, social & economic sustainability. It is important that travel supports local income streams for host destinations being visited. In my opinion, each and every trip should also be socially sustainable in the sense of seeing eye to eye with the local people, showing respect and assisting with intercultural awareness and communication. Not only is this important, it is also so much more interesting to be travelling this way !! And finally, the ecological side of the equation: On all my trips and excursions, I am always careful to choose nature-based operators that value the natural environment as much as I do myself.

Auf dem Milford Wanderer lassen sich bequeme Tages- und Übernachtungstouren auf dem Fjord unternehmen ...

Travelling into Milford Sound, one of the most precious and fragile natural environments of our planet, I recommend you to go on a trip with “Real Journeys”. They offer amazing day and overnight cruises, such as on the Milford Wanderer here.

 

4) How do you manage your flight bookings?

It depends: For choosing to travel round the world, I trust in the support of an international travel agency; however for short-haul destinations within Europe I actually only book via the Internet. The transparency and real-time information of booking engines such as Checkfelix.com or Lastminute.de is simply unparalleled, I have always had good experiences in my previous bookings with them.

5) What kind of accommodation do you prefer while travelling?

I like to choose accommodation based on the story they tell. It is not so much a question of luxury or backpacking for me, it is more about the “attention & individual care” for me. What do I mean by that? Attention to detail. Individual type of furniture. Art & creativity on display. Special hosts who have a story to tell, expressed by the accommodation they provide. This is what I would like to see, feel, and express in the stories I tell here on my Creativelena travel blog!

Die gemütliche Sonnenterasse lädt Backpacker & Reisefreunde zum Austausch und Kennenlernen ein, spontan haben wir hier auch gleich unsere Buenos Aires-Greeter Tour mit Joaquín begonnen :)

The Art Factory Hostel in Buenos Aires is such a place of individual charm, comfort, art & creativity as well as a meeting point for international travellers from all over the world!

 

6) Do you have ONE particular tip for wanna-be travel bloggers?

“Stay focused!” -Think of an editorial plan & timeline for your travel blog. When and how will you publish your stories? What is your message in all of them, what distinguishes you from the rest? What are the stories you will be telling when you are back home? How do you develop your knack & talent for storytelling, photography, videos, etc.? What is your vision, both as a person as well as for your blog?

7) What do you always carry with you when travelling?

My smile and my curious, happy, open-minded nature for all things & people worldwide !!!

As well as of course lots of other practical little details when it comes to organising a trip, such as my iPhone with Internet access, camera & music, my Olympus EPL-3 system camera, my purse, my travel documents, my business cards, my (note) book (I still like carrying them, despite or because being a travel blogger. 😉 ), my water bottle, my sunglasses, my backpack & many things more!

Auf meiner Weltreise gebe ich insgesamt weit mehr als € 5.000,- aus. Verrückt, sagen einige. Das Glück eines (Lebens)Traums, stelle ich hier während einer einmaligen Wanderung am Abel Tasman Coastal Track in Neuseeland fest.

Smile, backpack, sunglasses & the sea – a perfect combination for this one travel moment facing the Abel Tasman Coastal Track in New Zealand …!

 

8) What type of transport do you prefer when travelling?

As odd as it may sound, I actually love WALKING! To me, walking in a city or a landscape means a stronger, deeper intercultural experience. Of course, this stands in stark contrast to the many flights I intend to be taking as part of my upcoming round the world trip, but as soon as I actually land, I love the concept of “slow travel”. If I had to mention a particular kind of vehicle, then I would be choosing the car … “roadtripping“, as much as carving in the snow with my snowboard, is just one of these feelings of pure joy and freedom there are in this world … 😀

9) Were there moments when you wanted to stop travelling and literally turn around back home?

Well, there were. Long ago, when I was first travelling on my own as a young adult, I also had my moments of emotional turbulence and being upset while far away from home. At this stage, however, my mission is to look at how I may resolve potential issues and problems while still on the road, without actually withdrawing from the trip.

10) Why do you respond to being nominated for the Liebster Award?

I love dealing with the questions I am being asked through this award, as well as sensing the community behind it, sharing the same spirit of travelling all over the world. This is what the Award means to me, in the end: Creating a sense of community that excels what we all do best – sharing inspirational travel tips & stories from all over the world through our travel blogs.

11) What means deeper travel for you?

For me as Creativelena: CREATIVE TRAVEL, of course! Checking out my travel blog, you will find lots of “deeper travels” in that sense. From the Algarve to Luxembourg and all the way to New Zealand, I am always concerned with diving deeper and consciously avoiding the “tourist traps”. Through this kind of interaction, I believe, we can all gather and learn for our own lives, helping to make the world a little bit more aware and inspired for all of us. This, to me, is such a beautiful gain from deeper travel.

 

Thank you so much for this interview and for being nominated for the Liebster Award! Let me now nominate the following five travel bloggers and have them answer these questions:

  1. What is your most memorable travel experience? Why?
  2. Who / which place have you fallen in love with while travelling?
  3. Where will you go when you are 60 years old? Who with?
  4. What do you refer to as “creative travel”? Would you like to try it? And if so, where and how?
  5. Your most beautiful travel experience with a local person?
  6. What piece of advice would you give young people who want to travel?
  7. What is your personal limit on your travels? What would you still try or endure, where is your borderline?
  8. What travel experience makes you feel really proud?
  9. If you could board a plane tomorrow, where would it take you?
  10. Your tastiest travel dish?
  11. What is your very own, personal travel philosophy?

 

And the nomination for the Liebster Award goes to … these talented five travel writers whose answers to my questions I look forward to:

This is how we go:

Thank you all for participating! I look forward to reading all about your adventures and travel tips. 😀

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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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