#StoriesOfMyReaders: Book Reviews from Graz, Lisbon & London

The #StoriesOfMyReaders is a new series of blog posts based on the feedback I have received from readers all over the world, enjoying “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”. They are set to inspire you for your own creativity, take you on a trip around the world and naturally, make you want to read the book yourself – whether as a paperback or as an ebook!

In this post, I would like to introduce you to Florian Figl, Patrícia Canejo, and Nienke Krook. Over the past couple of months and years, I have met all of them through either blogging, creative traveling and/or writing “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”.

 

Let’s start with Florian Figl.

Florian and I have met through our Austrian Travel Blogger network, sharing some fun time in Graz, Styria, travelling on the TwinCityLiner from Vienna to Bratislava, exploring my own backyard Krems in Lower Austria, as well as more recently at the – guess what! – famous Austrian chocolate factory Zotter he works at! Him and his lovely partner Cori run a travel blog together called “TravelPins”, definitely worth checking out.

Florian Figl, happily holding "The Creative Traveler's Handbook" in hand while meeting at the chocolate factory where he works (can you see the chocolate fountain in the back?)!

Florian Figl, happily holding “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook” in hand while meeting at the chocolate factory where he works (can you see the chocolate fountain in the back?)!

 

Here is what Florian has to say after reading “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, including his favourite quote from the book in the headline:

 

“When was the last time you did something for the first time? If ‘too long ago’ is your answer, then you might be in need of the very inspiration creative travel can provide.”

“This is a question I constantly ask myself. My longing for a deep immersion into new experiences intensified even more after my round the world trip in 2014. It was the first time in my life I really stepped out of my comfort zone. I was forced to speak a new language in South Amercia, learned how to make the world’s most expensive coffee on Bali and survived a gastroenteritis after tasting “too much” local food on a small island in Thailand (one of the few downsides).

However, the concept Elena describes in her book, of “being in the flow”, is now familiar with and resonates with me, too. If you want to find out how creative travel can push you towards more of those personal achievements and what kind of fascinating experiences might wait for you “out there”, I highly recommend you to read “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”.”

 

Next up is Patrícia Canejo.

Patrícia and I share a delicious bit of history. We met at the so-called World Food Tourism Summit in Lisbon, her home town, back in 2015 when I was about to sign my book deal and start writing on “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”. Her passion for creative travel being evident from the start, we since stayed in touch and provided each other with many great sources of inspiration, some of which can now be found in the way she manages her travel company “SingularTrips.com”, a company aimed at providing unique, interactive culture experiences to visitors in Lisbon & around.

Lovely Patrícia Canejo, always full of life and energy. So glad we met through creative travel !!!

Lovely Patrícia Canejo, always full of life and energy. So glad we met through creative travel !!!

 

Here is what Patrícia has to say after reading “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, including her favourite headlines from the book:

 

“10 Tips to Go Creative. … The Creative Travel Landscape. … The Good, the Bad, and the Creative.”

“For me, Elena’s book has been a ton of work, as well as an inspiration to proceed with my own efforts in making creative travel in Portugal better known. Her stories help me to better understand the beginning of this brand new phenomenon in travel, and make me feel less lonely in my own efforts here. It is thanks to Elena’s friendly, enthusiastic and inspiring nature, that she has helped me to proceed with some new ideas and gather more strength for my own projects. Elena, thank you again for this. 

My favourite parts of the book are the “10 Tips to Go Creative” because they helped me to organize my own ideas based on Elena’s experience in the book. Furthermore, “The Creative Travel Landscape” for the examples I read from other networks and initiatives in creative travel worldwide. Also, the “The Good, the Bad, and the Creative” as a reference on being Good. 

Thanks a lot again, my lovely friend, for the contribution to this wonderful way of seeing the world!”

 

Last but not least, I would like to introduce you to Nienke Krook.

Nienke is a young lady worth noticing. Originally a primary school teacher, she has since dropped the teaching for turning her highly successful travel blog, “The Travel Tester“, into a fully-fledged online business, notably with regards to using Pinterest. Ever since we first met back in 2013, her and I have always shared the same love for creative travel, exploring the Wachau in Lower Austria together, spending more time on a summer festival trip in the same area, or meeting at high-profile blogger summits, such as last year’s Social Travel Summit in Hamburg. I naturally asked her to contribute a few words to my book and gladly she did!

Lovely Nienke and a hug over presenting her with "The Creative Traveler's Handbook" at last year's World Travel Market in London during the official book launch event.

Lovely Nienke and a hug over presenting her with “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook” at last year’s World Travel Market in London during the official book launch event.

 

Here is what Nienke has to say in her contribution to “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”:

 

“I’ve always enjoyed getting a bit more off the tourist trail. … Too often as travellers, we visit a destination just to see the things from the brochure in real life. When we open up our senses a bit more, and get hands-on if we can, a whole new world can open up to us.”

“Travel for me is all about discovery. While I love visiting museums and going on a guided tour every now and then, I often find that I don’t really remember much of it years after I’ve made that trip. As a schoolteacher, I know that most people only remember 10-30% of what they read, hear, or see. Only when you experience something and explain it to others will you remember 90% of what you did. 

Looking back at my travels, it turns out that creative travel is exactly the style of travel I love. I taught an English class in Laos, decorated my own ceramics in Finland, learned how to dance the ‘Meke’ and performed it to local villagers in Fiji, succeeded in wearing a kimono in Japan, experienced glassblowing in Germany, and participated in many, many more activities.

As travelers, too often we visit simply to tick things off a list. Hands-on experiences are what really add value and assist us in our own personal development. You discover a destination in a much richer way. It’s like a whole new world opening up to you.”

 

And you, what’s your take on creative travel? 🙂

 

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