#StoriesOfMyReaders: “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook” in Portugal, Austria & Canada.

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 André Apolinário, Tina Brunner, as well as Linda & Gord Hoy. 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 André Apolinário.

André and I have met at the start of my beautiful enchantment with Porto, Portugal, and the Portuguese language I am now fluent in. I am forever grateful for having met him, inspiring many more life-changing connections, meetings & events thereafter, all now centred in a part of the world I call “another home on this beautiful planet Earth” of ours: His wonderful home country Portugal and all the humble, spirited and kind people I’ve met there ever since.


Here is what André has to say after reading “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”:

“Elena’s book is far more than a handbook about creative tourism. It is rather the sharing of a life experience of traveling and enjoyment of life. Reading it enables you to turn your travels into experiences packed with authenticity, friendship and truly memorable moments. The only room for improvement I can see, is to travel more!, so that your continuous experiences will enhance the creation of a new travel book. Go, Elena, and keep inspiring the world out there!”


Next up is Tina Brunner.

Just a few days before Christmas, I have received a message from one of my readers here in Austria, without even knowing her before. She simply found my book, read it, and cared to reach out to me in the sweetest way possible! My heart still warms over stories like these, a clear sign to me that “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook” is out there, and being picked up by people from around the world, including my own home country.

Tina in her home country Burgenland, proudly holding up her copy of "The Creative Traveler's Handbook".

Tina in her home in Burgenland, proudly holding up her copy of “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”.


Here is what Tina has to say in her review of “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”:

I started to notice your book through Social Media – I follow a lot of travel bloggers – and then at one point, while looking for books to buy online, I remembered your book and looked into it. I was really interested how you would define creative travel. I like to travel solo and love to read up on travel blogs and also travel literature. My dream would be to also be a travel blogger, but writing is not something I have been that passionate about, so I’m not sure if I’m good at it. I not necessarily like to be creative all the time, but just how you described your passion in such a positive and motivating way was really great! One could really grasp your excitement. Sometimes solo travelling becomes creative travelling, and to see those parallels, is something that really interests me. I really liked the section ‘Go with the Flow’, and of course all the ‘Stories’. The thing I could relate to the most is perfectly put within this quote: ‘To put it in a nutshell, the values and belief systems of an entire people have the power to actively shape your own perception and experience – that is, if you allow it to become part of yourself in this in this interactive travel experience that we call ‘creative travel.’

So all in all, the positive energy and vibe I got from the book just made me want to jump into the next travel experience and really take part in it, either creative or not, solo or in a group. Thanks for this motivating book!


Last but not least, I would like to introduce you to “my dear Calgary family”, Linda & Gord Hoy.

Linda, Gord and I met during a Toronto food tour while travelling across Canada in the fall of 2016. I immediately warmed to them, and half-jokingly mentioned that I was going to come & visit them next time I was in Calgary, their home town. And I did ! Just about two weeks later, as part of that same trip still, I showed up at their house and spent a wonderful few days with them touring Calgary and the surroundings. They even offered to drive me to Banff just to drop me off at my friends’ place there, which for the record is a staggering 130 kilometres “down the road” (an almost 300 kilometres round trip, just to enjoy spending a bit more time together with me in the car). Incredible. Right? Their warm-hearted behaviour towards me, a stranger turned family member in almost no time at all. Such is the spirit of the beautiful Canadian people I have experienced!

... as well as time to sit down and socialise over (just) drinks in the beautiful autumn sun that day: Love our time chatting with Linda & Gordon from Calgary, talking about life, love, the universe and - "The Creative Traveler's Handbook" of course ...!

Love meeting Linda & Gord in Toronto, chatting about life, love, the universe, as well as “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook” …!


Here is what Linda & Gord have to say after meeting over the kindred spirit of creative travelling:

“Elena, an international travel blogger, has written about her experiences in her ten weeks travelling across Canada, from Vancouver to Montreal. Passionate about creative tourism, she has published a book called ‘The Creative Traveler’s Handbook.’ Over the course of seventy-two hours, as we toured Elena around Calgary and environs, we chatted, as Elena states in her blog, about ‘… matters of life, dinosaurs and the universe.’ It was as if we had met a kindred spirit! Elena, who travels with an open and enquiring mind, allows serendipity to play out. It was that chance encounter that has led to a friendship developing.

It became apparent that we have a similar approach to travel and that we seek to make connections with the culture of the places we visit through:

  • genuine interactions with people
  • creative, hands-on and active experiences
  • exploration of the arts, history and food (not necessarily in that order)
  • appreciation of natural landscape
  • a pursuit of lifelong learning


What a novel experience and honour to have been included in Elena’s latest blog post, featuring us in her YYC Calgary storytelling account. As Gord and I enter a new phase of our lives, retirement, we can’t help but reflect on a question Elena posed to us, ‘… when was the last time you did something for the first time?’ 

Enjoy reading Elena’s book, is all we can say.”


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

You may also like

Join the discussion

This website uses cookies to make your visit more efficient and to offer you more user-friendliness. By using this website, you consent to the use of cookies. Accept Read More

Cookies Policy