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?
A year ago to the day, I went for a trip round South America. Curious? Come & join my travel photo exhibition!
There is a remedy to the travel bug. Let me tell you (and convince myself!) about it! Having Spanish lunch, followed by New Zealand carrot cake, talking about summer travel plans with the family. Sounds good, right? But South America … I guess there is no cure for wanting to go there. Again and again. Magical. Breathtaking. Wild.
A year ago to the day, I boarded a plane to Buenos Aires, not knowing what would await me: The fascinating Patagonian pampas. One of the largest glaciers in the whole world. Or the very bizarre, very beautiful mountain desert landscape around San Pedro de Atacama– blazing heat with only 10% humidity left in the air. My nose did not quite like it (and would have preferred rain forests, for sure). I also remember the effort of taking only a few steps at more than 4.000 metres altitude. Crazy: Why would you do all this?! Because compared to the little physical strains when travelling, the “cinema of emotions” keeps rewarding you for every effort taken on the road. I still shiver from happiness watching my South American travel video today:
Back in 2011 & 2013 I travelled across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru. Now, it is your time to travel with me: SAVE THE DATE – Friday, February 28, 2014 at 7.00 p.m.
On this occasion and thanks to the support of my partners and friends, I am going to turn the conference hall of the small wine growing community Absdorf am Wagram, some 20 minutes from Krems and a good half hour from Vienna, into a stage for new horizons. You will likely see something of this:
Where and how do South American guanacos live? More during my travel talk soon. I look forward to going back there with you!
Riding with a view of the Torres del Paine mountain massif is one of my most beautiful travel memories of South America. A dream come true!
Some 5.000 kilometres to the north, in the heat of the Atacama mountain desert, the landscape has changed to look like this. We are on our way to “Death Valley”, by the way. Enticing, right?
Still today, I think back of my tremendous joy over being VIP at the Mendoza Wine Festival. What a treat!
My god, how sweet it was to meet these cute little fellas, Magellan penguins in the very south of Argentina. More about them during my travel talk and photo / video exhibition!
Another experience that still lingers fresh on my mind: A visit to Iguazú falls between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay back in June 2011 – when it was “winter” there and we “only” had 25 degrees. Nice!
Thanks to a cooking workshop with “Teresita La Bella”, we learned how to make these beautiful Argentinian empanadas followed by real steaks. Wonderful – another really juicy memory about South America.
Looking forward to more of this sensuality? When walking the streets of Buenos Aires, my camera and the Tango were madly in love …
… and finally, mesmerising again and again: The animal kingdom of South America, such as this cute little Chinchilla rabbit taking a late afternoon sunbath amidst the ruins of the famous Inca town Machu PIcchu.
Torres Del Paine national park, the ruins of Machu Picchu or the city of Buenos Aires count among the most famous and most visited sights of South America. Let me show you what else there is to see and do.
Have you ever been for tea with the locals of the “floating islands” at more 4.000 metres above sea level? Looked a pinkie flamingo in the eye, fishing algae from an Atacama salt flat containing more than 70% minerals and salt? Saw one of the largest glaciers in the world calve? Three years ago, all my answers to these questions would have been “No” – I could not even imagine seeing any of that. Now, though, many of those magic travel moments still linger fresh on my mind. They make my eyes shine and my smile spread all over my face: “This is where you need to go … It was so beautiful … And safe, no problem at all. People are just so friendly … Just use common sense, try and make friends with the local people and / or small travel groups and you will have the time of your life.
Being open-minded, with a good sense of humour, tolerance and respect, you will have the best of times travelling here.”
Talking of floating islands: The Uros people continue to live and work on their “floating islands” made from reef to this present day. This very unique cultural phenomena receives special protection and care by the international UNESCO World Heritage commission.
Landscapes like these … Wow. “La Quebrada” is what the local people call these mineral deposits in the Andes mountains, making for a myriad of different colours north of the cities of Jujuy and Salta.
Several thousand kilometres to the south, the bluest of glaciers calve with a thunderous noise near El Calafate, Argentina.
I (still) cannot believe just how lucky I was to spend several hours on this penguin island near Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego southern Argentina … Take me back, pleeease!
Having my Mate tea was forever part of my trip around South America. Taking this special herbal tea requires you to sit down and relax, and is good for meeting new people.
One of my favourite travel photos to this day, I will never forget the perfect silence that framed this scenery in the Atacama salt flats in northern Chile. Absolutely amazing to watch.
Simply … Machu Picchu. This spot does not require many words, but for you to see it – at least once in your lifetime. A good time of day is early morning, when not many tourists are up there yet.
Watching the smoking volcano in Villarrica, Chile, did nothing to put me at ease first … When the mountain still had not blown up the day after, I felt more reassured. Quite active territories, those Andes!
Done it: My friends and I made it to the mountain lake at the foot of the might Torres del Paine. Moments like these won’t leave me for as long as I live, I guess.
At the other side of the mountain, our view upon the mountain massif is this … ice bergs, glacier lakes and a landscape like you have never seen it before. Spectacular.
I had to travel to the Pacific Coast in Peru to get this close with wild sea lions … Swaying in the small boat, you feel like part of a nature documentary here.
Pure romance: On my travels, I always look for the small stories in the big picture, such as during this “Street Art Graffiti Tour” in Buenos Aires. Stories of the local people, nature and creativity are what move me most on my travels.
And yet another scene taken out of “National Geographic Channel”: Cruising the Beagle Canal near the city of Usuaia, Tierra del Fuego, South Pacific.
Last but not least, it is the people that count, the new connections you make, the fresh ideas you gain about life, the universe, yourself, everything! Never will I forget the fun we have had travelling in this group of international journalists and travel bloggers to report on the Mendoza wine estates & wine festival … Moments to remember!
So go on then saving the date: Friday, February 28, 2014 at 7.00 p.m. for my multi media South America travel talk …
Once again, here are all the details you need to plan. I look forward to seeing you there!
Fluent in seven languages, I feel naturally at ease anywhere I go. As a writer, I am happy to share the world’s travel stories as far as creative travel, foodie travel and local, sustainable travel are concerned. Thanks to my young son Liam, I am currently discovering the world anew.
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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I am looking forward to seeing your presentation about South America Trip. I have just seen your post and I wanna go to discover South America: Iguazu, Isuaia, Torres del Paine, Atacama and more and more beautiful places to see. My mind is dreaming with South America but sooner or later I will travel those amazing countries….
South America is a wonderful place full of nature, culture and wonderful, life-enriching experiences. If I had to pick a favourite travel continent, it would probably be this … Although I still know so little about Africa or Asia! We will see what the future holds. 😉
Thanks for your interest in my presentation! Looking forward to seeing you there.
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