I first developed my passion for this form of traveling in New Zealand where Creative Tourism New Zealand offers exciting activities such as bone carving, harakeke flax weaving, Maori cooking or nature workshops. If you, like me, are driven by questions about art and culture, try to incorporate more creative travel experiences in your next trip. It is all about experiencing unique cultural traditions by getting out there, getting your hands in ‘it’ and making unique memories as well as your own souvenir.
Thanks to Elena from KreativReisen.at for this great guest post! Elena also regularly writes for the German tripwolf blog.
Make your own cheese, learn how to bake an Austrian cake, sketch your next watercolor painting the fresh Salzburg mountain air, learn how to carve, felt, weave or print, learn a traditional dance –Everything is possible when creativity comes to play while you travel. I have termed this unique type of travel, what else, but creative travel. I have found that many others share this interest with me!
I do and I understand
Creative travel and interactive learning experiences, in my opinion, give a particular edge to mass-marketed cultural tourism experiences all over the world. Everybody can buy a Maori indigenous souvenir in New Zealand, but to make one yourself? Now, that’s something special! Not only do professional tutors teach you a new skill to impress your friends with (learning how to carve, for instance), but you can really meet the people behind the experience, see eye to eye their artistic endeavors, the local traditions, and the value of the craft in the community. A sustainable, emotional and hands-on travel experience does not need to be expensive: Depending on location, material or food and overnight arrangements, many experiences are available starting from a budget price range.
Fortunately for people like me, the message has spread and currently reaches thousands of travelers motivated to look behind the scenes on their typical trip.
The city of Barcelona has offered creative tourism activities since 2006, including photo safaris, mosaic workshops, painting or music classes and cooking workshops with visits to the local markets. Santa Fe, a city part of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, offers you a myriad of creative workshops and experiences all year round, such as cooking or painting, glass art, theatre, dance or music. It focuses on local artists having chosen to live in or around Santa Fe, thereby enhancing the city’s cultural life and offering opportunities for visitors to engage with the local cultural fabric.
Similar networks and creative travel offers are now found throughout Europe or even Asia (Thailand and India), but often the idea goes a lot further than the classic painting holiday in Tuscany or Provence. Nowhere else can you learn how to “jodel” but in the Alpine valleys of Salzburg or Tyrol; nowhere else can you hunt truffles and enjoy pasta and truffle cooking lessons such as in certain areas of Italy (Umbria or Piemont, where theses activities are still practiced.) Creative travel is therefore all about the particular aspects of a certain destination: uniqueness, coolness and creativity all come to play here.
Creative tourism in Austria
I am particularly excited about the many possibilities to discover “my own backyard” through creative travel. While I’m constantly on the lookout for and blogging about new experiences available throughout Austria, the network www.kreativreisen.at already offers over 100 different creative courses and destinations, such as “jodling”, carving, cooking & baking or painting and jewelry-making classes.
One of them is Lucie who originally hails from NYC and now offers creative shopping tours in Vienna meeting local designers, jewellers and food merchants. Her enthusiasm about the creative tourism movement is really palpable, and we hope it is going to continue showing a way forward where tourists and locals come together in an equally valued exchange of knowledge and skills for travelers and merchants alike in the future.
Leave me a message if you are keen to learn more! I look forward to hearing from you on this exciting new travel topic.