Elena Nemets was born in the Soviet Union, where as a child, she never thought she'd be able to get to the places on the other side of the ‘iron curtain’.
She made her first trip abroad aged 14 and started travelling extensively at 27. Though her ‘day job’ is in international tax, she uses any opportunity to travel.
So far, Elena’s visited an astounding 53 countries and doesn’t plan to stop! She now lives in sunny Israel, and is enjoying the country’s incredible history, nature and people. Find out more about Elena from her IQPlanner profile.
Why did you start travel blogging? How long have you been doing it?
I started writing about my travels in my personal blog after I moved to Prague in 2007. Then I started exploring Europe on the weekends and holidays.
But it wasn’t a professional travel blog, just stories and photos I wanted to share with my friends. I created a dedicated standalone blog about travel and marketing features in tourism a year and a half ago.
Name your top 3 most memorable places?
It’s difficult to choose only 3 memorable places, but I’ll try. Gerald Durrell's zoo at Jersey was the highlight of our honeymoon trip to Normandy and the Channel Islands. It’s the best zoo I’ve ever seen, where the animals are really cared for.
Sarajevo, once associated with the Balkan Wars, is now a cozy city perfect for a romantic weekend getaway. It also has an eclectic mix from the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires.
Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is a breathtaking beauty of limestone islands and milk-coloured water.
What’s the best thing about being a travel blogger?
The feedback from readers. My favorite moment is when a reader says: ‘Wow, I’d never thought of going to this place, but now after reading your article, I’m putting it on my bucket list'.
And when they come back from the trip: ‘Thanks a lot for the tips, we had a great time.’
And the worst?! (if there is one)
When you start blogging seriously, this becomes a job. You can’t afford to write only when you’re inspired. You need to get into SEO, promotion in social networks, affiliate programmes, website building, and not all of it's fun.
But I still try to follow my inner voice and do whatever makes me happy and fills me with energy — otherwise why have a blog at all?
Give your top tip to a blogger starting out
Understand why you are blogging. What is your purpose? Having a clear goal will help you get though writer's block and procrastination.
Hotel freebies: take ‘em’ or leave ‘em’?
You mean shampoos and stuff? I vote for taking — they come handy in future travels.
What’s at the top of your list for destinations this year?
In August, my husband and I are going to Estonia for an international intellectual games festival.
And in October, we’ll be spending 2 weeks in Ireland at the TBEX Europe travel bloggers’ conference, plus touring the country.
Why should people subscribe to your page?
I always try to show the places from an unusual point of view, tell stories, and give tips. My objective is to make the articles both entertaining and practical.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten on your travels?
I’m actually conservative and prefer basic dishes made from familiar products. But my husband loves to taste exotic food and sometimes he persuades me to join him.
In Cambodia, we tried a fried cane rat: it looks weird, but almost tastes like chicken.
Name a place, city, or country where you feel happiest?
Prague. I lived there for 3 years and still come back whenever I can.
The more you know Prague, the more you’ll in love with it and the more hidden gems you discover: cozy tea rooms, peaceful parks and small churches.
Where’s your next adventure?
I’m planning adventures in my own country, Israel. I’ll be taking a rooftop tour in Jerusalem and a culinary tasting tour in Tel-Aviv.
Find out more about Elena's next travels by clicking on the following links.