Get the low down on the Hiking New Zealand and Active Earth Adventures team. We asked Elena Jonsson what she gets up to when she is not working and/or hiking.
I grew up in a small town, Strängnäs, in the province of Sörmland, around 50 minutes from Stockholm. It’s a beautiful small town with a lot of tourists during the summer and not so many during winter. I spent 18 years there before I felt the urge to move abroad. I spent the summer and autumn of 2010 in Marbella, Spain before the urge to study took me back to Sweden.
I packed my bags and moved to Stockholm to start my Tourism Studies Programme. From one programme to another in tourism I ended up making Stockholm my home and now I can’t think of living anywhere else.
The Travel Consultant Programme I am currently studying allowed me to apply for internships abroad and even though I love Stockholm I had the urge to travel, to see new places, meet new people and learn their culture. I ended up moving to London for my second internship before I moved across the globe to do my current internship at Hiking New Zealand. I have only been here a short time of period but couldn’t feel more at home here in Canterbury with the lovely team at Hiking New Zealand.
What do you do when you are not working or hiking?
Outdoors taking photos! I believe I spend on average three-four hours a day behind the camera and two hours behind the computer editing the shots. If I’m not spending every waking hour taking photos and being outdoors you can find me in front of a good crime documentary. I also love being around my friends sightseeing around Stockholm or just sitting and chatting over a strong cup of coffee.
Favourite coffee haunt?
The best coffee is the one you share with friends and family. As a Swede, having a coffee is an excuse to see friends, family and colleagues even if we don’t have the time. On a good day, if the weather allows, I usually buy a coffee and walk around town and enjoy the weather instead of sitting inside. Here in New Zealand I had my best coffee so far at C1 Espresso in Christchurch, I must say that particular cup of flat white was truly amazing.
Favourite Hiking Trip?
Ultimate New Zealand which explores both the North and South Island.
Have you done it?
Half of it! I only went on the North Island trip, the Ultimate North.
Why choose this trip?
You get the chance to see the highlights of New Zealand and much more thanks to the amazing guides. One day you are walking around Lake Waikaremoana, another exploring the Abel Tasman’s magical coastline and another enjoying Fiordland National Park. You get a real opportunity to see the variation in natural environments of this beautiful country.
Anything special about your favourite trip?
I think the whole trip is special and will not disappoint you! The trip will genuinely introduce you to a country with fascinating culture, amazing nature and friendly people.