The Story of Creating a Travel Business
My first trip to Croatia by Pamela Robinson, Owner of Adventures Croatia
Croatia had been on my “must-see” travel list for many years. I knew my family had ties to the Balkans, more specifically Dalmatia, and I dreamed of visiting the famous and picture-perfect Adriatic Coastline. Many California-Croatians told stories of its amazing beauty, historical grandeur, and mystical islands and islets, so in 2007, I finally took the plunge and began to plan a trip with friends.
As 2008 arrived, so did the “financial crisis” and like many similar groups, my friends and I decided to postpone our adventure. Shortly after this decision, I found myself going through a tough divorce and knew I needed to reinvent and challenge myself in a different way. I had no desire to go back to my former advertising career, and so for the first time in my life, decided to take the plunge, go outside my comfort zone, and embark on a solo sabbatical!
Having never traveled alone before, I was conscious of my safety. To put my mind at rest I connected with a Croatian friend who explained that Croatia is known for being one of the safest counties in all of Europe. After much research, deliberation, and listening to my heart and instinct, I took off for my adventure…by myself.
The stories, magazine covers, and clunky websites on the internet in 2007 did not come close to doing Croatia justice. It’s a stunning part of Europe, glistening with charm, authenticity, and character! I fell in LOVE with the people, the nature… its food, islands…and throughout my journey always felt SAFE. Another thing I did not expect was that Croatians adore American Travelers and spoke great English to match!!
Before my first trip to Croatia, I had traveled extensively across the globe and was fortunate to have visited over 50 countries. But there was something different about Croatia. As I headed home from the trip of a lifetime, during which I had enjoyed experiences and sensations unmatched by any previous vacation, I was determined to share my experience with fellow American travelers.
As I passed the time on my flight back to the United States, I knew that my relationship with Croatia was just beginning. I recognized how special the country was and that it wouldn’t take long for it to be crowned THE next up and coming ‘hot’ destination. But where my brain really whirred and saw potential, was not just the country’s obvious stunning scenery, azure blue waters, and unmistakable charm. It was the fact that the Croatians did not quite understand the sophisticated American traveler. Not yet, anyway…
What immediately stuck out to me was the lack of bespoke, high touch, and customizable travel itineraries. Croatia was blessed with some of the most gorgeous scenery that you could imagine but lacked the VIP experience to go with it. And that’s where Adventures Croatia was born.
Exclusive experiences, memorable adventures, and authentic journeys that are delivered with the sophisticated American traveler in mind. That was my vision and that is what Adventures Croatia has become. We are a boutique travel agency that focuses solely on Croatia and the Balkan region, always catering to an American audience. But to deliver this kind of luxury, insider experience, it cannot happen overnight…
In the coming months and years, I set out on a mission. I traveled back to Croatia more times than I can count, forged relationships, hired boats, dined with locals, learned the language and completely immersed myself within the culture and fabric of the nation. I knew that if I wanted to provide a luxury VIP experience that was different to the competition, then it required a different approach. There was to be no compromise, from the moment a traveler first contacted us, to the moment their vacation ended; we were going to provide a travel experience that other mass market agents simply could not compete with.
And that’s what we did.
Having started Adventures Croatia after a solo trip over 10 years ago, I feel beyond blessed to have built what stands before me today. Within the United States, Adventures Croatia now comprises of multiple travel experts that share my love and passion for Croatia while delivering unrivaled attention to detail and client satisfaction. Recently, I took it one step further and was proud to open our first ever Croatian office to further innovate and provide on the ground support to maximize the attention to detail and extra-exclusive feel that we are known for.
Quite simply, Croatia is not just our business, it is mine and my team’s passion. It lives in our hearts and in our soul. This desire and meticulous approach is why you will not find another provider in the United States that can offer this type of exclusive, rich, and authentic experience.
And when I flew back from Croatia from my first ever solo trip, that was my goal.