The Hibiscus International Story
Born to wander . . .
The child of an aircraft industry family, it was inevitable that Anne Brobyn would look to the skies and feel a sense of wanderlust.
The love of travel has fuelled Anne’s desire to discover the world. Early in her career, as a youth worker and educator, Anne explored cultures far beyond her suburban world and quickly discovered that her travel experiences enriched her life as well as her career. After receiving a prestigious award from the UN’s International Institute for Peace in Tourism, Anne realized that her passion was in cultural and niche tourism.
Bequia bound . . .
After a life crisis in the mid-80s, Anne decided to take her young son and relocate to a seven-square-mile tropical island in the Caribbean where she could heal and figure out what she wanted in life. After two flights and a rough ferry crossing shared with goats, lumber, rum and a lot of chatter, the adventure began.
Anne soon discovered that survival on the island of Bequia in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, was dependent on creativity, resourcefulness and one’s neighbours – particularly when you’re a single mum with a five-year-old child. Anne laughs and says “it would have made for a great opening season of Survivor had it been around at that time.” At one point, Anne told her son he would have to do without, and true to form after losing his shoes overboard while out with some local fishermen, her son went barefoot for a month, until she could find shoes in nearby St. Vincent. A hardship for some, a dream for others! Life without TV, phone, Internet or video games became the norm and resourcefulness kicked in – if you wanted it, you had to make it.
Relying on new-found friends and volunteering her services around the island, Anne immersed herself into the culture more than she ever could have imagined. It was in Bequia, that the vision of a different lifestyle lead Anne to make a bold life-changing decision. This meant taking a leap of faith and moving out of her comfort zone as a tenured professor at one of Canada’s most prestigious colleges. Her plan was to find a creative way to fund her lifestyle while she got her company – Hibiscus Tours International Ltd. up and running.
The reward through all this came when her son asked before returning to Canada if they “had done without?” They hadn’t. In fact, they’d learned so much, not only about Caribbean culture but also about their own. The Bequia experience became a catalyst for what lay ahead. Anne never looks back – unless it’s to relive incredible memories. As a sailor, she can definitely say it was not smooth sailing, but it’s the ongoing adventure that continues to feed her soul to this day.
Anne is truly a pioneer ahead of her time! Each adventure has been an important part of building her lifestyle retirement dream and the brand Anne is synonymous with – Hibiscus International!
and Now . . .
Anne is living the dream, exploring all corners of the earth where fine food and wine, fascinating cultures and stunning natural wonders abound. When she isn’t traveling you’ll find Anne sharing her Ontario wine country home and garden with good friends and family. Creating new memories and relationships with clients makes every day another adventure.
Hibiscus International is a fully licensed travel agency and tour operator meeting the needs of today’s curious travelers. Whether you’re looking for a customized tour with boutique hotels, a luxury cruise/rail/tour experience, a vacation to celebrate a milestone with a small group of friends … or to hide away from life and find the peace you’ve been searching for … our experienced and dedicated team is here to offer full service from start to finish.