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.
That love of travel has fuelled her 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 . . .
A move in the mid-80s to Bequia, a seven-square-mile tropical island in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, arriving on a boat shared with goats, lumber and rum, began the adventure. Anne soon discovered that with a limited infrastructure, survival on Bequia was dependent on creativity, resourcefulness and one’s neighbours – particularly when you’re a single mum with a five-year-old child. At one point, Anne told her son he would have to do without, and true to form after losing his shoes overboard while out fishing, her son did go barefoot for a month, until she could buy new shoes in nearby St. Vincent. A hardship for some, a dream for others! Life without TV, phone or video games became the norm and creativity kicked in – if you wanted it you had to make it. Relying on new-found friends and volunteering her services around the island immersed Anne into the culture more than she could ever have imagined. It was in Bequia that the seeds for Hibiscus Tours International Ltd. were planted and the company formally registered. 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.
Spreading her wings . . .
After returning to Canada in 1991 to get the “best of all worlds”, Anne established Hibiscus International as a Canadian company and utilized her tourism skills to design and lead niche tours throughout the Caribbean, South Pacific, Micronesia, South America and Europe. She also used her education background to develop an accredited niche tourism training course called THE Travel School which became successful in four cities in North America. Anne is truly a pioneer ahead of her time! Each adventure has been an important part of building the dream and brand Anne calls Hibiscus International.
and Now . . .
Hibiscus international is celebrating over 30 years as an award winning travel company and includes a fully licensed travel agency offering professional services to savvy travellers. Over the last 20 years, Anne has creatively developed a niche in real estate tourism with a focus on the Caribbean, Central America and Europe. And … as if that wasn’t enough, she has recently announced the launch of IFWIRE, the International Forum for Women Investing in Real Estate to support, encourage and celebrate women taking control and living their best lives.
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 and Anne looks forward to YOU, becoming a part of the Hibiscus story.