The Guests

Dr. Vjeran Pavlakovic, assistant professor, Department of Cultural Studies, University of Rijeka, Croatia. Dr. Pavlakovic has been a research scholar for the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. His expertise is in cultural studies with an emphasis on collective memory, important for understanding Croatia.

Dr. Sasa Poljanec-Boric, professor, an economist/sociologist, from Zagreb. She is a former deputy minister of tourism for Croatia and has been the contact person for UGA’s study abroad for 10 years. She is on the management committee for TObeWell, an informed policy making group sponsored by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology for tourism, wellbeing and ecosystem services. This project is based on bringing together principles of ecosystem services (ES), which focus on life support systems, with more non-material services such as culture, health and wellbeing through tourism. It aims to link research on wellbeing provided by ecosystems and their use via tourism, leisure and recreation activities. This would be a conceptual emphasis to travel writing that would be important for our students to understand.

Describing himself as the real Flying Dutchman, Thierry Joubert has lived and travelled all over the world. Originally from Curacao, a small island in the Dutch Antilles, Thierry currently lives in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, ironically a place and country he fell in love with during the conflict in the 1990s. After lots of work with children in refugee centres, setting up kindergartens and a brief stint in software development, he decided to try his luck in outdoor adventure and ecotourism. In 2000 he set up Green Visions with a few friends. As a social business, their main aim is to assist Bosnia & Herzegovina and its small, rural and mountainous villages and communities develop forms of tourism that are responsible and, above all, benefit the locals.

Anja Mutic, who has a website: This is who Anja says she is: Hello, my name is Anja Mutić. I’m a traveler who writes and a writer who travels. Born in Zagreb, Croatia, I’ve lived, worked and traveled on all the continents, except Antarctica. Based in New York since 1999, I worked as a travel editor for Rough Guides and before going freelance in 2004. My writing – which won several awards – has appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Condé Nast Traveler, BBC Travel, Lonely Planet, Time Out, Travel + Leisure, Caribbean Travel & Life and Spa Magazine, to name just a few. I’ve worked as an author on a dozen+ guidebooks for major publishers and penned a variety of articles for print and online publications. I’ve written about destinations far and wide but my particular expertise lies with Croatia (and the countries of former Yugoslavia), South America and Portugal. While I cover a range of beats from luxury travel and spas to outdoor adventure and culture, I have a real passion for unearthing the unusual in offbeat destinations. I hosted several Lonely Planet travel videos, taught an online travel writing class at Mediabistro and worked as correspondent and travel expert for Jetsetter. Anja’s work would be helpful in answering many questions on the ability to be an international travel writer.

Igor Tomlijenovic, owner of Lari & Penati Restaurant in Zagreb, featured in Zagreb’s 36 Hours published by the New York Times. Tomlijenovic is a veteran of the Zagreb gastro scene and cooks with local ingredients purchased from the local outside food market.