Mijo Perković was born and raised in Split, Croatia where he attended high school sports gymnasium and later graduated from the University of Economics with an emphasis in tourism. He has been honored to represent his country in international Taekwondo competitions (black belt), in his free time he enjoys other combat sports, dances, and playing music. Mijo has experience in many fields including as a Taekwondo coach and working in sport centers. In his current role at Split Sea Kayaking he is a kayak instructor and a member of the management team. Mijo holds both an adventure guide license and a license as a full fledged tourist guide.
Mijo’s passions are playing guitar, sports and learning languages. He is fluent in English, Croatian (primary language) and knows the basics of German and Spanish. One interesting fact: he was the team leader for Taekwondo Fighters and Dancers on “Supertalent,” a popular television show in Croatia, they placed among the top 15 competitors in 2010.
How do the experiences you offer at Split Sea Kayaking give guests a unique perspective on the history, people or culture of your region?
When you first step into our city you will immediately notice that our history, people and culture are molded together, from the music we create, to the way we dress, speak, eat and act. It is enhanced by the fact that locals still live in city center UNESCO protected area – Diocletian Palace. The city of Split is truly a living organism that is more than 1700 years old. What is the best way to explore the city besides on foot? That is what Split Sea Kayaking offers – paddling in a kayak around the biggest natural attraction in our city, Marjan hill, while coming across historical sites and enjoying ourselves joking, swimming, cliff diving, and snorkeling. Split has so much to see, and cruising around most beautiful part of it is really special experience.
How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
It’s like learning to walk first and then proceeding to dance. Experience is the best teacher and we are always evolving and adapting accordingly to feedback we receive from guests.
What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
It’s impossible to give just one detail which makes the trip or goes unnoticed, Split Sea Kayaking provides a package of many details combined together and each person gets and receives what he is interested in and more. Whether it is a large tour or a private excursion, each person or group gets a tailor made journey for him/her. As our instructors meet guests and paddle together they connect in a dynamic relationship. Every instructor uses their power of calibration to gauge and “feel” guest, no simple tour plan or typical behavior can be put out for masses or be replicated. In addition to being qualified for guiding adventure tours, this ability is mandatory and key for our instructors – emotional intelligence and calibration.
What do you wish every guest knew as they consider participating in the experiences you offer?
Don’t try to know anything, relax , expect nothing and you will get everything. Shut your brain and thinking, give in to your emotions and wonderful memories will be created.
What is one travel trend that really excites you?
People used to walk around cities, try the food and wine, and relax in bed at evening, but today the focus is on doing things and it’s very important for guest to have options on what to do and where to do it, we offer that. Split Sea Kayaking is one of the alternative activities guest can enjoy themselves. Destinations are not just history and accommodations anymore, it’s getting bigger and content maters. The tourist market is growing, becoming competitive, people who are not ready to invest fall behind, one trend which excites me is people traveling and being proactive, doing different activities in destination. Creating new content and new options, this is what I look forward to because it benefits not only guests, but locals also.
What sets Split Sea Kayaking apart from other, similar, adventure travel companies?
We at Split Sea Kayaking don’t just kayak . We swim, we dock on the beach, we climb and jump off cliffs, we go snorkeling, we talk about the history and fun facts of Split city. We take hundreds of professional photos (even underwater) in one tour and upload it the same day to our Facebook page for guests to see them. Split Sea Kayaking does tours for all types of guests includes those who have never seen the sea before and don’t know how to swim. or those who have fear of water. Of course, we also often host guests who have been kayaking many times. We have all of the necessary equipment, including kayaks for people of all sizes, ages and experience levels.
What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
Relax and enjoy 🙂
What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
Best strategy is doing good work. You can have good marketing, you can have a good program but in the end it’s all about guest satisfaction. Word of mouth is still the best marketing you can get, sites like TripAdvisor certainly help, but there is no shortcut or magic pill to grow fast. One guest at a time, one smile at a time, slowly but surely. Chasing the outcome will be detrimental for your business, good results are nice but if you don’t like what you do and if you are not able to transfer you positive energy to guests and SHARE experiences together and just be with them and smile, than all of the efforts are wasted. Once you are in that state of loving what you do, things will happen and one of those things will be, and is important – surrounding yourself with right people – people who have knowledge and are thriving. That is what it is like to work at Split Sea Kayaking, we are all learning everyday and motivating each other, attending seminars and classes on a regular basis.
What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
First of all, success for me is relative term and thinking that you are successful can be very limiting, but on the other hand, to have a feeling that you are successful today is way more efficient and important. Let me do quick explanation: whether you stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself that you are successful does not matter, what maters is doing things you have to do and making strong habits while overcoming challenges – that is what creates feelings of success inside you, gives you satisfaction. We have all done some great things in past which could be considered success, but the point is – it does not matter, yesterday does not count. Doing things on a daily basis and working toward your goals will bring that feeling of being successful, this feeling will allow you to do even more in the outside world. Being successful is not something that can be achieved and then you can retire and stay successful.
So now I will share 3 habits from my personal life which, in my opinion, help me to stay sharp and do the job I intend to do, which, in the end makes me feel successful in life.
- Sleep 6 hours a day. When you have your WHERE and WHY in life you don’t have time (or the will) to sleep 8 hours a day. 6 hours is more than enough for me and I believe for most of you. If I sleep 8 hours now, I feel tired, and at 6 I am refreshed and ready to go. Good reading if you want explore this theme is the book: “How to sleep less and have more energy than you ever had before,“ by Kacper M. Postawski.
- Be organized. If I think about my qualities in animal symbols I like to think and say to myself that I am as organized as a spider. Every day I know what is on my schedule, every morning, every evening. I use a white board for writing and deleting stuff, it is on the wall in my bedroom and all important important tasks are listed on it.
- Learn to listen people. Listen to understand not just to wait for a clever comeback just so you can share your perspective, but listen to understand. To understand someone means absolutely nothing, but to make him feel understood means everything. People maybe feel that others will think they are stupid if they keep their mouth shut, but in reality it is opportunity to find out new things, connect with someone or even to get smarter. Nobody needs a babble mouth around but everybody needs someone who will honestly listen to them. True listening grants me power in my job and in my life.
Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
We had a family on tour one time: a mother, father, son and aunt. Only the father was able to swim and they were pretty scared at the beginning of journey. As time passed I was able to make them them feel more relaxed and secure, the little boy became the bravest of them all which then encouraged the parents and aunt to do the same. They had to push their limits because if the boy was the bravest, in their mind that would be shameful for them. At the end of the day after sunset, all of them were swimming, snorkeling, climbing on cliffs and jumping without any fear. Enjoying themselves to the fullest. Seeing that kind of evolution and shift in behavior, which could be categorized as “braking limiting beliefs” or “getting rid of fears which bind you in life,” and seeing that family transformation and sincere smiles and excitement is what I live for. This is why our kayak instructors have to be more than instructors, they have to know basic human psychology as well. Today we are friends with many of our guest and still in contact and we would be more than happy to accompany you on our journey.
PS. One of the facts and limiting beliefs people sometimes have who come for the first time is broken often and I will repeat it here: in the Adriatic sea there are no sharks and you are safe!