(a.k.a. The Best Travel Planners on the Planet)
This team works in our Ann Arbor, Michigan, office to create and coordinate your dream adventures.
Robin Weber Pollak
Since age four I have explored the world on Journeys adventures, traveling with my parents, the founders of Journeys, and my brother Noah. I earned a BA in psychology from Carleton College and an MBA from The George Washington University. I spent five years working in experiential education, directing service-learning and leadership development programs, until I realized that the greatest way to pursue my passion for crafting impactful experiences lay in our exhilarating family business. It is my greatest privilege to help travelers expand their perspectives in awesome ways.
In adventures both near and far from home, I love hiking, colorful things, the ever-changing sky, and playing in bodies of water. Hiking the W in Chilean Patagonia, dying original batik textiles in a craft village in Thailand, star-gazing from a swag in the Australian outback, and swimming with sea lions in the Galapagos are among my most delightful memories. But there are so many more places and ideas to explore. Join me?
I have enjoyed travel, natural history and birding in particular since my childhood. I like to get comfortably lost in new places and find my way back by asking questions, observing the terrain and listening to the environmental rhythms. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1970 and spent three years as a teacher and environmental specialist in the Peace Corps in Nepal. Later, I returned to the U.S. to receive my Ph.D. in natural resources from the University of Michigan. I have been fortunate to visit most of the destinations you find on these pages, whether with my family, solo, or with a Journeys group.
Journeys International has been my life's work. My husband Will Weber and I launched the company with a trek in Nepal in 1978. With our dear friend Pemba Tsering Sherpa we developed a vision of small-group travel that would contribute to environmental and cultural preservation. Over more than three decades, we expanded our reach to dozens of countries while maintaining our commitment to innovation and personal connection. I'd always expected to work in the field of education, and Journeys has allowed me to do this in the most creative and fulfilling way, with the world as my classroom. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, attended Mount Holyoke College for my B.A. and the University of Pennsylvania for my Masters Degree, and then went on to obtain my Ph.D. in psychology and education from the University of Michigan. After obtaining our doctorates, Will and I stayed in Ann Arbor where we've built a loyal and enthusiastic office team and raised two children. Our son Noah is now a high school teacher, and our daughter Robin is now President of Journeys.
Traveler Service Director
Over the past 30 years, I've cared for Journeys clients going to all of our destinations. I am proud to have been named to the Travel + Leisure A-list of the world's top travel planners. I know the names of thousands of our travelers and have had the joy of traveling with dozens of you to destinations such as Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, Guatemala, Turkey, Peru, Galapagos, Tanzania, Jordan, Israel, Kenya, Rwanda, Thailand, India, Nepal, Indonesia and others. Plus, I've been fortunate to travel with my kids and give them the opportunity to see the world and experience other cultures.
I joined the Journeys team in 1996, when my youngest son was just an infant. Canada was just about the only distant land I’d set foot in, so it’s no exaggeration to say that my life has completely changed since then. Learning about other cultures and exploring unfamiliar territory has become a passion, and I have made close friends across the globe.
When I'm not off exploring other countries, I'm here in the Journeys office ready to help you plan your own adventure. I love a challenge and the more challenging the travel plans, the better! During my own free time, now that my boys are grown, I enjoy boating on the lake and celebrating holidays with my husband and friends. I also enjoy baking and my specialty is theme cakes including birthday, anniversary, baby, and even wedding! If I have any spare time left, I love just curling up in my pj's with a good book or movie, particularly in these cold Michigan winters.
As one of 22 siblings (yes, I said 22!) I grew up with parents who had compassionate hearts and adopted 18 children, making us one big, mostly happy family. My first experience with international travel was in college, when I participated in a three-week study trip to Belize and Guatemala and it opened my eyes to an amazing world.
After twelve years of teaching, my life path led me to Journeys International. Over the course of my 11 years here I’ve had some amazing experiences. From snorkeling in the Galapagos to white water rafting in Costa Rica, exploring Machu Picchu in Peru, meeting orangutans face to face in Indonesia, and participating in Guatemala’s Semana Santa Festival... just to name a few. Words can’t describe how these experiences have impacted me and opened my heart, to a beautiful and colorful world.
With a background in nonprofit management, I’ve always placed a high value on merging my personal values with my job, and working at Journeys International is no different. My journey of exploration began as a young girl, when my parents introduced me to the world through Girl Scouts (camping and exploring in Indiana) and summer vacations (backpacking, horseback riding and spelunking in Mammoth Cave, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Smoky Mountains, and other National Parks). International journeys soon followed, with trips to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Spain, China, Panama, Belize, Chile, France and Canada. Now, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to pass on my love of exploration to my two young daughters, who are seeing the world through Journeys for Families.
Graphic Design & IT Specialist
I started with Journeys in 1990 doing data entry/communications. While getting my degree in Graphic Design, I developed and organized our Graphics Department. I have been an avid Mac enthusiast since 1988 and enjoy keeping our computers running smoothly and assisting the staff with hardware, software and network support. From print publications to web design to database management to keeping our internet connection up and running, I stay busy and wear many hats. "I don't know, ask Tom" seem to be the standard answer to many questions around the office. In my "free" time outside of Journeys I have many hobbies including pencil drawings for commemorative plates, playing bass and guitar, video editing and audio recording and sequencing. I enjoy spending time with my two grown children, their spouses and grandsons, as well as, cycling, hiking and watching movies.
Before I was a lawyer, I went to summer camp. I spent 14 summers at Greene Family Camp in central Texas, rising from camper to counselor to adventure director and, eventually, I ended up at camp full time as the assistant camp director. I traveled with camp groups in Europe and Israel as a participant and later as a group leader. I received my B.A. (and, later, my J.D.) from the George Washington University and had the good fortune to marry into this family business in 2009. Trips with Journeys to Costa Rica, South Africa, Namibia, Turkey, and Patagonia have offered plenty of opportunities to put my rock-climbing and group leading experience to work!
During 28 years in the pharmaceutical industry (my first career), my favorite assignments were overseas. In my encore career, I'm living my dream as a trip leader. Trips include India, Bolivia, China, Panama, Iceland, the Arctic, Australia, and the Galapagos. And when not traveling the world, I keep myself busy competing as a synchronized swimmer.
A veteran traveler to nearly two dozen countries on four continents, Coco has taught high school world history and literature since 2001. In partnership with Journeys, she has taken her students to Cambodia, Nepal, and Mongolia, and is thrilled to be spending her sabbatical year leading trips for Journeys. She lives in New Mexico with her husband, enjoys hiking and skiing in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountains, and loves the rich culture and history—and food!—of New Mexico.
When Ben Spears isn't supporting election observations around the world through his job at The Carter Center, he is playing competitive ultimate frisbee and exploring his hometown of Atlanta. Spears previously worked with Ultimate Peace, a peer-to-peer sports initiative in the Middle East. Ben has been involved with national campaigns and public service, including civil rights veteran and congressman John Lewis. Ben has degrees from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Georgia State University in Atlanta.