INTRODUCING CAROLINE CAMP HARRISON
Introducing Caroline Camp Harrison, your go-to for all things experiential in our great resort town!
Since rolling out the concierge side of our business, we’ve been blessed to do what a lot of people would categorize as play. But we swear it has been hard, rewarding work!
We all have experiences that shape and meld the path of our life.
For me, I solidified my love for Virginia Beach the second my parents gave me the freedom to take my beach cruiser down to the oceanfront alone. If the forecast was above 70 degrees, I could be found at the beach where the waves were mediocre but the sun, sand, and surfers were in abundance!
After many years of successfully establishing my love for the ocean and my home city, it was time to head off to college. I left for the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to attend Sweet Briar College, a breathtaking counterbalance to my sandy roots. However, this new environment quickly confirmed that I was a beach girl at heart. The yearning in my soul to return to saltwater, sand and that relaxed beach culture led me to pursue the beaches of Australia for a senior year study abroad adventure. That experience further developed my love of travel and adventure.
Though living abroad in Australia sounds like a dream for a college senior, the trip was a little less glamor and little more like a reality wake up call. I arrived in my “fully furnished” apartment to find a single bed and some worn out lawn furniture that belonged outside in the trash and NOT in my beachside apartment. How was I going to throw cutest parties Australia had ever seen?
I called home to ask for help from my amazing parents. That was when I truly realized I was on my own. It was midnight, yesterday, at home and they were half way across the world. Simply put, there wasn’t much they could do from that far away. Although I felt like my original vision of this trip was now shattered, I suddenly had an epiphany. I had it all wrong.
I was looking to have Australia experience me rather than experiencing Australia.
Once I had this realization, it was off to the races. I made lifelong friends and went skydiving, scuba diving in the great barrier reef, bungee jumping and whitewater rafting. I held a koala, pet a kangaroo and attended some of the most rigorous college courses of my life.
My biggest takeaway, though, was my newfound love of exploration.
Often times we take for granted what we have right in our backyard.
We shrug off the touristy activities and stick to our tried and true local spots. Coastal Accommodations encompasses the idea that locals are the best guides. Small businesses in Virginia Beach are already catering to a vacation market. Thus, as locals, we can use our relationships to elevate our guests’ experiences.
As I sit here in our headquarters on Laskin Road overlooking the Little Neck Creek of Linkhorn Bay, I am reminded daily of the variety of our unique beach town offerings. Coastal Accommodations’ biggest strength is not that we are locals but that we have taken the time to research and experience all the partnerships we offer. When going on our research adventures, we don’t just enjoy it for ourselves (though that is an awesome by-product of the job), we stop to identify what type of client would enjoy that particular offering.
We ask ourselves questions like how can we add to or improve this activity? Who will have the most fun exploring this part of the beach? What sort of information do we need to prep our guest with so they can experience this activity to its fullest potential?
For instance, we may partner with a boat rental company but we also hire a captain and stock the cooler with beverages and food for a picnic on the beach. We take the time to get to know each of our clients to ensure we’re matching them with the most memorable experience possible.
Creating memories is my passion.
This passion stems from the knowledge that travel and new experiences are the thread of existence that can mold the path of a person’s perspective on life in a positive way for a lifetime.