Arbanasi, Bulgaria Photo: Laura Downing


Stone and Compass aims to bring people together from around the world to share in the rich heritage that Bulgaria and Southeastern Europe offer. We are also dedicated to connecting educators and lifelong learners of all kinds to help people develop a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the culture and history of these great lands.

Traditional house in Tryavna, Bulgaria Photo: Laura Downing

The Formation of a Bulgarian Dream

In 2011 and 2012, I had the great fortune to visit the country of Bulgaria. It was during this same time that I had been thinking of a new business idea that would incorporate my love of nature, education, travel, and culture. I knew I wanted my idea to be something that could bring together groups of people from all walks of life in a singular setting that would promote collaboration, a sense of peace, and above all a place of enjoyment. 

As I learned more and more about Bulgaria I fell head over heals in love with the place. The history, the people, the food, and above all the environment, were exactly what I was looking for. I also had the great fortune to meet some incredible young students as well as some amazing folks who worked for a Bulgarian Foundation. As I got to know these individuals more I realized that I could not only create an amazing opportunity for own my family in Bulgaria, but I could also help change the lives of others. Thus, an idea was born. To bring together a team of individuals who shared my love of helping others and who wanted to make a difference in a place that I would build from scratch on a plot of land in Bulgaria! I knew that the idea was crazy and I also knew that no one would take me seriously. So I decided to build a business in the United States first and gave myself the singular goal of turning the US business into an entity that would be so successful that it would help transform my Bulgarian Dream into a reality; I gave myself 24 months to do it-and it worked!

Now in 2014 the Bulgarian Dream is officially taking flight....

 - Rob



Welcome to the Stone and Compass Balkan Ecotourism and Cultural Retreat Opening 2016!