How Marijana Čuvalo Used Squarespace To Share Her Adriatic Adventure

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Marijana Čuvalo took a monumental leap when she moved from Canada to Croatia in late 2021, leaving behind the familiar to start fresh in a new country. She wanted to process her experiences through storytelling and photography and to bring this goal to life, Marijana knew a top website builder was required.

That builder just so happened to be Squarespace, which she used to create an engaging platform for creative storytelling that now connects her with people across the globe. We caught up with Marijana to learn more about her story and the growth of her travel blog.

Neon sign asking "WHAT IS YOUR STORY?" visible through a window reflecting the night sky, adjacent to a yellow door.
Homepage for Marijana’s website, My Adriatic Adventure.

Quick Insights

  • Industry: Travel and Personal Development Blog
  • Founders: Marijana Čuvalo
  • Company Founded: 2022
  • Company Location: Croatia
  • Website:
  • Website Built With: Squarespace
  • Having a website has… connected me with people globally, personally and professionally. It’s become a creative space for me to share the ongoing story of my life, especially my current chapter: My Adriatic Adventure.

Capturing Life's Moments Through Blogging

Marijana started small by posting stories on Medium but quickly realized she needed her own dedicated space online to build an invested audience. With encouragement from a friend who is experienced in web design, Marijana chose Squarespace for its beginner-friendliness and wealth of features to support her content without requiring coding knowledge.

The website showcases Marijana’s photographs, projects, and primarily her travel blog, “My Adriatic Adventure.” Since embarking on this new chapter, Marijana processes her adjustments to life in Croatia through storytelling. She also discovers more about herself along the way.

“I realized that a large part of my work in the industry involved telling and sharing stories,” Marijana reflects.

“I used to tell stories by developing budgets, projects, evaluation plans, board governance strategies, and more. Now that I have tapped into blogging and photography, I am excited to add a new way to tell and share stories.”

While Marijana’s website may look similar to other expat blogs on the surface, her underlying goal reaches beyond logistics. Storytelling draws heavily on Marijana’s background in social services, helping vulnerable groups find their voice. Now, through vivid narratives, Marijana wants to reveal life lessons that apply universally.

Inviting Readers Into Moments of Discovery

Rather than simply detailing the steps of her move abroad, Marijana aims to provide a lens into self-discovery through her writing. By unveiling her own learnings around mindfulness, vulnerability, and the importance of inner values, she invites readers along her continuing journey to personal growth.

“I want to convey to the reader that my personal and professional journey requires learning to be vulnerable, share that vulnerability, and embrace how that may appear on my website, whether it’s in my blog or photos,” Marijana explains.

A collage of three images: a corridor with a "KAVANA" sign, a crowded beach under a cloud-filled sky, and a house perched near a cliff.
Photos from Marijana’s adventures.

“Storytelling can take many forms—now that I have tapped into blogging and photography, I am excited to add a new way to tell and share stories.”

This distinguishes Marijana’s website from other travel blogs. She moves beyond logistical tips to uncover deeper themes related to fulfillment.

“Through my storytelling, I aim to convey to the reader that life begins when we understand the importance of identifying our values, beliefs, and goals. And start living a life in alignment with those things,” Marijana shares. “Because, like I mentioned, I think that’s where the magic happens. I believe that’s where self-love begins.”

Starting With Support On Her Website Journey

With no prior website-building experience, Marijana leaned on a friend’s Squarespace recommendation when launching her site in 2022. Beyond travel memoirs, she hopes to potentially sell her photography one day. Having access to Squarespace’s commerce capabilities will allow her site to evolve as her goals expand.

The flexible templates didn’t require any coding knowledge, and available integrations made Squarespace a great match for a first-time site owner. While Marijana tackled the setup herself, she drew on her support network for guidance when needed. Their reassurances gave her confidence to continue when momentum stalled initially.

“I consulted with a close friend who has experience in website development and design,” Marijana explains. “She felt it was important for me to take the lead, and she would provide technical and creative support when needed, thus ensuring that the tone and style were mine and that they would evolve with me over the years.”

Having such autonomy, paired with resources when questions arise, makes the website feel like an authentic reflection of Marijana’s evolving story.

As her website matures, Marijana discovers new possibilities through Squarespace’s features. The built-in email marketing integration distributes her latest posts to subscribers. This helps Marijana update fans while segmenting groups for more targeted outreach efforts.

Squarespace Analytics provides a collection of data guiding Marijana’s decisions on better meeting her audience’s needs and interests. She can track visitor trends over time, monitor traffic sources to evaluate promotions, and see exactly which posts resonate to inform future content.

“It’s the first full year of my monitoring data. At this point, it’s primarily interesting only to me,” Marijana admits. “The data that is most impressive to me is that my top two total visits based on countries are Canada and Croatia. Canada would make sense as that is where I spent most of my life. It has been nice to see that Croatians are also reading my content.”

As Marijana continues learning about her global readership, she can tailor both her website navigation and content to help visitors quickly discover the information they seek. Plus, the built-in scalability means Marijana doesn’t need to lock into decisions right away. She can pace new offerings as she evaluates ideas to match reader interests.

No matter Marijana’s goals in this overseas adventure, Squarespace equips her storytelling business to flourish.

Lessons From the Adriatic: Marijana's Tips for Aspiring Bloggers

Even though she’s still discovering her creative course, Marijana has already gleaned helpful insights for others pursuing passion projects through websites. She stresses the importance of not getting trapped solely in the planning stages.

“Take action! Of course, something must be said for planning and preparation, but don’t spend all your time just thinking about the idea,” Marijana urges. Begin publishing to unlock key learnings that momentum enables.

Two potted grass plants on a grey background next to blog titles about life adventures and reflections.
Marijana blog topics resonate on a wide variety of levels.

Marijana affirms that rather than fearing mistakes, embrace them as progress markers when finding your footing. “To create something you like and are proud of, be willing to make mistakes. That’s where the learning happens.” Documenting doubts amid milestones conveys a valuable vulnerability readers relate to in their own pivots.

If selecting a web hosting platform, extensively test offerings using free trials first. “Take advantage of website builders that have free trial periods,” Marijana suggests. Squarespace’s 14-day version helped Marijana determine if its tools aligned with her needs beyond surface-level specs.

By candidly sharing tips alongside profound lessons from her journey, Marijana makes the path less intimidating for aspiring bloggers to pursue fulfilling self-expression through websites supporting their growth. Her wisdom helps new creators take the next step.

Planning for Consistent Growth in 2024

In her first year with a website, Marijana advanced from an idea to a published platform that now reaches readers globally. She refined her direction through researching other bloggers and opportunities to learn. Now, she spends several hours a week writing posts and planning content.

While still shaping her strategy, consistency helps Marijana make progress. She aims to publish at least one blog post per week while researching ideas for the future.

“Currently, I produce anywhere from one to four posts a month,” Marijana explains. “I understand that consistency is essential for building and keeping your audience. I see that in people I subscribe to. For example, I like knowing that Billy Oppenheimer’s Newsletter ‘SIX at 6 On Sunday’ will arrive in my inbox on Sunday night. It’s good storytelling, and it’s consistent.”

Establishing regular content output over time is vital for building an invested audience. Marijana also responds directly to comments and questions to nurture engagement so that she’s meeting the needs of her readers on every level.

While proud of all she’s accomplished with her new online home thus far, Marijana is focused on continuing to learn and improve. Her top web-based goals for 2024 include:

  • Developing a comprehensive engagement strategy: Marijana understands that cultivating community helps content thrive long-term. While still exploring options, she actively responds to comments and plans for more organized outreach moving forward.
  • Establishing a consistent content production schedule: In between adventures, Marijana will commit to regular publication. This dependability helps build reader loyalty as fans await new dispatches.
  • Potentially selling her travel photography through Squarespace Commerce: Looking beyond written chronicles, Marijana’s picturesque images deserve their own spotlight. An online shop may help readers celebrate and participate in her journey.

Marijana also wants to pursue more guest posting opportunities on fellow travel blogs. Contributing unique perspectives for new audiences expands her skill set and reach. It also helps forge connections within the close-knit expat blogging community.

Summary: Embracing the future

Despite still being in the first leg of her overseas sojourn, Marijana happily embraces missteps as learning opportunities. She advises new bloggers looking for growth not to fear failure but to welcome it as essential for progress.

“To create something you like and are proud of, be willing to make mistakes,” Marijana says. “That’s where the learning happens.”

By candidly documenting not-so-perfect moments amid magic, Marijana unveils the full, beautiful spectrum of life abroad. She will have many more insightful stories to share with her compassionate global community in the years ahead.

Written by:
simon banks headshot
I joined the Website Builder Expert writing team in 2023. With a decade of writing experience, I really love helping brands and small businesses, with a talent for making seemingly dull topics fun and engaging. My aim is to get you feeling confident about marketing your business so it can achieve success. Having a background in advertising has given me a unique lens through which to view topics. I love turning tricky subjects – like website security certificates and crafting a customer journey map – into easy-to-understand pieces of content that capture attention whether you're reading at home or browsing while out and about.

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