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About Chasing the Donkey | A Balkans & Croatia Travel Blog
This travel blog is the place you discover all about Croatian & Balkan travel, food, and culture. We also share stories about living in Croatia. We also have regular contributers who write about other parts of Europe – we aim to help you save time travel planning, and get you traveling like a local!
What Does Chasing The Donkey Mean?
One place that holds a special place in my heart here in Croatia is the Island of Dugi Otok. Why? Well, it’s where I first saw those donkeys, who inspired the name of this blog on my very first trip to Croatia back in 2000. The name Chasing the Donkey means nothing; it’s just as silly name about wanting to move to Croatia where I saw those donkey’s back in 2000.
Many Kornati Island day trips stop at Dugi Otok where you can throw down your towel and swim in the crystal clear waters and walk up the hill to meet a donkey or twenty. Or you could just wait, a little while and one of the donkeys will come & greet you like these guys.
Who Are We? Allow Us To Introduce Ourselves
We are the Begonja Family. We’re Sarah-Jane and Mate a married couple from Australia. Mate was born to Croatian parents and grew up in Australia. SJ is a full-blooded Aussie. Together we packed up our life in Australia (along with our son) and moved to Croatia. After a few years of living in Croatia, we added one more son into our family. Making us complete at four.
The faces behind this Croatia Travel Blog – the Donkey’s also known as the Begonja’s
Why Do We Blog?
Living in Croatia was lonely, so SJ started the blog as a way to document the experience and share it with everyone back home. Then things got busy. The blog became popular as we began writing about our travels. We are travel addicts (25 countries and counting) and could not stop exploring Croatia and blogging about it as we went. The blog is just all so much fun; we now can’t stop. We blog every week. Sometimes more. We love sharing our travel experiences with you – and inspiring people to add Croatia to their travel list.
@chaseTHEdonkey Just checked out your blog. Never thought I’d want to visit #croatia You sold me. Adding you to my reader. Beautiful blog!
— Melanie (@melaniemiddle1) March 20, 2014
Who Is Who?
Sarah-Jane is often referred to as SJ (who wants to say a name with three syllables?). While Mate pronounced mart-air blogs when he isn’t cooking, or roaming about the country. Our sons are small, so we tend not talk about them much – but when we do we call them the Little Donkey and the Baby Donkey. Then, of course, there is Donkimir the little four-legged part of the crew who we are figuratively chasing.
What Can You Expect From This Blog?
If you’re looking for a blog that’s honest (sometimes too honest) and written by real people who love Croatia – you’re in the right place. We blog about a variety of things – all Croatian.
- We write guides and travel tips about things to do in Croatia
- You can also read about Slovenia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and more of our neighbors here.
- We love to cook, and so we talk a lot about Croatian food and share Croatian recipes in English
- We share stories about living in Croatia. As expats, things can be tough at times, so we also share expat tips and honest musings about how we feel
- We started growing fruit and vegetables and have our olive trees, so sometimes we talk about that
- We built a house in Croatia – and we shared progress reports about dream home – that become a nightmare. So, you can cry along with us when we speak about that
- We also write, travel product reviews and travel tips about brands and products we use and love.
Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Want To Know More?
We know you want to know why we moved to Croatia? It’s okay; everyone asks us. We moved to be adventurous and try something new.
Life is too short to have regrets. We realized how precious life was when Mate got cancer – beat it – and got it again. Heck, your whole world spins when you have so much chemotherapy and radiotherapy that it almost kills you.
Thankfully he beat it a second time – so we decided to live-the-fullest-life-we-can-live. Croatia was an easy choice after we inherited land in Croatia after Mate’s Fathers passing. Moving was not so easy – and still isn’t, but here we are giving it a red hot go.
How Can We Help You?
We publish new blog posts every week, sometimes several times a week. If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all things Croatian and Balkan – come back again – we will be here.
Are You Looking For Info On Living In Croatia?
If you’re thinking about returning home to the ‘motherland’ or you are a spouse of someone who wants to. YOU CAN DO IT.
In this blog, you’ll see that yes, sometimes life in Croatia can be difficult, but you only have one life. Live it.
- 6 Years Living In Croatia – Top 6 Experiences
- 5 Years Living In Croatia – What The F!*k Was I Thinking?
- 2 Years Living In Croatia
- 12 Months Living In Croatia
- Tips On Moving To Croatia Here.
If We Have Not Bored You Already – Here Is More About Us
- After Mate’s Father and Grandfather passed away Mate inherited land in Croatia, which included a small house, that Mate’s Grandfather built. Mate’s Father had always dreamed of one day returning to Croatia to fix up the little old house – but sadly time and cancer beat him to his wish. So, in his absence, we took on the challenge.
- SJ and Mate have been together since 1999 (you do that math). Some say you get less for murder.
- SJ is 5th generation Australian, who came from Welsh, Irish and English convict stock. But don’t worry you can leave your valuables with her – she is trustworthy.
- SJ always says (& writes) what she thinks – and it almost always gets her into trouble. In time, you’ll see that she is a big softy at heart.
We hope you’ll enjoy following along as we build our dream house by the sea and have Croatian (mis) adventures. We aim to help you discover Croatia like a local. Let us know what you think!
Find Out How You Can Work With us at Chasing The Donkey Balkans and Croatia Travel Blog.
Chasing the Donkey is your best guide for travel to the Balkans, Croatia & beyond. We are SJ & Mate Begonja, we’ve spent the last four years exploring Croatia & the rest of the Balkans from our home on the Dalmatian Coast.
We have backgrounds in marketing & project management. Along for the ride is our sidekick ‘Donkimir,’ the travel-loving donkey. Together we discover & share the best of Balkan travel, food, & culture.
- Our travel blog has been viewed by more than 13.5 million times by over 7.9 million people. (as at Sept 2019)
- We have over 1 million monthly viewers on Pinterest with a collective community of over 150,000 social media followers
- We’re regularly featured as travel leaders in publications, plus we have received numerous awards including making the World’s Top 50 Travel Blogs list for the last two years (measured by traffic)
We’ve worked together with dozens of companies & tourist boards to help them achieve their advertising & marketing goals – we can help you too.
We leverage our site’s authority & expertise to promote your brand. Our readers trust our recommendations plus they look to us for expert advice, making us very influential.
Our biggest point of interest is we share stories about our life living in Croatia – which is what makes us real & relatable.
Since 2014 we have had over 4.3 million unique users read our travel blog – consuming more than 8.8 million page hits! We are beyond proud – this makes us the #1 read Croatia travel blog in English!
Did you know that there are approximately 4.2 million people living in Croatia (some say it’s now less) which means that MORE PEOPLE have READ MY Croatia travel blog than there are people LIVING IN IT!
WOW, just think about that for a second!!
This blog has been years of hard work and 99% of our travels are funded from my own pocket. I am BEYOND thankful that each day you all read and follow along and thanks to the very few tourist boards and sponsors who have supported us in that time.