This weeks Travel Tales Interview is with SJ from ChasingTheDonkey.com. She and her husband have made Croatia their home, so if you’re thinking of visiting Croatia anytime soon, then give her blog a peak. Read on to check out her interview……
Tell us where you’re from, and a little about your blog? I am from the land down under – Australia. Born and bred in Sydney, lived also on Perth for a while. I now live in Croatia and blog about travels across Croatia and our adventures of building a house here. I am a Mum to a toddler and wife to a cancer survivor and together we want to make the most of each and every day. You’ve stayed in some cool spots along your travels – which one stands out the most for you? It’s far too hard to pick just one, so good thing you said standouts. For me it was Russia and Egypt, both for different reasons. Egypt is obvious, everyone loves those pyramids and a good Pharaoh story. Russia was so unique, we only spent a week, and saw so much and I’d love to go back. What’s your country count at the moment? I think it’s around 23… I know I should know exactly but I don’t.
Is there any country you’ve not yet visited that’s a must see destination for you? I did all of the big must-see’s for me already. But of course I can find so many more places to visit, especially the Scandinavian countries. We could not afford those countries when we were younger, so hopefully in the next year or two we can make that happen. What first made you want to travel? We never did family holidays, so travel was always so foreign to me. I was always so envious of my peers who travelled, and as soon as I could I wanted to start exploring. If you had to choose your favourite destination so far, what would it be and why? Do you ask a mother which is her favourite child? Each time I see a new place I fall in love with some aspect of it. Although now having made my home in Croatia, I guess I should say where my favourite place has been here. So far, that has been in Bol, a small town on Brac Island. It blew my mind with how much there was to do there, and just how pretty it all was. Ah-mazing! Name two personal items that you can’t live without while travelling? Easy. My laptop, and not just for blogging – but for everything. That, and my phone. I need to always be connected, I am such a geek like that. Take those two things away from me and I am lost. What’s your most epic travel story to date? We sold and or packed everything we owned up in 2010, and set off for a year-long adventure across Europe. We travelled slowly and ran way over budget, so it ended up being just nine months (whoopsie) but it was the best time of my life.
Is there one post on your blog that you prefer over all the rest? If so, then why? Oh man, you ask some tough questions. One post… hmmm, how do I choose? Maybe the one about things to do in Croatia just because it’s the one question I get asked daily. Everyone wants to know what to do in Croatia. It’s a hard question to answer as it really depends on what you like – and I feel that this post gives everyone lots of choices. Was there a specific moment when you realised that travel was a lifestyle you wanted to pursue? From my very first plane ride. Hubby and I (then boyfriend) flew 2 hours away and it was the most exhilarating experience. We were on a mystery-flight. We purchased tickets to an unknown place, and only found out upon arrival at the airport where we we’re headed. Such fun! What motivates you to keep travelling, and do you have days where you think a more settled life back home is more attractive? Now my motivation comes from my son. I want to give him what I never had. Lots of holidays and chances to see and experience new things, places and people. I do not think we will ever really settle. Never say never, but I just can’t see it. We love moving around too much. During your travels, what’s the best travel tip you’ve received? Slow down. Don’t be in a rush. Don’t feel the need to check off all of the big attractions when you get to a place. Who cares that you spend 9 days in Paris and never walk up to the top of the Eiffel Tower (really, that happened to us). Live in the moment and just go with the flow. Connecting with locals can be one of the most rewarding things about travel. Do you agree? Totally! First thing I do is ask the taxi drive ‘where do you eat’. And then I clarify and say ‘where do you REAAAALY eat, not where you send tourists’, We have eaten at some out of the way places that way and had a better meal and for much less that we would have otherwise.
Is there any one country that you’ve been to that you didn’t like, and would make you not want to return? Not so far. But we have chosen very carefully and have avoided ones we are sure we’d not appreciate. In order to sustain a life of travel, you need to have some sort of income stream. How have you funded your travels? Sacrifice. Less spending on luxuries and also my husband works away for weeks at a time to save up the $$ for travel. Its very hard, but those sacrifices to us are worth it for the life of travel. What are your travel plans for the future? We’re about to build a house here in Croatia, and I guess we’ll need to slow down on the travel plans while that happens. But after that it’s full steam ahead, I want to see every inch of Croatia and write all about it. Favourite travel quote? “To travel is to live.” ― Hans Christian Andersen Biography: SJ Begonja, also known as Mrs. Chasing the Donkey lives in a small Croatian village & writes about Croatian food, travel & her experiences as an expat making Croatia home. Website URL: http://www.chasingthedonkey.com Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/chasingthedonkey Twitter name: @chaseTHEdonkey