Travel Inspiration: An Interview with Jonny Blair

Jonny Blair at Whalers Bay - AntarcticaJonny has mastered a travel feat that even experienced travelers cannot always boast, he has stepped foot on all seven continents. His story begins in Northern Ireland but he has spent the past several years traveling around the world, blogging, and sharing ways others can travel more. 

1) What do you do?

I travel the world! I class myself as a perpetual traveller these days. By leaving my hometown (Bangor, Northern Ireland) 10 years ago I ended up on a journey round the globe. I have now visited almost 500 towns and cities, within 75 countries, across all seven continents, you can see my “Where I’ve Been” page for more information. Along the way I have worked in about 50 different jobs, mostly related to bars, hotels and farms, my working career page gives a good insight into the jobs I’ve had down the years. However these days I’m doing a lot of online work. As well as my own travel blog, I also write for about 5 or 6 other sites and work as an itinerary provider and travel expert. However when asked “what do you do?” I normally just say “I travel the world!”

2) What was your biggest obstacle to traveling and how did you overcome it?

I haven’t really had any obstacles or hurdles, we are in control of our own lives so if we want something enough, we will get it. I believe in that. The hardest part was making the first step – my decision to move away from my hometown. After that, travelling has become routine and rather easy to organise. It’s a case of getting a job, earning money and then choosing where to go next.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

Going backpacking properly with my girlfriend around the Middle East. I’ve covered all 7 continents but the Middle East is a big gap on my travel map. I’ve only ever had a day in Doha so far so I’m off to put things right. Aside from that I’ve started on a lot of new online projects all through the strength of my travel blog. So work-wise, I’m pretty excited about all that and I’m not getting a moment’s rest at all trying to fit it in!

4) What’s next for you?

I’m heading to North Korea for a short trip then straight to the Middle East. I’ve started writing for a UK travel site (Essential Travel) and also for Asia Rooms so work-wise it’s been pretty cool. It’s the first time I’ll be relying on the internet when I travel as well as my blog has built momentum in the last year and I get daily e-mails from other bloggers, advertisers, travel companies and backpackers so I need to be constantly on the ball. I’ve started compiling itineraries for an online travel site (soon to be Smart Phone App) so that’s pretty fun. My second travel site, Crossing World Borders is up and running now and I will be running that along with some fellow travel buddies.

Aside from this I was recently in Africa visiting an orphanage and a primary school and have been invited back next year to work and help out, so I’ve a lot of projects in mind, just a case of organising my travel and work lifestyle around them!

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

To be honest, away from travel it’s football. I grew up playing and watching football. It’s all I did. As a kid I wanted to be a professional footballer. That was never going to happen though. These days I love going to football stadiums on my travels. Back in my home country of Northern Ireland we have had some sectarian problems in football down the years and for a few years I ran a supporters club and a football fanzine in attempts to eradicate the hatred. If I ever find time away from my travels, I’d love to get back into helping out with football in the community. More passionately I support three football teams and I’d love to see them get success. Northern Ireland in a World Cup would be nice to see as would either of my club teams, Glentoran or Bournemouth doing well on the bigger stage. Be it European football for Glentoran or an FA Cup scalp/flirt with the Premier League for AFC Bournemouth. I still write for the matchday magazine in Belfast for Glentoran. However most of my passion these days goes into Don’t Stop Living.

A big thanks to Jonny for sharing his successes and projects; if you’d like to connect or find out more about Jonny’s recent travels, you can find him on his OHW profile.

Jonny on Twitter and Facebook
Don’t Stop Living travel blog

We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot Shannon an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).

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Shannon O'Donnell

A storyteller and knowledge-seeker captivated by the world. Formally an actress and web-nerd, I left in 2008 to travel solo, volunteer, and hunt down delicious vegetarian eats all over the world. She recently published "The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook, and her travel stories and photography are recorded on her world travel blog, A Little Adrift.

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