Jonny Blair is the owner and author of one of the latest blogs that I’ve been following lately called Don’t Stop Living. Jonny would probably be one of the most traveled travel bloggers out there having been to more than 70 countries in 7 continents (yeah including Antartica).
Jonny write a lot of insightful tips that you will definitely find helpful. He also has a lot of articles about working along the way which I’m sure you’ll find interesting especially if you’re a budget traveler like me who’s always looking for opportunity to prolong our lives on the road.
Get to know more about Jonny and follow hi adventure at Don’t Stop Living.
But before you leave this page, check out my short interview with Jonny.
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“It’s a good question as none of my family or friends were big travellers. I think it was three things that triggered
it off, the first was looking at maps of the world as a kid and thinking I wanted to go everywhere. The second was football, I loved looking at Panini football sticker books and thinking I’d love to go to places like Montevideo, Seoul and Moscow some day. The third thing that triggered my passion for travelling was just making my first step and leaving my home country of Northern Ireland 10 years ago. Once I’d made the first step, the rest fell into place.”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“There have been a few. I won’t mention the really personal ones, but being robbed in Prague, escaping a mugging and being ripped off in Caracas were horrible experiences. I’ve had loads of cancelled flights, trains and buses too but I see them all as part of the journey and experience rather than bad things. I also lost my wallet and camera in Laos.”
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“Without doubt landing in Antarctica. It was my dream to visit the world’s most remote and coldest continent and I worked very hard to get there and did it. My first footsteps on Antarctica were just bewildering and mindblowing! Aside from that hiking near the Tibet border, the Inca Trail in Peru and staying in Soweto, South Africa were very inspiring moments.”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“That I can go anywhere, work anywhere and live anywhere. I have no restrictions. I hate being tied down to a permanent job or a flat. It seems crazy that anyone could work for the same company and live in the same flat their whole life. There’s a big world out there and I want to see it.”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“Seeing new places, meeting new people. I will never get tired or bored crossing a border into a new country, trying a new food or sightseeing round a new city. It’s just the sense that everywhere I go is new that keeps me going. I rarely return to the same place.”
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
“Great question!! If it was another man it would be James Bond. I’d be able to go anywhere without fear! I wouldn’t care about bombs or wars going off, I’d have my own secret agent as my sidekick!If it was another woman it would be Kylie Minogue. She was my first crush when I was a kid and to have her singing The Loco-motion as we cross the border into Turkmenistan would be phenomenal!”
Where’s your favourite place in this planet and why?
“That’s a very very tough question but the answer has to be Northern Ireland. I was born and raised there and I’m proud of it – it’s my home. My friends, family and football teams are all there so it’s my favourite place. Even though I’ve only been back to visit twice in four years!But as a traveller, I’d have to say Antarctica again. Nothing compares to the sublime beauty of it. Bolivia, Paraguay and Taiwan are also contenders.”
What’s your best tips for newbie traveller?
“I’ll give you a few of my tips if that’s cool!- Book a one way ticket and don’t leave anything important behind. Pack
your bag and off you go into the wilderness.- Don’t go where all the other tourists are. Instead of heading to Bangkok, head to Shenzhen. Instead of heading to Rome head to Debrecen. Instead of heading to Rio de Janeiro head to Asuncion. You will get much better memories and experiences by getting off the beaten track!- Travel with 2 passports if you can. If you can’t, make sure you have the biggest passport possible, those stamps and visas will fill up the pages very quickly.”
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
“They are both related to water. My funniest is having a naked dip in the waters of Antarctica. My silliest is swimming in the Nam Song River in Laos with my wallet and camera in a green plastic bag over my neck. I waved goodbye to $1000 in an instant. Another silly thing I did was not getting a bigger passport first time around. I was refused entry to Suriname, Singapore and Thailand as my British passport was full, no problems at all, I just whipped out my reserve passport – an Irish one!!”
How do you keep yourself safe on your travels?
“I normally travel with my girlfriend and we generally keep each other safe. I lock up my important things in hostels and safes before I go out at night. I don’t acknowledge anyone who is trying to sell me anything, I don’t reveal much to strangers and I don’t approach people on the street at night.”
What do you think about yourself?
“I’m basically just a normal Northern Irishman from a small seaside town (Bangor) who saw the bigger picture and got out to see the world. I see myself as someone who wants to see the world and share it with others even if they don’t want to listen. I want more people to travel the world. I’d like to inspire others to follow in my footsteps and prove how easy it is to live a lifestyle of travel.”
“Don’t Stop Living is my one man, seven continent travel blog that I am passionate about. I live a lifestyle of travel and I write about places I’ve been, people I’ve met, beers I’ve tried, things I’ve seen, jobs I’ve had, food I’ve tasted and anything I want. I’m on an endless journey and I want to help fellow travellers with tips and advice on what to do on your travels. My blog began life in 2007 and I’ve written over 1,000 blog posts.” – Jonny Blair
Editor’s Note: All pics are provided by Jonny.