Long term traveller Jonny Blair, from Bangor is finally about to crack his travel milestone of visiting 100 countries. Having visited Norway in February which was country 99, the self confessed nomad and business backpacker will head to Africa later this month where he will be celebrating a journey that has taken him through 100 countries, around 700 towns or cities and all seven continents.
Jonny grew up in Bangor and also studied in Belfast before heading off on a mission to travel the world back in 2003. Jonny’s journey has seen him feed hyenas mouth to mouth in Ethiopia, hitch hike through Iraq, stay with local families in Iran, swim in Antarctica, sky dive in New Zealand and hike the Inca Trail in Peru.
Jonny is a proud Northern Irish man and always likes to pop back to see family and friends as well as heading down the local pub in Bangor for a wee pint. Despite having a background in media and public relations, Jonny’s journey has surprisingly seen him work in over 50 different places along the way, most of them unrelated to his qualifications. Jonny has planted pyrethrum in Tasmania, served Guinness pints in Hong Kong, checked passports in Guernsey while working on ferries, milked cows in Colombia and sold ice cream in Bournemouth. All these jobs to keep Jonny on the road and bump up his life experiences.
Jonny wants to help encourage more people from Belfast and Northern Ireland to get out and see the world. Jonny promotes a lifestyle of travel on his main travel website “Don’t Stop Living“, the website that has given him the platform to work for himself online.
“These days I work for myself online, as a travel writer, author, editor, website manager, itinerary planner and blogger”, says Jonny. “With this lifestyle I can work anywhere in the world as long as I have a working computer and internet access.” Jonny runs a series of travel related websites as well as selling advertising and working with countless travel companies around the world.
In the last year Jonny has attended the World Cup Final in Brazil, gone scuba diving in Honduras, been on a guided tour of the barely known Republic of Transnistria and taught English in Hong Kong. Before hitting that 100th country though, Jonny is back in Bangor to relax with family, eat some Ulster food and plan his next big adventure. A book on Jonny’s travels will be released later in the year. You can keep up to date with Jonny’s travels on his website http://dontstopliving.net.