Travel Blogger Thursday: Jonny of Don’t Stop Living

Jonny Blair of Dont Stop Living in Sulaymaniyeh Iraq
Jonny in Sulaymaniyeh, Iraq

For our latest installment of Travel Blogger Thursday, we interviewed Jonny of Don’t Stop Living. Jonny has lived, worked, and traveled around the world, including all seven continents and over 85 countries! He is originally from Northern Ireland, but has been on the road for over ten years now. Jonny treats life as an adventure and lucky for us, we’re able to join him on his journeys through his travel blog!

What inspires you to travel and what do you enjoy most about traveling?

The thought that there is so much of the world out there to see – so many people to meet, so many fields to walk through, so many different cuisines to try, so many mountains to climb. I enjoy the simple fact that everyday is different. When you wake up you have no idea what you will do that day, nor the next, nor where your next country will be. It’s the freedom of it all.

Jonny Blair of Dont Stop Living in the seas at Atauro Island East Timor
Atauro Island, East Timor

Where is your favourite destination and why?

It’s a tough question and different destinations will be my favourite for different reasons. I loved Antarctica and always talk it up – the day I first stepped on the Antarctic mainland was a dream moment for me. Taiwan made me as a backpacker and I loved touring the island so I always rank Taiwan very highly. I also loved Bolivia – a gem of a country. In Europe, Northern Ireland and England are great spots for pubs and countryside, and football so I always talk them up.

In Africa, Ethiopia was a special experience as it’s relatively untravelled. I also have a fondness of ex-conflict zones and recommend backpacking in Iraq, Palestine and Nagorno Karabakh for an alternative experience.
For sheer diversity it has to be China – massive country with endless travel possibilities.

Recently I went backpacking in East Timor and also loved it.

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Jonny in Antarctica

When did you start to travel, and where did you first visit?

My first ever travel adventure without my parents was in 1991. It was a school trip to Holland. The whole freedom of it all was what appealed to me. Gradually over time it became an obsession until travel turned into my lifestyle. In the last 11 years I’ve been away from my hometown, I’ve clocked up over 500 towns or cities, around 90 countries and all 7 continents. It’s amazing what one trip can do to inspire you.

Why did you start your blog, and what do you enjoy most about blogging?

I was backpacking in Toronto in Canada in 2007 and had just quit a highly busy PR job in London. I had so many stories and travel memories and photos that I turned my written diary and notes into an online blog. It was July 2007 when I met 2 travel bloggers (Lee and Mike) and I liked their blogs so I started one of my own. I opted for the title Don’t Stop Living as it was written on a high school wall, I started typing my stories and the rest is history! Recently I wrote my 1500th blog article which was a proud moment.

Jonny Blair of Don't Stop Living in Mantenga Swaziland
Jonny in Mantenga, Swaziland

What do you like to bring back from the places you’ve visited?

I love to collect stamps, postcards and coins. They’re pretty easy to pick up, collect and keep and they don’t weigh down the backpack. Sometimes I’ll want a football shirt or scarf or a bigger souvenir but the backpack doesn’t always allow that. My Mum always gets a fridge magnet from each place I go.

Jonny Blair of Dont Stop Living watching football in Montevideo Uruguay
Watching football in Montevideo, Uruguay

Where do you plan on visiting next?

 

I’ll have another dip into China this month before heading to London to meet some old friends, on route to Brazil for the World Cup. While in South America I also plan to visit Guyana, French Guyana and possibly Easter Island too. After that the Caribbean and Central America are appealing as I haven’t really been there yet. But I don’t really know exactly where I’ll go. I aim to visit my 100th country this year so keen to see where it will be.
Thank you, Jonny, for the incredibly inspirational interview – I hope that someday we get to visit even a fraction of the places you have been! Happy travels to you! You can check out Jonny’s sites at: Don’t Stop Living, Crossing World Borders, and Jonny Blair. You can find him on social media:

Twitter * Facebook * Youtube

Every Thursday, we’re going to be featuring a fellow travel blogger and highlighting their journeys around the world. If you’re a travel blogger and would like to be interviewed for this weekly series, please contact us.

3 Responses

  1. Noel Morata
    | Reply

    Wow 1500 posts, that is pretty amazing, great interview

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      I agree! He is definitely a wealth of knowledge and his blog has so much info for people who love travel! It was our honor to interview a world traveler like Jonny!

  2. Jonny Blair
    | Reply

    Thanks for featuring me guys and safe travels! Jonny

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