Meet Johnny Ward, the man behind the popular travel blog called One Step4 Ward! If you have been following him on social media or this is the first time that you’ll encounter him, you will most likely be inspired by his story and life lessons. Coming from a poor family in Ireland and raised by a single mum, Johnny had to work really hard to achieve his dream – and that is to travel all over the world!
VroomVoomVroom has interviewed some of the Top Travel Bloggers in the World and we are fortunate to get to know another blogger who took time from his busy schedule to share with us his secrets to success, travel tips, and amazing adventures. Get to know Johnny Ward better in this exclusive interview:
What or who inspired you to become a travel blogger?
I had heard of a few bloggers who were funding their lifestyles from their blogs, and inspiring others. I had been traveling full time for almost 3 years, and when I looked at these popular blogs, they were so mundane. No personality, no ‘real’ travel. I thought to myself, if they can do it, then my stories should work too! So I gave it a crack and thankfully it worked out okay.
You seem to always find a way to fund your travels – even to the point of taking odd jobs like being tested with experimental drugs. What motivates you to keep on moving despite the difficult times in your life?
Thankfully, those days are a while ago! In 2006 I did the medical testing to fund my TEFL course and one-way flight to Asia. I come from a poor single parent family, so if I wanted to have an extraordinary life, I needed to do something out of the ordinary to fund it! First summer camps in the US, then medical research, then English teaching, then a ‘real’ job in Australia for a year, and finally I cracked making money online. That was 2010, and since then blogging and digital media has kept me afloat!
You’ve mentioned that your blog site OneStep4Ward.com was born in Australia. Would you recommend travel bloggers who are still starting up to begin their journey there?
If you don’t have the bank of mum and dad to fund your travels, Australia is an amazing place to get some work experience and earn some great money. I managed to save over $25,000 from my year there, I had never seen money like that before! It was life changing for me.
Having travelled to more than 190 countries, what place is closest to your heart?
Ireland, where I’m from, and Thailand, where I now live. I love both countries. Also, there are so many other countries I have absolutely loved – Algeria, Iran, Argentina, Dominica, China. So so many.
Most of our customers enjoy going on road trips, can you share with us your most memorable road trip adventure?
I spent 2 weeks in a campervan in the South Island of New Zealand, that was breathtakingly gorgeous! Also, driving across Georgia in the Caucasus was amazing. So untouched by tourism.
Since you are an expert in budget travelling, what city do you recommend to those who have a tight budget?
My true budget times are behind me, but all of South Asia, South East Asia and Central America are brilliant for tight budgets. Bangkok is maybe my favourite big city in the world, although now it’s getting pricier and pricier!
Christmas is fast approaching and there are some readers who still can’t decide where to go. Can you give us your top 5 holiday destinations?
For Christmas? Number 1 is always home! For me that is Ireland. New York is of course a great place to spend Christmas too, as is Sydney, Australia. Seafood and hot weather is so foreign to us Europeans for a Christmas experience, I loved it. If I’m away from friends and family, then I prefer to be in a place where Christmas isn’t celebrated to be honest, that way I get less homesick. In the north east of China they have an amazing ice festival in Harbin, that’s a great spot to spend Christmas. The CopaCabana beach in Rio isn’t bad either!
Do you have plans of settling down someday or do you see yourself continuing your adventures with your future wife and kids?
I’ll always travel, always set myself crazy goals, climbing mountains, cycling across countries. My kids have to have an education so it may have to work around that, but a normal life is not for me, that’s for sure. I want a big, full life.
We always ask the bloggers this random question: If your life will be made into a movie, what title will you give it and which actor do you want to portray you?
Dream Big. Travel Far. Live Full. And the actor? I wish it could be Bill Murray, but he’s too old I guess?! If not, give me an ego boost with Chris Evans or Ryan Gosling.
I’m sure there are some people out there who wanted to become a successful travel blogger like you. Do you have any advice for them?
Don’t hesitate, don’t procrastinate, don’t think it can’t be you. Make a change today. Life doesn’t have to be a 6/10, we can live any life we want, but it’s up to us. Excuses get us nowhere.
Did you enjoy our chat with Johnny Ward? You can follow his adventures and get in touch with him through his website OneStep4Ward and on social media.