Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Johnny Ward
Hometown: Kilkeel, Northern Ireland
Residence: Bangkok, Thailand
College: Loughborough University
College major: International Economics
Pinterest: One Step 4 Ward
YouTube: Johnny Ward
Short bio: Johnny Ward, one of the world’s top travel and lifestyle bloggers, is one of the youngest people to OFFICIALLY visit every country in the world, 197/197, and one of the few to do it “properly,” no border hops, transits or airport lounges! He left Ireland, with no money, to teach English in Asia, and along the way started his blog, onestep4ward.com, and then his blogging media company, step4wardmedia.com. Working around 10 hours a week, en route to every country in the world, Johnny managed to make more than $1m USD which he has used to buy properties in London and Bangkok, amongst other investments.
He uses his blog to advocate lifestyle design, and refuses to subscribe to a nine-to-five job. Ever. Start-ups, digital nomadism and SEO have given him the freedom to live his life on his own terms. He’s passionate about showing others how travel blogging changed his life, and hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams.
He now runs an NGO, givebackgiveaway.com, to “give back” on projects around the world, building a playgrounds and schools for impoverished communities around the world.
How often do you fly? 75 times a year? Maybe 100.
How many countries have you been to? All of them, 197/197.
How many continents have you been to? All of them including Antarctica.
Earliest travel memory: We couldn’t afford to travel while I grew up, single parent on welfare. Once we took a boat from Ireland to England to visit family when I was about 10 I think though. That was great.
Favorite American city: NYC.
Favorite international city: Bangkok.
Least favorite country: Guinea.
I have no desire to go to: I literally want to go everywhere!
Friendliest people in the world: Algerians (North Africans/Arabs in general actually, but Algerians especially). Iranians also, and Sri Lankans.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: USA.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Socotra Island, Yemen.
Favorite airline: Singapore Airlines.
Favorite aircraft type: A380.
Aisle or window: Window on biz, aisle on economy.
Favorite airport lounge: Turkish Air lounge, Istanbul.
Favorite U.S. airport: Not a big fan of US airports to be honest, probably down to the immigration officials.
Favorite international airport: Changi, Singapore.
Favorite hotel: Sri Panwa, Phuket.
Favorite travel credit card: Amex biz.
Favorite island: Socotra again, see above, but it’s SUPER hard to get to—check this out. If not, then I have to say Ireland right?!
Favorite beach: Beaches aren’t my thing, but the pink beach in Komodo, Indonesia is UNREAL.
Favorite National Park: Zhangjiajie National Park, Hunan Province, China.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I’m not one for splashing on food to be honest.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: One Dim Sum, Hong Kong.
Favorite airport restaurant: I’m in the lounge, so it’s normally the minibar I’m looking for!
Favorite fruit: Mangosteens, without a doubt.
Favorite food: Acai bowls.
Least favorite food: Anything pickled.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Guinness, Aussie shiraz, Champers, Old Fashioned. Not necessarily in that order! Oh, and coconut water!
Favorite travel movie(s): Lost in Translation.
Favorite travel show(s): Idiot Abroad.
Favorite travel podcast(s): I don’t listen to any.
Favorite travel book(s): Cliché, but”The Alchemist.”
Right now I am reading: “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I honestly don’t read too much travel stuff, I find a lot of it super generic. I prefer to get out there and do the stuff myself.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Wikitravel, Momondo, Xe.com.
5 things you bring on a plane: iPhone, MacBook, Power Bank, a Book, good earphones.
What do you always seem to forget? My bloody inflatable pillow, what a waste of money, I never bring it!
What do you like least about travel? Long-term, full-time travel isn’t great for mental health imo. I love it but the lack of routine means bad diet, lack of working out, no social structure. It’s important to mix it up.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? My gf is cabin crew, so she sells a lot of stuff to other cabin crew, whatever I’m instructed to buy, that’s it!
Favorite travel app(s): Google Maps, Google Translate.
Most embarrassing travel moment: There have been many! Stopping a 12-hour bus, six hours from Delhi, leaving my bags onboard because I had Delhi-belly and sprinted to a nearby field, as it drove off and left me, wasn’t my proudest moment!
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Hmmm. A lot of Canada actually.
Worst travel moment: Watching a guy getting shot in Angola.
What’s your dream destination? Summit of Everest and the South Pole. The North Pole too, but I should hopefully be there this April to do a marathon!
Favorite travel charity: GiveBackGiveAway.com—the best travel charity there is!
Best travel tip: Don’t think too much and don’t plan to much. Oh, and get off your f—cking phone. Enjoying the moment is more important than an extra 50 likes on your IG :)
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.