My Personal Top 10 Posts from the first 1,500 Articles on Don’t Stop Living

So it’s official – this is my 1,500th blog post on Don’t Stop Living that is published and live for the whole world to read. Not a brag or a boast by the way, but certainly this is a reflective post for me – it was only something I noticed as I logged in and it came up in the top menu bar as “Published 1,499 posts” so this is it. For sure over the last 7 years I have added and deleted some articles, I have started some and never finished them and I have converted some blog posts into pages or even guest articles on other sites. I have edited some articles, changed photos, added or removed information and links etc. But this is a good moment to reflect on the first 1,500 blog posts and share my personal top 10 posts from the 1,500 articles I have written on my travels through over 80 countries. If you haven’t seen my site before, these personal top 10 are what I believe Don’t Stop Living is all about. It’s a travel and lifestyle blog which incorporates working, football, drinking, eating and visa issues all into one easy to follow site. If you’ve seen me before, thanks for following, if you’re new, come join the ride and stay tuned!

welcome to dont stop living

1,500 posts deep now – loving life and not stopping living! Reflection time.

The Ultimate Don’t Stop Living Top 10 (August 2007 – April 2014):

1. Welcome to Don’t Stop Living (27th August 2007) Post #1
I’ve stuck the first post in my top 10 as it has to be. When I typed this post up as a backpacker in Toronto in Canada in 2007, I had no idea that 1,499 more articles would follow, I would have seen all 7 continents, be on the way to 100 countries and have some readers that actually read my stuff and e-mail me. That post got about 3 views from my friends and family. The ball was rolling.

Back in the day - foam party in Toronto was one of my early blogging memories.

Back in the day – foam party in Toronto was one of my early blogging memories.

2. “That’s me – up in the sky” – Sky Diving Over Lake Taupo (22nd March 2008) Post #76
When I was a backpacker in New Zealand in 2007, I did all the usual things – sky diving and bungy jumping and I wrote about them in a notebook and pen sort of way. I’m pretty sure none of my readers have ever read my early stuff like this. But these were great times. Raw, backpacking times. I wrote about things as they were – not meaning to give any advice at all, just telling my story and loving it. OK so my blog has developed a lot since then, but this is what DSL began at. I hadn’t even written 80 articles by the time this one was published.

Early days as a backpacker - 7 years ago skydiving in New Zealand.

Early days as a backpacker – 7 years ago skydiving in New Zealand.

3. Backpacking in Shinying, Taiwan (8th October 2009) Post #231
Taiwan made me as a backpacker. I stand by that. Getting lost in Belarus, sky diving in New Zealand, flights cancelled in Pisa…all fairly standard. Not life changing. Taiwan changed things for me. I didn’t want to be around other travellers all the time any more. I didn’t always need a map. Backpacking round the city of Shinying in Taiwan – raw, real, remote, revitalised. I had made it through a bad point in my life and I was reunited with my best mate Millwall Neil and I just loved Shinying. I wrote that post with pride and passion from Neil’s flat. It might not be the best bit of writing ever, but I enjoyed it. At the time I wrote “The experience is just beginning. It won’t be the last time you hear me talk about or mention the city of Shinying.” and I was right.

shinying 2009 taiwan

Backpacking in Shinying – Good Times – 2009

4. Camping in Poatina, Tasmania, Australia (April 2010) Post #354
My travel blog has been a journey, so it’s fair to include relevant points along the journey. I spent almost 2 years living in Australia while writing my blog up to date and even when I farmed in Tasmania for months on end, I had posts scheduled, some typed up offline and still posted as often as I could. The odd thing is when I wrote this post, I still had to go back to Poatina for more broccoli cutting and I didn’t curse or jinx the fact that I was saving for Antarctica at the time – just in case the idea went tits up of course. It didn’t and the rest is history…

poatina australia camping

Glory Days working and camping in Poatina in 2010 saving for Antarctica.

5. Salar de Uyuni Tour Part 11 – Atacama Desert and the Driest Place on Earth (July 2012) Post #656
I had to include at least one post from the Salar de Uyuni Tour on this list and the day I jumped for joy in the Atacama Desert was a good one. It’s one of my posts where I simply love the photos on it. Although I did the tour in 2010, I didn’t finish writing about it until 2012. Things were about to change and this is the final post from the top 10 that first appeared on the Blogger platform.

bolivia desert 2010

Jumping high and happy in Bolivia back in 2010

6. Marco Polo German Bierfest – Hong Kong (21st October 2012) Post #678
I didn’t know it then, but this was the post that would change things for Don’t Stop Living. Yes, I was only writing on a boring Sunday about the previous night out at the Hong Kong Beer Festival, but this was the first time I has written an article on http://dontstopliving.net as it is now. It was the double transfer, first from Blogger to WordPress.com and then to WordPress.org that sent DSL into mainstream blogging.

Raise Your Glass - first post on the new platform.

Raise Your Glass – first post on the new platform.

7. How to Backpack Your Way to Antarctica (10th January 2013) Post #
You’ll notice a trend here that my favourite recent posts have been the more informative, reader friendly ones. While my early articles were just telling the story, at some point it changed to me giving advice and my trip to Antarctica in 2010 provided me inspiration for 50+ articles including this one on how to backpack your way to Antarctica.

Backpacker in Neko Harbour, Antarctica.

Backpacker in Neko Harbour, Antarctica.

8. Watching the Mass Games in Pyongyang, North Korea (14th September 2013) Post #1247
It was not a dream when I ended up in the MayDay Stadium on National Day in Pyongyang, North Korea to watch the Mass Games. I’m pretty fast even at long reports when I had no internet for 3 days – I had this uploaded just 5 days later and I was proud of myself for getting such a cool article typed up and read by a load of people so soon after the event.

pyongyang north korea

Watching the Mass Games in Pyongyang, North Korea

9. My Bournemouth Story (February 2014) #Post 1420
If you only ever read ONE post on Don’t Stop Living and want to understand who I am and why I am dedicated to travel, to writing and to life – then this is the post. It tracks my tale of how I fell in love, ruined myself, almost killed myself and had nothing left despite having a flat, a car and money. I went from being depressed to backpacking round Taiwan within a month and changing my life again. It took me 5 years to return to the scene of the crime – Bournemouth. But I was back stronger and I’d made my point. I don’t have any fears any more.

crying my heart out

“This is a low, but it won’t hurt you”. I’ve stopped crying my heart out.

10. A Backpacker’s Guide to Iraqi Kurdistan (13th April 2014) #Post 1490
The most recent post that I enjoyed writing was my condensed guide to backpacking in Iraqi Kurdistan. It’s an off the wall location that I loved travelling in. I don’t care if anyone cares about this article or not, or if they read it (most fellow travellers couldn’t give a monkeys). All I do know is, I really went there and if anyone else wants to really go there, this guide will work for you.

amadiya iraqi kurdistan

Exploring Amadiya in Iraqi Kurdistan in January 2014

Here’s a full list of the 1,500 articles through the years on Don’t Stop Living, not that anyone in their right mind will ever have time to read them.

There was never any intention to make long term travel my lifestyle, things just happened and developed for me and that’s why I now travel most of the year – it’s a hard lifestyle to remove yourself from. I recently had my website valued at around $175,000 US Dollars (on this link) which made me laugh as it would buy me a house, but I won’t be selling it anytime soon. The years of effort, writing, editing, uploading, crashing have paid off somehow. I am working on other projects now, meaning that DSL will not necessarily be my main focus anymore, though it remains my “flagship travel blog” and I’ll be posting as regularly as I can!

As a business backpacker I'm working on other projects now, away from DSL.

As a business backpacker I’m working on other projects now, away from DSL.

So thanks for following so far, can’t wait for the next big milestone and hope that any readers can get out there to travel and see the world and most importantly of all:

Don’t Stop Living.

Peace Out.

Jonny
http://www.jonny-blair.com

Join 15,017 Monthly Readers! If you enjoyed this article and LOVE travel and SAVING money, get e-mail updates from Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel! (It’s Free) 😉 Jonny

7 thoughts on “My Personal Top 10 Posts from the first 1,500 Articles on Don’t Stop Living

  • Many congratulations Jonny, this is an amazing achievement.

    I don’t know how you managed to pick a top 10! On the bright side it helps me to discover some more of the great content on your site 🙂
    The Guy recently posted…Beware Of The ESTA ScamMy Profile

  • Thanks for the comment the Guy – it’s much appreciated!! It takes a lot of effort and commitment to run a blog for 7 years and write at least something every day, even if it’s only on paper. The abuse I’ve had down the years from fellow “travel bloggers” has been horrendous at times though, hopefully through the worst of that as I feel a few of the abusers won’t last the pace. 1,500 posts and about 50 more written to come in the next few months. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Congratulations mate, I have loved reading your blog for over a year now and I will continue too – Great articles, amazing real life experiences; just a pleasure to read about the life of a traveller with so much spirit and determination!

  • Thanks for the comment Paul. Really appreciate it and always nice to hear from another traveller who fancies that “7th continent” 😉 Safe travels. Jonny

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