OK so I started travelling about 10 years ago, leaving Northern Ireland in 2003 was the first step. I started writing about my travels in 2007 and have been constantly writing about travel ever since (on this website, and on dozens of other websites, including Wanderlust). However when walking through an immensely busy street during an extremely busy festival in Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan in May 2012, I was recognised for the first time, on the strength of my website! I couldn’t quite believe it.
You have to picture the scene – this green shirted, travelling Northern Irishman walking through a busy festival in Shibuya on a busy Sunday afternoon with my mate Neil. We were both lost, and neither of us could cross the road. We really weren’t that interested in the festival that was going on around us, OK so I took a few photos and videos of it, but we wanted to get back to the Metro Station at Shibuya.
Then, suddenly amongst all these Japanese people, my shoulder is tugged and a voice says “are you Jonny?” and again “Are you Jonny?” and then again “Are you the travelling Northern Irishman?” shouts a voice!! I kind of looked in disbelief! I mean yes I am Jonny and yes I am the travelling Northern Irishman, but who the hell knows me here in Shibuya? And there it hit me – people really do read my stories. People really do follow real travellers and suddenly I had a new friend.
I was introduced to Alan, who had seen my blog and followed my stories online. People that know me well (and possibly even those that have read my stories on here) will know that I am VERY OFTEN seen wearing a green Northern Ireland football shirt. I guess this follower of my blog, Alan must have put two and two together. He wears a green football shirt and he travels a lot. That must be him – Jonny from Don’t Stop Living! And it was. It was amazing to meet Alan and enjoy about 40 minutes of his company, get a photo with him (first photo on this post) but a few hours later I would be at Tokyo Narita Airport and flying onwards to Hong Kong. I’ve probably had my fifteen minutes of fame in life already, it’s time to move on…
But one last point – NEVER underestimate the power of a travel blog – as travel bloggers we really go to places and we write about what we do and see – people are interested in what we say, the internet has become a quite amazing weapon. Get inspired and set up a travel blog and see the world. Check out my page about living a lifestyle of travel.
Two Videos from the festival in Shibuya on the day that I got recognised for my travel blog:
This post on The Day I…Got Recognised For My Travel Blog is part of a random series I do called “The Day I…” other tales include drug smuggling, going to the toilet in a farm and meeting Roger Federer. There will be many more to come!
Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel!