Sunday’s Inspiration: 5 Travel Dreams Before I Hit 35

I’m not normally so blatant about stuff and I don’t like to write too much about upcoming trips, but I have some travel dreams to tick off and as I get older, I realise that the time is “running out the door we’re running in” (Ian McCullough).

Today I just share 5 travel dreams that I want to achieve before I hit the age of 35. Given it was the 1st March 2014 yesterday, this is the time to do it. I’l turn 34 this month and therefore I have just over a year to try and live these latest 5 travel dreams of mine. If I manage to get them all, I’ll be a completely satisfied man! This is the first time I’ve ever posted something like this with a deadline or pressure on here and I know it will be tough, but I’ll give this 5 a good go…

travel dreams

Sharing my 5 travel dreams before I hit 35.

1. Watch a Live World Cup Match in Brazil 2014, with my Dad

It’s always been my dream to watch Northern Ireland in the World Cup. We last qualified in 1986. I was 6 at the time and watched it on TV with my Dad. This time, we’re taking the plunge and going to watch the World Cup Live in Brazil. It’s been a childhood dream and if I can’t do it with Northern Ireland, just being a neutral at any match will be good enough for me now. So we’re off to Brazil again. It’s also 8 years since I watched a World Cup match with my Dad (we caught one of the games on in a bar in Bournemouth in 2006).

dad at austria football northern ireland

My Dad at the Austria v Northern Ireland match in Vienna, 2005. One of the last big games we went to together. This year – WORLD CUP!

2. Have a proper holiday with my Mum, Dad and girlfriend.

“Here’s to those who bore us and made us what we are” – Liam Gallagher. I don’t spend enough time with my Mum and Dad, a fact I realised this year when I’m really glad I made a surprise visit back to my homeland of Northern Ireland (first time back there in 2 years). I backpack constantly with my girlfriend Panny but we never really get quiet moments – we’re always on the move. For this reason, we’ll combine the World Cup with a Brazil beach and waterfall holiday, and we’re heading back to the Iguazu Falls!! All 4 of us. We will RELAX – that’s for sure – is that cool Mum? 🙂

train travel sri lanka

Travelling in Sri Lanka with Mum, Dad and Panny. Hopefully have a holiday with them all this year and RELAX!

3. To Have Visited 100 Countries.

There will be a debate about this statistic for sure, to to squash that, by the age of 35 I aim to have visited 100 countries (going by EVERY possible list, with no stone unturned). Although I currently sit on 100 going by the Traveler’s Century list, this list is really not correct as it includes all 7 Arab Emirates and even places like Alaska and Tasmania as “countries”. So what I want to do, is visit enough countries so that every list will prove I’ve been to 100. The only specification for a visit is either (1) a passport stamp or (2) leaving the airport/train station etc. I’m strict on myself anyway so for me, any visit of less than 12 hours shouldn’t count. (This is how I’ve got Liechtenstein in there).

sark travel dream

Backpacking in Sark – it’s really a country!

But you can bet your life I’ll visit most of them properly, doing some sights, meeting the locals, having some local food. If you follow my blog, you’ll be aware of that – I don’t just tick off lists, I backpack properly through these places.

jonny blair 100 countries

OK so Antarctica isn’t a country so looks like I have to stroke it out in my quest to visit 100 countries.

I already ticked the 7 continents box back in 2011 when I visited Africa for the first time. Just before that, Suriname provided me with country number 50. I’m now sitting on 85 countries/territories, which drops down to 82 on international football teams, so that means probably another 18 -20 countries to go on every list.

It will be a tough ask to visit them all in the next 12 months, but I’m up for the challenge, starting with East Timor next month.

jonny blair slovenia

Cracking country 30 some 6 years ago in Slovenia…on route to the century.

4. Have a drink with my Sister and 2 Brothers at the same time.

It’s two years since I was with my sister and two brothers in the same room having a drink. Though I’ve seen them all since, it wasn’t at the same time. In fact there has NEVER been a moment in my life when the four of us, and only the four of us just went down the pub for a lunch and a drink. It has never happened. So I want to make it happen. Marko, Cathy, Danny – let’s do it. Pub lunch and a few jars at some point in the next 12 months 😉

Dinner with my family in 2011 - all together, need a pub lunch with only my siblings next time!

Dinner with my family in 2011 – all together, need a pub lunch with only my siblings next time!

5. Make $10,000 US Dollars from my Travel Blog

This is undoubtedly the hardest nut to crack out of the 5 on the list, but these days my enthusiasm and passion for travel writing is unquestionable. I’ve worked with about 15- 20 travel companies in the last year just through the success of this site Don’t Stop Living. It’s been a long hard road (7 years of travel blogging) to make some kind of revenue from this beast, but you’ll have noticed I’m a business backpacker nowadays – I’m thinking on higher levels and as much as I loved broccoli farming in Tasmania and selling ice cream on Bournemouth beach, I don’t want to return to those jobs again.

jonny blair travel blogger

Setting the targets high – I want to earn more as a travel blogger and writer!

I want to make my own money through this site and my side projects including my website Crossing World Borders. Don’t Stop Living has opened doors and making money from a travel blog is no longer a dream but a reality. $10,000 US might sound like a lot of money for those reading, but it’s only around $833 US a month. That’s doable for sure.

tbilisi georgia

Trying to earn a crust in Tbilisi, Georgia.

I will report back when I turn 35 to see if I have achieved anything! These Sunday’s Inspiration posts are something I love doing away from my travel stuff. Do you set any long term travel goals or dreams? Share them with me – we’re in this backpacking game together 😉

Safe travels,


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