Thank You For Following Don’t Stop Living: What is This Website About From Now On?

Thank You For Following Don't Stop Living: What is This Website About From Now On?

Thank You For Following Don’t Stop Living: What is This Website About From Now On?

Dzień Dobry, Bout Ye, Hello, Buenos Dias, Welcome to!

Dont Stop Living banner a lifestyle of travel

“Don’t Stop Living” – Jonny Blair (via High School Graffiti in Toronto, 2001).

It might seem odd to do an introduction post NOW, but this is the right time for it. I have new readers and I have a lot of readers who followed my travels down the years but never really got a detailed explanation about this website, my journey and my aims. This article, in English, aims to make everything clear about “Don’t Stop Living”, moving forward, what this website will be from now on. #dontstopliving

"It's another tequila sunrise and this old world still looks the same" - The Eagles.

“It’s another tequila sunrise and this old world still looks the same” – The Eagles.

Who or What is Don’t Stop Living?
Don’t Stop Living is a website on my life and also as a phrase it is my personal lifestyle motto to live a good life, each day should be fulfilled, enjoy yourself to the maximum. I try to be a happy go lucky guy (life is not always so kind to us though). Don’t Stop Living is controlled by one person – me. My name is Jonny Blair. I am 36 years old. I grew up in the seaside town of Bangor in Northern Ireland. Since leaving Bangor in 2003, I have visited 135 countries, working along the way in about 50 jobs, learning some languages, studying and gaining qualifications, and experiencing as much as I could around the world. This is nothing particularly special – it is just what I did with my life so far.

Learning Cantonese at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Learning Cantonese at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

“All these places feel like home” – Snow Patrol.

In 2007, I started this blog initially just to share my stories. Then by 2012, the blog became a business, then I stopped working for other companies and became my own boss. I became a professional travel blogger , made some money and later became a bit disillusioned by it all. Now I am stopping my travels for a while to settle down, work on new business and try to be a cool guy. I want to be your friend, I want you to be my friend. I smile, laugh and cry. I don’t bite and I want peace and love over hate and war. Always. If you give good love to people, it should come back to you. I try not to tell lies, and I don’t expect lies in return. I try to be a good man and I want to have good people around me. If you do bad things to other people and act dishonest in life, they will come back to haunt you. I try to be as honest and good willed as I can be. I try.

“What goes around, comes around” – Anon.

Facts about your host - Jonny Blair

This is me – Jonny Blair from Bangor, Northern Ireland

“Don’t Stop Living” is a whopping NINE years old this week (here’s the first post from August 2007 – I can’t believe that was 9 years ago).

Thank you, Dziękuję, Gracias, Spasiba, Dankeschon, Merci, om Goi Sai!
So a BIG thank you to everyone for following my crazy journey around the world. And a huge thank you to the masses of NEW READERS who have joined in the last 6 weeks. I’m talking about lots of my new readers in Poland and those that joined recently, realising I am just a positive Northern Irish guy sharing my story of the world. Nothing more or nothing less. Don’t Stop Living is my website, my story but I want it to be a story that can inspire YOU and help YOU to focus on your dreams. If you read my articles of travel and like them, that’s great – it means you can use them to help your own travels too. And I want to help you. I hope this website can help others to travel the world, even in a small way.

Leaving Pelplin by mini-bus for the town of Tczew in POLAND.

Leaving Pelplin by mini-bus for the town of Tczew in POLAND.

Most of my stories, I wrote them to help others, I did NOT write them for myself. I don’t need the information as I have already done it – I wrote all this to help others. I concentrated on getting visas, crossing borders, touring sights, doing crazy things and visiting places you have never heard of and in many cases, don’t care about!!! Let me split them into those five parts for you so you can check some of my old stories…

Our Christmas Eve Feast at Winaywayna, PERU

Our Christmas Eve Feast at Winaywayna, PERU

1.Getting Visas
In the last 13 years, I have filled 3 passports and have 2 currently half full. I have secured visas for lots of countries but I didn’t write all these articles to help myself! I did the work myself to get these visas, and then afterwards I wrote these articles – so my information is to help YOU!

visa for east timor

Getting my visa in East Timor.

Success - my visa for Bangladesh

Success – my visa for Bangladesh

iran visa trabzon turkey

Outside the Iran Consulate in Trabzon with my Iran Visa ready to backpack across the border in 2013.

Viewpoint of Khorog, Pamirs, Gorno Badakhshan

Viewpoint of Khorog, Pamirs, Gorno Badakhshan

There are more articles than that on visas and permits on the site, and the facts can change all the time – they were true when I wrote them and I did all those visa applications myself.

Getting an Afghanistan Visa in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Getting an Afghanistan Visa in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

“Took my time, took my chances” – Survivor.

2. Crossing Borders
On my travels, I have crossed lots of borders (probably around 70 – 80) so these stories are to help YOU cross the same borders that I did, please note that things change:

Crossing from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan
Crossing from Andorra to Catalonia
Crossing from Poland to Kaliningrad
Crossing from Guyana to Suriname
Crossing from Belize into Honduras
Crossing from Sweden into Norway
Crossing from Gibraltar into Spain

Anthony and I crossing the Laos to Cambodia border some years back.

Anthony and I crossing the Laos to Cambodia border some years back.

Crossing from Spain to Gibraltar
Crossing from Italy to the Vatican City State
Crossing from Sweden to Ladonia
Visiting the Bahrain to Saudi Arabia Border
Crossing from Northern Ireland to Podjistan
Crossing from England to Lagoan Isles
Crossing from England to Adammia
Crossing from England to Jersey
Crossing from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan
Crossing from Uzbekistan into Karakalpakstan
Crossing from Poland to Ukraine
Crossing from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan
Crossing from Senegal to Gambia
Crossing from England to Austenasia
Crossing from Macedonia to Kosovo

Arrival into Afghanistan at Hayratan

Arrival into Afghanistan at Hayratan

Crossing from Israel to Palestine
Crossing from Guernsey to Herm
Crossing from Botswana to South Africa
Crossing from North Korea to China
Crossing from Mexico to Guatemala
Crossing from Moldova to Transnistria

Again, I have written about 30-50 more border crossing articles than these ones. Check them on my World Borders pages.

“Now that your rose is in bloom, a light hits the gloom on the grey” – Seal.

3.Touring Obvious Cities, Towns, Villages, Anywhere You Have Heard Of
I toured all the major touristic spots I wanted to. These are mostly cool places you’ve heard of. I wrote about them in detail and hope these tips help you to travel the world. After a while though, the mega touristic sites started to bore me and so I headed more off the wall.

Admiring Tallinn from Kohtu Viewpoint

Admiring Tallinn from Kohtu Viewpoint

There are many more obvious cities I have toured including Buenos Aires, Rome, London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Auckland etc. I didn’t actually write about all of them, as my niche was more on the crazy and obscure side of things. But yes, most obvious cities, I backpacked through them.

ankara mausoleum turkey

Inside Ataturk’s Mausoleum complex in Ankara, Turkey.

“As the day was dawning my plane flew away with all the things caught in my mind” – Noel Gallagher.

4.Crazy, Cool and Scary Adventures
Along the way I have been feeding hyenas in Ethiopia, stripping naked in Antarctica, sky diving in New Zealand, throwing fireballs in El Salvador and toured Saddam Hussein’s House of Horrors in Iraq. I shared these adventures to tell my stories, have a good online record of what I did and to hope that they can help you do the same. Here are some of my crazy, cool and scary adventures.

Antarctica Highlights - Getting naked in the waters at Whaler's Bay

Antarctica Highlights – Getting naked in the waters at Whaler’s Bay

kaieteur falls guyana

Standing on the edge at the top of Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

The Day I...Lobbed the Goalkeeper From 30 Yards in Afghanistan

The Day I…Lobbed the Goalkeeper From 30 Yards in Afghanistan

“Before my eyes, beyond the stars, beneath the sun” – Tim Wheeler.

5.Touring and Writing About Places You’ve Never Heard of
Part of my backpacking niche was visiting places that other tourists had never heard of and writing about them in detail. When I mention these places to people, some of them still look at me like I’m making them up. I kind of wrote these to prove that I was bored of mainstream travel and wanted to investigate new places but also because I got fed up reading other boring travel blogs on Thailand, New York and Rome. I’d rather backpack through Podjistan! As I said recently on an interview for Belfast89 FM:
“If it exists as a place, I’ll go to it” – Jonny Blair (2016)

sucevita monastery romania

Touring the amazing colourful painted monasteries in the Southern Bucovina region. This place is Sucevita.

shahr e kord iran

Inside the small museum in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.

sark tractor

On the back of the tractor and carriage on Sark.

isfiya druze religion

Posing in Isfiya, Israel with the Druze flag and our tour guide Badeea Mansour, a member of the Druze religion.

Whackpacking my way through Nukus, Karakalpakstan

Whackpacking my way through Nukus, Karakalpakstan

“I travelled round the world from year to year, but each one found me aimless one more year the worse for wear” – Cold Chisel.

During this crazy journey, loads of other things have happened. I have had ups and downs. Life has not been a smooth journey for me and it won’t be for you either. Since this website began, I have had three girlfriends, one of whom I was with for five years and engaged to, Panny. I have worked in ice cream kiosks, schools, bars, theatres and farms. I have fallen in and out of love three times, having my heart broken by a Hungarian dancer in 2009. I have been on sponsored trips to over 20 countries and I have reviewed over 300 hotels or hostels. I have stayed in five stars and dingy hostels. There have been lots of perks – free flights, free beds, free tours, free backpacks and clothes etc. But towards the end of last year, the journey became lonely and I wrote about this a few times in my Sunday’s Inspiration feature.

Sunday's Inspiration: It's a Lonely World After All

It’s a Lonely World After All

So that is the gist of my story folks. Again, thank you for joining my story and I really hope you can all get out there and see the world and have the time of your life. I have now officially stopped backpacking full time – I am not long term travelling any more. The backpacking stops, but the writing continues. I need to settle for a while, so I now have a base in Gdańsk in Poland!! If any of you are passing through this part of Poland, or indeed any local people want to meet up, PLEASE do it. You can connect with me via email or in the following ways:

jonny (at) dontstopliving (dot) net

– Like Don’t Stop Living on Facebook
– Subscribe to Don’t Stop Living videos on YouTube
StumbleUpon Don’t Stop Living
– Follow Don’t Stop Living on Instagram
– Follow Don’t Stop Living on Twitter
– Get me on GooglePlus

I still have some short trips coming up in the next few months – to Kashubia parts of Poland, to Warszawa, Szczechin, Lodz and back to Starogard Gdanski. But mostly, I’ll be enjoying my new flat, learning Polish and I won’t be leaving this country for a while! I will be buying new clothes and I won’t be looking too scruffy or backpackery any more. Life starts afresh for me.

So in short – this is my personal journey lifestyle blog and I want it to help inspire YOU ALL to also get out and see the world, the story continues!

See you around!

From Prussia with Love,

Jonny Blair

From Prussia with Lova

From Prussia with Lova

Teaching English in Hong Kong back in 2013

Teaching English in Hong Kong back in 2013

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