Johnny Ward, Irish travel blogger on

Meet Johnny, an Irish guy who left home 10 years ago with no money but with a dream to live a better life. He taught English in Asia, traveled a lot, ran out of money. Figured there was more. So he started his blog, started ‘working’ as he traveled, made over $2m USD from blogging and now he’s free. We got him to share his travel secrets.

Your top travel secret for first-time visitors to Ireland?

Sean’s bar in Athlone is the OLDEST BAR IN THE WORLD! Ratified by the Guinness book of records and everything, don’t miss that!

Pick a gorgeous shot from your travels and tell us the story behind it

The Dragon Blood Trees of Socotra, Yemen. It was my 196/197 countries and the first time I visited, I became the only tourist in the whole country, and it took me 4 days on a cement-cargo boat to get there. I recently ran a tour to Socotra for my followers, taking 32 people across 2 group trips, so it means so much for me to be able to share the most beautiful place in the world with people.

Close your eyes. Let your mind travel back to a hair-raising moment. Tell us about it.

I traveled full time fro almost 15 years, I’ve been in hospital in 15 countries, prison in a few too so there are too many to list! Witnessing a guy getting shot in front of me in Angola is a particularly terrifying moment though.

If you had to spend one full year in a city or on an island, no exit allowed, which would you pick and why?

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai
Photo credit: Johnny Ward

Socotra for the beauty, but the internet isn’t fast enough, so I’d lose a fortune from the opportunity cost! With that in mind, I’d chose Chiang Mai, Thailand. Best place to live in the world. Cool online scene, decent nightlife, great restaurants, friendly, near the mountains etc, it’s amazing.

Your million-dollar advice to one aspiring to travel the whole wide world

Focus on making money online so you’re free to travel full-time. Doing it with a normal job is almost impossible, and certainly less fun.

Johnny Ward spoke to Ankita Badoni from Team Travel Secrets