Travel Bloggers that Rock! Interview with Johnny from OneStep4Ward

Johnny Ward from onestep4ward.comJohnny Ward’s travel blog OneStep4Ward (a clever play on his own surname), is a personal favourite of mine. I find his words really motivating and inspirational and I think you’ll find his interview pretty inspiring too. Johnny’s blog not only focuses on his travels to over 50 countries, but also on lifestyle design and the idea that you can live your dreams without robbing a bank or having any wealthy benefactors! Even though we have only communicated on the Internet, Johnny is just always helpful and has a really friendly, down-to-earth persona, which I think is a great quality in a travel blogger.

Johnny, you left university in 2006 and decided to take a year out before work…what made you want to go traveling?

I guess because I come from a small town in Ireland, and we didn’t have much money growing up, I always felt like i was missing out on seeing the world so as soon as I could take the plunge i did! I had planned to go before uni but my mum convinced me to wait, she was worried I’d never come back (turns out she was right!)

Where did you go and what exciting things did you get up to?

My first stop was heading with a one way ticket to Thailand and a place on the CELTA (Enligh teaching qualification from Cambridge uni) course in Chiang Mai. So i studied that for a month, traveled around Thailand and Cambodia for a month then headed back to Chiang Mai to find work as an English teacher. That literally changed my life forever.

Johnny Ward from OneStep4Ward on Mt KinabaluWhen did you realise perhaps you didn’t want to go back and work in finance?

A few months into teaching, I started to become aware of how big and awesome the world was and how that, with the one life that we have, if we follow a path in which our true passions don’t lie in then we’re doing nothing but wasting our time. I realised I wanted to live life with no regrets, experience everything, see everything and not hold back due to social conformities.

What motivated you to set up onestep4ward and when did you discover that blogging could be a source of income?

I set it up about 18 months ago or so, and at that time I had maybe visited 30 countries but I had had no money at all so I was traveling so ridiculously cheap that I kept ending up in crazy situations, my friends all suggested I write a blog. So I started then. After 6 months or so, I had a few advertisers knocking on my door which was great to the situation now where it can provide me the level of income to allow me to travel and not to actually ‘work’

Were you inspired by any particular websites, or travel bloggers?

I loved the candy trail and wandering earl – both these guys were real travelers, who had done and seen so many amazing things. They weren’t another guy who went to Australia, and then to South East Asia and maybe to the US and then talked about traveling in the same tone as everyone else. They went to different places and really saw the world, that’s what I try to do too.

Johnny Ward from OneStep4Ward in MacauYou’re traveling in Thailand at the moment, what have you been up to over in Asia?

I’m sort of actually semi-based in BKK until feb 2012 (although going to North Korea in January for a while) but yeah I’ve been in every Asian country west of Pakistan aside from North Korea and Bhutan – and I’m trying to sort those both out at the moment.

How do you fund your lifestyle these days? generates anywhere between $1k-$4k per month, so that’s enough. I’ve started another site called which is starting to make money. And I have my new business, getting people to study their TEFL course in Thailand – that’s going to be quite big hopefully, it’s called Teach dot Travel. Between those things that’s enough money to keep me on the road. Also, I work on summer and winter camps in Korea for a bit of surplus cash if I’m in the area.

Do you have any travel plans for the upcoming year?

I do actually! I’m going from Tibet to Ireland by land, via the Trans Siberian train, I can’t wait. Trying to sort visas out at the moment which is a nightmare, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

Your blog has a strong emphasis on lifestyle design, what would you say to anyone thinking of becoming location independent?

Just bloody do it! It’s terrifying I know but everyone who has done it was terrified too, so you’re in good company. And once you make the leap of faith, you’re life will never be the same again.

Want to be in my interview series? Head over to my Contact page and introduce yourself!

Victoria Brewood

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

  • Anthony
    Posted at 11:18h, 26 November Reply

    Top bloke, inspiring writer indeed, awesome interview.

  • Micamyx|Senyorita
    Posted at 12:19h, 26 November Reply

    Been reading Johnny’s blog for quite some time now. His Motivational Monday and Travel Tuesday Rants segment are my favorite reads. Hoping to meet him soon! 😀

  • Jonny Blair
    Posted at 03:44h, 01 May Reply

    Great interview Victoria – the best thing about Johnny Ward is that he is a down to earth lad just out there living his dreams. His inspiration has helped take my blog from “just another travel blog” to the next level where I’m working round the clock on designing my own lifestyle around travel. Everyone should check out his blog!

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