Jonny Blair came to BU in 2003 and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Public Relations. Since then, he has worked as a travel writer and has just celebrated visiting his 100th country. Here, he talks more about his travels and how coming to Bournemouth kicked it all off.
I grew up in Northern Ireland and my first visit to Bournemouth was back in 1994 on a family holiday. Nine years later, I returned as a student at Bournemouth University and so kick started my love affair with the town and my travel journey around the world. In the 12 years since, I have spent 6 years outside of Europe and travelled to over 100 countries spanning all seven continents. While that journey was never planned, things did kick off in sunny sunny Bournemouth for me.
While studying at Bournemouth University, I also worked in hotels and seafront kiosks in the summer months. Through those jobs, I was meeting people from all over the world. I also had a lot of friends at the University from other countries such as Costa Rica, Australia, Turkey, Botswana and France. I studied as a Public Relations student, while also DJ-ing on Nerve Radio and at the Summer Ball. A few of my friends also worked in Dylan’s Bar and I loved the vibe about the University at the time. My first couple of years in Bournemouth 2003 – 2005 were the most memorable for me. I did some travelling at the start to places like Spain, Poland, Germany and Austria. But it was my 2007 trip that started my journey as a travel writer and long term backpacker. I had written a few articles before for local papers, football magazines and indeed Nerve Magazine, but I started my travel blog in Toronto in 2007.
In 2007 I visited China, Russia and New Zealand for the first time and spent a year working in London before returning to Bournemouth for a while to work on the cross channel ferries (Poole – Cherbourg/St. Malo). Then, in 2009 I relocated to Australia, in 2010 I travelled to Antarctica and South America. In 2011 I was living out in Hong Kong. In 2012, I started earning money online through my websites and became a full time travel blogger in 2013.
Since then I have been back to Africa twice, backpacked through the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Palestine), watched the World Cup Final in Brazil and released a new website on backpacking in China.
The past year has seen me return to Bournemouth again to visit friends and the travel milestone of my 100th country. I’m also a big Cherries fan and have been going to Dean Court since 2003, so I’m very excited to see AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League next season. In the meantime, I’m busy writing my third book and working for lots of travel companies as I backpack the globe.
Jonny’s Travel Blog – http://dontstopliving.net
Jonny Blair on Twitter – https://twitter.com/jonnyblair/
Jonny Blair on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/donotstopliving