Left Ireland in 2006 broke, taught English in Thailand and Korea, travel A LOT, worked in Australia, started my blog, monetized, started more blogs, made $1m+ from my laptop, visiting every country in the world….


Hey guys, my name is Johnny Ward, a normal Generation Y, Irish guy who just knew that there was more to life than a 40+ hour work week, a bland social calendar and a 2 week break in the sun each year.  Now I work 10-20 hour weeks from my laptop anywhere on the planet, whilst on a full-time journey to travel to every country in the world – (check out my progress here). I’m a huge advocate of lifestyle design, so I’ve redesigned my lifestyle to allow me to follow my dreams, now I’m hoping I can help you follow yours…

When people hear my story they often quickly assume I’m just another white guy from a rich family, traveling around on daddy’s credit card. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I grew up poor, taught English in Asia so I had the means to travel. Then I started my blog, and starting my travel blog completely transformed my life. It has allowed me to live like this, from being a broke English teacher  in Chiang Mai, Thailand making $650 per month, to making over $1million USD from blogging, and buying multiple properties in London and Bangkok, now I’m free. I honestly, truly believe EVERYONE needs to have a personal blog, and anyone can make money blogging, travel the world and inspire others. There’s enough space online for all of us! If you want to know how to start a travel blog of your very own, and do the same thing as me, check out how to do that here.

NOTE: If you wanna read about how I made $1,000,000 dollars online in 3 years BLOGGING, I wrote about it here.

And if you want to see some of the media stories by CNN, BBC, Forbes etc, you can check out my media page here:) 


I don’t come from a rich family, quite the opposite in fact. Born in Galway, Republic of Ireland, due to a pretty heavy family situation we fled to the County Down, Northern Ireland where I grew up in a single-mother-family with my sister. I lived in Ireland for 18 years, for the first 13 years we were on welfare payments, no car, no central heating, no holidays but I was happy and to this day I have a great relationship with my mum and my sister. At 18 I moved to England for 4 years of university to graduate with a degree in International Economics, which as a budding entrepreneur, I’d soon find entirely redundant. I loved my childhood, and I love Ireland but I always dreamt of the open road. I wanted to make my mark on the world. People don’t dream of being average, so as soon as I was free, I was gone. My last university exam was on a Thursday at 3pm, by 9am on Friday morning, I was gone. One way ticket to New York City to work


Having no trust fund or anything similar, there was no way I could just ‘travel’ indefinitely either before or after university, so the whole ‘gap year’ thing wasn’t possible for me. My solution was to head to the USA to work on summer camps. Working with disadvantaged kids in upstate New York was an amazing experience, and traveling around the USA, I felt like finally I was living the dream. But soon I was broke again, a quick return to Ireland where I signed up for ‘Medical Research’ where I was locked in hospital for five weeks while they tested experimental drugs on me, with that money I was off with a one-way ticket to Chiang Mai, Thailand to study my CELTA TEFL and teach English. That was the first step to changing my life.

So I taught English in Asia, saved, traveled, ran out of money, back to teaching, saving, travel. Rinse. Repeat. I managed to travel for around 2 years throughout Asia on a budget around $10-$15  a day, but soon my bank account was empty once more. English camps in South Korea helped extend my travels, but I was 26 years old, starting to worry about my future, and with online business dreams rumbling around my brain, I headed to Australia to work and saveOneStep4Ward.com was born during those 12 months of lost hours spent in an office. Never again. Life wasn’t meant to be lived in an office, working 5/7 days, asking bosses for permission to go on holiday. No thanks. So I booked a one-way ticket to Zimbabwe, Africa and took blogging more seriously now more than 190 countries later I don’t need to ‘work’ for anyone anymore. As soon as I started making money online from blogging, then I decided to visit every country in the world, and it’s been the most amazing journey imaginable.


If you’re not happy, a good salary isn’t progress, it’s financial prison. Life is meant to be lived, not sold to the highest bidder. Social conformity, the media, our education systems dictate that we should go to school, go to uni, go to a city, work in an office, save for a retirement that we’ll be too old to enjoy. Personally, I don’t want to do that. Not one bit. I want to live now, today so I make sure I do exactly that. Every single day.


Now I’m free. I work from my laptop, base myself in Thailand and travel the world. After starting my blog I soon learned how to monetize blogs, founded my digital media company Step4WardMedia.com, started my charity, created an education start up in Hong Kong,  started a small dentist marketing agency, and made some big money pretty fast, the vast majority of it from blogging, and now I’m as free as I could have ever dreamt and I love it. Now I try to tell people they can live their own lives, on their own terms, but with so many frauds on the internet people are wary of a young guy telling them that it’s possible. But it is, I promise!


I have hugely limited technical abilities at all (signing in and out of facebook can prove too stressful for me). I outsource everything, I manage my amazing staff from my laptop and I travel the world indefinitely. When I get too tired of traveling, I go back to my ‘home’ in Bangkok, Thailand where I bought an apartment (in cash)Each year I spend around nine or ten months travelling around the world and two or three months in Thailand. Thailand’s in my heart, I love going back, throwing my dusty backpack on the floor and kicking back, getting healthy, building my businesses and pretending to be a normal person! But Traveling’s got me now though, I’m lucky if I make it a month before wanderlust kicks in, and then I’m off again.

How can you afford to travel so much?

The question I get asked more than any other. I understand it seems crazy that this average Irish blogger guy can travel the world, anywhere he wants, in gorgeous hotels all year round. But it’s the truth. The  basic answer to this question is, I started my travel blog, started making around $7,000 per month from that site, so I started a few more blogs, and hired a couple of writers, before long I was making $50,000 per month. I invest my money, mostly in property, and I’m careful with my revenue. That’s it. You want to do it too? It’s so so possible, and not even that difficult, the first stop is starting your own blog. From there, you cann learn the ropes.

Have you really visited EVERY country in the world? What about North Korea, Somalia etc?

Yes, all of them! Well almost, I’m currently on 194/197 countries with Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Norway still to come (Why Norway? Because I’m ‘saving’ it as a nice country to finish with, celebrate with family, friends and follwers, and I can’t really do that in Yemen!!). So in terms of North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan etc, yes I honestly have been to them all!

But, there are so many blogs, can mine be successful?!

Yes! Absolutely yes. Write from your heart, write about subjects you’re passionate about. You don’t have to travel full time to be a travel blogger to make money from blogging, you can blog about your holidays, about your home area, you don’t even need to blog about travel – fitness, family, food, any topic you want. And yes, there are a lot of blogs, but most people quit within a year, whereas the ones who succeed suck it up, work hard for 1-2 years, and now they’re living the dream. Imagine living the life you always wanted to live, and talking about it online – that’s your job. Amazing, and worth all the hard work.


If you’re reading this on your smart phone/laptop/ipad then you can speak English, and you have an internet connection. The internet doesn’t care what colour your skin is, what your sexuality, religion or nationality is. If you have access to sites like mine, then you’re luckier than most people on the planet so you can live the life you want. No excuses, no chips on your shoulder, you can take action, or not. It’s up to you. Starting OneStep4Ward.com literally changed my life, so my advice? Start a blog, TODAY, from there doors will open and before you know it you’ll be swimming with sharks, sky diving over volcanoes, visiting every country in the world and hiring staff. It all depends on how much you want it. Signing up below is a good way to start. I’ll be writing a course about how EXACTLY I did what I did, so if you wanna stay in the loop, read on.

Want to travel the world indefinitely like me? Do something about it. Sign up here and learn more…

What are you waiting for?

You don’t have to be rich, win the lottery or rob a bank. You can live the life you want to and you can start right now, and not wait for the retirement that may never come. Redesign your lifestyle, as I redesign mine and we can enjoy the ride together…

If you need to get in contact with me, feel free to email me on johnny ‘at’ onestep4ward ‘dot’ com


You can ‘like’ my Facebook page and my Instagram page

Follow me on Twitter

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced ~ Vincent Van Gogh


Johnny Ward.


Got a question? Wanna comment? I'd love to hear from you

86 thoughts on “About Johnny

  1. Great , I came to your site from CNN and that for sure will lead more deserved good reputation.

    Good job man

  2. I got to this blog when reading about Myanmar. My name is Johnny too and I have a pretty similar lifestyle as a digital nomad. I’d really like to check out your home place Northern Ireland. Cheers

  3. This is the 1st time I read that phrase you wrote at the end and I give it a new meaning… I aletas genar a códice that tells me “you can’t get a life full of adventures” I must silence some voices in my head!

    Greetings from Paraguay!

  4. i visit your page everyday. someone like me learns so much from your website
    i am writing blog about my hometown.it is in Turkish. When i saw your blog,i start to write in English. i hope people like my first page
    http://kapadokyarehberi.info/ihlara-vadisine-nasil-gidilir/cappadocia-turkey/ my home town fairy land with fairy chimneys and rock formations used as a house,storeroom or hotel.I call it the flintstones, STILL PEOPLE LIVES IN A CAVE. Do you believe it?

  5. Hi, Johnny love your website. Recently been very interested in this and your bucket list is amazing I have about 50 things I want to do before am 35 and only done about 5. I recently sent a email to you hoping you can help me.

  6. Johnny you are doing great.i visit your page everyday. someone like me learns so much from your website
    i am writing blog about my hometown.it is in Turkish. When i saw your blog,i start to write in English. i hope people like my first page
    http://kapadokyarehberi.info/ihlara-vadisine-nasil-gidilir/cappadocia-turkey/ my home town fairy land with fairy chimneys and rock formations used as a house,storeroom or hotel.I call it the flintstones, STILL PEOPLE LIVES IN A CAVE. Do you believe it?

  7. how did you do all this things with satisfaction of wages and fulfilling life adventure? Can you help me to be like you?

  8. Hi there, I found out about you from your comments in Vagabonding (I read it all in one day yesterday). I like what you had to say so I looked you up, and I love what you have to say here. I’m excited to keep reading and start my own slow world travel by moving to France next month!

  9. Hi Johnny,

    I just literally discovered you and am just exploring your site. But this page alone is inspiring, so is Van Gogh’s quote. Gonna keep reading and learning from you. My number one passion is travelling… all the rest are second.


  10. Hey Johnny i saw you on Turkish news 2 days ago.They were talking about how successful you are.And more about you

  11. Visit India …….nature, love, religion’s , people,food,roads, village, cities, animals,weather, rain, Sun,moon,night, each nd everything will make u feel loved …..Nd rest I love ths world , it’s big, it’s Awsum, it’s love, it’s taste tht keeps us here, or people cud hav taken other planets….Stay blessed

  12. Hi Johnny,

    I just came across your blog while surfing the internet at work in Sydney. I would love to start a blog (and have been wanting to for ages). I look forward to reading about all the advice you have. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. I’ve always chosen “experiences over money” EVERY TIME. And here you are doing both. Glad to see it is possible! I am a marine biologist, but maybe I could save the world via blog 😉 Also, if you are ever looking for a traveling buddy or a wife…. haha

    Keep it up!

  14. Congrats Johnny, 4 your courage that change life and to became a realy freedom man.Tks sincerely for share yours life’s experiences.
    I’m Brazilian, live in Salvador, 34 years old, I’ve wife and one daughter, owner a small building company.
    I just have been dream with a life like yours and have been made plans to move to Florida.
    Can you give some ideas?

  15. Nice blog! Hope to see you in Manila. I’m going back to Europe this September. You inspire us with your blog. I’ve been wanting to start a travel blog.

  16. I absolutely love your blog, this has inspired me to travel 🙂 I hope you come to my country(Namibia) very soon

      1. Hello Johnny; It’s a pleasure to have found your blog! I want to redesign my life also. It has been a dream of mine to travel the world and live life for today. do you have any training or how could you help me to achieve this? Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated!

  17. It seem to me that living your dreams, really. In the first month of next year will leave home for the world. I shaped this plan before but can’t make it happen. Hope it’ll be… Again inspired by Onestep4ward.

  18. Hey there J! I was researching about Budapest (Heading there in Sept) when I came across your blog. At first I thought you were Johnny Blair, than I saw your pic and like, “oo.. another Johnny ; ) “. It seems a lot of Johnny’s have travelled more than 100+ countries. ; ) In the future I have a son, I’m definitely gonna call him Johnny ; ). You really are living the dream man. I have this bucket list, in my head and reading your blog, makes me wanna start a blog too on my bucket list.. ; ) It’s really nice man, getting to live the life of a traveller through your blog.. ; )


  19. Fair play for following your dreams and all that, but I think the huge gaping flaw in your whole philosophy is that your lifestyle is only an available option if there are people in the world who choose to do more with their lives than lie on a beach all day. I think you need to give some credit to the poor fella in china who slaved his arse off working in a sweatshop to manufacture your shiny Apple Mac so that you can live your dream.

    1. Hey Rich, there are people all over the world who started with nothing and made something better with their lives. Admittedly it’s more difficult in some countries than other, but with an internet connection and a laptop, the sky is your limit.

      PS I hate sitting on the beach all day 😛

  20. Your story is so inspiring! This is exactly what I want in life and I really admire you for getting there. I’ll be following your adventures!

  21. Very nice and great information this blog Gujarat Tourism Packages also has natural mineral resources in abundance, such as bauxite, lignite, and limestone. Thus there is a huge potential for investors to invest in mining of the natural resources sector.

  22. Very nice blog provides this information very use full for user though Gujarati is the official language of the state, we can find people belonging to different states speaking different languages here. The culture of Gujarat Tourism Packages is fully evident during important festivals lime Navarathri and Diwali.

  23. Hi Jonny, Like the website. I came across it whilst looking for a handy, quiet, beach within easy reach of BKK. We, my partner & I both of us old goats in our early sixties, are staying in BKK in Feb 15. I travel widely for work but have never been to Thailand. My partner has never been to a tropical beach & she’s looking forward to crystal clear waters. I’d like to show her the delights of snorkeling too. I’m fed up of flying so would prefer a bus or train ride to this hoped for paradise. It’ll give me a bucket full of brownie points too! Hope you can help, thanks JJ PS where is the beach, on one of your photos, with the tall, covered, rocks towering out of the sea? Cheers for any advice JJ

  24. Hey Johnny,

    You’re the reason we started our travel blog 2.5 years ago and today, it’s completely sustaining our life of travel. Now we’re enjoying press trips, a steady income and a blog that we love to continue to build. After seeing your redesign, we even hired the same guy! (Scott’s awesome.)

    Anyway, I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time but never checked out this page, or at least, never read it right through. Very inspiring stuff. Love the way you worded everything here. You’re still an inspiration.

    Keep up the good work. I hope one day we can meet up somewhere on the road.



  25. Hi Johnny,

    Sounds like you got it all figured out! What are you doing work wise that you can pull in a decent wage… I been a web designer for over 8 years and I’m still working on trying to make things happen! I live in BKK too, maybe when your back I can pick your brains over a pint?

  26. Hi….today i came acrosed ur web site..i liked ur web site…evn i want to start a blog lik dis…so if you could help me with following things den dat would be great:

    > how to start a blog

    ..which includes…from where can i get creative site designs…whom to contact…who vl help me to develop and structure my web site…

    > how much intitial money is require to start a interactive web side..where users can sign up and post there comments
    > how much mentainance/ hosting cost is requuired

    > please help me with the helpfull links
    > how to earn from my website

  27. Bloomin’ marvellous website Johnny! tres inspiring. Keep up the adventures and here’s to many more to come in 2014!

  28. Wow, this is the most inspirational website I’ve come across… EVER! your lifestyle is what I want for myself, as I’m sure most people would! I did Cambodia this summer and actually just quit my job and (in 9 days) I’m going to travel across South America for almost 2 months, so I’m getting there 🙂

    watch this space for the next place I visit!

  29. Totally agree, normal jobs and lives are for suckers! We just kicked off our nomadic lives earlier this summer! Keep it up and keep going!

  30. Hi – great site and posts. My travel blog has been going for the last 4 months or so while travelling through Africa. I’m happy with the content but I’m starting to think that the layout and design is a bit poor. Any tips or thoughts how to up my game? I’m not an HTML expert or anything…

      1. Hi Johnny, is envy someone like you who has managed to turn the pleasure of traveling in a lifestyle … congratulations. I really love your blog!

  31. Hi, great site and blogs posts. I’ve had travel my blog up and running for the last 4 months while travelling through Africa. I’m quite happy with the content but feel the design etc is basic. Any tips on how to revamp travel blogs relatively easily?

  32. Hi dude,
    sitting in Bangladesh and going for the Sundarbans, soon. Waiting for the last permission. I think you know what can happen there… I mean, this country is one of the most intense countries that I ever traveled in my life!

    But the beauty is so obviously! It is good that you putting words to your thoughts. Many people just staying on their place, and they waiting to get picked up by some one… you and me knows that it will be not someone else, who will pick them up – to show them the world…

    It is always the inner drive and the own motivation.
    And it starts to grow, if you make the first steps…

    I did it 2011, so nice to met you – maybe our paths will cross one day.


  33. Mate, I’m a 46 year old guy who had a similar epiphany to yours back in 1991. Leaving Australia for the first time (from Darwin to Kupang in West Timor), I had the same kind of psychological orgasm as you. Now, twenty-something years later, I have manipulated my life to suit me (perhaps not as fully as you seem to have done, but certainly in a way that serves my desire for freedom AND financial security I guess). I gave up a career as a TV producer, went back to uni, and now teach English as a second language, not because I want to be a slave to the man, but because it affords me a fantastic lifestyle. I’ve volunteered too, been to almost every corner of the world, and live/love every minute of it. We are the masters of our own destinies. Master them. Good on you, mate. Johnny Laing.

    1. hey john, awesome mate! I loved Kupang, and it must have been even more remote 20 years ago! English teaching is a great way to redesign our lives, it gives us a level of freedom that normal jobs can never. Where are you based now?

      1. I’m based in Abu Dhabi in the UAE at the moment. I’ve worked my way up the TESOL ladder, you might say. 😉

  34. Johnny I couldn’t comment on your rants so I’m doing it here.

    They made me laugh out loud. You’ve got a knack for humorous writing, bravo sir.

    On flip flops: I’ve always gone for hiking style sandals, a bit grandaddy I know but sturdy mofos. So sturdy in fact when I was last in Beijing I tripped on the edge of said footwear and over a ridiculously high kerb. Instant duck egg on my ankle. Hopped onto the bus my friends and I were running for to be informed in a cheery tone that “this bus stops outside Beijing’s top bone hospital.” To which I replied “What a stroke of luck.”

    Good luck on your travels mate.

    1. Hmmm, odd about the comments but thanks for letting me know Chris! I feel your pain on the flipflop front bro, both figuratively and literally – i’m sporting many a scar due to similar mishaps!

  35. Happy for you, really, but I disagree on that everyone can do it just by wanting it, or daring to. A dream like this is banned for the majority of the world population indeed. To know English clearly facilitates the entire process. To have a bachelor degree also. To being born in certain countries is an advantage above others, for example in the case of the Working Holidays Visas, which are granted only for a few countries. Not to mention having family, kids, etc. About me, I’m one of VERY lucky ones also, but I think it is important to just make the point about is not THAT easy. In fact, it is easy only for the priviliged ones.

    1. true buddy, but i’m writing an english-speaking blog, so the assumption is that my readers can speak English 🙂 If you can do that, then you can make money online, and therefore travel – it all depends on how much you want it.

  36. Really it’s simplification and clarification about yourself. I have never been seen before such kind of writing. I have realized at every word as well sentence. So also from me “Redesign your life” which is repeatedly you’ve told. Traveling is the only way to get out of depression. It’s very true that I am also a blogger. So I can understand your every pulse of mind. Thanks for sharing your views.

  37. I have the same dream since i was young.
    I’m going to thailand within a week first time on my own.
    If your in asia maybe we can meet and share stories

  38. What up Johnny!
    I left Ireland in 2009 and have been on the road since.. Love it, live your dream.

    Wish you all the best with your travels and keep up the good work with the website!


  39. Johny i believe in one thing we are just a visitors of this planet so before i die i just need to see this beautiful planet . i really love u man

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