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 $3m+ from my laptop, visited every country in the world, now climbing the 7 Summits and hitting the North and South Pole….
Hey guys, my name is Johnny Ward, an average 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 20-hour-weeks from my laptop as I travel around the world, initially whilst I undertook my 11-year mission to visit every country in the world (if you’re curious how I managed that, read my FAQs here), and recently I JUST BECAME THE FIRST PERSON IN HISTORY TO COMPLETE THE ULTIMATE EXPLORERS GRAND SLAM – visit every country in the world+ (done), the North Pole (done – I ran the North Pole Marathon!), the South Pole (DONE) and climb the 7 Summits (DONE, what are the 7 summits?). I even rowed across the Atlantic Ocean for a couple of months once. 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 Thailand and South Korea 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.
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 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 on an American summer camp.
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, travelled, 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 save.
OneStep4Ward.com was born during those 12 months of lost hours spent in an office in downtown Sydney. Never again. Life wasn’t meant to be lived in an office, working 5 of 7 days, asking bosses for permission to go on holiday. No thanks. So although I loved my time in Australia, I wanted more from life. With my blog now live, I left on a whim. Booking a one-way ticket to Zimbabwe, Africa, and took blogging more seriously. Fast-forward more than 190 countries later and 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.
So what was next for me? Since finishing my journey to every country, my big dream was the Seven Summits, the highest mountain on each of the 7 continents. I’ve climbed Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa, I’ve climbed Mt Elbrus – the highest mountain in Europe, I climbed Puncak Jaya – the highest mountain in Australasia, tried and failed to climb South America’s highest mountain, but then went back the following year and summited Aconcagua too. Just to clear up any arguments I even climbed Mount Kosciuszko – the highest ‘mountain’ in Australia, and climbed Mont Blanc (because I used to think it was the highest mountain in Europe!). I climbed Denali in summer 2022 (the highest mountain in North America). I climbed Mount Everest in 2023, then finished my 7 summits with Antarctica’s highest point, Mount Vinson, and then hit the South Pole while I was at it. I even ran 6 marathons in 6 days across the Sahara during the Marathon Des Sables last year, a crazy experience.
Next plans? To create 4 events that drags other normal people to do something extraordinary. There getting ready to be launched, watch this space….
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.
MY LIFE NOW:
I started a non-profit called Mudita Adventures, where I bring people who want to come on an adventure, to local communities, we help finish a development project and then go travelling together. We’d donated over $300kUSD since starting that a few years ago. When I’m bored, or when you guys ask, I also offer some crazy opportunities to go to places that normal people don’t go, I’ve taken groups to Syria, Iraq and Yemen in the last 18 months. And running another tour to Socotra, Yemen next year if you want to join! So when I’m not running my charity, or traveling to off-beat destinations, or climbing mountains, or doing some physical challenge, then I’m in Thailand, where I’ve been based since my blog could fund my lifestyle.
After proposing to my partner in Bora Bora, I got married in Thailand, and built a DREAM house in Chiang Mai, Thailand where I hope to start a family. But marriage, nor kids, means your life turns boring. I’d love to row the Atlantic (EDIT 2021 – DONE!), cycle across the US, climb the highest peak in every country in Europe during 1 summer (and break the world record!), and who knows what else. Right now all my money is going to building my house, and climbing the 7 summits (EDIT 2024, ALL COMPLETE!). After that, let’s see. Thanks for coming along – check my Instagram.com/onestep4ward to get daily updates on what I’m doing.
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.
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 can learn the ropes.
I wrote some FAQs here if you want some more detail, or there’s EVEN more information in my free ebook. Just sign up to my blog (also for free) and you’ll get that. There a box to pop your email in just below this.
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
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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