96 Countries Visited and Counting: Interview with Johnny Ward
Johnny Ward is a full time traveler and entrepreneur who has been scouring the globe since 2006. After graduating school, he took off to teach English in China with the intent of taking a year to get travel out of his system before beginning a finance career home in the UK. That plan ended up changing, though, and he’s still on the road. He’s the epitome of a lifestyle designer, running multiple online businesses that allow him the freedom and funds to continue traversing the world full time. We caught up with him as he was visiting New Guinea to learn more about his experiences and how he does what he does.
You are a big proponent of “lifestyle design” and building a life and career that allows you freedom to do things like travel the world. What is one step you would advise someone to take right now to get started building a life like that?
There are 2 vital aspects to being a successful lifestyle designer. 1) Work for yourself 2) Generate money from your laptop. So for any budding designers, find a way to generate revenue online and throw all your effort into that. Within 12 months, anyone can be free. (Note: check out Johnny’s site’s section on Lifestyle Design to learn more.)
You have an awesome Bucket List on your site of all of the experiences you want to have and have checked off quite a few of them. I’m sure it changes frequently, but which five are you most excited about now? I know your 100 country mark is coming up soon. Of the ones you’ve done, which 5 have been the best so far?
Wow, I’ve been so lucky to do what I’ve done! I guess my 5 favourites are:
1) Climbing Kilimanjaro
2) Diving with Great White Sharks
3) Boozing at Oktoberfest in Munich
4) Sleeping with villagers in Papua New Guinea
5) Hiking a ride on a Chinese cargo ship up the Mekong river to China
The next 5?
1) Hitting up my 100th country in 1 month!
2) Driving an RV around New Zealand next week
3) Visiting Antartica next year
4) Carnivale in Rio, Brazil
5) Learning Spanish in Central America
Are there any destinations that didn’t live up to the hype for you? Any that went way beyond your expectations?
I was disappointed with Vietnam and South Africa. The first because I felt people were chasing my money, and the second because I could feel the racial tension in the air. Beyond my expectations – Iceland and Ethiopia, both absolutely amazing!
You run multiple online businesses while you travel. Is there one skill in particular that you consider invaluable to someone who wants to do this?
Yes – outsourcing and delegating! That’s everything you need to know, if you can do that – you’ll be flying
What do you do to stay organized and on task for your business projects while on the road in exotic places?
I have a number of assistants who look after the bulk of my business, I just deal with the finances, really.
What do you think are the necessary ingredients of a perfect trip?
Lack of planning is key to an awesome trip, that and compatible travel buddies.