Teaching Traveling: Jonny Blair is a traveling Northern Irishman currently teaching English in Hong Kong. His travels have taken him to Peru, Botswana, Antarctica and Taiwan. He runs a popular and regularly updated travel site called Don’t Stop Living and admits he has “no idea” where he will end up next.
Jonny, tell us about your background.
Jonny: I grew up in the town of Bangor in Northern Ireland back in the 1980s and 1990s but having left there a decade ago, I have managed to live, work and travel around the world. As a result I have changed jobs a lot and I’m always budgeting. I’m 32 now. I’ve worked in bars, on boats, in theatres, on farms, in offices and countless other places. My travels have taken me to all seven continents, and almost seventy countries to date. So while teaching wasn’t what I planned to do, I am now a Native English teacher in Hong Kong! I just kind of fell into it! When I arrived in Hong Kong I was working in a pub and at a party one night a guy told me about an English teaching job so I applied and got it. It was just a bit of fate. I have done Kindergarten, Primary School and Private Tutoring.
TT: Wow! Tell us more about your travels.
J: I have traveled extensively and on a very regular basis for the last ten years. My highlights were a two week tour of Antarctica and the four day Inca Trail hike in Peru. On my travels I have also bumped into Roger Federer in Melbourne, sky dived, bungy jumped and crossed the equator by foot.
Antarctica is my favourite trip so far. I got a 13 day tour as a special offer which left from Ushuaia on the south tip of Argentina. We landed on the Antarctica Continent, we visited the British and Polish bases, we saw thousands of penguins, done a few hikes and we even went for a swim in the ice cold waters at Deception Island. It was totally inspiring.
These trips were before I became a teacher, the best (and most surprising) trip I have been on since becoming an English Teacher is to the Fujian Province in China. The Earthen Buildings there and the island of Gu Lang Yu were very unexpected travel gems!
TT: How do you find these travel opportunities?