“What’s your story, baby?” – Nicky Wire.
So why is a passionate Northern Irish travel writer living in Poland, when thousands of Polish people leave Poland to work in the UK and Ireland year on year? Jonny’s motives are pure and simple. Fuelled from his heart and his mind, Jonny’s passion is in Eastern Europe, Jonny loves Poland. Here is Jonny’s story:
I was born in Newtownards, Northern Ireland (Irlandia Północna) in 1980. In my early days living in Bangor, Northern Ireland I became infatuated with football, geography and history. I dreamed as a young child of playing football for Glentoran FC or Northern Ireland, but that was never going to happen. So I dreamed of travelling the world instead. On my journey, I wanted to earn a degree at University, make friends with people from every country and culture I could and see some of the world. My love for writing intertwined with my base in Poland is undoubtedly the reason why I am launching this site.
I studied Journalism in Belfast (Northern Ireland) in 1997 and I studied Public Relations in Bournemouth (England) in 2003. I worked with many Polish people from 2004 – 2007, during which time, I visited Poland twice and made many Polish friends. My first visit was in 2005 and later again in 2007. By 2007 however, I had travelled around the world to about 30 countries including China, Belarus and Canada. In 2009, I was now living in Australia and by the age of 30 I had visited all 7 continents and around 50 countries.
All of this was from working hard and travelling on a cheap backpacking budget. I had more than 50 jobs along the way. In 2011, I moved to Hong Kong. While based in Hong Kong, I was able to visit almost every country in Asia including places like East Timor, Bangladesh and North Korea. I also had a long term girlfriend there and we travelled the world together and I became a self employed professional travel blogger, writer and itinerary planner.
Having cracked the esteemed and selfish “100 country mark” in 2015, I began to realise that staying in one country was what I needed in life now. I was 35 and homeless, the nomadic life had taken its toll. I was back in Poznań, Poland in 2015 but wanderlust got the better of me, so I headed to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and tried to make it my new home. But I only stayed a few months there, until life brought me to the city of Gdańsk in Poland in July 2016. It was here that I suddenly realised where my heart belonged, so I stayed!!
This website was born in the midst of a year of personal problems and severe depression. It is really my gift to the Polish people to try and help promote your country in a good way. I love Poland so much and I hope you see that through my writing, my photos and my stories. I am a writer. I am a tourist. I am a storyteller. I am a Northern Irishman.
“I’m an alien. I’m a legal alien. I’m an Ulsterman in Warszawa.” – Not Sting.
Some of you may also know me from my association to the following passions:
Ulster Cherry – I am a massive AFC Bournemouth football fan
GAWA – I am a massive Northern Ireland football fan
Globetrotting Glenman – I am also a Glentoran FC fan
Don’t Stop Living – I turned my passionate travel blog into a business and used it as my platform for 9 years.
Finally, please enjoy the website and get in touch with me or meet me if you want. I don’t bite. I love people, but I especially like Polish, Northern Irish and English people. I feel most at home around that hat-trick of people.
My thanks to Basia Gowierza, Rafał Kowalczyk and Magdalena Chrząstowska who inspired the birth of this site and made my smiles real again. And also to the nasty liar Kokosza and her fake friend Karolina Ania (fake name used), who tried to ruin my story with their lies and disrespect towards me. I want to prove a point to them also with this site in the hope that they read it and see the friend they lost. Kokosza and Karolina claimed “we are friends”, but it was all a big lie. They also promised to help me learn Polish, send me travel tips (for a foreign friend lost in their town), but they never did it. Kokosza rudely sent fake travel tips 6 weeks too late (after I kept begging for them, it cost me some $1,500 US) and Karolina nastily wished me Merry Christmas for 2016 on 31st January 2017 as if she didn’t really mean it. Kokosza also faked what town she lived in to force me into deep depression. It was a horrible way to start my new life in Poland, but I survived and I stayed here and this website is my new dream to try and keep myself happy.
Stay happy, all of you.
Jonny Blair (December 2016)
Here are a few other ways to connect with me:
– Like Northern Irishman in Poland on Facebook
– Subscribe to Northern Irishman in Poland videos on YouTube
– StumbleUpon Northern Irishman in Poland
– Follow Northern Irishman in Poland on Instagram
– Follow Northern Irishman in Poland on Twitter
– Get Northern Irishman in Poland on GooglePlus