When he set off on the mission, he did not even have enough money for a plane ticket.
Johnny Ward spent 10 years traveling around the world, visiting all 197 countries on the planet — and made $1 million along the way.
Although 33-year-old Ward started out on a shoestring budget, he was able to become a millionaire on the road, proving that travel and making money need not be mutually exclusive. And, according to him, anybody can achieve similar results.
When he set off for his round-the-world mission, Ward did not have even enough money for a plane ticket. So he signed up to do medical research in a hospital in Ireland. Doctors spent five weeks testing drugs on him and he earned seed money to travel to Thailand and teach English.
From there, Ward began blogging and building up a following (which he details on his website). From there, Ward expanded his blog into a media brand with 100 different websites. He earned money from advertising revenue on all of his different sites.
“I've had to be diligent enough to take out my laptop and work in the evenings when I was in Mongolia, or Kazakhstan, or Ethiopia,” Ward told The Telegraph. “Those were the tough times, putting the work in while I was actively traveling, not knowing if it would pay off or not.”
Then, two weeks ago, Ward visited the final country on his list: Norway. He celebrated the achievement with champagne and loved ones in the Arctic Circle.
197/197 countries visited! 10 years of almost full time travel, averaging almost 3 weeks per country, I started this journey broke, teaching English in Thailand, and today I reach my lifetime goal, amongst 8 of my most loved ones, in the depths of the Arctic circle in Kirkeness, Norway racing huskies, riding snowmobiles as we chase the northern lights and staying in an ice hotel @kirkenessnowhotel A dream come true ❤️🇳🇴 Traveling the world for all these years has taught me a lot. For a start I've learned that we are all the same deep down. Skin colour, gender, religion, sexuality, culture - none of that differentiates us hugely. We all want to be the best we can be, to make the people close to us proud, to try to leave a positive impact and enjoy ourselves along the way. Let's never let divisive politicians or agenda-driven media let us lose sight of that. It's taught me that we should be grateful for what we have, as most of the world would rightly swap their serious problems for our trivial ones, if we are online, can access free social media and can communicate in English we are better off than we know. We should try to appreciate that. It's taught me that there's much much more to life than competing with others. Life isn't a competition, nor is it a race, or a bragging platform or an excuse to belittle others. We are all in this together, trying our best, making it up as we go along. Life is a beautiful journey, but it's not an easy one, let's try to support each other where we can. The world is a lot more awesome when we are kind to each other. It's taught me to treasure good people. When you're blessed enough to stumble across awesome friends, family members, partners, whoever then don't let them go. Make an effort, always, to keep them close to you. It's not your right to have awesome people in your life, it's a privilege so make sure you deserve them. It's taught me to dream big, and that dreams can and do come true. If you truly, deeply want something bad enough, you can make it happen. When you visualise your path, and every choice you make strives to bring you to where you know you can be, nothing can stop you. #everycountryintheworld
“If you truly, deeply want something bad enough, you can make it happen,” Ward wrote on Instagram when he reached Norway. “When you visualise your path, and every choice you make strives to bring you to where you know you can be, nothing can stop you.”