Stepping Up and Diving In with Jonny Jenkins

Jonny Jenkins Temply top    Today I am Interviewing Jonny Jenkins of Http://stepupdivein.com

      Let’s start off by telling a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, do you remember your main life Goals when you were young and has that changed?

I grew up in small town Canada, amazing upbringing that I can only look back upon with the fondest of memories. As a kid I was hoping to earn a full ride scholarship to the states for Hockey, get a great education and eventually take over my dad’s Chartered Accounting business.

What were the key factors that persuaded you to leave the comfort of your home?

I was raised by parents that always pushed the value of travel. However, there was one key factor that eventually kicked my butt into gear and get out there… my mom up and moved to Spain and was there over Christmas… thus my sister and I went out to visit her for the holidays, and do a little traveling… the bug was caught and a cure never found.

What were your biggest fears before you left home? , and how do you feel about them now?

I can’t say I had many the first time I left. But about the fourth time I left (age 24) I was fearing that I was starting to miss opportunities in the real world… Now I’ve realized that I add much to my resume with the experiences, such as volunteer, working abroad or learning new languages, that has augmented my resume greatly and should I ever decide to return for a ‘real life’ back in Canada, I’m well aware that I’ve a great set of skills for potential employers, that much more considering the value of diversity is becoming increasingly important.

How long have you been traveling?Jonny Jenkins Tikal

Call it a decade… 6 months a year for a decade at least… but this time I’ve set out to not go back. The last time I was back ‘home’ was about 7 months ago now.

Where are you now?

Kathmandu, Nepal

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

Oh man, loaded question. The year I don’t have too planned out, but the next four months are packed. Specifically because I’m turning 30. Although I don’t put much importance on the number, I set some goals while I was home to get done before my 30th, so I’m just polishing those off now… they are:
– Speak 5 languages fluently – Currently at 3 fluent, 1 written/read, 1 in class every day, 1 other not far, and 3 more in shattered sentences… (total of 9 floating around and bumping into each other.

– Get to 30 Countries – Honestly I’ve never been one to collect stamps, but as I approach 30 years old with just under 30 countries, thought it would be a good benchmark to make and then make sure to get to one new country each year for the rest of my life… 30th country (most likely Tanzania) looks like it will be about 3 days after my birthday

– Be on the top of Kilimanjaro – Recently I’ve figured out that the date makes it a tough climb, so I’m putting this goal back a couple of weeks and hope to summit within a month of the day.

– Finish my book – Again just using the day as a point to have it done… Spending a lot of time writing these days, should be done by the day, though I will have to edit and rewrite much of it, so I’m not pushing to publish by the day.

I also have a 3 month stint for volunteering in Nepal and a 3 month stint volunteering in Ethiopia on the books…

What countries do you consider you felt the safest? And did you feel safer than in your home country?

Long list… Canada is Canada… it’s pretty difficult to feel safer than there. I guess otherwise the safest have been Western Europe and parts of the States.

What countries do you feel the most on edge (in Danger) ?

Jonny Jenkins Ice CreamI’m not one to feel on edge. But, probably at times in Thailand because it was my first 3rd world country.

Any memorable dealings with government officials, Police or Border Guards?

Too many to count… The majority of which happen in between the American/Canadian border. Including getting caught with firewood (apparently you can’t do that), getting caught with a wallet of a wanted narcotics trafficker in the vehicle (though we didn’t know the guy), getting lost looking for my guitar at customs and (by having my alarm clock go off) create a bomb scare… need I add more?

Do you do any work while you travel, such as digital nomad, consulting, or odd jobs?

Certainly, was a Scuba Instructor for awhile, have worked as a drop in English prof, much volunteering… and now looking to create a career on the road in between my writing and environmentally sustainable developments.

Tell us some of the experiences that made your jaw drop, left you in Awe, or were incredibly touching?

Jaw Drop – Scuba diving with a Whale-shark.
Left in Awe – Hiking North Coast Trail in Canada (does that count as traveling?)
Incredibly Touching – The goodbye letter from an indigenous school high in the Andes of Ecuador after spending 4 months volunteering/living there.

How has your traveling affected your relationships with your friends and family?

Friends – I’d say I’ve held onto the major relationships and appreciated them Jonny Jenkins Tajamulcomore… but I’d be lying if I said I don’t neglect these relationships at times.

Family – This one hurts to be honest. I’m really close with my family, and especially now that there’s a younger generation around I feel like I’m missing out on their upbringing… but I’ve become the ‘traveling cousin/uncle/son’ … And I like to think they understand… they certainly tell stories about me, and the younger generation is learning certain geography based on ‘where in the world is Jonny?’

Any Regrets?, Anything you would like a shot at a do-over?

One – Lived in Germany about a decade ago and never learned German. I find regrets a waste of time, so let’s just say that I plan to remedy this.

Do you see an end to this journey, or do you expect to continue to be on the move, exploring most of your life?

I see a point where I will again get into living in Canada 3-6 months a year, having another ‘home/eco project’ 3-6 months a year and exploring for whatever time is remaining.

Any words of encouragement for our readers to get them to leave the couch and hit the road?

Jonny Jenkins Landing in OntarioHmm… At the end of the day, what kind of stories would you like to be able to tell your children/grandchildren? Do you want to have stories that involve you as a protagonist, or rather ones that you heard second hand and are merely retelling someone else’s tales? There’s nothing wrong with learning vicariously and we all have some responsibilities… but the moment you leave your hometown you’ll realize what responsibilities are actually important for you and your happiness and which ones have been but society’s view of who you should be… and really, if you look at your surround society, are you willing to say that they have all the answers?

Do you have any tips for others who are trying to get a successful blog up and going?

Absolutely, it takes time. Get into writing, don’t worry too much about the finicky little things to begin with. Whatever keeps you motivated, focus on that. The way that SEO works, you won’t be able to get ranked too high until you’ve got some longevity to your site… so write what you enjoy.
Furthermore… actually travel. Get to places where others go as that brings search queries but also get to places that others don’t, as that brings intrigue. Start now… even if you aren’t blogging much, having the site up will help you in the long run… And do EVERYTHING you find interesting… others might as well.

With all of this, you should be aware that at first it will be an investment… think of it as around a year (give or take) before your blog starts to give back… so make sure you have enough to live off of for that long.

Have you written any books or have a blog, that you would like to plug?

Http://stepupdivein.com

By using humor, photos, stories and advice, I hope to engage everyone in such a way that, in the very least, it breaks up the monotony of a given working day; and, in the most, inspires others to get out there and see the world for themselves. I’ve always been a storyteller, and try to get very deep into cultures by staying for longer periods of time, learning the local language and finding a role in the society (typically volunteer) so that my relationships with said locals are not just economically driven… and then I come back to that storytelling bit to tell others of the hilarity and ridiculousness in my own mannerisms… I do my best to respect all others whilst being comically self-deprecating and love to hear from anyone/everyone.

The Odyssey – 30 Stories that made me 30 Years old

I won’t plug my book just yet… But the premise is this: Our generation is potentially the first in the history of mankind that has had this gap (in between 20 and 30) open up. The stories of an eccentric traveler are used to exemplify the diversity in which ‘this odyssey’ can be undertaken…Jonny Jenkins Abbot Ridge

One Response to Stepping Up and Diving In with Jonny Jenkins

  1. Daily Viet says:

    I like your photos and your trip

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge