Johnson Nguyen owns a small Marketing company in Vancouver, Canada.  He was born and raised in Vancouver along with his two sisters.  His family originated in Vietnam and immigrated before he was born.  They carried their strong work ethic with them and passed that along to all the kids!  After traveling with his family, he pursued and received a degree at King’s College in London and upon graduating, opened his business in Canada.

As an online Marketer, he spends his days helping clients improve their online profile, such as a fresh website and updated keywords.  The company is doing well and has grown to have fifteen employees. Johnson has recently married and is now sharing his passion of travel with his wife, who seems always ready to pack a bag!

What is your hobby?

My hobby is to travel.  I love to go to different countries and explore. There is so much history and beauty around the world to see and experience.  I feel like I have an inner growth spurt each time I go to a new location.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

My parents actually!  They moved here from Vietnam a long time ago, and my Father’s work would take him on business trips, which he often turned into a family affair.  I was fascinated by our trip to London as a teen, so much so that I went to college there.  Seeing the way people live around the world is truly very interesting and at times, eye-opening.

Tell us what you love about it.

When I travel, I really like to go to the places that the locals recommend.  Don’t get me wrong, I will see the recommended tourist sites, but the best food and entertainment is local.  It is fun to people watch while sitting at an outdoor café or just walking around.  It is also so much fun to visit a local pub and get to chatting with the people.  Those stories that you hear around the globe are full of knowledge and wisdom.  The kinds of stories that are passed down for generations.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

There is not really a club to join for me, but we do have a number of friends who also travel and we often swap stories and share tips souvenirs.  I tend to travel with my wife now, but unless you sign up for a guided travel tour, you are on your own!

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought?

Well, since we do travel regularly, I did get us two very nice, sturdy sets of luggage and some small containers for toiletries.  Otherwise, most of the money goes for the plane ticket or gas if it’s a road trip, a hotel, and meals.  We plan way ahead, so we usually get pretty good deals.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I buy all of my tickets online!  In fact, we buy or book everything we need online or at Amazon.  Of course, if we need something along the way, we just pop into a store.  Luckily, we do not have to buy to many things to travel.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I think you can easily find Travel books for beginners, but I really recommend Rick Steves books for the places I go.  He has all of the good places to see, eat at, or stay.  He also includes all kinds of places that are off the beaten path.  I especially liked his Paris travel book, because he had information on the catacombs, which we wanted to see.  We found the perfect entry point for our day.  His shows are great too.

How has this changed your life?

You know, I have been to over twenty countries and I am in constant awe of how alike people around the world really are.  It is eye-opening to see how people approach things.  The truth is, we live in a great country and I am always grateful when I come home to live here.  Not all places have all of the comforts that we do.  I am reminded when I travel how grand the world is and how lucky I really am.  I am just happy for each experience along the way.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

If you really want to start traveling in your spare time, be realistic with and stick to your budget.  You may start by seeing things in your area or the next city, working up to international travel.  You could be a weekend road tripper for sure, that is fun and not too expensive.   There are so many places to see that are even free!

Are there any other hobbies you have?

My other hobby as an avid reader is the total opposite.  I like to get into my reading nook in my home office and read a good novel every day.  Even if I only have half an hour, I like to read and decompress.  That little bit is enough for me to reenergize!

You can learn more about Johnson Nguyen at johnson-nguyen