Hey, I’m Jonny Melon, and thank you so much for stopping by to read a little about me and my story!
First of all, I’m super stoked that you’ve somehow found me on the interwebs and are now sitting here reading my blog. It means the world to me, and I wouldn’t be here without you guys, so kudos!
If it’s your first time visiting Jonny Melon Adventure Travel Blog, you’ll soon find out that I pour my heart and soul into this website and it’s a space where I love to share all of my epic adventures, cultural experiences, and captivating photos from around the globe. My ultimate goal is to inspire and motivate other like-minded travelers to step outside and explore this wonderful earth too!
So, I’m guessing you’re probably thinking, ‘Who’s the guy behind the screen and where did it all begin?’
It’s kind of a long story BUT, I’ve done my best to keep it short and sweet. I promise it’s worth the read. 😊
I was born in Gold Coast, Australia and I have to admit, my hometown is paradise! I spent most of my childhood and teenage years in the outdoors – surfing, skateboarding, mountain bike riding, snowboarding, and all the other fun stuff that we all do as kids.
When I graduated high school at the end of 2010, I started a trade in the building industry because I loved being outdoors, working with my hands, and here in Australia, builders get paid very well.
I worked in construction on and off for about 6 years and in between, I had various different jobs such as a lifty at a ski resort, a bartender in a pub, truck driver for a cold food storage company, and many more random trades.
Whenever I had time off work, I took a few short overseas trips to New Zealand, Japan, and South East Asia to name a few. Consequently, I got sick with the travel bug (as I’m sure most of us do) and that’s what sparked my passion for adventure travel and eagerness to see more of the world.
Working at Perisher Ski Resort – 2014
During my late teens and early 20’s, I read a number of books such as ‘The Power Of Now‘ and ‘The Law Of Attraction‘ which set me on a completely different path from where I was heading and ultimately gave me a new outlook on life.
I discovered that there is much more to life than working a 9am to 5pm job, to pay off a car or pay off a mortgage on a house, because I knew there was an entire world out there to be discovered, unforgettable experiences waiting to be had and with this new vision, my goal was to travel to all four corners of the earth, and fulfill my existence as a human being!
On that note, I have never been a materialistic person anyway, so owning a car or a house didn’t appeal to me whatsoever and instead, I chose to spend my money on traveling and life experiences.
Continuing on… in May 2017, I finally quit my job as a builder, sold everything I owned (which wasn’t much), and booked a one-way ticket to Europe to begin a new journey with nothing more than a bag on my back and a camera in hand.
A few months into my travels around Europe, and noticing that my savings were slowly decreasing, I started researching ways of how I could make money online so I could continue to travel the world and not have to go back to my construction job in Australia.
With a clear vision in mind, it didn’t take me long to figure out that photography, social media marketing, and travel blogging were ways to earn some cash on the road. These few things combined resonated highly with me as photography had always been a huge passion of mine and keeping a journal on my travels was something else that I thoroughly enjoyed.
After 6 months of traveling Europe, and surprisingly a fair amount of savings left in the old bank account, I booked a one-way ticket to Bali (instead of going home to Australia). I knew Bali would be a great place to put the brakes on, spend some time setting up my blog, networking with like-minded creators and to begin my journey in the online world.
Milos Island in Greece – June 2017
Positano, Italy – July 2017
I was fortunate enough to move into my brother’s villa which he had been renting long-term in Canggu. My brother is an absolute legend and he let me stay rent-free if I agreed to chuck in some money towards power every month, about $50, no brainer right!
His 2-story villa was freaking epic, to say the least. It featured a swimming pool, open plan living, 2 bedrooms, a cinema room, a huge kitchen, and best of all, lightning speed wifi!
It was here in Bali where Jonny Melon Adventure Travel Blog was born and every single day I was making an effort to travel to awesome locations around Bali such as waterfalls, volcanoes, beaches, islands, temples, etc. and started sharing my photography on Instagram and publishing detailed destination guides on my Travel Blog.
Arrived in Bali – September 2017
Bali – October 2017
Slowly but surely, my audience on Instagram was growing, the traffic to my website was increasing, and after a few short months, I started to see some money rolling into my bank account through these two platforms.
My goal was to reach $1500 a month knowing that would be enough to sustain full-time travel, at least in South East Asia anyway!
My first paid gig was at the end of 2017 with City Beach, a massive apparel company in Australia that reached out to me and asked if I was interested in promoting their products on my Instagram account. They went on to send me a package filled with t-shirts, shorts, shoes, hats, sunnies, you name it! City Beach was paying me $100 per Instagram post and at this point, I only had around 15,000 followers. $100 doesn’t sound like much, but it was a start and I could easily live off $100 a week in Bali, no sweat!
By the end of 2017, my portfolio of brand partnerships was growing. I had landed digital marketing gigs with brands such as Kapten & Son, Nomatic, Organic Watches, Atilla & Co, and a handful of different hotels and resorts in Bali.
Lombok, Indonesia – January 2018
Hakuba, Japan – January 2018
Sri Lanka – February 2018
In June 2018, a large travel company by the name of Traveloka in Indonesia contacted me to see if I’d be interested in going on an all-expenses-paid trip to a remote island in Sulawesi, Indonesia. I replied to the email and said thanks but no thanks…
I’m totally joking! Of course, I said YES, and the following week I was on a plane from Bali to Sombori Islands, a remote destination in Sulawesi. As part of the collaboration, I was required to post stories and photos on Instagram and to also publish an article on my blog highlighting my experience on the island.
This was my first time working with a tourism company, so I made sure to produce the best work that I could and to over-deliver. Traveloka was absolutely stoked with my content and I was finally able to add a tourism company to my media kit.
Sombori Islands in Sulawesi – June 2018
I then returned to Bali for a couple of months until another email landed in my inbox, this time from the Philippines Tourism Promotions Board. I honestly couldn’t believe that these press trip opportunities were coming in from left, right, and center.
Before I knew it, I was off to the Philippines on a week-long trip with some other creators to promote the islands of Negros Oriental and Apo Island. Truth be told, the Philippines quickly became my second most favorite country in the world, after Indonesia.
I extended my stay for an extra 2 weeks in the Philippines and traveled to Siargao Island so I could get some more content for the blog and Instagram. It was a smart decision, as now the majority of my Siargao travel guides are ranking on the 1st page of Google and bringing in lots of traffic to my blog. You can check out some of those guides here!
Apo Island, Philippines – September 2018
Siargao Island, Philippines – September 2018
Once again, I returned to Bali (if you haven’t already guessed by this stage, Bali is my favorite place on earth) and started planning the next steps forward for my business.
Come October 2018, and with the experience and knowledge I had gained in the past year as a blogger and photographer, I decided I wanted to teach others how to start a travel blog, grow their social media accounts, and learn more about photography.
With the assistance of my good friend Jonas, (@thefreedomcomplex) we planned a 10-Day Travel Blogging & Photography Workshop in Bali for anyone who was interested in learning first-hand from two successful creators.
In November 2018, we had 9 awesome people fly out to Bali to join our workshop which turned out to be a great success and an incredible experience for all that were involved.
After the workshop, I traveled to Myanmar for one month with my new girlfriend Kathy, and we worked with several tour companies, hotels, and resorts during this time. If you’re looking for a relatively untouched and unique location in Asia, I can’t recommend a visit to Myanmar enough!
The next stop was Thailand to spend Christmas and New Year’s with Kathy’s family and we traveled across the entire country, creating content for my channels along the way.
Bagan, Myanmar – December 2018
My next biggest tourism job was in January 2019 with a company called Travel Talk Tours, where I was invited on a 15-day Egypt and Jordan tour. Man, was this a trip of a lifetime!
Following this trip, Travel Talk Tours were so pleased with my previous work in Egypt and Jordan that they invited me on a 10-day tour around Morocco.
Great Pyramids Of Giza, Egypt – January 2019
The Sahara Desert, Morocco – February 2019
After Morocco, I traveled to Switzerland for a tourism campaign with Swiss Travel Systems. They assigned me on an 8-day tour around the country by train, and I documented each location along the way. The highlight of this trip was by far the train journey from Zermatt to St. Moritz on the Glacier Express!
See the full blog post here → 8-Day Switzerland Itinerary.
Glacier Express, Switzerland – March 2019
In April 2018, I was selected to participate in the annual Kerala Blog Express, a 3-week road trip around Kerala, India. So, the next thing I knew, I was on a plane to India.
My travels continued from India back to Europe for a 10-day sponsored trip with Eurail. I started this train trip in Istanbul and traveled through Bulgaria, Hungary, France, and ended in Barcelona. It was very fast-paced but an epic adventure, nonetheless.
Kerala Backwaters, India – April 2019
Eiffel Tower, Paris – April 2019
At the end of April, I flew 15 hours from Barcelona and landed in Cusco Peru, which was my first time stepping foot on the South American continent! I spent one month traveling in Peru and Bolivia, and the top highlights were the Uyuni Salt Flats and the 9-Day Ausangate Trek I embarked on with Killa Expeditions.
The next gig I had organized was with Tucan Travels, a 10-day tour of Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. I was fortunate to experience some of the most amazing activities on this trip, such as a speed boat tour at Iguazu Falls, wine tasting in Mendoza, and a visit to Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
Ausangate Trek, Peru – April 2019
Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia – May 2019
Iguazu Falls, Argentina – May 2019
Christ the Redeemer, Brazil – May 2019
Then, from one side of the earth to the other, I was on a plane to Australia at the end of May 2019 to work with Northern Territory Tourism on a promotional campaign in the Top End. It was my first time back on home soil in around 2 years and I must admit, Australia is pretty hard to beat.
Northern Territory, Australia – June 2019
I made my way back to Bali in June and threw a huge party at an amazing villa in Uluwatu for my 27th birthday!
I spent around 6 weeks in Bali this time around to catch up on a backlog of work on the blog and plan a few more trips for the second half of 2019.
The villa I rented in Bali for my birthday!
In mid-July, I was on a plane to Europe for two content creating gigs. One was Yacht Week in Croatia and the other a 7-day sail around the Greek Islands. These two destinations are up there on my list of favorite countries in the world, and I highly recommend experiencing them for yourselves when you get the chance!
Yacht Week in Croatia – July 2019
Sailing in the Greek Islands – August 2019
After a few awesome weeks in the Mediterranean, I jumped on yet another flight and headed to The Philippines where I spent 3 months traveling around 15 different islands. Safe to say, I now know the Philippines like the back of my hand, so if you have any questions at all about this awesome destination, please feel free to reach out!
A few weeks into my trip to the Philippines, I received an email from the Japan Tourism Board who invited me on a 5-day trip to promote the Tohoku Region. So, I bailed the Philippines for a week and had an epic experience exploring and documenting Japan’s lesser-known locations such as Aomori Prefecture and Akita Prefecture. I studied Japanese in school and so Japan has always been a favorite country of mine to spend time in.
I returned to the Philippines to finish off the remainder of my travels there and then at the end of October, I jumped on a plane to Mexico to attend the world-renowned Dia de Los Muertos (The Day Of The Dead Festival) in Mexico City. Far out, was this an unforgettable experience and a massive bucket list tick!
Coron, Philippines – September 2019
Aomori Prefecture, Japan – September 2019
Day Of The Dead Festival – October 2019
Following the festivities, I traveled around Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize for a total of 2 months and celebrated New Year’s in Tulum! Traveling through these countries was the most epic backpacking experience I’ve had to date!
In January 2020, I flew from Cancun, Mexico to Havana, Cuba for 2 weeks and worked with an awesome tour company called Cuban Adventures! Over the course of 15 days, we traveled across the country from Old Town Havana, all the way up to the tobacco region in Vinales, across to the Bay of Pigs and the colonial town of Trinidad, and finally ending the tour back in Havana. Cuba is the most unique country I’ve ever been to and a must-see for any serious traveler!
Tulum, Mexico – December 2019
Acatenango, Guatemala – December 2019
Havana, Cuba – January 2019
I left Cuba and jumped on a number of long-haul flights (42 hours of transit in total) to reach Asia for another gig with the Japan Tourism Board. This time around, I was hired to promote the Tokushima Prefecture across my channels. Another successful campaign completed, and I decided to extend my stay for an extra week so I could go snowboarding in Hakuba Valley in the Japan Alps.
From Japan, I continued my travels to Queensland, Australia in February 2020 to participate in a beach clean-up which was hosted by Corona Beer and Parley TV in the Whitsundays. Our aim was to bring awareness to the threat of marine plastic pollution in Australia and what we can do as individuals to help save our oceans around the world for a better future. I was super grateful to be a part of this campaign and also had the chance to meet some really inspiring people.
Tokushima, Japan – January 2020
The Whitsundays – February 2020
After the campaign in the Whitsundays, I traveled to the Gold Coast and spent some quality time with my family and friends for a few weeks.
I was due to fly out to South Africa in March 2020 for a month-long trip which was going to be one of my biggest projects yet, and then BOOM, a global pandemic shook the world by surprise and this kept me in the country.
I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t continue my travels overseas, but instead, I spent the majority of 2020 traveling in a campervan exploring more of my home country. You can check out more of those adventures here!
Van Life in Australia – 2020
As I mentioned earlier, my ultimate goal with this blog is to inspire and motivate others to embark on an unforgettable journey of their own, because after all, an investment in travel is an investment in yourself.
I hope to see you around the world somewhere! ✌🏽