Belfast Telegraph

Mother's relief as missing Northern Ireland man Jonny Blair makes contact

By Jonny Bell

The mother of a missing Northern Ireland man has thanked the ranks of the Green and White Army and his many friends around the world for their support and messages after her son got back in touch.

Travel writer Jonny Blair has been on a long running trip around the world for the past seven years. He has featured in numerous publications and television shows visiting well over 100 different countries and always proudly with his Northern Ireland flag.

He was recently based in Gdansk in Poland and had said that he was intending to settle in the area and had been taking Polish lessons in a local school.

But for 10 days he had not been heard from, until his family received an email on Sunday night from the 36-year-old former Bangor Grammar pupil saying he was safe, bringing a sense of relief.

His mother Muriel told the Belfast Telegraph: "We'd like to thank all those who supported us in the past 10 days and sent us messages. It was really appreciated.

"Jonny is ok, we are still concerned for him, but are just letting him know we are there for him and want to support him in whatever way we can. He is an adult and we want him to come home, but that is a decision he needs to make himself."

Jonny was bitten by the travel bug while he was a student in Bournemouth. He would work on the beach and when people would leave they would say he should visit. And he took them up on his offer.

He has travelled the world since and written about his experiences,  appearing in many different publications around the world.

But when he arrived in Poland he decided to settle down and had begun to learn the language.

After posting a message on Facebook he went missing and his family became worried. They travelled out to Gdansk to try and get in touch with Jonny or anyone that knew him.

His mother added: "He would go to places around the world and when he was not happy he would pick up his backpack and move on, often not knowing where he would end up.

"Over this past while he was feeling quite low and he knew it himself and we have been trying to do all we can to help and support him as well as asking him to come home.

"Over the past 10 days his friends from around the world have been in touch to offering their support through Facebook, WhatsApp and texting. It shows how he is loved and not alone and we want to pass on our thanks to them for that help."

Lee Adams, who set up the Facebook page to help find Jonny said: "I would like to add that the amount of support and concern for him from all corners of the globe has not for un-noticed .

"Jonny may not realise how much people love and care for him and how much of an impact he has on people's lives. I cannot wait to see him again."

To read Jonny's travel writings click here

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