Hello! I’m Colin.
I typically travel full-time, moving to a new country every four months or so, my next home determined by the votes of my readers.
I’m originally from Northern California, but I grew up in central Missouri; a fairly stark contrast, but one I feel richer for having experienced.
Growing up, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be a chaos theorist or comic book illustrator, and I ended up pursuing a combined journalism-and-fine art trajectory in high school.
At university, I started out as a painting major, segueing partway through my first year to a dual-emphasis in graphic design and illustration. I worked a handful of design- and technology-related jobs alongside my classes, and wrote news analysis columns for local newspapers.
I started my first business when I was 19. It was a magazine, and it did pretty well and then flopped, which gave me my first taste of the sweet-yet-bitter field of entrepreneurship.
From that point onward I taught myself what I could about how businesses are run. I graduated, moved to LA and worked for a production studio for a year, then started up my own multidisciplinary practice. I did some generalist design, web, and UI work, then refocused almost completely on branding.
Things escalated quickly and the branding studio was a professional success. This resulted in more than a little navel-gazing, which led to a decision to recalibrate away from my former defition of success toward something new and more aligned with my actual desires and preferences.
In 2009 I got rid of everything I owned that wouldn’t fit into a carry-on bag, scaled down my studio so I could run it from the road, and started up a blog called Exile Lifestyle. I asked my readers to vote on where I should move, and they decided I would call Argentina home for four months.
In the last seven years I’ve also lived in New Zealand, Thailand, Iceland, India, Romania, Czech Republic, and the Philippines, explored about 60 other countries, visited all 48 contiguous US states twice (once over the course of just two months, traveling exclusively on Greyhound buses), roadtripped through South America, rode the rails through Southeast Asia, and have partaken in numerous other world-romping adventures.
Since hitting the road full-time, I’ve professionally pivoted several times. I went from building brands for other companies in LA, to consulting about branding from the road, to building brands for myself. I’ve started and run nearly a dozen medium- and small-scale endeavors in industries ranging from sustainable product design to subscription-based publishing technologies.
I currently make my living by writing and publishing books (nonfiction and fiction) through a publishing company called Asymmetrical Press, which I co-founded with two fellow authors, Josh and Ryan from The Minimalists.
I speak at schools, conferences, events, and businesses, all around the world. I also periodically teach classes and workshops.
I’ve also recently thrown myself into the audio production industry, and make part of my living through my podcast Let’s Know Things.
I’m fortunate to have a wonderful family. My parents live in central Missouri, and my siblings (all three of them) are scattered around the US, doing various interesting things and living happy lives.
I date as I travel and am fortunate to have some truly amazing and inspiring people in my life. Non-standard relationships make sense to me, for me, on a practical and philosophical level.
I’m a minimalist in that I own very few things, and I am careful about how I consume. This doesn’t mean I’m anti-consumption, but rather that I’m very careful about how I spend my time, money, and energy. I tend to buy less but invest in quality, and I trend toward the same in relationships, business endeavors, and just about everything else.
I’m left-handed, blue-eyed, scary-good at Tetris, and I am currently learning to cook.
Want some photos of me for some reason? Here you go.
Want to read or watch some interviews I’ve done? You got it.
Want to know which companies/products/services I use to do what I do? Here’s a list.