Howdy! I’m Colin Wright.

I’m an author, podcast host, and enthusiastic, generalist maker-of-things.

I also speak to audiences at conferences, universities, and on the periodic national or international tour.

I spend most of my time learning, making things I hope will be of value, and striving to grow as a person, in terms of physical and mental health, knowledge, resiliency, and overall capability.

I started traveling the world full-time in 2009, and for the better part of a decade, every four months or so I had my readers vote on what country I would move to next.

For the past few years I’ve experimented with different models, including meandering around unfamiliar parts of the US, riding the rails around Europe, catching buses up and down the length South America, fixing up and full-timing in a vintage RV (while on tour), and at the moment I’m establishing a home base (from which to travel) in beautiful Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Colin Wright speaking at The Last Bookstore
Speaking at The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles

Somewhat More Information

I’m originally from Northern California, but I grew up in Columbia, Missouri.

I pursued a combined journalism and fine arts trajectory in high school, then worked a handful of design-oriented jobs and wrote news analysis columns for local newspapers throughout my university years.

I started my first business, a magazine, when I was 19 and still in school. The project went well, then flopped, which was a very painful and educational experience. I graduated with a dual-emphasis degree in graphic design and illustration, then moved out to LA to work as a generalist “creative” at a small production and design agency.

After a year, I left that studio job to start up my own one-person operation, at first doing an array of design, web, animation, and interactive work, but then I found my niche in branding.

Things were going very well, business-wise, when I realized I was sacrificing essentially every other aspect of my life to achieve that professional success.

In 2009 I handed off most of my clients, sold or gave away everything I owned that wouldn’t fit into carry-on luggage, and started up my blog, Exile Lifestyle.

In the years since, I’ve lived in Argentina, New Zealand, Thailand, Iceland, India, Romania, Czech Republic, and the Philippines, visited about 60 other countries and all 48 contiguous US states (thrice), roadtripped South America, wandered Southeast Asia, explored Europe by train, and enjoyed many other adventures (travel-related and otherwise).

Colin Wright speaking at SXSW Mercedes Benz Me Convention
Post-talk interview on stage at the SXSW Me Convention in Frankfurt, Germany

I’m fortunate to have a wonderful family. My parents and three siblings are scattered across the US, and I have quite a few fur-nieces and fur-nephews in addition to a couple of recently added human ones.

I make friends and build relationships of different kinds as I travel: I have some truly amazing and inspiring people in my life.

I’m a minimalist in that I own few things and am intentional in how I consume. This doesn’t mean I’m anti-consumption, but rather that I’m careful about how I spend my time, energy, and resources (including money). I tend to buy less but invest in quality, and I aim for the same in relationships, the work I do, and everything else.

I’m 39-years-old, left-handed, and cannot believe I get to do what I do for a living.

Colin Wright at NASA rocket testing facility in Mississippi
Visiting the NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi


If you don’t see an answer to your question below, feel free to contact me.

How can I do what you do? Traveling is my dream!

Great! There are many ways to travel long-term or full-time. As many ways as there are people, in fact.

A few things to be thinking about:

1. What do you want to get out of travel? What do you hope to achieve by living this way?

2. How might you earn an income while on the road? What skills do you possess that might allow you to work independently or remotely, and what skills might you acquire that would help you do so?

3. What elements of your comfort zone will need to be taken into account when figuring out expenses, locations, methods of travel, and other such considerations? Are you comfortable being uncomfortable, or will you need a large cozy bed and a first class plane ticket everywhere you go? There’s nothing wrong with needing such things, but it’s important to be aware of those preferences and needs ahead of time, so you can work them into your plans.

4. It’s also important to consider the ethical implications of your travels, including the emissions created by different modes of locomotion and the damage that can be caused by visitors to landmarks, cities, and natural settings. This damage can include things like the transmission of diseases, but also general wear-and-tear on plants, paths, and architecture, alongside economic reverberations that can ruin an area for locals as it becomes more accessible to visitors.

Focus on what’s vital, make sure you know why you’re doing it, and make sure your approach is economically, ecologically, psychologically, and physically sustainable.

From there, it’s a good idea to set a deadline and to use the time leading up to that deadline as a runway before take-off. Don’t rush, but don’t put it off forever, either.

Then go out into the world, try to leave places and people you encounter better than you found them, and do your best to be present for the experiences you have along the way.

Do you accept guest posts/submissions for your blog?

Nope, sorry.

Why not?

It’s just not how I use this space. Back when I first started blogging I accepted a few, but not anymore. The blogosphere was a very different creature back then, and so was I.

Can I buy an advertisement on your blog?

Nope, sorry.

Wait, if you don’t display ads like a smart business person, how do you make money from your blog?

The short answer is: I don’t.

The longer and more complete answer is: I don’t make money directly from my blog, but it serves as a means of communicating with folks who may, as a result of checking out my work, decide to pick up one of my books, attend a conference at which I’m speaking, or support one of my other projects financially.

It’s a slow-burn means of making a living, but it’s one I feel good about. I wouldn’t be able to say the same if I bombarded folks with marketing messages or overwhelmed them with blinking ads, promoting widgets they don’t need.

Will you come speak at my conference/event/school/business?

Perhaps! Here’s some info about hiring me as a speaker and how that all works.

Aren’t you a minimalist? Isn’t it counter to your philosophy to sell books?

Nope. Being a minimalist doesn’t mean owning nothing, it means owning exactly the right things for one’s needs and priorities. It’s not about being anti-consumption, it’s about being anti-compulsory consumption.

If a book brings you joy, helps you learn, or exposes you to new ideas, there’s a good chance it passes muster, minimalism-wise. Though that won’t be the case for everyone: if your money is better spent on something else according to your standards, please do that instead.

I also encourage folks who buy my books to hand them off to a friend or donate them to a library afterward, which is a good way to enjoy the benefits of a tangible book without adding long-lasting clutter to your life.

How do I write a book?

The first step is to start writing. A lot.

Many people want to write a book but don’t write, or are afraid to start writing before they feel they have the entire publishing scaffolding in place.

Don’t do that. Don’t wait for permission.

Get started and write all the time. It’s the only way to get better, and it’s the best possible way to sound more like yourself and develop your personal style.

Once you’ve written a lot of shorter things, longer things will begin to look less frightening and mysterious.

Colin Wright, Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus, Asymmetrical Press, The Minimalists
Hadoukening Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists

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