An Interview with Colin Wright from Exile Lifestyle: Moving Towards Your Dreams Like a Bullet

I’m excited to present the first in a series of interviews on living, working and travelling unconventionally. Every week on A Life of Blue, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be publishing an interview with great people who are not afraid to do things a bit differently or have chosen an unconventional lifestyle.

Don’t miss out on these interviews. You can receive free updates from A Life of Blue via Email or RSS.

Colin Wright is several things at once: A writer, a serial entrepreneur, brand consultant, t-shirt designer and full-time world traveller. He moves to a new country every four months based on the votes of his readers and as a consequence enjoys a very minimalist lifestyle. He writes on his blog Exile Lifestyle, has published several books and writes an on-going travelogue called Exiles. His business model is quite unconventional: You can subscribe to him with a yearly payment, which includes his paid travel letter and any new book he publishes. Smart.

I discovered Colin pretty quickly when I first started getting into the blogosphere this summer. His lifestyle, writing and personal philosophies resonated with me straight away and so I’ve been following him ever since.

A few of my favorite posts (tough one, as I like too many of his posts to list them here):

My 6 Life Focuses

A Time for Questioning What We Know

All 72 Things I Own

Burn Your Resume

How to Throw a Breakup Party

 

I talked with Colin about life changes, making dreams happen, his travel strategy and how to start an unconventional lifestyle.

So here we go, I hope you enjoy:

Conni: What was the most profound change that you made in your life that ended you up where you are now?

Colin: That would have to be the shift in my priorities that I made when I was living in LA.
At the time I was running a successful and quickly-growing branding studio and found myself in one of those idealized American Dream situations of working hard and playing hard all the time. The transition didn’t take long, but when the ‘Eureka!’ moment was over, I wasn’t happy with where things were headed anymore, and I took a sharp turn in a different direction and started walking (metaphorically…I was moving toward owning more of my time, than trying to own more and more money and status). Thankfully, I haven’t had any reason to look bad. Best decision and change I ever made.

Conni: How do you achieve your goals and dreams? What steps do you take?

Colin: I move toward them like a bullet. That probably isn’t a very helpful answer, though, so I’ll amend it to: I move toward them like a bullet ALL THE TIME. My work is an integrated part of my life. People talk about work/life balance, but I think if you’re really doing something you’re passionate about, it should be a big part of your life; the two indivisible from each other. This allows me to put in a ridiculous amount of time and effort into anything I want to pursue, because I’ve got the triple-whammy of time, enthusiasm and motivation. There aren’t any set steps to it; generally if I find something I’m interested in, I’ll pursue it a bit and see how far I get.

Conni: You let your readers decide in which country you live next for four months. How did you come up with this idea and what has been your experience with this travel strategy?

Colin: Honestly, the idea stemmed from the fact that I knew very little real, practical knowledge about the world outside the US. I had been meaning to travel forever, and it was in fact one of my life goals to get to a point where I could travel full time someday, but it took me a while to get around to it, because I’ve been running businesses since I was 19 and never had the time. I felt underprepared to make a decision like that, so I cast the responsibility onto my readers! Thankfully they’ve taken the concept and run with it, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. I’ve lived in Argentina, New Zealand, Thailand, Iceland, and I’m currently staying in India. It’s been a solid variety of places, climates and economies. I’ve learned a lot as a result, and I’m going to keep going with this method until I can come up with something that will help me experience more and learn about these different countries and cultures faster than I am now.

Conni: Occasionally, I meet people, who don’t understand why I live the way I do. One recurring question is “When are you going to settle down?”. Assuming you’re talking to a stranger, how would you reply, how would you make them understand that your lifestyle is good and worth living?

Colin: Haha, I get this question all the time! Generally, I just make it clear that my priorities are in learning and becoming a better person, and to me ‘settling down’ means ‘settling’…something I don’t intend to do. Why should I settle when I can keep pursuing a life that gets better and better every day? Of course, I make it clear that I’m not belittling any other kind of lifestyle — these are MY priorities, and don’t represent everyone — but I’d always rather have happiness over comfort, and traveling like this and living the life that I live makes me happier than anything I’ve encountered so far, even if it isn’t always comfortable.

Conni: Do you have any advice for our readers on how to make their lifestyle unconventional?

Colin: Spend a lot of time in your own head, deep-diving into what you think, how you think, and what makes you happy. Develop what you think into a personal philosophy and abide by it (but make sure it has room to evolve). Use the knowledge of how you think and refine the process so that you can learn and do things faster and better. Finally, pursue what makes you happy as if it’s the only thing that matters, because at the end of the day, it kind of is.

Thanks again to Colin for the interview! Check him out at Exile Lifestyle and get inspired!

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Be sure to check back next week for another great interview!

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