Where the experts holiday: Colin Wright, author, entrepreneur and full time traveller

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Author and entrepreneur, Colin Wright, has spent the last four years travelling full time. Californian born Colin moves, on average, every four months – his destination decided by readers of his blog, Exile lifestyle. Here the 28 year old shares his life in travel with CD-Traveller readers

 

 

What do you like to do on your travels?
I do my best to live like locals — insofar as that’s possible, at least. I find I get the most out of the experience if I’m getting the most authentic view of the area and its people possible, and that’s tricky through conventional means. As a result, I do a lot of socialising and reaching out to locals in order to make sure I see the ‘real’ country I’m visiting, rather than a whitewashed version.

Where did you last travel?
My most recent home-away-from-home was Cluj, Romania — a beautiful city in a beautiful country, full of interesting people and a rich recent history (in addition to its even richer distant past).

Do you know where you’re travelling this year?
I’ve been in Montana for most of the year, working on a publishing company I co-founded with a few other authors, but I’ll be headed to Iceland, the UK, and Chile for the rest of the year. Sometime in early 2014, I’ll tally the votes of my readers, and that will tell me where I go next!

 

New Zealand holds a special place in Colin's heart

 

Of all the destinations you have visited, which was your favourite and why?
I can’t really choose an overall favourite — each has been amazing and imperfect in different ways. I can say that New Zealand was the most naturally beautiful, Iceland had the most interesting culture, India and Thailand were both incredibly challenging, and Argentina has amazing food and a very interesting push-pull with the past and present.

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
All of them! I really want to go everywhere, so I don’t think you could find a place that I would not want to go. There’s just so much to learn and see, and so little time in which to do it!

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
The open road. The US has an amazing highway system, and there are lots of wonderful small towns and roadside attractions to take in, if you take the time to drive it extensively. Just keep driving and stop at anything that looks interesting — much better than going to the well-worn travel hubs, which tend to be a little dull.

 

 

How do you plan your trips? (Guidebooks/website/agent/recommendations etc)
I actually don’t really plan — I read the Wikipedia entry for the country I’m going to, and then hit the road. I use the web to find the best ticket prices, buy them, and then show up! It’s a little disorienting — especially in places where I don’t speak the language — but it’s a blast, and forces me to learn a lot, quickly. I avoid guidebooks and the like completely — I want an original experience, not to follow in someone else’s footsteps. The information you get on the ground, from locals, is far better, anyway.

How often do you go travel?
I move to a new country every four months, more or less. Sometimes I’ll take breaks in between to give talks or take road trips around the US or elsewhere.

Who do you travel with?
By myself, usually. Sometimes I’ll bring a friend, but I really like solo travel. It provides me with plenty of time to think and write.

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
I’m hoping it keeps evolving down the path it’s going now — more authentic, more driven by locals, rather than an overarching travel industry. Things like Airbnb and Uber are giving locals the ability to make money from visitors to their town, and in turn, that gives them incentive to make sure the visitors enjoy themselves, and see the ‘real’ version of wherever they are. I like that, and I think it’s a wonderful deviation from the traditional ‘Americanisation’ of all tourist destinations.

 

 

Thanks Colin!
Follow Colin on Facebook and Twitter. To purchase Colin’s latest book, click here. To read more about Colin’s publishing company, click here, and for the full low-down on his exile lifestyle, click here

 

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