As a long time minimalist, I’m always curious how others embrace the lifestyle. Years ago, I stumbled across an article online about a man named Colin Wright. He ran a successful branding business until he realized that it didn’t provide what he wanted out of life. So, in 2009 he got rid of everything that would not fit in his carry-on bags, and hit the road.
Since then, he’s traveled to over 60 countries (a lot of which were determined by the readers of his blog), lectured around the world, published multiple books, launched a podcast, and founded a publishing company with The Minimalists. All he needed to accomplish all this, fit into two carry-on bags. I recently interviewed Colin about his “less is more” approach to life.
In 2009, you sold everything you owned that wouldn’t fit into one bag. During that process, what proved to be the most challenging thing or category to contend with?
What advice would you give the 24 year-old version of yourself, the one who had just completed getting rid of all their stuff and was ready to set out?
Other than the reduction of your material possessions. What has been the hardest thing you’ve successfully simplified? What did that process look like?
You’re a full-time traveller. In my own experience, travel tends to be rather complicated. Plains, trains, chicken busses, language barriers etc. It intensifies the things we already contend with day to day, and layers on additional challenges we’ve never considered. How do you balance simplicity, in this seemingly complex and transient lifestyle?
What is the difference between simple and minimal?
They say happiness is simple, but simple is very hard. What does that mean to you?
What can someone stand to gain by putting in the effort to simplify their life?
From your perspective, what are the most common things people unnecessarily overcomplicate? What advice would you give them?
The last I heard, you had reduced the amount of your belongings to less than 100 things, total. Everything has a specific purpose. I couldn’t help but notice that among them was a notebook. Can you tell us a little bit about it serves you?
What are you working on these days, and where can people find you?