Blog – Latest Posts on The Professional Hobo

Disaster Relief for Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma)

This inaugural post detailing our efforts to help the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma (Myanmar) was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. Read the full collection of articles here….it takes a bunch of turns you would never anticipate. Hello everyone. I … Read More

Culture Shock in Bangkok

I sit at the edge of the bed, in tears. My head is pounding with the likes of a migraine that has not left me in two days. My eyes are closed, and I fear to open them for having to deal with my surroundings; I am in a dingy … Read More

Goodbye Hawaii

Every trip has its trials. Every adventure its ups and downs. Every crisis an advantage, and every blessing a price. Here in Hawaii we’ve learned just that. This post was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. Hilo Side On the other … Read More

Categories USA

Conquering Fears: The Swim

Although I have a history of conquering fears with competitive skydiving, motorcycle racing, worldwide bungee jumping, mountaineering, caving, and multi-pitch rock climbing, I am not without my fears. And as with most fears, they are irrational. One such fear is a bit of a phobia around the ocean. Here’s how … Read More

Categories USA

The Journey Through Life Changes

Part of the fun of living at a hostel is in meeting all sorts of people with a variety of backgrounds and stories to tell. And it’s amazing to discover how many people are out there who are going through (or have gone through) similar life changes in life as … Read More

The Aloha in Hawaii is Gone

Aloha in Hawaii: When you picture Hawaii you likely have images of beautiful exotic women in grass skirts, donning you with fresh flower leis as you step off the plane onto the hot tarmac. There is a soft breeze and rustle of the tall coconut palm trees that line the … Read More

Categories USA

Moving On….Our New Travel Plans

We’ve been working on our new travel plans for a while now, but now it’s official – the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed – and it’s time to announce them! By the end of April, we’ll have been in Hawaii (and the U.S.A.) for 6 months, and are required … Read More

Categories USA

Driving Around the Big Island of Hawaii: Take Two

We thought that we covered off everything we needed to see while driving around the Big Island of Hawaii the first time. We were wrong. After spending over two months staying relatively close to the Kona area, and speaking with dozens upon dozens of travelers coming to the hostel we … Read More

Categories USA

Touring the Emergency Room

I’m coming to realize that an adventure for Kelly & I isn’t complete without a trip to the emergency room. See also: How to Stay Healthy on the Road This post was originally published in 2008 . It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.  One night … Read More

Categories USA

Those Little Itches

You know those little itches you get? Those itches that could be itches, OR creepy crawlies climbing up your arm? Sometimes, that’s exactly what they are.

Categories USA

Hiking to Holualoa in Hawaii

An exercise in Hawaiian pronunciation, we decided one day to hike up Hualalai Street to the town of Holualoa. (I challenge anybody to pronounce these names correctly the first time and then not to confuse them later on. It’s taken me weeks)! Being on the side of a dormant volcano, … Read More

Categories USA

Criminal Reports in Hawaii

Upon picking up a local newspaper or listening to local radio programs here, you will become intimately acquainted with all criminal reports in Hawaii, including recent arrests and convictions in the last week. “Joe Smith was convicted of driving under the influence in Hilo on March 1st”.“Jane Doe arrested for … Read More

Categories USA

Animal Rights in Hawaii

An article about animal rights in Hawaii has been brewing in me for some time, but came to a head yesterday. First, let me share with you a sad story: This post was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.  I awoke at … Read More

Categories USA

Spam in Hawaii, and Why.

What comes to mind when you think of Hawaiian food? If you’re like me, you conjure up images of fresh fruits (bananas and pineapples being the most prolific in the image, but generally anything that will fit on top of the Tropicana girl’s head will do), seafood (Hawaii is, after … Read More

Categories USA

Learning the Hawaiian Language

Although Hawaii is an English-speaking US State, it comes with its own very distinct culture, identity, and Hawaiian language (or rather, languages). Before I came here I tried to get a handle on some of the Hawaiian words and phrases, but in practice here, integrating into and learning Hawaiian language … Read More

Categories USA

An Introduction to Spearfishing…and Neurological Disease

First, it was traveling across the island with a crippling migraine. Then, it was a black eye gracefully received while boogie boarding. Now, toxic poisoning with neurological and gastronomic effects. Excellent. First, let me tell you about a new sport Kelly has adopted with all the enthusiasm of a child … Read More

Categories USA

The Hazards of Boogie Boarding: How I Got a Black Eye

This, my friends, is the story of how a deaf guy gave me a black eye at the beach, while boogie boarding This post was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and formatting.  During the winter, many of the normally calm and serene … Read More

Categories USA

Driving Around Hawaii

After leaving the permaculture property of Popai where we lived for four months, we were eager to see all that the Big Island of Hawaii has to offer, since we hadn’t had the chance to venture much more than 15miles from where we were living. The first thing we did … Read More

Kona Hawaii: Volunteering at a Hostel

Kona, where we live

Having established ourselves here on the Kona side of Hawaii, we figured it is time to actually show you around! We are staying at a local hostel, smack dab in the middle of the town of Kailua-Kona. In exchange for work on property improvement projects, we are given a room … Read More

Categories USA

Volcano National Park Adventures

As part of our trip driving around the Big Island of Hawaii, we spent two days in Hawaii Volcano National Park. The park, aptly named, is home to the world’s most active and largest volcanoes. Since there are active flows in the park, we only did a cursory read-up on … Read More

Living in the Dark (and Other Things we Miss)

When we were remotely located, seemingly on the edge of the earth (but in reality on the edge of an island in the middle of the ocean), we occasionally felt trapped. The nearest town was 11 miles away, the nearest road and mailbox was over 1 mile away, and everything … Read More

Categories USA

High Brow vs Hobo: Seeing Lifestyle Extremes in Hawaii

After living so remotely in a corner of Hawaii while volunteering off the grid and milking goats on a permaculture property, we were eager to see what else was out there during our week-long adventure around the island. And we knew that there would likely be a dichotomy in lifestyle … Read More

Categories USA

Tales of a Female Nomad

No….the nomad in the title isn’t me. While at the library the other day, an unassuming book jumped off the shelf at me. (One of the great things about a library: the ability to test run books you know nothing about written by authors you know even less about). And … Read More

Categories USA

Our Little Piece of Somebody Else’s Idaho

This post was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. Well, as it so happens on the river of life, we are moving along in our travels and away from our little paradise, which was in reality a piece of (somebody else’s) … Read More

Categories USA

Living on Lava

This post was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. Living on lava landscape in this part of Hawaii is quite unique and different. Kapoho is located on hardened lava that flowed as recently as less than 20 years ago, and at … Read More

Categories USA

Whale Watching….in Bed

Most people pay for long and arduous whale watching boat tours off the coast of their chosen vacation spot to catch a glimpse of a whale breaching or a pod feeding. When I was in South Africa, one of the towns I stayed at was entirely a tourist destination, developed … Read More

Categories USA

Puna: Lost in Time and Still Wanting to go Back

Lonely planet describes the Puna district as: “the fastest growing district in the state, and home prices have doubled and even tripled since the late 1990’s. Most newcomers are mainlanders, many of whom are gay. It’s a maverick district, well represented by hippies, Hawaiian sovereignty activists, and pakalolo [marijuana] growers”. … Read More

Categories USA

Convenience Takes on New Meaning When Living Off the Grid

Convenience: Things as simple as getting drinking water, cooking dinner, and watching a movie are very different events where we are, living off the grid on this permaculture property in Hawaii, where we are volunteering in trade for free accommodation. And although it can be debilitating and very isolated at … Read More

Categories USA

A Day at Kehena Beach

Kehena Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii

A day at Kehena beach on the south eastern part of the Big Island of Hawaii isn’t much like any day at any beach you could imagine. This post was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.  For starters, beaches have a … Read More

Categories USA

(My Experience of) Racism in Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii

Having grown up in the most multi-cultural city in the world, I lived amongst people of all races and creeds, beliefs and backgrounds. It was not uncommon to walk down the street and hear numerous different languages as smells of varying cuisines wafted towards me. In high school, I was … Read More

Categories USA

Creative Mealtime in Hawaii

Being as remotely located as we are on a permaculture property on the east coast of the Big Island, we haven’t had a chance to sample some of the local Hawaiian fare as much as we’d like. But slowly and surely, we’re getting around to it. Even besides prepared foods, … Read More

Categories USA

Adventures at Orrs Beach

Orr's Beach, Hawaii

Adventures at Orrs Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii: This post was originally published in 2007 and has since been updated. Please enjoy this story for what it is, and read the note at the end for an updated view. For some more recent content and travel adventures, please … Read More

Categories USA

Kipuka: The Sacred Forest

This post was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. HHThe word Kipuka has a number of different Hawaiian meanings; the one we are most acquainted with is that of “sacred forest”. And we are blessed to have it as a very … Read More

Categories USA

Natural Foods from Hawaii

Natural Foods from Hawaii: The act of walking up to a tree or bush, picking the fruit, and eating it right then and there (or preparing it to go in a delicious meal) is a new and wonderful thing for us to have discovered. There are so many wild and … Read More

Categories USA

Singing Practice – I mean, Goat Milking

The Professional Hobo milking goats in Hawaii

One of the mainstays of my personal daily chores is goat milking and feeding the goats every morning. The entire process takes about an hour from start to finish, and believe it or not – I like it! That’s right: in trade for free accommodation, I milk goats. I really … Read More

Critters in Hawaii: Creepy Crawly and Otherwise

There are lots and lots (and lots) of critters in Hawaii, which range from domesticated to downright creepy. Having already shared with you what the centipedes are like, here is a smattering of other animals we share our days (and nights) with: This post was originally published in 2007. It … Read More

The Art of Hitch Hiking

Hitch Hiking in Hawaii

Having grown up in a day and age when taking candy or rides from strangers was a huge no-no, hitch hiking never showed up on our radar as a way to get anywhere. Since we’ve started to network in travel circles though, we are discovering that hitch hiking in Hawaii … Read More

Categories USA

Sea Turtles, Cheeseburgers, and Car Alarms

In a short space of 36 hours, we experienced the best and worst of Sea Turtles, Cheeseburgers, and Car Alarms. This post was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. Having completed the lion’s share of the Open Water Scuba Diver’s course … Read More

Categories USA

Two Centipede Bites in Two Weeks: Just When we Thought it was Safe…

Don't mess with Hawaiian centipedes - they bite!

The dreaded Centipede attacks….again! Here we sit, Kelly reading his book and I writing furiously. Well, I’m not so much writing furiously, as being furious whilst writing! This post was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. See, just when we thought … Read More

Categories USA

Dance Like No One Is Watching

Every Sunday morning at 10am at Kalani resort there is an event called the Ecstasy Dance. An eclectic selection of dance music is played for the 100 or so attendees, and the cost is a donation of whatever people can afford – generally $5 or $10. Here’s my first experience … Read More

Categories USA

What It’s Like to Live on the Big Island of Hawaii

Every day here on the Big Island of Hawaii, we see, smell, and hear more signs that we are in a completely different place from where either of us have ever ventured. Even just the other night, the ocean sounded substantially different from previous nights (without any different weather patterns … Read More

Categories USA

Hippies and Nymphs: My Introduction to Hippie Culture

Just in case anybody was wondering, the Hippie culture is alive and well here in Hawaii! This post was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. It’s worth noting that this was my first encounter with hippie culture, and it was a … Read More

Categories USA

Pahoa Hawaii: Where We Live, on a Permaculture Property

This is the ferro cement yurt where we live, about 11 miles outside of the town of Pahoa. It is approximately 20ft in diameter, which may seem small, but truly (and especially with all the space on the property, which you’ll soon learn about) it’s all we need! See also: … Read More

Categories USA

Centipede Bites: The Worst Hawaii has to Offer

Don't mess with Hawaiian centipedes - they bite!

One of the wonderful things about tropical Hawaii is the lack of typically evil tropical critters. Critters that are poisonous, or gigantically grotesque, or both. On land at least, there is a distinct absence of such critters. The worst we were told about were some nippy spiders, as well as … Read More

Categories USA

Panic. Sheer Panic.

Panic. Sheer Panic. That’s what we felt after settling in (if you can call it that) at our new home in Kapoho, Hawaii. First, let me go back to tell you how we landed here. This post was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of … Read More

Categories USA

Halloween in Honolulu

After 18 hours of travel (including layovers, shuttles, and Sonia’s poor car almost not starting at 6am!), we arrived in Honolulu tired but excited. We enjoyed some of the sights of Waikiki beach at sunset and a lovely dinner, before hitting the sack for a well-deserved night of sleep.Halloween day … Read More

Categories USA

A Few More Differences Between Edmonton vs Toronto

You may remember from my earlier post about Edmonton, I identified some of the many charming (and otherwise) new experiences I had when I came out here. Having spent the summer in Edmonton now, I have discovered yet more differences between Edmonton vs Toronto, Alberta vs Ontario, West vs East. … Read More

Why Anybody Would Think Caving is Cool.

My last post on The Ominous Disaster Point caving experience was a recount of the actual events of the weekend and our caving experience. But I have spoken to many people (both before and since I wrote the article) who have cited me as being just plain crazy for caving … Read More

Disaster Point: An Ominous Caving Experience

This post about Disaster Point cave was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.  A little over a year ago, I came out to Alberta for a visit. During that time, Kelly & I made a getaway to the mountains near Jasper. … Read More

Da Simple Life, Da Island Life

This post about discovering the island life in Hawaii was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.  It appears that we have nailed down the next step to our adventure; and it takes us to (of all places) Hawaii! Island life will … Read More

Climbing Mount Richardson: Don’t Look Down

When you are traversing a spiny ridge over 10,000 feet in the air, with an incredibly steep rocky scree slope on one side and cliffs overlooking thin air on the other side, and the wind is blowing fiercely, there is but one golden rule to live by: Don’t Look Down! … Read More

The Other Side of the First Class Curtain

Warning: This is not an educational article. Are you interested in the secrets of travel in First Class? Check out this post to apply a science to get there: A Beginner’s Guide to Frequent Flyer Miles and How to Start Travel Hacking Like a Pro This post was originally published in … Read More

The Gritty Grotto Mountain

This post about the hike up Grotto Mountain in Alberta Canada was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.  Part of the joy of mountaineering is the sense of accomplishment and elation you get when you get to the top….and then back … Read More

Rock Climbing in Hidden Valley

The last two weekends running, I have been in the mountains. Last weekend was at Hidden Valley near Jasper, where I accompanied a few members of the Alpine Club of Canada on a traditional multi-pitch rock climbing trip with an instructional bent. This weekend past was to “scramble” up Grotto … Read More

The Mountains are so Much More Than Jasper and Banff

This post about my adventures in Jasper and Banff was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. So we’ve already determined that I am a mountain person extraordinaire. But we weren’t so sure I was a camping person. My last experience camping … Read More

Edmonton: Even The Eggs Are Different

Edmonton: It’s amazing what 3000 kms and 3 provinces will do for changing the landscape….. And I don’t mean just the physical landscape. Although if you’ve seen the Rocky Mountains you needn’t go any further to know that you’re in a drastically different place. What I’m talking about are the … Read More

Sleepless in Vancouver – and Beyond

This post about backpacking through Vancouver was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.  Travelling on public transportation with massive backpacks can be fun. No really. Laden with 50lb packs and a positive attitude, we boarded the bus-to-the-ferry-to-the-bus-to-the-bus to the Vancouver hostel. … Read More

Courtenay: The Journey to Victoria Via a Little Place Called Home

Courtenay (on Vancouver Island) is actually a place we could call home. This post was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. After a few rainy days in Ucluelet and Tofino we decided to make our way back towards the eastern side … Read More

Ucluelet: Visiting the Quintesssential Tongue Twister

Ucluelet (pronounced yoo-cloo-lit…say that five times fast) was yet another unplanned locale for us. Our efforts were originally directed towards Tofino, which is the popular northern town on the western peninsula of Vancouver Island. However we had trouble finding available accommodations there, and in the spirit of “rolling with the … Read More

BC Friendliness (Vancouver Island)

This post about Vancouver Island was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.   I’ve said it over and over to people, and now I’m truly seeing and realizing it: Canada has so much to offer. From one coast to the other, … Read More

A Ferry Big Mistake

If somebody tells you “It’s worth its weight in gold to pay the extra cash for a cabin” – listen to them. The ferry ride from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy (on Vancouver Island) is a 20 hour adventure, taking passengers through the beautiful inside passage. Lush mountains covered in … Read More

Prince Rupert: A Town of Friendly Faces

An impromptu stay for longer than expected in Prince Rupert certainly paid off in spades. “Jimmy The Janitor” was the first friendly face, stopping his busy rounds to chat with us about the town.“If you aren’t afraid of work, and you have a business you like, you’ll do well here,” … Read More

Taking the Train Across Canada

Wow. Is the train ever the way to travel! So many people dream of taking a train across Canada. Yet so few seem to do it. Strong Travel Recommendation: If you have the time and ability to travel across the country, take the train! It’s the way to go in … Read More

How Do You Get Rid of 30 Years of Stuff?

This post about selling all my stuff was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.  We are sitting amidst makeshift furniture, boxes, piles of “stuff” scattered everywhere; we are moving! Well, not so much moving as liquidating.Currently we are working towards separating … Read More