Here’s how I dreamt up what ended up being a 7,000 mile circumnavigation around the United States via train…with a total stranger.
Having grown up just north of the border in Toronto Canada, and with American grandparents (on one side), I'm no stranger to the States and have traversed many of them many times.
Since starting my full-time travels, I lived and volunteered in Hawaii for six months, and I've spent quite a bit of time in different parts of Florida (mostly Hollywood), as well as California, Colorado, and New York.
During a Montana road trip, I covered off the best things to do in Yellowstone Country Montana, which is about so much more than Yellowstone National Park.
Here’s a summary of where I went in 2018; although none of the 6 countries were new to me, the places I visited and experiences I had TOTALLY were! Enjoy.
2017 was a year of new experiences and surprises. I visited 10 countries (seven of which were in Asia and almost all new to me). I started off in Ecuador “doing shaman things”, and ended up house-sitting in Japan, chilling in Bali, going crazy in India, and 10 countries later, finishing up in Thailand.
Here are some of the reasons why Hollywood Florida is my (kind of) home base, and what you can expect if you come visit Hollywood yourself.
2016 started off in one way, turned left, got flipped upside down, then messed up in the blender. Here’s how it all came out in the end:
Boulder Colorado is an interesting place that begs to be poked fun at in some ways, honoured in other ways, and criticized in other ways. Here’s my take:
I’m currently in the throes of what I’ve dubbed The “C” Trip, to Colombia, Colorado, and Costa Rica. Here’s how this trip came to pass:
In 2014 I traveled through/lived in 7 countries, and traversed over 34,000 miles. Here’s a summary of what I did, and where.
Here are a bunch of photos (and a thousand or so words) to describe the feeling and stories behind the Florida Keys.
I met many people in the Florida Keys who were born elsewhere, but now call them home. Here’s why, and the magnetic appeal of the Florida Keys & Key West.
Here’s why Santa Rosa Beach is the most consistent place I’ve visited, some photos and related stories, and some travel tips you don’t want to miss.
Here’s a tale of how I happened upon Gulfport Florida through serendipity, and fell in love on arrival. Enjoy these varied pictures of this colourful place.
This post outlines some of the sacrifices travelers make when getting free accommodation, and why it’s worth occasionally paying for alone time on the road.
Much to my surprise, the best and cheapest doctor I ever visited was in the USA. Read this article to see my costs to visit doctors around the world.
Even on a little “holiday” from being The Professional Hobo, I gained a new perspective on a corner of the world I previously thought I knew all about.
Although my layover in New York City (on the marathon journey between Australia and Toronto) was a measly two days, I managed to experience a side of New York that I had never experienced before in my half a dozen or so visits: I saw the city as a local. This post was originally published […]
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 side of this island, we […]
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 I attempted to conquer that […]
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 drive, and the faint strumming […]
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 to leave (if even for […]
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 live at, we have gotten […]
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 rather late (after 11pm), Kelly […]
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.
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, there are three directions in […]
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 possession of drugs at county […]
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 4am and wandered into the […]
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 all, in the middle of […]
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 goes beyond the average guidebook. […]
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 who just discovered ice cream. […]
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 beaches of Hawaii that entice […]
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 was head for Hilo to […]
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 and a place amongst the […]
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 the various trails available to […]
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 else was either in between […]
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 extremes in the process. But […]
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 in the case of both […]
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) Idaho. (Or rather, Hawaii). In […]
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 some point will probably flow […]
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 solely for the ability to […]
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”. It also makes mention of […]
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 times, we do enjoy a […]
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 very different meaning here. The […]
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 actually a minority as a […]
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, we are being exposed to […]
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 check out the latest posts […]
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 integral and important part of […]
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 wonderful foods here, and we […]
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 never thought I would say […]
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 has since been updated for […]
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 on the Big Island provides […]
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 in Edmonton (thanks to a […]
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 it was safe to sleep […]
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 with Ecstasy Dance, and learning […]
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 to change it), and it […]
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 bit of a shock. More […]
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: How to Get Free Accommodation […]
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 the dreaded centipede. Although venomous, […]
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 links and content. After two […]
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 was a whirlwind adventure of […]