Thursday, August 18, 2016

Who put the hobo in the hobo bag?

This year marks the 10th anniversary of my funky handmade shop for crossbody hobo bags and upcycled clothing: The Hobo Train. Wow! It has been a helluva ride aboard The Hobo Train and I look forward to many more years of riding the rails!  If you want to check out the shop, head on over: .  

Over the years I've had countless conversations with curious customers about my business and about the unique way in which I live.  In particular I often get asked about my shop name and I'm always thrilled to indulge.  Read on to hear about it.

At a life-changing music festival in the hot summer of 2006 I decided to start making large over shoulder bags and selling them at craft shows. They are commonly called hobo bags or crossbody hobo bags. Funnily enough I connected immediately with the word hobo. The original hobos were free-spirited wanderers who thirsted for new horizons and adventures and traveled the countryside by hopping trains. I am a love-filled free-spirit who thrives on learning new things and expanding my realm of experience. So it was an instant match.

But what do hobo bags have to do with hobos, you may ask? Well, today's hobo bag is an updated version of the bindle, the fabric sack that the hobo would commonly carry on the end of his stick that he propped over his shoulder. The bindle was the original hobo bag and it was a precious carryall for his worldly possessions and a witness to his many adventures, too.

The crossbody hobo bags that I lovingly make have a similar purpose in mind. They are not just any old over shoulder bag. They are a loyal and ever-ready companion for any journey, pilgrimage, trek, venture, march, or migration you might take or be swept into. They are up to the task for going to the grocery store at midnight, totally game for a chicken bus ride through Guatemala, and ready to jump in with both feet to any hippie happening there is. They will happily accompany you on your adventures and surely lead you on some too. They can carry your stuff to work, can chill on the beach, and they can rock out at a music festival.

Now what's behind all this sweet soul adventuring? Is it running away? Is it futile wandering? It might appear to be so at times. But the word hobo itself holds the key. It actually contains the answer within it. Hobo is a contraction of the two words 'HOmeward BOund'. The hobo is always searching for his or her home, the place that feels right, the place that belongs to him or her. This isn't something that can just be picked off a map or decided at random. It is something that must be discovered, felt, and experienced. And not everyone finds that place. But all the adventures, all the wildness, all the novelty, all the risk and all the rewards lead to the same place...

They all the lead home.

So when you're carrying your crossbody hobo bag you are in fact ready for any adventure, big or small, and you are part of a decades-old tradition of soul exploration that will also find you going in the right direction. Home.

To take a peek at my adventure-filled crossbody hobo bags, 
hop aboard The Hobo Train for a soul-sizzling ride!!  

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