Have you heard of suspended coffee? I had heard of it before, but never got to participate until I got to Montreal.

Started in Naples, Italy, a suspended coffee is a pre-paid coffee for homeless people when available. That is, someone who can afford it pays for a suspended coffee and later on, someone who can’t afford one gets a free coffee. In the winter months this is especially nice so people who have to live out in the cold can warm up momentarily.

The cafe I visited in Montreal, Bobby McGee, has suspended coffees, sandwiches, and soups. It works on the same principle. If you want to contribute, you just pay for the suspended coffee/soup/sandwich when you check out and a mark gets added to the blackboard indicate one is available. In the images below, my mark is the one to the left under “cafes suspendus.”

Suspended Coffee

Suspended Coffee

In this cafe, the people claiming a suspended item must take it to go. I suppose it is to avoid loitering and presumably some aspects of homeless life would bother the other patrons (smells, for example). I asked the owner how it got started. He said it read about it on Facebook and realized it would cost him nothing to facilitate, yet it would help the homeless population in the neighborhood. So, he asked “Why Not?

Although this system does almost nothing to help the homeless get out of their situation, it facilitates selfless compassion. I think many people want to help those less fortunate but don’t know how. They want to do something positive but don’t necessarily want to get too involved or get too up close and personal. The cafe plays the role of the middle man and facilitates this goodness and compassion.

It’s something small, but if everyone did something small there would be immeasurably positive results…

Bobby McGee In Montreal

Bobby McGee In Montreal

Bobby McGee In Montreal

Bobby McGee In Montreal


Last Stop: Montreal

September 15, 2014

Sunset In Montreal

When the bus arrived in downtown Montreal I knew this would be the last time I’d arrive in a new city for a while. As much as I wanted to take it all in, I was rushing since the bus was nearly 2 hours late and I had to meet my friend. Oh, and it […]

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Toronto – My City For Transitions

September 8, 2014

Toronto's CN Tower In The Distance

As I made my way to Toronto with only two weeks of The Happy Nomad Tour left, it reminded me of many similar experiences I had on this journey. I would stay with someone I went to business school with in Spain. I don’t think we ever had a conversation in Spain though. As I […]

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Speaking At Ivey Business School In London, Ontario, Canada

September 1, 2014


I had the privilege and honor to speak at Ivey Business School in London, Ontario, Canada in January 2014. I was invited to speak to three classes studying corporate social responsibility. The talk was left relatively wide open, allowing me to explore how my experiences could benefit them as Canadian students. I decided to focus […]

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Returning To North America

August 25, 2014

Heading 'Home'

I thought it would be more dramatic, but my final days in Tanzania came to a close rather unceremoniously. I saw a dentist on my second to last day, I went to a café with my couchsurfing host and her daughter, I saw the ocean one last time and took in as much warmth as […]

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Goodbye Africa

August 18, 2014

Goodbye Tanzania, Goodbye Africa

It was with a heavy heart that I spent my last week in Africa. What could be more typical of this journey than feeling sad to leave a place I hadn’t planned on visiting in the first place? Originally I planned on going to southeast Europe before returning to North America. I wanted to visit […]

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A Day With Investours In Tanzania

August 13, 2014

William Carving An Elephant

While in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania I spent the day with Investours. As their website states: Investours is a non-profit organization bridging the gap between international tourism and local development. Our mission is to provide travelers to Mexico and Tanzania with meaningful cross-cultural interactions that empower micro‐entrepreneurs and directly stimulate economic growth. Simply put: we […]

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A Transformational Tanzanian Safari

August 11, 2014

A Male Lion Approaching

There are many reasons why safaris are such an amazing experience. I just completed a safari in Northern Tanzania and met couples on their honeymoon, families exploring scenes only accessible previously on the Discovery Channel and friends on a mission to create unforgettable memories together. All of these have one thing in common: they make […]

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The African Fund For Endangered Wildlife Giraffe Center!

August 6, 2014

Kissing The Giraffe

In Nairobi I got to visit the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW). It’s an education and conservation center on the edge of Nairobi National Park. It was started in 1979 to repopulate the Rothschild giraffe population. Long victimized by humans who have encroached on their territory in western Kenya, the population fell precipitously. If […]

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The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

August 4, 2014

Feeding The Elephants

While in Nairobi I paid a visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. They are a non-profit dedicated to helping orphaned elephants live on despite the death of their mother. You may wonder why the elephants become orphans. There is disease and there are accidents that leave elephants injured or dead. But there is also […]

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African Hubs Of Innovation And Empowerment

July 30, 2014

iHub Kenya

I had heard of “The Hub” while doing my MBA at IE Business School. A hub is a shared workspace where entrepreneurs can have an “office” to work from with varying amenities. Some offer conference rooms. Most hold events somewhat related to entrepreneurship/technology as well as social and fun events. The professional events may be […]

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Visiting Eldoret, Kenya On A Whim

July 28, 2014

Bumping Into 2003 Boston Marathon Runner-up Benjamin Kosgei Kimutai

I hadn’t planned on visiting Eldoret. I thought I’d go from Kampala, Uganda straight to Nairobi, Kenya, then on to Mombasa, Kenya and then on to Tanzania. Well, two reasons made me change my plans. As I mentioned in my post about Christmas in Burundi, a wonderful Kenyan named Carole let me stay at her […]

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Spending A Night At The Uganda-Kenya Border

July 23, 2014

I Was The First Person On The Bus

My very cool yet very different Christmas experience in Burundi left me hoping I’d get to meet Carole! She was so nice to let me stay in her place while she was at home in Eldoret, Kenya celebrating the holidays with her family. Originally she planned to come back to Burundi, via Uganda, when I […]

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Celebrating The New Year In Uganda

July 21, 2014

Celebrating New Year's!

I wasn’t sure if I’d be celebrating New Year’s Eve in Rwanda or Uganda. I was trying to arrange an expedition into the mountains to see the gorillas in either Rwanda or Uganda, but it was just way too expensive. So I stayed a few days in Rwanda and then headed to Kampala, Uganda on […]

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Yet Another Genocide

July 16, 2014

Kigali Memorial Center

You might say an undercurrent of The Happy Nomad Tour has been hitting all the genocide spots of the 20th century. First there was Cambodia, then Ukraine (though it’s usually not mentioned, arguably it’s the worst of them all), Armenia, Slovakia/Israel (representative of the holocaust), and now Rwanda. Rwanda is a peculiar one though. In […]

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Hanging Out With Rwandan Street Boys

July 14, 2014

The Soccer-Basketball Court

Africa has a problem with street boys. For one reason or another, many boys end up living on the street. Maybe their parents have died. Maybe the parents are HIV positive and can’t provide for the kids. The parents could have substance abuse problems. The family could be incredibly poor and the kids feel obligated […]

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Umuganda – Cleaning Up Rwanda And Building Communities

July 9, 2014

Masaka Umuganda November 22 2012

My first full day in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, was on Saturday, December 28th, 2013. I arrived the evening before and was staying with a German friend of Martin and Jonas – though neither had actually met him in person. He and his roommate were extremely nice, but they forgot to mention something important about the […]

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