Getting dragged into a soccer (football ⚽) rally in the USA?

The good thing about having friends is when you are down, they try to understand. As a last effort of trying to understand my situation, my friends invited me to a soccer game. I didn’t think too much of it at first. However, this event would change my outlook on the American culture.

Hudson River taken by Hugo Morel

Started off as a normal day of hanging out at the park. Saw a beautiful view of the Hudson River and had to take a photo. One of my friends called me asking, if I would like to go to a soccer game for a local professional team. I agreed, since I wanted to take my mind off all the changes that were happening to me.

Red bulls rally taken by Hugo Morel

Took the Jersey transit to go to the red bulls arena. The trip was actually very short from Pennsylvania station in New York City. Eventually, met my friend who was really pushing me to buy a red shirt. Of course, me being the “socially aware” person I am, I wore blue. The team the NY red bulls were facing had blue jerseys. Apparently, this is was like walking to a gang territory wearing the wrong colors. By the photo above, you can see how much they love red.

People starting fires taken by Hugo Morel

Somehow and someway, I got dragged into a rally. They shut down the whole street. Everyone was either drunk or just crazy passionate fans. They started fires in the middle of the road. Cars couldn’t go through. Had no idea how I got into this, I was just following the crowd. Moral of the story, never follow a group of sport fans.

Red bulls arena taken by Hugo Morel

When I got to the stadium and never in my wildest dreams did I expected Americans to be so excited about “soccer”/football! Growing up, the only sports that mattered were basketball, baseball and American football (the one with tackling, Sundays nights and tons of beer). I had to pinch myself a bit. Seriously thought, I never left Europe for a second. Unless, the San Francisco Bay Area’s cultural importance on sports wasn’t the American norm.

Game starting taken by Hugo Morel

So apparently, my friend hooked me up with seats that only loyal paying fans were allowed to sit. It was very chaotic! Very minute, there was a new song about the red bulls. All I kept thinking was, “all this for a soccer game?” “Am I really in the USA right now?” Still stunned, I saw a fan running into the field. I couldn’t believe it. I expected this for American football games, not for soccer.

Random guy being taken off the field taken by Hugo Morel

Not entirely sure what was going on in his brain at that moment. However, the guy didn’t look too proud. Seriously, still can’t believe this was an American soccer game. Ironically, the next big trip was I going to make, is a country where soccer is the national sport.

Forgot who won, to be honest. The whole time, I was just overwhelmed at the culture shock. My friend showed me that there’s more to the American culture than what is on the Media. In this diverse and beautiful country, there’s something for everybody. Regardless of your interest, this country gives you the freedom to express your hobbies and passions.

Thank you for reading!! Much love!! Have an awesome weekend!!


When travel changes you, are you prepared for it?

A few weeks passed after returning from my trip throughout Europe, I was trying to adjust back to being “normal.” Adapting to the “normal” life of going to the bars and hanging out with friends.

A dive bar in Manhattan taken by Hugo Morel

Getting back into this life, was lackluster. Everything stayed the same; however, I changed so much. I was no longer the same person. My friends and I were no longer on the same page. All they talked about was politics, which is just a tool used to divide people. Everything was black and white with them. When in real life, they are so many different shades of grey.

An actual bar in NYC taken by Hugo Morel

All these people were trying too hard to act cool. I mean look at the image above. This is the actual name of a bar in Manhattan!! It’s so corny! Too much effort in trying to be different and hip makes all your efforts become uncool.

A beer called Golden monkey taken by Hugo Morel

Alcohol and the bar culture felt so juvenile to me. I was maturing too fast for my friends to keep up. All this felt pointless and a waste of money. Money, I could be using on airplane tickets.

Bar food taken by Hugo Morel

When it comes to bar food, no need to try them. They are so expensive, at least in NYC. 20 dollars for a small burger, not including drinks that would cost you about another 10 dollars. The food is as American as it can get. There was no fun or excitement in the food. The food didn’t tell me history, nor culture influences. It felt like I was just eating fat! I couldn’t take it. After many years of living this lifestyle, I couldn’t relate to it.

An Indian restaurant sign showing what’s on the menu taken by Hugo Morel

It was at that moment, I realized that I will no longer going to live that life of partying and bar hopping. My life is now about culture, traveling and eating foods that are unfamiliar to me. I’m no longer the same person who I used to be before my trips abroad and I was fine about it. Hopefully, my friends and family will be too.

Thank you so much for reading our post. Much love! Stay safe and have an awesome weekend!!


Another close call: escaping a 6.2 Italian earthquake

As we were waiting for the plane to take us back home, I was thinking about how much this month in Europe has changed me. I was worried about when I go back, i would not be able to relate to friends, family and my old hang out spots like I used. This is the dark side about traveling. Yes, traveling usually changes you for the good; however, the post-travel blues is an actual issue. A lot of the things you used to relate to become unfamiliar. As if, you aren’t on the same page as your friends and loved ones anymore.

Brought to you by Google “Rome’s airport”

After a few hours delay, we were on the plane ready to take us home. Little did I know, we just escaped a possible tragical and deathly event.

Brought to you by Google

My phone didn’t start to ring until around midnight when I arrived back home. I was confused to see so many people trying to get in contact with me. From ex girlfriends to friends I haven’t spoken to in years. I found out the news that there was a 6.2 earthquake in Central Italy. Places like Rome, Vatican city and Siena were hit. A lot of people were killed and many homes were ruined.

Brought you by Google

Brought to you by Google
Brought to you by Google

As you can see from the photos, I probably escaped death. If we would had stayed one more day in Italy, we probably would had been caught in all the destruction. Now as I write this having more wisdom and experience, I’m truly lucky to escape all these close calls. Being bitten in the neck by a dog in Panama, somehow random strangers traded seats with me that led me away from all the sick people on my flight back from dubai; and, not being caught up in this 6.2 earthquake. It’s as if, someone is looking out for me. As if, I’m being protected by an unseen force. Whoever or whatever it is, it wants me alive.

Screenshot from wikipedia of the death toll

If you all want to read the news article, you can click on here. Thank you for reading this article. Stay safe and enjoy life!! You never know when it can be taken away. Much love everyone!

Everything good comes to an end

Taken by Hugo Morel

As time went by, I had to come to the realization that my time in Italy was ending. It was a sad and an exciting moment. Every minute and every second meant I was getting closer to going back home.

Taken by Hugo Morel

Woke up to a foggy morning. Went outside just to have some reflection time. Thinking about how much this trip has changed and made me into a better person. During this trip, my girlfriend at the time, broke up with me. She left me for the son of an oil tycoon. I made sure to not let this affect my trip.

Taken by Hugo Morel

Although my heart was broken during this time, Italy thought me how to appreciate being in the moment. The awesome thing about traveling while being single is not having to check on your phone, to see if your lover texted you back. I got to soak in the environment and the people. Also, not having to feel guilty for eating that extra slice of pizza was pretty fun. The best moments of my trip, was being able to interact with the people around me. I made friends on that journey that will be in my life for a very long time.

Taken by Hugo Morel

Italy, oh Italy… How much I will miss you. A country that gave me an escape from my problems back home. This is a country that will always have an emotional chapter in my book called life. The thought of having to arrive back home to no one waiting for me at the gate, added salt to an already unfavorable leave. At least, another wild adventure was waiting for me in the horizon.

Thank you for taking your time for reading this post! Much love!! Have a wonderful weekend!

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