In these hard times, You have to reflect on the people that helped out on the road we call life. We all have been through some very tough situations. Unless, you are extremely lucky. We should all know those times when you needed help. Whether, it was early on in life, later or somewhere in the middle.
There were times, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I was sad and depressed about the future. Goals seemed like unrealistic dreams. I was very fortunate to have met some amazing people that helped me when I was down. I value them dearly, even if we don’t talk or aren’t on good terms. They will always hold a warm place in my memories. Those people saw me for me. A human who wanted to do something positive in live. They gave me a helping hand when I was hopeless and taught me skills that I would use for a life time.
During this outbreak, I lost a few of those people. Some I spoke to the other day, others a few years ago. Regardless of how close we were or how far apart we grew, that kindness is still there. That act of giving hope to humanity is still there.
You don’t really know how much someone does for you, until they are gone. I was a 22 year old straight out of college learning about zoning laws, liquor licenses and advertisements. Learned so many skills that I use on a daily basis. Thank you so much Wendy for everything you done. It was always with a smile on your face. Rip Wendy Hu, you will be missed!
Please everyone, stay safe. The hospitals are filled with sick people. Value those that helped and care about you. Remember to wash your hands with tons of soap!
My good friend was in town to meet up with me. We haven’t seen each other in years and we needed to catch up. Who knew this experience would be so reflective.
I was excited to meet up with my friend. We haven’t seen each other in years. This guy is like a brother to me. We been through a lot of rough times with each other. We knew each other since toddler years. He has been through a lot in life. So, it’s always good to see him with a smile on his face.
Of course knowing me, I convinced him to eat some Indian food. We went to a nearby Indian restaurant and we were a little bit thrown off. To our surprised, the restaurant was aimed more for romantic couples. This brings the joke of bromance to a whole new level.
Of course, we didn’t care what others might think and we ordered our food. As we waited, we exchanged stories about our lives and how our old friends are doing. After some time, the topic of my travels came up. Explain to him about my travel experiences and all my personal growth. Also, spoke about the awesome people I met, the cultures I learned about and the countries I have been to. The conversation became deep and intense.
He could sense the passion in my stories. Eventually, after speak for what seemed like 30 mins, we got our food. To his surprised, he saw I ordered food he never seen me eat before. My friend told me with a smirk on his face, “travel has really changed you. You aren’t the same person I grew up with. The Hugo I know, would eat the same food until he died.”
Taken by Hugo Morel
Those words really cut me deep. I was scared that I was becoming something that nobody back in my hometown would be able to relate to. The part of California we are from, there wasn’t much diversity at the surface. You really needed to look hard to find a Nepalese restaurant or anything diverse. All we had was awesome mexican food, some Chinese and occasional soul food. Unfortunately , that is usually it.
Still with my fears, my friend and I still had a great time. It felt great to enjoy your time with a childhood friend. All the laughs made me forget about the strom being created in my head. Best to live in the moment, being lost in thought would be disrespectful. Especially, when friends fly just to see you.
To start your own adventures, check out the link below.
Coming back to my home base in New York city gets more difficult after every international trip. Unfortunately, I got a rude welcome when I returned home this time. Because of my looks, I had extra problems with the immigration officers. Since, I can pass off as a “terrorist” or “drug smuggler.” Of course, the jar of coconut candy looked too “suspicious” to the officers. Can’t blame them to be honest, they are just doing thier job. I got that candy from my time in little Africa, during my trip to Paris. So I was a little annoyed; however, everything checked out after some questioning and inspections.
Ps. I will be writing about my trip to little Africa during my time in paris. Keep on the lookout!
I love New York City to the fullest. So much culture, going to queens is like taking a plane ride to another part of the world. Being back home usually takes some time to get used to.
Eventually, you get so accustomed to being on the road. So much to a point, that post travel depression is a thing. Luckily for me, I have grown an immunity to it over the years. Although, when winter hits New York City, all I can think about is getting on the first plane to the tropics.
Still, coming back is always different. Same place and same atmosphere; however, I’m not the same. After ever trip, I come back a different person. These questions always comes back and haunt me. Am I liking the person, I’m becoming? Will my close friends and family members still accept me, the way I am now? Will my future lover dislike the person, I will slowly change into?
These are the questions, I always come back with after every trip. I just hope, I can continue to look at myself in the mirror. Currently, I’m genuinely happy because I know traveling the world is my life’s work. I can feel it in my heart. However, there’s a fear deep down that my character will be consumed by the constant travels.
I just want to stay true to who I am as a person and not forget where I come from. Not many people where I grew up become a contributing member of society. Especially, not someone with my ethnic background. I can’t help, but feel guilty at times. Why am I the lucky one that escaped? This is what goes through my mind, every time I return from a trip. I just hope, my hometown will accept me for who I will become. Also, that I don’t become arrogant and forget my humble beginnings.
Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels! Next week, I will be taking over again. While, Tony and his wife are in Cuba. Meeting up with them soon! Can’t wait to write about cuba and share with you all!
To start your own adventures, check out the link below.
After seeing that famous tower , I wanted to explore the city as much as possible. I was told by a few local friends, France’s capital really shines at night. When I heard that, there was no turning back.
Paris becomes a jewel at night. Every turn takes your breath away. The more I explored, the more I could see why this place is called “the city of love.”
Unfortunately, I couldn’t shake off that feeling of being alone. Here I was, in the most romantic city in the world; while being single. It wasn’t the most pleasant moment of this trip. Kept thinking of all the broken promises of going to Paris, I made with a former lover. Maybe if I was nicer to her or richer, she might had stayed with me. This wasn’t a pity party, just the first time loneliness really hit me in this manner. Even with these negative feelings, I wasn’t going to let it ruin my time in Paris!!
The Eiffel tower is so beautiful at night. It’s hard not to take a good picture. Paris was slowly becoming one of my favorite cities in Europe. The French capital’s beauty is second to none in Europe.
Passed by Norte Dame where that one Disney movie was staged at. Seeing it in real life, brings a different vibe to it. Kind of expected to see talking gargoyles. I was a little disappointed. Really did not live up to the Disney movie. Also, hunchback of Notre Dame is my least favorite movie by Disney. Still feel bad for the guy. Forgive my bias views, the Notre Dame was beautiful at night; yet, I wasn’t impressed. Also, I hope you understand sarcasm.
Paris is something incredible at night. Beats Prague and any other European city. I could see why this city is called the city of love. You fall in love with the city and it’s astounding beauty.
Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!
To start your own adventures, check out the link below.
Going around Egypt in the less touristy areas, I noticed a lot of the shops were closed. My local friend, Nada, told me it was Eid. Eid is like thanksgiving for Muslims. It marks the end of ramadan, a month where muslims wouldn’t drink nor eat until sunset for a month.
Name of one the mosques I went to taken by Hugo Morel
All this was new to me because I never really knew about Islam growing up. I used to be afraid of Muslims and Arabs as a kid because all of the negativity coming from the news stations. I remembered 9/11 and San Francisco closing off the Golden Gate Bridge. Through a strange twist of events, I found out my grandma is Lebanese.
Outside shot of one of the mosques we went to taken by Hugo Morel
Since my local friend was Muslim, we had to go to a few mosques for her to pray. I wasn’t complaining because she was showing me around for free. Also, I wanted to see how Islam was in person and not what the media tells me.
A Mosque center taken by Hugo Morel
When stepping into a mosque, you must take off your shoes. Usually, in the more touristy mosques, they have a person who will watch over your shoes for a fee. In other mosques, you just leave your shoes in a cubby.
Where people get clean water from taken by Hugo Morel
Once inside, you see a community of people. Some are just hanging out or relaxing, while others are praying. It was different than a church. There was a lot of open space. As seen in the picture above. Some mosques have clean drinking water for visitors. I didn’t drink any of the water, just to be on the safe side. Although, I did get caught slipping. However, that’s a story for another post.
Muslims praying taken by Hugo Morel
As my friend was praying, I started to walk around the mosque. Accidentally, walked into the women’s section. A lady came out with a warm motherly smile and pointed out that there are two sections divided by genders for praying. By following her directions, I found the men’s section. It was unique seeing the men praying. As they were facing Mecca, I was completely invisible.
A minaret taken by Hugo Morel
When you are in a Muslim majority country, you will hear someone reading the Qur’an from time to time. In the picture above, you will see the minaret. The minaret is a tower where a person will read the Qur’an. At first, I was completely in fear when I heard the chanting. It was in the middle of the night. Of course, my first thoughts were extremely negative. After asking my friend, they told me it was normal. It’s just a part of their culture. Same thing with the division of genders. I just had to learn to accept and embrace the differences in our cultures.
minarets taken by Hugo Morel
After this experience, I learned that Muslims want the same thing. They want to live a happy and peaceful life without being in terror of extremist groups. Ironically, extremist groups kill thier own fellow Muslim more than they do Christians. Unfortunately, Muslims are in the frontlines against the extremist groups. My cousin, who’s in the U.S. army, has been stationed in the Middle East for years. The stories he came back with and my experiences in Egypt, has changed my views on the average Muslim. They just want to live in peace like the rest of us.
Thank you for reading! Much love and safe travels!
P.s. everyone! Soon there will be some changes on the blog. We will take this blog to the next level! There will be some ads on here. So please let’s us know how you feel about them in the comment section. 😁They will help us produce more content for you all and show you more of the world! However, we still want your opinons!
I woke up with an excited attitude. I was finally in the land of the pharaohs. Was in somewhat disbelief to my situation because this is a place you read in history books. Actually being here was a completely different feeling!
Took the stairs down because I did not have much trust on the elevator. Calling it an elevator was a stretch. It was more like an open view lift. You can see it in the picture of above. The door is where you would enter into the lift. Looking back on this experience, I was lucky this was my first African country. Other African countries have become more European-like, in terms of everyday functions and infrastructure. You get a true sense of not being in the western world here and I loved it!
Stepping outside and you smell the spices from the nearby markets. The chaos and the unfamiliarity, it was hard to not start falling in love with this place. Never had a feeling like this in another country. For some reason, I felt like I belonged. As if, I could live here and be happy. I was starting to see why there are a lot of foreigners living here.
As I was exploring, walked into a little friend. Surpised to see so many street cats. In many other countries, you will see more dogs on the streets. However, cats and donkies are what I saw over here. It’s somewhat interesting because the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats. Another example of experiencing a history book in real life.
As my day of exploring was ending, decided to go back to my hostel. Met a few people from all over the world. Was introduced to a soccer player from Gambia. He was working on his visa to go play in Europe. My new friend was at the hostel for the time of the visa process. Also met a friend from Sudan and another from Colombia. The hostel was actually a place where students that were studying in the local universities called home. It was an interesting experience.
As the sun was setting, decided to take another photo. Same spot in a different angle. This time the Cairo tower was in the background. Currently, the tallest Building in Cairo. Tomorrow was the day, I will meet up with a local human friend. Looking back, who knew that my friend would help me so much on my adventures in this country.
Thank you so much for reading! Much love and safe travels!
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!!
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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!