What does being an American mean?

My whole life I always wondered about this. What does being an American mean? I constantly struggled with this. Even when I’m traveling. I get asked, “where am I from?” I would tell them  I am American. They would reply with, “but, where are you really from?” Most of the time, there is no malice with that question.  Although, I have gotten used to it.  There are times, it makes me self-reflect. I was born and raised in the USA. I have family members in the USA military.  My grandparents came here 80 years ago and have been living in the same apartment for over 60 years.  However,  I  never felt American. In the last few months, we have seen some of the worst and troubling times in recent history. Businesses closing down, lockdowns, mass graves, social distancing, and protests. Yet, there is no unity. We haven’t been united in these issues.


For those who have been following us for a while, know that I’m Hispanic with African roots. In the Spanish language, Americans are people from the continents of North and South America.  As corny as this sounds, United-Statesian is the real term for the people with citizenship to the USA in Spanish. Going with the English term, American means people from the United States of America. These last couple of weeks have shown that the states in the USA are not united. It has become really divided. Divided by opinions, this country has become a place of turmoil.


I love the USA. This is the place where I grew up. Also hopefully. the same place where my kids can grow up.  However, I have been thinking about moving to another country lately. The mistreatment of civilians by the police has been shamefully brutal.  People just expressing their rights being run over by horses and cop cars. The USA has been bleeding.

Hopefully, as Americans celebrate 4th of July, we should really reflect on what does it mean to be American. This is a country of immigrants from all over the world.  The USA is full of diversity. If this post offends you, then you really need to look in the mirror and ask yourself. “What is it that really bothers me about this?” Although change doesn’t happen overnight, it starts with people taking small steps towards a goal.  Glad, I am able to have friends from different backgrounds. Also, I am honored to be able to experience/learn through friends: juneteenth. learn about the struggle of eastern European countries, learn about the Islamic culture, the struggles women have in the middle east,  Latin American politics, the differences between Asian cultures, the struggles LGBTQ have around the world, and how to be a person that care about others.  The USA is diverse. Division only really benefits politicians and the super-rich.

What is it like to be a minority in the USA

As the USA and the World continues it’s fight for equality. I wanted to share what is it’s really like to be a minority in the USA. A lot of people who genuinely don’t understand the black lives matters movement. They think it’s about minorities against police. When black lives matter is way more than that! I’m sure you all know that Im latino of African descent. Meaning my ancestors were brought to the americas from slavery. As someone who actually knows the people who originally founded the black lives movement. I thought I might as well spread some light on this one. Before you jump into conclusions, please read this whole post. I would love to have an open and respectful conversation with all opinions.

When we say black lives matter, it’s not about starting a race war or we believe all cops are bad. It’s not like what some of the news is pushing out. What we mean when we say mean black lives matter is that our lives has value too. There is are a lot of hard working minorities that pay their taxes. The same taxes that funds the local police departments. The same police that harrass us or even worse. When people say defund the police, some mean it litterally. However, most hard working minorities mean if you are going to get money from our taxes, please don’t ruin or take our lives when we did nothing wrong. We matter as humans beings. Here are some stories of what is like to be a minority in the USA.

My childhood friend’s mom was someone who always had a smile on her face. She always knew how to make people smile and feel good. Her name was Maria. She was an afrolatino like me. One day, Maria saw that I was really down. She smiled at me and told me that no matter what you are going through, the sun always rises the next day. It will shine light to places you thought were only shadows. A week later she was killed by a stray bullet. Leaving my friend as an orphan. His dad was in jail and his mother now gone. My friend beat the odds and became a professional basketball player in Puerto Rico and Europe. Sadly until this day, her murder case remains unsolved. Sitting in a cold case file. They never attempted to find where the bullet came from. Out of respect for my friend, I won’t put the article’s link. If you want to see the story google novato woman killed by stray bullet.

My childhood friend’s brother went to college and got a degree. He was a clean person. One day at a party, someone called the cops for a noise complaint. The cops came and freaked out my childhood friend’s brother. He ran when he wasn’t supposed to. Thinking he committed a crime when he never did. He just knew he was guilty until proven innocent here, if you don’t have money and/or you are a minority. So he ran like he was guilty. Sadly, he was the only black kid in a party full of white and latinos. The police got him and were only able to charge him with resisting arrest. The time he spent in jail changed him. He got fired from his job because he wasn’t able to go to work. He spent 10 months behing bars. Jail mentally broke him. After spending time in jail or prison, you are never the same. Last thing I heard is that he became an addict. His life was ruined.

I can write more stories. Even a book about about my friends and I experiences. However, I hope you understand by now that the USA can be diffcult for minorities. We still smile even when the odds are highly against us. Hope you see that black lives matters is not only against police brutally. It is about a whole system being against us. We just want to be treated as a person first and not anything less. I love the usa because it’s where I grew up. However, there is always room for improvement. It’s truly amazing to see people of every color around the world caring about my struggles. It’s hard to put in words but I just want to say thank you for trying to understand!! It’s greatly appreciated 😁

Travel horror story at Motel 6

Didn’t think I was going to survive on this. Well, maybe I’m being a little dramatic right now. However, the story I’m about to tell you will make you feel uncomfortable with this motel brand.

On the way to Richmond, Virginia photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

We were going to Richmond, Virginia for a business event. All the nearby hotels were full. The only choice was Motel 6. I have used them in the past when I went on a road trip across the USA. However, nothing could prepare me for what was in store.

Entrance to motel 6 photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

When I got to my room, noticed I was not alone. Two cockroaches made thier presences known when I moved my pillow. I was not bothered by it too much; however, it was a clear sign this isn’t a well kept motel.

A few hours pasted by, heard people screaming in the other room. Unfortunately, I was hearing stds being exchanged.

Motel 6 sign photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Eventually, I heard a fight broke out next door. From what I overheard, the prostitute’s client got into a fight with her pimp. I felt so unsafe and uncomfortable. The police came with what looked like guns. Apparently, it was much more than just prostitution. It seems like drugs were involved. While all this was happening next door, I was trying to fall asleep with my two new cockroach friends.

After some time, arrests were made. Didn’t think it was going to ever end. I was annoyed that I paid the motel for this experience. Had to call the corporate number to get a refund. Never again will I stay at a Motel 6.

Thank you for reading! Stay safe and much love!

Check out our eBook “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come true without breaking the bank. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe
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How traveling saved my life

Been wanting to share this for a while now. I was just reluctant to expose myself to the world. Everything I’m about to express and share is true. I want you all to know that I’m not a trust fund baby that travels the world.  I’m really lucky to be where I’m at. A lot of it is thanks to you all!

**warning: I’m going let my heart out on this post**

As a kid, I wasn’t much of a shoe-in for being a productive member of society. In fact, I was anti-society. My future didn’t look too bright. It looked more orange behind bars with not a lot of sunlight. Let me dive in a little deeper.

Photo of me when I was 12

When I was 8 years old, the police came into my home looking for me. A couple of friends and I messed up a person’s car we didn’t like. We left threatening mail into his mailbox saying, “we were going to destroy him next time he disrespects us.” We were young and didn’t really know better. Everybody around us was doing it. We thought messing up people’s cars was normal. By chance, the victim didn’t press any charges. So we never got any time. However, we got time out from our parents.

3 years into the future, I got in trouble again. This time, I was caught stealing iPods. (Hopefully, you all remember those.) I would steal them hoping to sell for a 100 percent profit. I was young and didn’t know any better. Wanted money and jobs were not hiring an eleven-year-old. For some reason, the victim did not press any charges. Since I gave back his iPod and accepted my mistake. That was twice, I almost got arrested at a young age.

San Francisco 

Now, this is when travel really got introduced to my life. Majority of my family lives in the New York City Area. I kept getting in trouble in California. So, my dad made sure I would get out of that environment every Christmas and summer break. He would send me to New York City to learn more about my family roots. I got to see another world that not many people who looked like me ever did. It gave me a different outlook on life. I started seeing what was important and what wasn’t. This would help me so much in high school.

new york 

A common theme with my friends I grew up with, high school is what changed everything. Everybody that I was close with as a kid started joining gangs and selling drugs. They wanted to live that thug life and be respected by everybody in our city. That was what all they knew. Our city and neighborhood, they wanted to put it on the crime map. Friends that were closed to me wanted to cause me harm because of who I grew up with. I didn’t fall into this trap because I saw another world that was not this. I was no longer apart of this self-destructive mentality anymore because my horizons were expanded, due to travel. Some of my closest childhood friends, were targets of drive-bys.  By some miracle, they are alive.  If I didn’t see another world other than the streets when I was young,  I probably would have ended up like a lot of the people I grew up with.  Many are in jail or just dangerous to be around. I had a few people close to me that died due to gun violence. For these reasons, are why I’m so passionate about traveling. It literally has changed my mindset and saved my life.


In memory of a friend that taught me to never give up. You always had some joke to say. Thank you for teaching me how to be a good-hearted person. Rest in peace Frank Serafin.  I  will never get over the fact, I’m living my life and you are not.

I have been able to start legal businesses, travel to over 30 countries and learned to enjoy the moment. Once again, thank you for all your kind deeds that you never asked for anything in return.

My awkward passthrough of Chicago

Hey, everyone! Decided to change things up this week. Will be talking about my awkward experience in Chicago. Hope you enjoy!

My cousins and I were doing an across country roadtrip. Starting in San Francisco and ending in New York City. Roadtrips are the best bonding moments in my opinion. After many days and hours, we eventually arrived to Chicago.

It was the fourth of July, we were astounded by how many people were outside. Lake Michigan was filled with lively Chicagoans. Even though it was July, you can still feel that cold breeze coming from the Lake. I could see why Chicago’s is nicknamed “The Windy City.”

We went around the tourist sites as fast as possible. We were somewhat rushing at this point to go to a hotel. All of us were tired and smelled bad. We were on a really tight budget. It was either, sleep in a hotel and skip a few meals or sleep in the car in some parking lot, while eating like pigs. We skipped a few meals the before day. So were looking for a hotel with a buffet or at least serviced breakfast.

We eventually found one in boystown. The name itself kind gives off the atmosphere of the neighborhood. It was home to Chicago’s LGBT community. We being open minded, didn’t mind about what community lived in the area. We just wanted a place to sleep for the night. Plus, we grew up in The San Francisco Bay Area. We are used to being around the LGBT community. As we drove to the hotel, my cousin saw a Walgreens. Walgreens in Chicago are like the corner stores Deli in New York City. My cousin to Walgreens because he didn’t want us to be dehydrated.

How the hotel was designed photo courtesy of Chicago Dungeon Rentals

After my cousin bought water bottles from Walgreens, we went to this hotel. Once inside, you get the weirdest vibe. Everything was dim lit. There were whips and chains hanging from the wall. Of course, none of this really mattered to us. Because, we just wanted a place to sleep and we were tired.

All of us came to front desk of the hotel. There was a lady with a bright smile standing behind that desk. We told her that we were looking for a room. Her energy was all over the place. Jumping in excitement to help us out. As she was booking our room, she looked at me. The woman then asked my age. Told her I was 17, which I was at that time. Her smile went away. The once bright smile became a stone cold face. She explained to us no one under the age of 18 can stay in this hotel. We all looked at each other and left.

We asked ourselves, “what did we almost get ourselves into?” Three straight cousins almost went and stay a night in some sex dungeon. “What was the lady so excited about?” We wondered, as we were quietly thinking, the whole time in the car. “Did she thought we were going to have a threesome?” These questions were on our mind as we drove to Cleveland. After that experience, we decided to just pig out and find a parking lot to stay the night. One more day of being smelly didn’t matter to us.

Hey, everyone! Thank you for reading! We will be going back to the normal story of my travels. This was just a little flashback, happy pride month to you all!! To our followers who are in the LGBT community. If you are traveling Internationally, please read about how the country’s view is towards the LGBT. Heard of people getting attacked. To everybody else, safe travels as well. Love shines, hate destroys!

For professional video editing and photography, check out our website http://www.mmpproductions.com/.

We will work with your budget!

I’m going to Canada, hopefully

New year, new me as the saying goes. For me, new year means new adventures. It was the end of January 2016. New York City just survived a record breaking snowstorm. I was invited to go to Canada for a Capoeira event. The event will have masters of the art to teach us. The thought of it filled me with joy.  Little did I know, it would be a journey just to get there.

NYC during the blizzard, Hugo Morel

One word of advice, never call your mother during a storm and your flight is the next day, after the whole city closed down. Yeah, the city that doesn’t sleep had to shut down at 2:45 pm; yet, any mother makes a situation seem more awful than it actually is. Okay yes, the blizzard was bad enough to close the city that never sleeps down but I was still alive. After a few “Are you alive?” calls, my mother convinced me to go three hours early to the airport. I’m still trying to figure out how she did this. Once the taxi dropped me at the airport, I knew I was in for a long night.

The day after the storm, Hugo Morel

As I got into the airport, the place looked like a dead zone. Everything was unusually closed down. The airport is open 24 hours on a normal schedule but a storm just passed. The airport looked like a homeless shelter. The food court was filled with people who were stuck in New York City. Their flights were canceled and the local hotels were closed. The only choice they had was the food court. This was a sight from a horror movie and a traveler’s worst nightmare.

After three hours of waiting, it was take off time. To save money, I bought a connecting flight, New York City to Denver international. The flight was full, due to the storm. They kept asking for handbags and luggage to be put on another flight. The kind person would be rewarded for a thousand dollars worth of flyer points. They asked four times and waited until someone actually volunteered before taking off!!


Denver International airport, Hugo Morel

At Denver International, I was surprised how big the mile high city’s airport was. It felt bigger than JFK. There was a mile long walkway (pun intended) and even a mall. I expected to see the cast of South Park here. This was mind-blowing!!

Flying to Winnipeg, Hugo Morel

After all the trials, I was finally in Canada. The country that is the home of Justin Bieber, Drake and maple syrup. Of course, instead of seeing Santa Claus and the north pole, I get a not so jolly welcome. Long story short, the immigration center kept me for about 20 mins trying to understand my story. It’s hard to explain to people, what Capoeira is. Lesson learned, never say you are going to stay at someone’s house that you met on Facebook and learn from a master that you never met in person.

Welcome to Winnipeg…kind of, Hugo Morel

Thank you for taking your time to read this post. Drop a like and a follow. Much love!!! Next week, we go to the city of Brandon. Stay safe and healthy!!

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