Above the Arctic circle in Tromso, Norway

So, I decided to push the envelope even more. Flew to Tromso from Oslo. It was about a two-hour flight. It costs about 90 dollars round trip at the time. Might be more expensive in the coming years.  Luckily, there wasn’t any major snowstorm that day.  Luck was on my side to visit this part of Norway.

 

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A picture of where Tromso is from Oslo

Yeah, I was far above the arctic circle. All my family in the Usa thought I was crazy. However, I didn’t care. A small part of me,  I wanted to visit Santa. However, I was here for my goal. To see the northern lights and to experience as far north as I could during the winter. Also, to have something to brag about with friends.

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A lone Sami home

It was very cold up here. When It wasn’t snowing, the wind will hit in you in your face. The like a slap from a sheet of Ice, the wind was painful. Similar to ice needles stinging your skin.  I had to put my extra scarf over my face. The air felt a little hard to breathe. I eventually got used to it.  There were parts where the snow was thick enough to sink my boots. You had to be careful when walking here or risk breaking your ankles.

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The Sami people’s home

The way the homes are built up here is so beautiful. They reminded me of the Native homes in Greenland and Canada. Although not related to the Inuits of Canada and Greenland, the Sami people are the natives of this part of Norway. They dress similarly have similar looking homes. However, the Inuits came to Greenland and Canada via Serbia.

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The northern lights

After walking around for a little bit, it became dark quickly. It was about 1pm and the sky looked like it was midnight. After about 30 minutes, I saw what I came here for. The Northern Lights! I have seen it a few times before. In Iceland and Canada; however, never this strong. Anybody could take a photo of it with the right settings on your camera. My face was stiff but a big smile from ear to ear was on it. My goal was accomplished.

My flight was at 9am the next morning. I tried looking for a hotel but everything was booked out when I was looking. Decided to book a room at an Ice hotel. Inside the hotel was a work of art. It’s crazy to think they have to rebuild this every year. I wouldn’t recommend walking around the room without a coat. It is warm but not warm enough to walk around with a t-shirt. The chairs and beds were carved out of ice. Ir’s crazy to think the hard work that went into this.  It was time to sleep and my last day in Noway was just about to start. I couldn’t wait to see what it had in store.

Stay safe everyone and remember to wash your hands!

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

For videos about cultures of the world and to see our travels, subscribe to our youtube channel!
For my underwater photos, I use the gopro hero 7 white.
We have partnered up with booking.com and working on TripAdvisor. Here are some links for each hope you all enjoy!Here are links to hotels and other deals.For Hotels, make sure to click here. For apartments make sure to click here. For Resorts click here. For villas click here. For bed and breakfast and for Guest houses, make sure to click the link!

 

An unexpected night time stroll in Oslo Norway

Imagine you take a nap in the morning, wake up and the sunlight is gone. Now just picture that while you are on vacation. Yeah, that’s just happened to me. Decided to explore more of Oslo. Wintertime in Norway makes everything go dark quick. It was only 3 pm their time and the sun was already gone. It felt and looked like midnight!

The square with a darker view photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Olso is very beautiful even at night time. The lights and the architecture made me feel like I was in some type of modern Dracula movie. Regardless, it felt great to explore this place.  The snow was thick on the ground. It could cover about a third of my boot when walking. The churchy sound of stepping on snow became the norm.  I was definitely not in the tropics.

 

I stumbled upon this church. I saw a nice looking building and I followed it. Which lead me to this church. It looks old fashion and medieval. The snow was super thick near the church. It seemed like a snowstorm just passed through. You can hear the clock clicking from the church’s tower. Mixed with the sound of people walking nearby, it reminded me of Christmas for some reason. I’m sure It had to do with being so close to the north pole. Where are you, Rudolph?

The square-looking alive photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

I eventually got to a square. It wasn’t until I looked at it closely. That I noticed, I walked in a complete circle. I kept taking turns which eventually lead me to the same square. It looks a lot more alive now.  I couldn’t picture myself living here though. It was around 4pm and people were acting like it was midnight on a weekday. It was like they knew something I didn’t know about Norway in the wintertime at night.

The street that reminded me of Miami photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The more I walked, the more some of the buildings reminded me of Miami. The way some of the buildings were colored had similarities to the ones in Miami. Of course, minus the heat. However, during summertime, I’m sure this part of Oslo would be an awesome place to eat outside. Also, sit and read a book in the sun.

 

Following the signs, I found the royal palace. There were a few people with me. I found out he is a YouTuber. Didn’t want to bug him more because he was filming. The snow was thick here. It covered half of my boots. The moment I got to the top, you can see the city and its beauty. That’s when it hit me, I was far away from home. Hard to believe how far away I was. This was just my first day here, I couldn’t wait to see what Norway had in store me.

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Just have to say thanks to ericotrips. He has been supporting this blog for a while now. He is a Nigerian travel blogger. I don’t normally do this but I will support ericotrips. If you want to see more of Nigeria and learn about the current event of that beautiful country check out his blog. Ps. Nigeria is my second favorite country in Africa after Equatorial Guinea. West  Africa is very beautiful and I hope to visit one day!

Here is his link: https://ericotrips.wordpress.com/

1. What does your name mean?

Not sure if you mean blog name or my real name. So, the blog name means my passport has been overused. Well, my last passport. My new one only has a few countries because of covid 19. My real name is Hugo. Which means smart in the mind, body, and soul. Kind of working all three right now because travel has been taken away from me.

2. What were your favorite things around you while growing up?

My favorite things around me when I was growing out was probably my bike. I used to ride my bike all over. I felt so good to learn how to ride my bike. Learned it by myself from falling off it. My parents would not let me ride it without training wheels. I used to take them off and put them back.

3. Describe your idea of a perfect day.

It will be on an airplane on the way to a new country. *sigh* I miss traveling as you can see.

4. Would you ever consider living abroad?

I did think of it many times. I lived abroad as a kid. When I was young I lived in Costa Rica with grandpa. I’m not Costa Rican but my grandpa moved there to get away from the USA. Kind of runs in the family as you can see lol

5. If there were no laws or rules in this world to influence your behavior, what do you think your behavior would look like?

I will be way wilder. I probably wouldn’t have businesses because everybody would be stealing from stores. I would probably be on the road full times.

Stay safe everyone and remember to wash your hands!

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

For videos about cultures of the world and to see our travels, subscribe to our youtube channel!
For my underwater photos, I use the gopro hero 7 white.
We have partnered up with booking.com and working on TripAdvisor. Here are some links for each hope you all enjoy!Here are links to hotels and other deals.For Hotels, make sure to click here. For apartments make sure to click here. For Resorts click here. For villas click here. For bed and breakfast and for Guest houses, make sure to click the link!

My first glimpse of Oslo Norway

After practically freezing on the landing strip, I finally made it into the airport. Passed right through customs. I was officially in Norway. Now, I had to find a way to my hotel room. Learned from google maps before coming here that there are trains that take you directly into the city and right outside my hotel. Decided to take one because I learned from Sweden that taxis in this part of Europe are really expensive. Plus, I get to see a little more of the countryside on the train. So, why not?

Waiting for the train photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Found where to buy tickets. There was a ticket machine right outside of the train station at the airport. Saw the Norwegian language option and it all looked Viking to me. (Yes, that was a bad joke. referencing it’s all Greek). Walking outside and waiting for the train was difficult. That blast of cold wind hit me again, the moment I open the door that leads to the waiting platform. Saw that everybody was acting like the cold was normal and I pretended it didn’t effect me trying to blend in. I know stand like a sore thumb out here. However, I’m trying to not seem so much like a tourist. This cold hit deep into the bone.

The train to go into the city from the airport photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The train finally showed up. Any more time waiting and I would have been a giant ice cube. My face felt like little ice needles kept poking me. Stepped inside the train and found my seat. The atmosphere was really nice. The train had a screen that played the local news. I wish the trains at the JFK airport in the USA were this nice. Regardless, I felt that nobody was even looking at me. It wasn’t until I pulled out my camera that I started to get second looks. It’s quite clear that this part of Europe has a lot of diversity. I was expecting to get a few stares like I did when I went to Winnipeg Canada. I guess seeing someone like me was not too strange over here.

A beautiful view of the landscape of Norway in the winter photo courtesy

The train started on it’s way to Oslo. The people next to me keep looking at me and finally one of them asked if I could take a photo of them. I swear, I’m like everybody’s camera guy when I take my Nikon camera out.  I couldn’t say no because they asked so nicely. As the train was in its route to go to Oslo, one of the crew members came out and checked our tickets. Super happy it wasn’t fake. After that experience in morocco , I have been very careful with the train ticket dates and time.  Getting the clear from the crew members meant it was time to relax and enjoy the views.

The trees in Norway photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The more we went into Oslo, the more I felt like I was in some type of Christmas movie. It was if, I was at the north pole. The trees reminded me of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. That song was stuck in my head the whole train ride!  Almost felt like yelling out, if  Santa was nearby. I’m sure I would have looked very crazy. Either way, the views were breathtaking. This was the winter I grew up watching in movies. In California, unless you drove to the mountains, we never had snow. So, watching movies and TV shows were our only way to see what snow looked like. I’m sure somewhere my inner child was living his best life.

A Sign I was close to Oslo photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The closer we got to the city, the fewer trees I saw. More graffiti and roads showed up. I knew I was close to Oslo. My journeys in Norway were just starting.

Hey everybody, sorry for not being update to with the comment. Been having a very crazy couple of weeks. Promise to go through all the comments by this weekend. Once again, thank you so much for the support!

 

Stay safe everyone and remember to wash your hands!

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

For videos about cultures of the world and to see our travels, subscribe to our youtube channel!
For my underwater photos, I use the gopro hero 7 white.
We have partnered up with booking.com and working on TripAdvisor. Here are some links for each hope you all enjoy!Here are links to hotels and other deals.For Hotels, make sure to click here. For apartments make sure to click here. For Resorts click here. For villas click here. For bed and breakfast and for Guest houses, make sure to click the link!

That good Swedish eating

Alright, when I went Sweden didn’t expect the food to be good. I was thinking about eating at 7/11 or any other convenient stores. Trying to save a few dollars. When I was here, I was told to eat Swedish meatballs and pancakes. During my time explore Stockholm at night, all I wanted was some hot chocolate.

The dark street photo courtesy of Hugo morel

Kept walking in the cold dark street on the mission of finding some hot chocolate. It was at this moment, I really felt out of place. A strong cold wind passed through my coat and pants. I had about three layers on. I was built for the tropics. What am I doing here? Then, I remember the price of the flight being so cheap. I kind of asked to be put into this situation. So, I kept thinking about a warm place like the tropics. Surprisingly, this works out well.

The sign that attracted me to the restaurant photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

After about 5 minutes, which felt like hours, I saw this sign. Swedish glogg, my first impressions were Viking soda. I thought this glogg was going to be very cold. It wasn’t until I got back that I learned it was an alcoholic drink. I was freezing. So I had no choices but to go inside.

Swedish pancakes photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Once inside, the atmosphere was a very “hipster.” For those who don’t know how hipster restaurants are, there is dim lighting with pop music playing in the background. Everybody was on their laptops. Kind of like a Starbucks that serves real food. I saw they had Swedish pancakes. Which, I just had to order. It felt good to be out of the cold. The waiters at the restaurant were from Ethiopia. Another reminder of the diversity of this country.

Once the Swedish pancake came, there was no chance for this Swedish dish to survive. Along with my hot chocolate, I had to regain the body heat my body let go during this night out. So, I had to eat for all the snowmen in the North pole. Most will say the pancake looks more like a kid’s dream than a meal. Still, I’m not complaining. It was really good.

The Swedish meatballs photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

I had to find my way back to the hostel I was staying at. I just couldn’t keep moving with this cold. The later it got, the colder it became. There was a restaurant next to the hostel. I was told by the front desk that the restaurant has the famous Swedish meatballs. I had to try it. After a warm shower, I was ready to go to eat a real meal.

Swedish beer photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The meatballs were really good. I did not know at the time that reindeer was mixed with the meat. Never ate that type of meat. Got some local beer to drink everything down. Not much of a beer drinker. However, this was pretty good. It was great to end the night. I couldn’t wait to see what the next day had in store for me.

Stay safe everyone and remember to wash your hands!

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

For videos about cultures of the world and to see our travels, subscribe to our youtube channel!
For my underwater photos, I use the gopro hero 7 white.
We have partnered up with booking.com and working on TripAdvisor. Here are some links for each hope you all enjoy!Here are links to hotels and other deals.For Hotels, make sure to click here. For apartments make sure to click here. For Resorts click here. For villas click here. For bed and breakfast and for Guest houses, make sure to click the link!

My last day in Iceland

My final full day in Iceland appeared out of nowhere. There I was, thinking I had a few more days. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Spent the night before trying to capture the northern lights. That ended up in a failure. Didn’t have the right equipment on me to take a quality photo. As seen in the picture below, the only lights my camera captured were lights made by humans.

Trying to take photo of the Northern lights photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The morning afterwards was a little difficult to get up. I started to pack and get ready for the flight back home. Once done, I left my luggage in my rented locker and I was off to explore Iceland for a final time.

On another note, the awesome thing about Iceland is it’s features for tourists. One of those features are that most tours are at a reasonable price. Also, if you miss the Northern Lights, you have up to three years to go on the tour again. It is free and you can keep doing this until you see the natural phenomenon. Just remember the email to show the email receipt.

A small river photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Booked a last minute tour to see a few more sights around Iceland. Honestly, don’t remember what exact part of Iceland this was. Just knew it was somewhere in Southeast Iceland. Looking at the simple life of the Icelandic people, I noticed that fishing is a major part of their economy. I later learned that Iceland almost did not join the European Union. They had a fear of over-fishing from the other European members. That would cause their native fishes to go extinct. Of course, they made a deal and this freezing cold Island is now in the E.U.

Waterfalls photos courtesy of Hugo Morel

We ended up seeing more waterfalls. It’s hard to believe how many waterfalls are in Iceland. Still Iceland a has different charm to it. Most countries have big cities or human made tourist attraction. Iceland is very unlike other countries, all the tourist attractions are naturally made.

Ocean view photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

About 3 hours later, I went back to my hostel. Started exploring the surrounding areas again. Iceland is breathtaking, both with the bitter wind trying to freeze your lungs and the country’s beauty. It’s a shame that I will be leaving this behind but, this bitter cold is no joke! I will always be amazed to what this country has to offer.

Modern art of a viking ship photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

It’s hard to believe, how the Vikings used to travel around in this cold. Especially, traveling long distanced in the ocean. Iceland, I must visit you again. Next time when I come, it will definitely be during the summer time.

Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!

Check out our e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Freezing at The Black Sand Beach of Reynisfjara, Iceland

Iceland’s most famous beach Reynisfjara. It’s nicknamed the black sand beach. Although, Iceland has several beaches with black sand. This is the one everybody talks about.

Black sand beach photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Reynisfjara is just outside of Vik. Freezing, I got out of the tour bus to see this famous beach. I wanted to see what the hype was about. Also, sitting down became a painful task. Needed to start walking around.

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Members of our group going next to the ocean photo courtesy of Hugo Morel
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Another shot of members of our group photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Once outside, I couldn’t believe how courageous some of the people that were on the tour with me. They ran towards where the waves were. Ignoring what our guide told us to void going near the ocean. I guess they thought it was the summer time and this was Miami Beach.

Another view of members in our tour group photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Even if this wasn’t a beach in the Caribbean Sea, it was still very interesting to see the black sand. The bitter wind was out control though. My hands were freezing through my gloves. It’s hard to believe people live and fish here year round. I couldn’t imagine living here. The Icelandic people are very tolerant to the cold.

Selfies of me freezing photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

I was told by family members to start taking selfies. They told me to use those photos as proof you been to the country that the photo was taken in. Of course, I did it with my own spin. For whatever reason, I decided to take my gloves off to do the peace sign for all my doubters. Sadly, I could only put up one finger due to the painfully numbing cold. Risking my health to prove naysayers wrong, sounds like a smart social media move. Everybody is doing it.

P.s. Sarcasm is used four times in this post.

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A view of the beach’s landscape photo courtesy of Hugo Morel
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Another shot of the beach’s landscape photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

As we all nearly froze ourselves, our time at Reynisfjara was nearly up. The majestic beach was going to be left behind. Our tour group ended up with a success. No one ended up frozen or taken out to sea. It was at this moment, I started to doubt if this was a smart idea. Being in Iceland during winter time near a beach, sounds like everybody’s dream. California, I miss you.

Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Going to Iceland in the winter

Yes, you read right! I went to the land of ice during winter time. This crazy kid from california went to Iceland. At least, that’s what all my family members were telling me. But hey, you can’t really blame me for jumping on 200 dollars round trip tickets.

Flying out of JFK taken by Hugo Morel

The flight from New York City to Keflavík international airport was about 4 and a half hours. I took an overnight flight. Literally, dozed off and I was in Iceland. The flight was very smooth. It was surprising because I expected to go through snow clouds.

Google map of how far Keflavik International Airport is from Iceland’s capital

Landed in Keflavik International Airport. It is about an hour away from the capital Reykjavík. The great thing about iceland is that there are a lot of tour companies that will pick you up at the airport and drop you off at your accommodation. Their prices are reasonable and they come every hour.

Me sitting at the hostel’s main lobby taken by Hugo Morel

Once I got to my hostel, I was very interested in getting to explore Iceland. Left all my luggage in my room and it was time to see this Nordic country. There was no time to waste.

Iceland’s landscape taken by Hugo Morel

Went outside and all I could feel was the harsh cold wind. I was definitely not in California anymore. Holding up my phone and camera to take pictures was like putting dry ice on your hands. The low temperatures kept stinging my fingers. Even with all that, I made sure to take pictures for you all!

Viking ship taken by Hugo Morel

As the finger-numbing wind kept blowing, I knew I was in viking land. Can’t wait to see what this country has to offer. The adventures and the experiences that I had in this in country, will stay with me for the rest of my life. I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!

To start your own adventures, check out the link below.

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

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