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.

image

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.

image

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!!

 

image

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!!

20160125_041453.jpg

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.

image

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!!

Boston and Graduation at Tufts

It was the summer of 2014, one of my childhood friends was graduating from a private university. This was a major accomplishment for him. I was and am still proud of him. After the graduation, we explored Boston together.

image

The bus ride to Boston was crazy. Four hours of just sitting, can do damage to any healthy person. It was 2014, and we still have not created a teleportation machine. The epic struggle!! Anyways, when going to Boston you have a few choices. You can go by plane, train or bus. If you are on the east coast, a bus will be best. In certain areas, it is only 50 dollars round trip. From New York City, I paid only 40 dollars for a round trip. I used Lucky Star bus, they are great and a money-saver.

IMG_20140517_122355

another shot of Boston from Tufts, Hugo Morel

Once in Boston, I met my childhood friend. We knew each other since elementary school but, didn’t become actual friends until the end of middle school. We took Boston’s subway to get to Tufts University. I got to see where he lived and what his projects were. I’m so proud of him. When I used to visit his home, he would live off MacDonald’s. At that time, he was living in a single parent home with his little sister. Money was very tight for them.  For him to be at this university is an amazing achievement. He is the first person in his family to go to college. When I saw him receive his bachelors, it took a lot of willpower to hold back tears.

After the emotional graduation, we went to explore Boston. We did what tourists do in Boston, walked the freedom trail and go to the infamous Fenway park. Sadly, we did not care who would win and none of us were Red Soxs. After the game, we went bar hoping in Boston. So apparently, Boston’s bars close at 2 am. Living in New York City for awhile, really changed my views of late nights mean.

img_20160115_013200.jpg

Baseball game at Fenway Park, Hugo Morel 

Wanted to dedicate this post to one of my closest friend that helped me out so much growing up. I was going down a wrong path in my life and he encourage to get back into reading. Which eventually lead to this blog and me starting my company! He encouraged me to do what I love. As you guys can tell, I love traveling and being able to write. The friend I’m talking about is the one that graduated in this post. He is now a few years away from getting his PhD. I’m so proud of him. May he continue to inspire others and change more lives.

 

image

Guys, we just reached 500 likes!! Thank you so much!! I love you guys so much and I’m so humbled you guys see my life as interesting. Once again, thank you. I hope, I can inspire you all to travel!! Much Love!!! Drop a like and a follow. Next week, we will start a Canadian adventure. Stay healthy!!

Checking Out Little Haiti

Little Haiti, a place of real culture and down to earth people. Going to Little Haiti was a very eventful time in my life. I made friendships that would open many doors and eventually this blog.

image

Little Haiti Cultural Center, Hugo Morel

Going to Little Haiti, I do recommend going by car. Public transportation to Little Haiti is not always the best. Once you are there, most of the corner stores are Haitian owned. Make  sure to check them out, when you get the chance. You can get a lot of Haitian products from fruits to candy bars.

img_20160112_123956.jpg

Haitian Flag street art, Hugo Morel

While in Little Haiti, you must eat at a local restaurant. No fast-food or Mcdonald’s! Eating from those types of restaurants, will ruin your experience in this cultural paradise. If you want some real cultural food, always ask the locals.

img_20140523_160513.jpg

A nice family owned restaurant,Hugo Morel

After asking around, I was told about a restaurant called The New Piman Bouk restaurant. It was a great place to go. It gives you the feels of being in Haiti. The restaurant is owned by a Haitian-American family. This is authentic as it gets for Haitian Creole food in America. One plate of food can feed two people. It is a great place for food at a great price.

Little Haiti has many cultural activities. While in Little Haiti, make sure to check out the Cultural Center. The Cultural Center has many events throughout the year. From movies to social groups, Little Haiti’s Cultural Center is place to visit for anybody looking to experience the local culture.
image

image

image
Just want to say thank you to you all for reading and liking my posts. We reached over 100 followers. I met the person who pushed me into starting this blog in Little Haiti. Drop a like and a follow. Next week we will be going to Dallas for some workshops to teach English in mexico. Much Love!!

A walk through Little Havana

Little Havana, the soul of Miami’s Cuban culture. Where you can find questionably legal Cuban cigars and Cuban flags on almost every block. Little Havana was a blast to visit. My friends just arrived to Miami and we were in for a treat.

h

Street Art on Calle Ocho of Latin America , Hugo Morel

Memorial day weekend in Miami is very hectic. When traveling to Miami, try to avoid this weekend. You will not be able to fully experience the city because of the bumper to bumper traffic. Luckily for us, Little Havana and Little Haiti were unaffected.

IMG_20140521_185509

Cuban and American Flags, Hugo Morel

After finally meeting up with friends, we tour little Havana. Little Havana has many choices of Cuban restaurants. For more authentic Cuban, the best restaurants are on Calle Ocho (8th street). Most restaurants would serve you a huge platter of food for about ten dollars. Some are buffet style, if you want to pig out or want the most bang for your buck, these are the best spots. The only problem with buffet style restaurants, there is a lost of authenticity to the food.

Something you must do in Little Havana is to walk down Calle Ocho. Walking down Calle Ocho, you get to see more of the Cuban culture. From the Cuban movie theaters to the Cuban liquor. On Calle Ocho, there is a Latin Walk of Fame. Similar to Hollywood’s, The Latin Walk of Fame honors Latinos of celebrity status.  This is why, Miami is called, “The Capital of Latin America.”

IMG_20140521_185837

The Latino Walk of Fame, Hugo Morel

The deeper you go along Calle Ocho, the more influences of Latin America you will encounter. Although, Little Havana will always have Cuban roots, many Latinos from all over have moved in.  Specifically, many Central Americans have made Little Havana their home. Little Havana will most likely forever be a center for the Latino community in Miami.

h2

My Mojito(a cocktail with origins in Havana,Cuba) Hugo Morel

Thanks for taking your time to read this post! Drop a like and a follow. Next week we will be in Little Haiti. Much Love!!

Boat Ride through Florida’s Everglades

It was a couple of days before the Memorial Day weekend in Miami. So, I decided to go to Florida’s famous Everglades. About two days before my friends came to Miami. It was a nice 2014 Spring day and I was in store for an amazing experience.

h

photo edited by Hugo Morel

At my hostel, I was speaking to the staff. After making some friends, one of them informed me to take a boat tour on the everglades. It is always a good idea to make friends with locals. They recommend you to local attractions that would be overlooked. I paid about 80 dollars for the whole experience. The 80 dollars included the bus ride to and from my hostel.

IMG_20140523_105554

air-boat tour, Hugo morel

After a 45 minute bus ride, we finally arrived to the Everglades. The air-boats fit about 7 people. If you don’t feel comfortable, you can always sit in the middle of the boat. You are less likely to fall over and get bitten by agitator (just joking).

IMG_20140523_105623

air-boat. Hugo Morel

Once on the air-boat, we got to see more of the Everglades. It is truly a beautiful place. You can spot tons of wildlife everywhere you turn. From turtles to agitators.

 

Unfortunately, due to the strange weather patterns, the Everglades are becoming too shallow for boats to pass through. Many people will be out of work. Beautiful nature is being destroyed. Do what you can to support! Try to recycle more!

h1

Beauty Of the Everglades, edited and taken by Hugo Morel

After the boat tour, you can visit the gift shop. Not many interesting items expect the alligator tail and teeth. If you eat meat, they also sell alligator meat. They also let you pet baby alligators. When you are in Miami, definitely stop by the Everglades.

IMG_20140523_114417

A Real agitator, Hugo Morel

Thank you for taking your time to read this post. Drop a like and a follow. Next week, we will go to little Havana. Take care and much love!!!

 

Riding Rio’s Public Transportation

Rio’s metro is the second most used in Brazil. With 1.1 million riders daily and 401.5 million yearly, the metro is on a global city level.

SDC10685

published by Hugo Morel

Waiting for the train at the station, makes you feel like you are in Brooklyn, NY at the L train Bedford ave stop. One way metro fare is R$3.50. Remember that the American dollar is about double of Brazil’s currency. The pictures below were taken as we waiting for our train. It was more modern than we expected. Being Americans, we tend to not think so highly about other countries’ subways.

The picture below is one of Rio’s subway trains on the outside.

SDC10681

published by Hugo Morel

Taking Rio’s subway was very similar to New York’s. The train we took was like  New York’s A train. You got your crazies and your trains’ panhandlers. The major difference is that the whole train is connected. In New York, the trains are separated by carts with doors in between each cart. While in Rio, there are individual carts but they are connected with  no door dividing them. The train on the inside, looks as if you were inside a giant snake.

Walking in the subway stations, we noticed a lot of shops. Very similar to New York’s Penn station. The pictures below were taken in front of a video game store in the subway station.

Rio’s Public Bus system is on a world class level. With 831 bus routes, you can travel anywhere in the city at cheap rate. The bus fare is R$2.40 one way. In American dollars, the fare is a bout $1.20. Make sure to know this when taking the bus, obese people have priority seating. Make sure not to look like a jerk.

Rio also has an express bus called BRT. The BRT has it’s own private lane on the highway (USA, we should take notes!). Going on one of these buses, can get you across the city in no time. The picture below is a BRT station.

SDC10566

published by Hugo Morel

Thank you for taking your time to read this post. Drop a like and a follow. Much Love! Next week, we sleep on the beach and see pope Francis!