The Launching Pad


I went from not knowing how I was going to survive Brazil to being one of the country’s most fortunate individuals in about a week.  People have been asking me how I landed such a surreal gig so quickly. While lightning may have struck fast, the storm has been brewing for quite some time now…


My friends and family were pissed and upset to hear that the original crew I was working with informed me that they were not making it down for the World Cup.  Sure, the news wasn’t great, but truthfully I wasn’t angry at them one bit.  I have learned a lot here in Brazil, but one of the most prevalent pieces of wisdom that I have picked up is quite simple: Shit happens, and Shit doesn’t.  It’s not as if they didn’t want to come down to the World Cup, but rather that circumstances bigger than them were in control.  Did I have some reasons to be mad, sure; but what good would that have done?  In fact, if it wasn’t for them, I would not be in the situation I am in today.  I would not have experienced Central America, I would not have learned how to produce documentaries, and I would not have been the youngest credentialed media member for US Soccer.

Granted, I did not get paid for the series; but rather than giving me fish, they taught me how to fish.  They would find me low paying jobs that may not have paid the bills, but allowed me to continue to improve my craft. They gave me a camera and I began producing my own videos.   I still wasn’t making money, but I was getting better: I could feel it in my veins. I began emailing those contacts I had made through my past experiences looking to see if anyone could use an extra hand.  Rejection upon rejection, I was feeling down; but I kept going.  More videos, more emails. And finally, it happened: I secured a dream job for the 2014 World Cup.

So while I might not be working with them, I would not have work without them.  So for that, I thank you J.A.


It took just one week for me to land this job… Please, don’t be fooled.  It takes time, it takes patience, it takes belief, it takes commitment, it takes work.  And remember, I haven’t even done anything yet!


For Updates during the World Cup Follow Me:

Twitter: @FabioRamon, Instagram: Freakifabi

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The Moment of Truth


I am struggling hard right now to put this all into words.  I want to say things but don’t know how to say them.  Here goes nothing:


I’ve experienced a lot here in South America.  I’ve been famous and been homeless; been rich and been poor; broken hearts and been left heartbroken.

I recently watched this commencement speech by Charlie Day of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  In it, he mentions the risk and struggles it took to get to where he is today.  In particular, he asked himself If I’m going to fail, where would I want to fail.  That is a daunting question.  It’s like picking your poison.  Would you rather die the slow painful death, or simply get it over with?    Either way you are going to die.  Either way you are going to fail.

When I came to Brazil, I thought things were gonna be easy.  I would learn the language, make money doing freelance work, find me a Brazilian wife, etc.  I never thought about the difficulty of learning a new language would be, or what would happen if I lost jobs, or how wild these Brazilian women really were.  I failed often, I failed miserably.


In my first month in Brazil I was on the field for the Copa do Brasil Final.  In this past video, I was given exclusive access to the Confederation of South American Soccer.   On June 8th, I fly to Salvador Brazil to begin a month long journey that covers Natal, Sao Paulo, Recife, and Rio de Janeiro.  At 23 years old, I am getting paid to tell stories of the 20th installment of the 2014 World Cup.

Today, I speak to you as a man who does not have a lot of money.  A man who is sleeping on a couch that he doesn’t fit on.  A man who made his parents regret letting him go to Brazil in the first place.  A man who lost his job.  A man who lost another job.  A man who girls dismiss because he only has one pair of shoes he wears with everything.  A man who people have quit on.  A man who got kicked out of his own godmother’s house.  A failed man. A blessed man.  A man who’s just getting started.



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Going in


When you don’t have money, you gotta get creative.  For the record, sneaking into golf courses isn’t something I’m proud of.  I would rather have the money to be a member myself.  With that being said, I don’t, and it is what it is…


What happened in Paraguay was a full country protest because of the capitalistic approach the country is taking under new president Horacio Cartes.  The campesinos will not receive as much assistance as they have gotten in the past which is why they came to protest.  However, the counter argument is that a lot of these people do not work and live solely from their government support.  Is it fair that they get to survive off someone else’s expense?  Should the government take responsibility for the lower class’s struggle?

As I said in the video, I don’t have a particular stance to the issue.  Paraguay is a developing country that is going through changes for the better or worse.  It is a growing process that every country goes/is going through.  I chose to focus my attention on the protest itself.  All week I have been hearing from national media to stay inside my house because there was going to be a lot of violence throughout the city.  Family and friends were warning me of “the dangers.”

I almost stayed home, but I was actually extremely hungry and was craving my favorite restaurant downtown, El Bolsi.  After driving through somewhat of a ghost town, I got to el Bolsi which was packed as usual. (I swear the place is never empty).  After seeing how surprisingly calm it was, I decided to break out the camera and head into the heart of the protest.  I first had to ask permission to enter the protest zone (The area blocked off by the people with sticks in their hands).

After letting me in, I was going around and taking it all in.  To be honest, a lot of the people protesting were very uneducated and could barely speak Spanish (Speaking Guarani, the native indian Paraguayan Language).  When I asked them why they are protesting, a common response was “Para Nos Derechos.”(For our Rights).  Of course, I never actually found out what those rights were (I don’t think most people actually knew), I was pleased at how peaceful things were being communicated.  Protest leaders would take their turn preaching while the crowd would rejoice in support as police and military officials stood strong looking on.  No violence, no danger.  A simple of a protest as I have ever attended.  Thanks for the drama media.


Change or no change, kudos for keepin it cool.



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Undercover Gringo

As i said in the last episode, call this a new season. I’m switching up styles and will be telling stories from the past in correlation with what’s currently happening in my life. The first story comes from early March, right after my Carnaval video.  A big time TV Station in Brazil, Bandierantes, asked me to do a three-day undercover Gringo segment.  The segment included me going around to different spots in the city to see whether the Curitibanos were ready to receive tourists.

Here are the three segments:

Day 1


The first day I was taken to the airport and asked to order a coffee. When no one at the place can help me out, a customer is forced to step in.  Thankfully, the peroson at the information desk spoke English.  If there’s one person that should speak English at the airport I would assume it would be him.

At the airport, I got in a cab and asked him to go downtown to a plaza.  The guy’s name was Antonio.  He lived in Boston for 5 years, yet spoke almost no English.  (Crazy how far I have come to learn Portuguese in only 6 months).  Regardless of not speaking the language, he figured out a way to help me out, and even let me off when I didn’t have enough money.  (You don’t have to speak English to help a someone out!)


Day 2

After taking the cab downtown, I asked directions to the Botanical Garden.  Some people ignored me, some people told me the wrong direction, one person pointed me in kind of the right direction, and one person actually helped me.

Next, I went into a pharmacy telling the pharmacist I was feeling sick.  No one at the place spoke English and they told me to go to another pharmacy because they could not assist me.  At the second pharmacy, the manager spoke little English, but still managed to help me out… I mentioned Carnaval and he instantly gave me hangover medicine.  I actually told him it was something I ate but I guess it’s close enough right? It goes to show how important communication is when being sick in another country.  I really don’t know what chemicals I am putting into my body.  Better hope this stuff works!


Day 3

The last day brought me to the bus station where I had to ask people which bus I needed to take to get to the Iguazu Falls. One lady told me the complete opposite direction(I hope by accident), while a man who did not speak a lick of English read my body language and took me right to the ticket office.  At the ticket office, it was easy to communicate because the computer screen was there.  Thankfully numbers are universal.  Finally, I went and ordered food from this total babe who not only spoke English, but was studying Italian while working her tail off.  She even cut Sabrina off mid interview to help out a customer all while making cooking empanadas look sexy… Like i said total babe.  Keep studying those languages girl!


Final thoughts on this social experiment.

1. Be nice, smile, and try your best to communicate with body language and basic vocabulary and people will usually be receptive.

2. People should really try to learn a second language.  If I could have just spoken Portuguese, I would have had no issues.

3. Language doesn’t stop people from helping you, but the desire to help does




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Real Talk


Fabnation, I’m back.  Once again sorry for leaving on such short notice.  As you can see, I am in a bit of a rut right now.  While most people’s Instagrams and Facebooks might say different, life abroad is one tough cookie. I came to Brazil to prepare myself to film/work during the 2014 World Cup.  With a month away, that is all in jeopardy…


I was hesitant in sharing all of this for a few reasons, but the main one is my mother.  She doesn’t like me sharing to people that I am struggling.  Like all good mothers, she wants people to see her son succeeding, happy, and a man that people can be proud of.  She doesn’t see the big picture that I envision.  I believe a lot of kids are in my position right now.  I also believe that I can change things and one day become that successful happy man that she can be really proud of.  But for now, I have to show the universe a taste of reality and use this skill I have to connect with others.

With that being said, things haven’t all been bad.  As I said, life abroad is one tough cookie.  But that cookie can be fucking delicious at times.  I have been traveling South America interviewing for positions and have met a lot of unique people along the way: you will meet them soon enough.  My Portuguese has gotten to the point to where I travel to Paraguay, my country of origin, people think I’m Brazilian.  I am in great physical shape, and only getting better.  I am becoming a better man.  I am becoming a better person.

While most may see this as a dilemma, I see this as an opportunity.  I am now a free agent.  An experienced, talented, trilingual, hungry prospect who has yet to enter his prime.  While I can’t control who hires me, I can continue to improve myself.  And when opportunity comes knocking, you already know I’ll be answering the door.


So what now?  Well, if I don’t find a job covering the World Cup, I will have to find a job to survive during the World Cup. Whether it’s teaching english, working at a restaurant, tour guide, etc.  I also am still waiting to hear back on some offers.  So you never know! But really it’s out of my hands.  Just know the cameras will be rolling, and my WC experience will be shared.  Regardless, I will be here battling, so stay tuned.


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Carnaval Part 2: The Bagual

What is a Bagual? A Bagual is wild, tough horse that cannot be conquered.  A man from from Southern Brazil that is fierce and brave.  Eu sou Bagual…

Something I hear from people, magazines, and television shows all the time is, “It’s hard to meet people after college.”  Not only do I hear it, I experience it on a regular basis.  Remember when you could just go walk out to your quad, your cafeteria, your dorm, and simply walk up to people and introduce yourself?  Something about doing that as an adult is extremely weird.  Understandably so.  By now, you should already have your core friends (Wish I could have them here with me), a direction, a goal, etc.  Right?

The truth is, most of us don’t.  And even if we do, when does it go exactly as planned?  I thought that coming to Brazil, things were going to be easy.  I would have a place to live, jobs would be coming in left and right, and ladies would be on me like mosquitos have been.  Within 2 months I found myself alone, broke, and feeling empty.  It is now 4 months in.  The Halfway point of my time here in Brazil.  I am better, stronger, wiser, but still a long way from where I want/need to be…


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Carnaval was one of the best weeks of my life.  The partying was the best I have experienced, don’t get me wrong; but what made Carnaval truly amazing was it’s aurora.  For 5 days, I was surrounded by people my own age who come from all different parts of the world.  There were no problems, no stress, no worries.  Just a beautiful beach, beautiful people, beautiful souls, and beautiful fun.  If there was a paradise, I was just there.  And you bet your ass I’m going back.

For now, Carnaval seems almost like a dream.  Did that actually happen? As I step back into reality, I wake up to the World Cup less than 3 months away.  Wow.  My main obstacle is right in front of me, and I need to be at my best in order to conquer it.  This is a lot easier said than done.  For one, I do not have a solid job yet.  My Portuguese is very good, but I still need to improve my writing.  And my plan; well, let’s just say, what plan?  And I thought things were hard in the past… What am I in for?

I can’t say I know what’s coming.  I wish I had a solid plan, but I don’t… yet.  For now, I will have to take whatever punch is thrown my way, and take my shots when I have the opportunity.  Carnaval is over.  Time to get to work.



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Carnaval Part 1: Lepo Lepo




I can’t count the number of times I heard the song Lepo Lepo in the course of 5 days.  Everywhere I went, people were jamming out and doing the dance:



In essence, this is what Carnaval is about.  For 5 days, your status (financial, social, work, etc.) doesn’t matter.  Carnaval is a time where everyone celebrates being alive and having fun.  In this video, I step away from the work hard mentality to focus on a big aspect of Brazilian culture: Party.

I am going to try my best to put Carnaval in an American perspective…

Imagine: The whole country gets a vacation.  Really, take that in.   It’s incredible when you step back and really put it into perspective.  You know that night before Thanksgiving when all your friends are in town and everyone is getting wasted because no one works on Thanksgiving.  It’s awesome!  Now imagine that for 5 days straight.  And you don’t have to be at your dinner table the next day.  You have the opportunity to plan a real vacation for almost a week.  All your friends are down because they also have off.  Your friend who took that job out in Chicago, he’s off.  Your friend who’s family moved to North Carolina after high school, he’s in.  Those girls you met on spring break in Cali your junior year of college, they’re down. The entire country has off!!! This is Carnaval in a nutshell.  An opportunity for people once a year to take a break and enjoy living.  Because life should be enjoyed…

So you and your friends are having a great time.  But the thing is, it’s not just you and your friends.  Remember, that part about ENTIRE COUNTRY HAVING OFF! So other people your age are also there with their friends…. You see where I’m going with this?  I haven’t even introduced the new friends I made… yet…


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Under Construction


Opportunities are happening for me in Brazil.  Slowly but surely, I am getting more freelance offers and opportunities that are opening up even more doors.  With that being said, I have a long way to go…


When I left on this Finding Adulthood expedition, I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish that would ultimately lead me to where I wanted to go.  It is not as if I turned on a switch and I instantly became an adult.  This adulthood idea is more of a process: a process that is constantly under construction.  You see, there is only so much I can plan.  I can’t predict what life will throw at me.  What I can do, however, is better myself to be more capable of handling whatever comes next.

There are many days where I wake up not wanting to work.  It’s natural to feel that.  But what separates the greats from the rest is that they put in the work when no one else does.  You aren’t just born great.  Or maybe you are.  Regardless, you have to go out and show it.

As stated in the video, Curitiba is one of the most organized and modernized cities in all of South America.  But just because they are elite on paper, it does not exempt them from doing their job.  They had 6 years to construct this stadium, yet with 3 months until the World Cup, they are still far from completing construction.  This looks bad for a city that is admired for its organization and planning.  Just because you are great, it does not give you the excuse to slack off.

Right now, I am on the brink of something big.  I am very close, I can feel it.  With that being said I have caught myself slacking off a bit.  Keeping focused on the task at hand can be difficult.  One once said, “you have to want to succeed as badly as you want to breathe.”  I can honestly say I am not there yet; but that path, is Under Construction.


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The Beginning


Every story has a beginning… and here is mine.  I moved to Brazil in order to learn portuguese and begin a world cup documentary.  I thought it would be easy.  Turned out it was not.  Turned out it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.  Turns out it was the best thing I’ve ever done.

After so much positive feedback from my blog, I decided to start a Kickstarter in order to take my blog to the next level.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

To you, the reader/viewer: Thank you.  You are the reason why I am doing this.  I hope that you are feeling something through my journey.  Happy, funny, nostalgia, drama, anything.  Who knows, maybe I even inspire you to take your own quest to Finding Adulthood.  Regardless, thanks for watching/reading and please continue to do so.  Because as long as you’re there, I will continue to be here.


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Free Time

Obviously my living situation isn’t ideal (living on a couch half my size), but having an amazing fam more than makes up for it.  Incase you were wondering, we speak Spanish at home.  Nimio, a Paraguayan who moved to Brazil at 19, speaks to Cristian in Spanish so that he will never forget his roots. It is very similar to how my parents raised me.  It’s weird how at my godmother’s (a woman who has known me my entire life) I felt like I was a guest, but at Nimio’s, I truly feel at home.  Can’t say I’m anything less than blessed.


Free time is one of the most underrated aspects of adulthood.  Adults would always tell me “you’re in college, live it up.  It only goes downhill from here.”  Obviously college was awesome.  So much free time, hanging out with friends, little responsibility, etc.  You get it.  But just because I am now an adult, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy my time off.

As an adult, the stakes are raised.  Every decision now comes with a consequence and suddenly, little aspects of life are of more importance. We are held to a higher standard and more than often have to police ourselves.  With that being said, constantly worrying about life is fucking STRESSFUL!  And if I was constantly working 24/7, I don’t think I would make it past 30.

Most people do not have the choice of how much free time they are allotted.  Responsibilities vary from each individual.  Regardless of how much time you have, the important part is what you are doing with that time that you are given.

Personally, I have been going through a struggle with nightlife.  I really don’t enjoy going out as much as I used to.  The hangovers are brutal, i waste a lot of money, and nothing good happens after 3am. So that’s easy, don’t go out, Right?  Too bad most kids (particularly ladies) my age in Brazil live for parties.  Ultimately, I control what I do with my free time. By filling up my free time with other activities, such as playing basketball, going to the gym, and creating FnA eps, it has allowed me to free my mind up of other stresses that are going on in my life.   Allowing that little kid to come out allows my spirit to blossom.  Furthermore, my work is positively affected by it!  What do you like to do with your free time?

Happy Superbowl! Go Bears!



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