Tag Archives: soccer

Shaking things up

I’m just hours away from embarking on the biggest adventure of my life. I’ve taken trips before and had experiences in my life, but nothing like what’s about to take place over the next two-and-a-half weeks.

On Thursday night, I leave for Dubai with my buddies Cole and Sam. We’ll spend three nights in a city that a coworker described to me as “Vegas on steroids.” And because I’ve never been to Las Vegas, I don’t have the slightest idea what that means.

The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The Burj Khalifa. Yup, I'll be there.

We have several activities planned for Dubai. We’ll be visiting the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest building in the world. It’s not often that you can view the world from the such a vantage point, so we’re gonna give it a shot. We also have plans to going skiing / snowboarding at the ski resort in the Mall of the Emirates and sandboarding out in the desert. There’s a lot crammed into a short amount of time in Dubai, but I doubt it’s going to be enough.

From there, we board a plane for Johannesburg, South Africa, host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. But before we partake in the world’s greatest sporting event, we’ll take a short road trip to the east coast of Africa, more specifically, Maputo, Mozambique.

Supposedly, Mozambique has some spectacular beaches. And though it’ll be early winter while we’re in the southern hemisphere, we figured we’d regret not having a look.

The drive to Maputo may be the most exciting, and simultaneously nerve-wracking, part of the trip. Driving on the wrong side of the road. Trekking across a country that in our lives we’ve yet to step foot in. Avoiding some notoriously greedy cops. All of these factors are in play and I have no idea what to expect.

Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Soccer City Stadium, home of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Yup, I'll be there too.

Following the Mozambique road trip, we return to Johannesburg for the duration of our adventure. The majority of what we have scheduled in Johannesburg is World Cup-related, but I’m sure we’ll carve out some time to dabble in some local sightseeing.

Finally, we depart Johannesburg on June 24 and spend the better part of the next day-and-a-half traveling back to the US.

I’m nervous about this trip for several reasons. I don’t know how much money I’ll end up spending. I’m generally a little nervous flying, and eight- and twelve-hour flights are a bit long for me. There are some terrorism concerns about a large event like the World Cup. There are safety concerns going to the Middle East and Africa. Luckily, none of these things are deterrents by any means. (Side note: big thanks to the writings of Tyler Tervooren and Chris Guillbeau for easing my fears.)

I think since I’ve finished college, I’ve gotten bored. I’ve become complacent in my daily life, whether it be work, or social, or recreational. I think I’m desperate to shake things up and step out of my comfort zone. Hopefully this trip will afford me the opportunity to expand my horizons and find a renewed sense of enthusiasm in my day-to-day.

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Chelsea v. Club America: Road Trip

It took me about a week to finally post these, but I’ve got media from the Chelsea v. Club America soccer match at the New Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The two teams were playing in a preseason friendly in the lamely-named World Football Challenge.

A buddy of mine’s company that he works for and his dad owns has season tickets to the Cowboys, so he was able to purchase the seats for us.

We asked him to get the $50 seats for us and it turns out that his dad bought the lower level seats and paid the difference for us. The result was that we ended up sitting closer to the field than we ever will again for a sporting event at New Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

So the following is the pictures and a video of our night at the match.

Yep, we parked about a mile away. But it still cost us $20. Thanks Jerry Jones.

Yep, we parked about a mile away. But it still cost us $20. Thanks Jerry Jones.

If you look close to that red car, there's a middle-aged couple making out in the parking lot. Classin' it up.

If you look close to that red car, there's a middle-aged couple making out in the parking lot. Classin' it up.

We walk into the Stadium and immediately are offered $8 beers. Nah, I'm good.

We walk into the Stadium and immediately are offered $8 beers. Nah, I'm good.

This was the view from our seats. Luck doesn't even being to describe it.

This was the view from our seats. Luck doesn't even being to describe it.

If you hadn't already heard, this stadium is huge.

If you hadn't already heard, this stadium is huge.

Those two water bottles? $5 each. It's not from the fountain of youth, I checked.

Those two water bottles? $5 each. It's not from the fountain of youth, I checked.

You know, just watching some soccer in HD. How many Best Buy gift cards would I have to save to get that?

You know, just watching some soccer in HD. How many Best Buy gift cards would I have to save to get that?

Hey there's players out there warming up. Must be getting closer to kick-off.

Hey there's players out there warming up. Must be getting closer to kick-off.

Single-file lines everybody.

Single-file lines everybody.

For some reason Garth Brooks was there. And for some reason there was a coin toss. And for some reason Garth Brooks did the coin toss. Confusion all around.

For some reason Garth Brooks was there. And for some reason there was a coin toss. And for some reason Garth Brooks did the coin toss. Confusion all around.

It just ain't a soccer match without smoke in the stands.

It just ain't a soccer match without smoke in the stands.

In the end, Chelsea won 2-0 and won the World Football Challenge. That trophy is definitely going in their museum.

In the end, Chelsea won 2-0 and won the World Football Challenge. That trophy is definitely going in their museum.

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