“Just play. Have Fun. Enjoy the game.” -Michael Jordan
Everyone can imagine savoring a nice fresh Italian pasta on the streets of Florence while the waiter Giuseppe offers you another glass of vino. When we think of culture, food and language seem to pop into the mind first and there is no doubt that these are some of the best aspects of visiting a new place. In between our constant taste testers, we believe that there is at least one other element of culture that we can be throwing in the mix, a sporting event.
Let’s think about what sports represent for a moment. Community, friendly competition, teamwork, individuals manifesting their potential, artistic expression. Sports bring people together. Whether it’s the World Cup of soccer, the Olympics or the World Juniors, people from all over the world get together to celebrate the best of their nations athletes. What was once fought out on the battlefield has turned into peaceful competitions with a whole lot of screaming.
Every country has their sport. Go watch a hockey game in Canada, a rugby match in New Zealand or a Futbol match in Brazil and you will start to see where the passion is. People go all in. They dress up in the nations colors, make signs that support the players and sing songs as loud as they can in order to drown out the visiting teams. The atmospheres are buzzing and many home crowds give themselves credit as the extra player that provides their team with the edge.
Sporting events are emotional. You witness roller coasters of ups and downs. The pain, the joy, the tension. Strangers suddenly have a lot in common and friendly banter between rivals can often bring a bit of humor to the inevitable sadness of losing. Of course some people get a little bit out of hand and the fanatics can get a little swept up in the group think, but this is a reality and all a part of the faith the people put on their squad.
One of the real benefits of going to a event like this is that it is easy to feel like a local. It doesn’t require that you speak the same language, or even like the sport at all, but simply just being there and singing a little bit will make anyone feel like they fit in right away. People take you under their wing, teach you about the customs, and teach you about the history. The history of sport tells us so much more about a country than just athletics. In many ways these events overcome the problems of politics, shine light on human rights issues and bridge the gap between our differences. We find strength as a civilization in our common quest for the expression of an individuals greatest abilities. Perhaps we get enthusiastic because we recognize our own ability to do great things as well.
The Lifestyle Project is more than happy to find the coolest local sporting events for you on our trip. We have benefited from having played sports growing up and learned many lessons about leadership, community and work ethic. We love the tradition and we love the positive impact that sport can have on the youth in our neighborhoods.
Go feel the passion. Get inspired and take part in the play.
Let’s change the way we travel, together.
The Lifestyle Project