The World Cup & Me
Our lives are measured in milestones: birthdays, anniversaries, and major life events. But for fans of the Beautiful Game, they’re also measured in World Cups, when “real life” takes a backseat every four summers and the world focuses its attention on a month-long football fiesta.
You never forget your first World Cup experience. Mine was 1998 after the Euro 96.
Japan 2002, when I resolved to wake up early to watch the games (given the time difference UK), and actually managed to see all 64 matches. The opening match had coincided with school, and every day onwards, we’d have a kickabout with friends match ball in the evenings until 10pm..
Then came Brazil 2014, It was early on in the same year me and friends conceived of the idea of actually travelling to Brazil and experiencing the biggest football tournament on Earth in its spiritual home. Months had gone by and slowly but surely everyone pulled out of the trip and i was still hooked on going then it came down to the last day before the tournament and i just went ahead and booked....OMG
Planning the Trip
And so I got to work, I scraped together a few thousand pounds and make the trip happen. This was all before I discovered Miles & Points, and I was mainly concerned with finding the cheapest cash fares to Brazil during what would surely be an immensely popular time to travel, Eventually, I found a ₤800 fare from London Heathrow to Rio de Janeiro on Emirates via Dubai, While the Direct flights were starting at ₤1500, so i went ahead and pressed “Book”, splashing out a large chunk of budget on the flights.
So onto HostelWorld, looking for shared hostels that fell within my limited budget, eventually securing a bed for 20 nights in a hostel in Rio’s Botafogo district that looked like it would do the job just fine.
Overall, I think I had budgeted around ₤3,500 for the entire trip, and half of that was already spent on flight and hotel bookings.
While getting readyto leave for the trip, my friends and family members would invariably remark at how worried they were for my safety on this trip.
Like many places outside of the developed world, Brazil is a place whose unsavoury reputation in the media can often get ahead of itself, leading to a never-ending stream of concern from those around me as to whether I’d get robbed, stabbed, or worse.
For my part, I mostly fended off these concerns with “I’LL BE OK”