The world is a curious place. So many things to do, so many places to visit. And in all my forty-two years I’ve visited very little of it, which is kind of sad really. I’ve travelled, less than some, more than a few others. If I was to put a finger on it, I would say I’m an average human being who has only one problem when it comes to wanting to do and visit amazing places.
A distinct lack of finances.
If only I was a wealthy man I would spend my free time visiting the great places on the planet and finding that one magical place. The one I want to retire to.
The furthest North I have been; Perth, Scotland.
The furthest East I have been; Luddington, Michigan. (I find that one kind of weird! Don’t know why)
The furthest west I have been; Calella, Spain.
The furthest south I have been; Key West, Florida.
So how does one find the land of happiness if you can’t afford to travel out of your own back yard? Easy, you kill two birds with one stone. You find a hobby that gives you the opportunity to travel once in a while.
This is where I came up with the idea for my Soccer vacations, or “Soccercation” as I call it. Now the tournaments in Clio, Romeo and Coldwater Michigan where great. But not really what I’m looking for in a retirement destination.
In 2010 I was lucky enough to take a team down to Wellington, Florida to play in the AYSO national games. Wellington is the home of the International Polo Grounds and a great place to play soccer. One of the great things about Wellington though is its proximity to West Palm Beach. That is where we set up camp. Each night after the games we would end up sitting on Juno Beach watching the crystal blue water, picking up sea shells and genuinely being at peace with the world.
Last week I got lucky again and got to go to the 2012 National Games in Knoxville, Tennessee. Great soccer and great people. I must say I did enjoy the pool with a view of the main road, though the BBQ food was to kill for. And how can you not love a restaraunt called Soccertaco! I love my food, but so far I think that Florida has the lead on being a place to retire too. After all who wouldn’t want to live in Key West, or any of the keys for that matter.
But then my next Soccercation is in the planning stage right now. In 2014 the National games are in Santa Barbara, California. I’ve never been that far west on the planet so I’m looking forward to that, but other than the soccer I’m looking forward to doing something I’ve wanted to do even before I moved to the U.S. The great American road trip. Instead of flying, we are planning on driving the 2500 miles there. I will get to see America. Hundreds of different places, different mom and pop restaurants. The return leg has already become the most exciting because I can cross one of my bucket list things off. I am going to get the chance to go to Elephant Butte, New Mexico! Not only is the name funny but I hear it is a wonderful place to visit.
So my Soccercations will continue until I find that happy place where I can settle down and finish my days in peace and quiet. After all isn’t that what we all want in life. That little slice of heaven. I still think mine has a beach, and perhaps a wide-screen tv with the soccer channel on it.