Monday morning, 14th July 2014. The World Cup in Brasil is over. What a month it has been. It seemed to go on for so long, but looking back has gone by so fast. Before the tournament began, there was all the talk of the unrest throughout local Brasilians for staging this tournament. Their essential needs for more schools and hospitals rather than hundred million pound stadiums near the Amazon rainforest. Yet, from all other nations in the world, probably the best location you could ever have a World Cup, albeit your own country hosting. The climate, the samba culture, the passion for football, the exotic surroundings, would have been new to many of the fans who flew into Brasil this last month, allbe with excitement and journeying into the unknown.
As a backpacker myself, beginning a trip throughout South America, really had to be in Brazil. A football-mad Englishman, to watch the world’s best tournament was a no brainer. However, it did bring a certain, holiday vacation feel to my experience here. A vast amount of guys, football mad, it has almost been like a giant bachelors party for the most of my time in Brazil. I look back now at the last 4 weeks, and treasure them times as some of the best in my life. At the time, it could be difficult to realise this. I think we are all guilty of looking back on something and reminisce on events, believing they were better than they actually were. In my case, the expectancy of mine was a little off, miscued. I should have expected a football tournament to be like it was. Beer, lads and football, just in a different, hot country. I look at all the new friends I have made, all here supporting their countries and teams passionately. Realising all their efforts to save money from their jobs, travelling thousands of miles, planning a trip like this for a couple of years, and this was the place where they could enjoy as it was time being paid off. Everyone was happy. Only one team can win the World Cup, and Germany throughout the tournament were the most consistent and deserved to win overall. But just to experience this country, in the most dominant and epic football tournament is something that will never happen again to us in our lifetimes. I miss the mingling, the new songs, the street parties, the build up to games, the moans, the cheers, the talking points. I realise that these faces, were here for Football. So many, maybe I will not see again. Many may not take a trip to the pending World Cups such as Russia or Qatar, and to be honest, I don’t blame them. Brasil was something special. So much to enjoy here. Such a great atmosphere it has been. I was foolish to want to find backpacking vibes straight away, I should have embraced and lived in the moment. No regrets however, it was superb. I do realise I’m fortunate to be here as they say, but this is something that has been planned WELL in advance too. Despite the World Cup, South America has always been inevitable for me. I’m proud and appreciative to have experienced such a mammoth event.
If you haven’t been to a World Cup, I recommend you go. Maybe it won’t be as exotic as Brazil was, the cultural aspects flowing in like one gigantic party, but to be surrounded by life from all corners of the world, is truly remarkable. This won’t be my last World Cup. I want to experience the different nations all happy in one place again. Almost, stuck in time, everyone was happy. No grudges or wars were made really. I think in life, whether you are on vacation, backpacking, to see someone happy, to be around them, you feel that energy. It’s amazing to feel that I assure you. I’ve felt that good energy in Asia, Australia and now South America. Materials could never make this sort of enjoyment. This World Cup brought people together, like many other World Cups…Brazil, what a place. Rio in particular was the one. The street parties of Lapa, dancing Chileans or strong in song Argentinians. The passionate Americans seeing their team doing better than expected. Excited Australians, enthusiastic Germans, and the wonderfully bewildered Costa Ricans to name a few. What an experience. And remember, I’m English, and England went out in a flash. I don’t think there are many places in the World where your nation goes out so quickly and without a fight, but for you to still love the place you are, become happy so quickly and forget the pain of the defeat. Brazil, FIFA World Cup, you have been incredible, and the best thing about it? Full of life, everywhere.