Month of Mayhem: Experience Soccer's Craziest Tournament While on Vacation
By Crystal McCormick
Even if your travel plans don’t include landing in Moscow, St. Petersburg, or any other Russian city this summer, chances are you will still feel the effects of the world’s largest soccer tournament being played from June 15 to July 15.
Expect to see hordes of travelers donning soccer jerseys, breaking out into anthems, and generally acting riotous in airports, bars, and hotels and resorts across the globe.
Every four years, the world collectively celebrates the planet’s largest sporting event with more than just a tinge of nationalistic pride.
Get ready. It could get crazy.
But far from fearing this fervor, the best way to approach it is to embrace it.
In destinations like Mexico, which has a particularly fanatical love affair with the sport, the country’s daily routine and business world come to a virtual standstill; while the partying and celebrating go into maximum overdrive.
The fact that Mexico is participating in the tournament will only add to the excitement. After all, there is no way to feel a closer kinship with people from another country than watching a game with them (and rooting for their team, of course!).
Want to make a lifelong Mexican chum? Jump and yell, “Si Se Puede!” (Yes we can!) , when “El Tri” (the nickname for Mexico’s national team) scores a goal or wins a game.
Throughout the country, the celebrations will be omnipresent and Moon Palace Resorts and Palace Resorts in Cancun, the Riviera Maya, and Los Cabos will give the quadrennial event its due.
While Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz did not qualify for this year’s tournament, the island nation won’t let that stop it from embracing the event, as love for the sport runs deep and long. None other than the country’s most iconic figure, Bob Marley, always had a soccer ball close to his feet and once famously told a journalist, “Football is Freedom.” It’s no coincidence that a statue of Marley graces the National Stadium in Kingston, where he once played with the national team.
Today, another legendary Jamaican, Usain Bolt, even chases dreams of being a footballer after hanging up his sprinting cleats. As for the rest of the island, expect them to follow suit and watch as if their own team was competing.
At Moon Palace Jamaica the resort will host watch parties for every game so that guests feel the true love of the game on the island.
5 Tips To Enjoying the Soccer Hysteria on Vacation
Get Ready to Faux Lip-Sync Anthems/Chants in Different Language
If you’ve ever been at a concert and felt out of place because you didn’t know the lyrics that thousands of revelers were singing, well, expect that feeling to return, in spades. You may know the lyrics to your own country’s anthem or soccer chants, but you’ll never know them to all 32 countries in the tournament, especially with the likes of Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and other smaller countries involved. Best thing you can do is put on a smile and move your lips without actually making any noise. Join the party.
Don’t Be Alarmed By Sudden Hysteria
Hearing and watching people break into instantaneous convulsions, both joyful and despondent, can be quite shocking. But you should get ready for it from June 15 to July 15. It’s going to happen. Prepare yourself to starting jumping for joy or offering condolences.
Prepare for Unexpected Hugs
The tournament is a time where public displays of affection come out to play. If you are on the street, or in a bar, or at the pool of your resort, and you suddenly hear a wave of euphoria take over all living things in your vicinity, get ready to embrace the person next to you. Just open your arms, they’ll come to you.
Careful What Color Shirt You Wear
Take this scenario. You’re at the Moon Palace Cancun resort enjoying a cocktail by the pool bar. Mexico is playing its inaugural game against the defending champions Germany. You find yourself in a sea of green shirts representing Mexico, and you just happened to wear that black, red, and orange t-shirt your wife gave you a while back. Only problem is, Germany’s colors are black, red, and orange. Things could get uncomfortable, and fast, especially if the Europeans score or win. Be aware of what you wear. For everyone’s sake!!!! (we’re only half joking here!)
Get Ready to Party
There will be joy and there will be tears. But whatever happens, there will be a celebration, an unadulterated party of pure joy, or a commiseration with tears flowing like Coronas or Red Stripes. Engage in the emotion. No matter what colors you wear or what country you root for, the spectacle brings everybody together to celebrate the world’s game.