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  >  Chronicles   >  Volleyball: How a Sport Is Part of My Travels
Many of us have a reason for traveling or someting that kinda motivates us and take us further. In my case, there has been a sport that has done it.

Volleyball - Title

It was January 2014, I was just celebrating that I finished my Bachelors in Foreign Languages and Spanish Studies. The truth is that I did not have a concrete plan of what to do with my life afterwards. I started to work in a book store, which was one of the long time goals since I am a huge literature fan (did “Spanish Studies Major” ring any bell?). I had not even planned to started to blog by then, I knew that I had to work a little, save some money and maybe go abroad to use that TEFL Certificate that I just had gotten.

In the other hand, my story with volleyball begun when I was like 8 years old. I played for 10 years, I suffered many injuries and I was always condemned to be a mediocre player, and I don’t feel bad about saying it. I remembered that in Summers, when I attended the Volleyball Camp my favorite moment instead of playing in the court was when we went to the classroom to discuss some theory (yay me! always a huge nerd even for sports!) Most of my coaches were always impressed because since I was 13 I had a good eye for strategy and analysis. Once again, that’s what happens when you are a nerd!

After many years of playing, watching, following, learning volleyball guess what I did? Of course, what nerds do! I got a FIVB Level I Coach Certificate. Ok, translating a little bit: I became certified as a Volleyball Coach for the International Volleyball Federation, even though I have never used it. But yeah, that was my relationship with the sport until that day.

That day…

When I talk about that day, I am talking about that period of time when I was already a College Grad and a Bookstore employee and it just a few days after starting to work there. On that day I received a direct message on Twitter with a proposal from a friend —who happens to be a Professional Volleyball Player— asking if I wanted to visit her. There was not too much to think: I said YES immediately, even if that costed me losing that “amazing job” in the Bookstore. As you might noticed, I have not mentioned the destination yet… it was Baku, Azerbaijan. Something that does no happen twice in a life time!

Crystal Hall - Champions League 2014 - Traveleira.com

The way the Baku Crystal Hall looks when there are Volleyball Practices

I ordered my visa, packed everything and went to Baku. It was going to be the CEV Champions League Final Four and I know I need to translate again: European Volleyball has a Champions League just like Football and my friend was going to play there, against many of the most famous volleyball players in the world. Me, that same girl who has always been a Volleyball Nerd was about to experience that for the first time.

That trip made me realize about two important things that I have only been able to understand just a few months ago: Traveling and Volleyball are two of the most important things in my life (besides Literature, Languages and Arts, which are important as well!) That is the reason why in August me and one of my best friends started Volleyball Connection, a blog about the sport that we love and that have definitely taken us places in our careers and in some other aspects of our life. So yes, as you can tell, I blog x 2, but it does not really matter when you are doing things you love.

VoleiConnection.com - Traveleira.com

My loved voleiconnection.com

On my most recent trip to Europe in October, Volleyball WAS an important aspect. In Slovenia I met with a Sports Journalist friend who took me to one of the local teams practice. I was able to watch their debut, yes, once again for this years Champions League. Later on that same trip I found out I did not have a structured plan for one of the weeks, so, guess how I decided where to go? I let Volleyball decide!

CEV Champions League Ticket - Traveleira.com

Tickets for the Champions League Game in Slovenia

I knew I was going somewhere in Italy, because I needed to go to Norway later on and the closest international airports(and cheaper!) to Ljubljana where I could take a plane to go to Oslo were definitely in Italy. It was all about thinking which team or which players I wanted to see the most. And let me tell you that watching a game in Italy was in my bucket list for a real long time, and it was my moment! I analyzed, I thought about what was going to be better, I found my choice: I wanted to see Aleksandar Atanasijevic, Luciano De Cecco, Simone Buti and Emanuele Birareli: So I needed to head to Perugia!

Sir Safety Perugia - traveleira.com

This is what happines truly mean!

I took a bus from Ljubljana to Venice, another from Venice to Bologna, and the next one from Bologna to Perugia, but it was all worth it: I got to see some of the best volleyball and the best fans in the world!

Aaron Russell - traveleira.com

Oh well, I got a picture with Aaron Russell

There are definitely many volleyball + travel goals that have not been achieved yet. I can tell you that in my bucket list right now are: watching a game in Poland, one in Russia, and attending the Olympic Games and a World Championship. I hope it happens soon.

Brenda: + 32 years old + Puerto Rican + Viajera Boricua + Master in Cultural Tourism + Foreign Language Major + Hispanic Studies Minor + Portuguese + Italian + Russian + Literature Freak + ♥’s Indie Music + Volleyball Enthusiast + Tricolor do Morumbi(SPFC) + San Antonio Spurs +

Comments:

  • April 13, 2016

    Great post! It must be nice to combine sport with travel! Best regards

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  • April 13, 2016

    It’s amazing that two of your favorite things came together, travel and volleyball. Great that you were able to take advantage of the opportunity to go to Azerbaijan. My daughter likes volleyball, too. She’s in 7th grade at the moment, don’t know if it’s something she’ll keep up with, but she’s having fun.

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  • April 13, 2016

    Attending the Olympic Games & World Championship would be awesome!!! I can’t wait to see your posts 🙂

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  • April 13, 2016

    I love it when our seemingly really different passions come together! My other job/passion is science teaching … and I’m still waiting for the day I can visit the Galapagos to fulfill all my nerdy dreams 😉

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  • April 13, 2016

    I love how you’re following your bliss! And that you’re a fellow Latina Traveler! I rt@lavidasunshine and now following. Cheers!

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  • April 13, 2016

    Your title caught my attention right away and I love volleyball 🙂

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  • April 14, 2016

    I used to play sports as well when I was younger and I just love it how sport not only develops your body but it opens your mind and it can also open so many doors! Can’t wait to read your post about the Olympic Games! 😉

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  • April 14, 2016

    Wonderful story! I actually know someone who does the same as you, travels to see handball games. And guess what? She is from Slovenia! 🙂 It’s always nice to read about people’s passions and the sacrifices they do to be able to fulfill their dreams. I admire you for this!

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  • April 14, 2016

    I think it is an amazing & very original reason to travel. I always loved volleyball but I am soo bad at this.

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  • Elisa martinez

    April 15, 2016

    Cool read. Used to play sand volleyball in college for fun, miss that.

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  • April 18, 2016

    I love Volleyball, its a great game, have not played much but thoroughly enjoyed it whenever I did. Great to see you having a terrific time.

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  • Kat

    April 18, 2016

    It’s nice to hear that you’ve realized the most important things in your life and that you can enjoy both at the same time. Honestly, before reading this I thought travel is just about travel and it’s separate from other hobbies/aspects of life, unless it involves sports such as surfing. From reading your post, I can feel your excitement and happiness at travelling and enjoying watching volleyball games. 🙂

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  • April 18, 2016

    Volleyball is one of those sports that I wanted to do but couldn’t. For some reason, the ball keeps hitting my face. Looks like you had fun watching the tournament.

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  • April 18, 2016

    It is great that you can combine your two loves: travel and volleyball! Just goes to show that you can be passionate about a sport even though you are considered a “mediocore” player.

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  • April 18, 2016

    I’ve never really been interested in volleyball, but I do like baseball. I love working in baseball games when visiting new cities so I totally understand where you are coming from. It’s a unique way to experience a place and its culture. Happy that you found something to combine with your travels!

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  • April 18, 2016

    Awesome post! its nice to mix sports and travelling together!

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  • April 19, 2016

    A very interesting article! As someone who is quite active I can relate to wanting to keep up with it even when you are overseas. I also did a Spanish major at university haha! It has been a few years since I have spoken it but I can still understand and read it 🙂

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  • April 19, 2016

    Awesome! Nerds are the best people hehe. I like Volleyball too! but probably not the same as you. I’m still scared sometimes of getting hit by the ball. Haha. Good luck on achieving your dreams and goals! 🙂

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  • April 19, 2016

    I really find it awesome that you are able to add something that you are passionate about like volleyball to your travels. It just makes it that much more fun! Great post!

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  • April 20, 2016

    Looks likes you had so much fun! I played Volleyball too for a year and it’s so much fun! Met so many good friends too 🙂

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  • May 3, 2016

    My daughter is now 15 and she’s been playing volleyball all her life. She’s totally passionate about the sport and we as parents fully support her in this endeavor.

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