This morning I woke up and had no idea where I was. I know this is typical for someone who has just travelled, but today it took longer than usual to figure out my exact location. Way too comfy to be on a plane. At Rosie’s house in New Zealand? The Airways Hotel in Papua New Guinea? Betsy’s house in New Zealand? No! I am back in Malmo at the Scandic Hotel, where I began my Swedish adventure two weeks ago. Let me take you through a quick recap:
Just a few days before I was scheduled to leave Duisburg for Auckland, I got a call from LdB FC Malmo asking for my availability for the first part of the Swedish season. It was a welcome call- my unforgettable time with FCR had come to an end, and with my inability to sign with a German team until July, I was once again without a team and without any games to prepare me for the Olympics. My plan was to return home and train with the wonderful David Copeland-Smith (BEAST MODE!) while I regrouped and waited for my next New Zealand camp. Now don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled about this prospect, and I couldn’t wait to be back in Pali with my family again. But the opportunity to be on a team, explore a new city, learn a new language, and play in one of the world’s best leagues was something I could not pass up. It just felt right.
Fast-forward a week, and I am already on the pitch in Malmo playing in the Supercup- an annual game to kick-off the new season that features a match between last season’s League Champions (us) and League Cup winners (Goteborg). Christen Press plays for Goteborg, so I had the pleasure of seeing a friendly face, although most of the game was spent chasing her down!
We came out winners in the 2-1 game, but my celebrations were brief because I was off to Auckland the next day! So after three action-packed days in Malmo, it was time to move on.
Copenhagen-Dubai-Brisbane-Auckland. Highlights: Staying with Rosie White and her family, feijoas, Piha beach, the new athlete’s lounge at Millennium Institute of Sport and Health, Olympic presentations, watching and critiquing the Hunger Games movie.
Auckland-Brisbane-Port Moresby. Highlights: 5-star Airways hotel, laying by the pool, fresh fish and papaya, QUALIFYING FOR THE OLYMPICS!
Port Moresby-Brisbane-Auckland. Highlights: staying in Takapuna with Bex and Betsy’s family, running on the beach, picking out dream homes, swimming in the ocean, feijoas, tasting Vegemite (and liking it), Easter egg hunt.
I was only in Auckland for 15 hours before I found myself en route to Europe. Although it was short, this was one of my favorite trips with the New Zealand team. I’ve never been able to spend time with my teammates off the pitch, or really get to know their families. It was a real treat. I am looking forward to heading back down under in June for our games against China and Australia, although there won’t be any ocean swims in the cards that time of year.
Auckland-Sydney-Dubai-Copenhagen. So now that brings me back to Sweden, where my tan is already disappearing, and my jacket and scarf have been dug back up. Until my apartment is furnished and stocked with food (impossible on Easter weekend), I am back at this hotel right in the heart of downtown Malmo. It’s great to be back, and this time I get to stay awhile. We head to Goteborg tomorrow for the first game of the season…here goes nothing!
PS: I have now seen Breaking Dawn part 1, Sherlock Holmes 2, The Three Musketeers, Tangled, Atlantis, I Don’t Know How She Does It, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, New Year’s Eve, In Time, Our Idiot Brother, and Hugo. If you need a movie review, let me know.