I am on a plane heading from Delhi to London and am finally breathing. Long, deep breaths that fill me with glimpses of inner peace and coat the multitude of butterflies flying around my stomach. This peace is a nice respite from the last few days of madness. This is my fourth multi-week family/friend/business development tour of the UK and US and, even after experiencing the pre-trip preparation three times before, I still haven’t found a way to avoid the stress and madness which ensues the days leading up to my departure. I am literally “Tripzilla,” terrorizing my way through my office, gift stores and home making demands of anyone who is unlucky enough to be on my path and reminding all that “I only make this trip once a year” as if this information really matters to anyone but me.
This madness is a byproduct of my excitement and my excitement is a byproduct of the massive opportunity in front of me. Prior to moving to India, I dreamed of holding a position within Indian football which allowed me to connect the east and west through the beautiful game. Even before stepping onto Indian soil, I had pictured what it would be like to show up to Europe and the US straight off the plane from Delhi with presents, stories and a plethora of ideas on ways western football properties could build their brands within India while still developing the sport. I guess everyone just has something they feel they are meant to do in life and for whatever reason my gut and my heart tell me that this is my karma. Football & travel, I am truly a blessed person.
So now I’m on the plane with bags full of presentations, credentials decks, brochures and gifts. I surrendered to myself and realized that it’s just my nature to never show up to the West empty handed even if it means many stressful, forgettable hours in outdoor markets bargaining the price of painted elephants in broken Hindi in 115 degree humid heat.
I’m flying to London for a day trip. After that I’ll be heading to Los Angeles, Chicago, Kansas City, New York and then back to London, then up to Liverpool and finally back to Delhi. All in all it will be a month long trip, the longest I will have been a way from India since moving to the country 4 years ago. On the trip I’ll be meeting with everyone from top professional clubs, investment companies, leagues, agencies, media houses, federations, state associations, Indian cultural groups, service providers, etc... I’ll also be hosted at the Gold Cup Final, MLS All-Star Game, Guiness International Champions Tournament and Liverpool FC’s first match of the 2013/14 season at Anfield.
While I am excited to see family, friends and attend all of the football matches, my focus remains on the fact that I have a tremendous opportunity to pioneer the east-west connection to positively impact the global football landscape. I am clear that will make a difference through serving as a catalyst for the creation of investment opportunities, strategic partnerships and new pathways for Indian football talent.
Most people go through their whole lives never knowing their purpose, I feel blessed that I have not only found mine but existence has provided me the platform to go out and live it…