It's good to see you...
Welcome to The Sports Explorer. Thank you for visiting, in these very early stages of the website.
For the first ever post on The Sports Explorer blog, I wanted to write something to give you an idea of what I hope this website will achieve, what it will be useful for and how it will hopefully provide you with inspiring adventures, experiences and activities that you can enjoy and ones that you may not have thought about doing in destinations around the world. It is a platform to tell the story of our world through sport and adventure. In time, my hope is that The Sports Explorer will become a trusted resource for your sport and adventure planning. Whether that is visiting that sports event you have always wanted to attend, or going on that adventure, no matter how big or small, either whilst you are on your travels or perhaps something that is a short distance from your home but you have never explored.
What is The Sports Explorer all about?
Now, I would like to make it clear, The Sports Explorer is not a website where I claim to be ultra-fit, give you advice on the best diet, run 5 marathons a week and climb a mountain every morning before breakfast all before uploading a post to boast about my incredible fitness.
To prove the above, the longest distance I’ve ever run is a 10k. I once took part in a 92km cycle not long before Christmas and was overtaken by a cyclist dressed up as Santa Claus. That should give you an idea of my athletic prowess. But, what I do love is being outdoors and being adventurous; exploring and learning about the world we live in.
This website and The Sports Explorer You Tube channel is a culmination of my love for exploring, being outdoors, going on adventures, visiting incredible sporting events, telling a story, broadcasting, writing, photography and travelling.
In a nutshell, The Sports Explorer is all about exploring our world through sport & adventure. Adventures, experiences and activities that the everyday person can do, something for all forms of fitness and to tell you the best ways to experience some of the world’s best sporting events. All while learning about the world we live in.
The Sports Explorer will hopefully inspire and guide you to adding something different to your weekend, vacation and travels. Sitting by the pool is no bad thing on holiday, but there is always room for a little adventure. In the simplest of forms, this is a travel blog but not based on a destination’s cuisine, hidden gems or most luxurious hotspots; rather a travel blog which explores our world through sport & adventure.
Take Dubai for instance – my home on and off for the past 12 years. You may think Dubai is 5* hotel after 5* hotel, but just an hour out of town, you are greeted with some incredible adventures to enjoy. Through those adventures, I aim to tell the story of that destination and guide you on how best to experience that adventure. They may be adventures you can enjoy in one day, or perhaps longer form adventures too.
The Sports Explorer, exploring the world through sport & adventure. Got it? Good, I’m glad we got there. And just to add – that’d doesn’t mean cuisine, hotspots, little gem’s etc won’t be mentioned at all… because I might say, “after kayaking in this incredible destination, you can grab a wonderful lunch at the this perfect little hidden away gem…” You get it. Let’s move on.
The birth of The Sports Explorer
I first had the idea to launch The Sports Explorer three years ago. I was living in London during a two-year stint away from Dubai broadcasting for various networks such as CNN and BT Sport.
The initial idea of The Sports Explorer, in its very early form popped into my head as I was strolling along the River Thames in London one sunny day when the Boat Race happened to be on in 2017. As I was rediscovering London myself, it was a joy to soak up the atmosphere along the river with thousands of people watching the race. I spent the afternoon however trying to find the best viewing point on the river to watch the race, wondering if there was a brilliant pub to settle in to with a great view of the action. I wondered what I might be missing out on and I also began to think about the Boat Race and what a brilliant piece of culture it was for London. I suddenly wanted to create a platform that told the story of our world through sport & adventure. Discover cities and countries through their sporting events and sporting history and explore those destinations through adventure.
For the next three years not a day went by without thinking about The Sports Explorer. At times I would work on ideas and stories I wanted to do, I would think about how I could go about it but in real life, I was working full-time, I moved back to Dubai, I had a social life and when it came to going on holidays, I would sit by a pool in a hotel somewhere around the world and yes... think about The Sports Explorer. You’ll notice I use the word ‘think’ and not ‘do’.
Suddenly three years had passed by and it was 2020 – was I ever going to get this idea off the ground…
A new world…
Ironically, I find myself launching The Sports Explorer – essentially a global travel blog where travel is fundamental to the very core of the platform - at a time when international travel is all but impossible, or at least severely disrupted for the most of us.
However, when you are suddenly placed in lockdown, and as the normal bustling day-to-day life is halted in a similar way to an emergency brake being applied on a London Underground tube train, I found myself in a position as we all were, working from home with no plans for the weekend ahead of me, no plans after work or indeed, no plans for quite some time. In Dubai, we could only leave the house once every three days for a supermarket trip. In a one bedroom apartment, with a quick walk down the fruit & veg isle of my local supermarket suddenly the highlight of my week – my mind quickly turned to The Sports Explorer and the fact I hadn’t had a chance in normal life to get it going. Now was the time.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on us all, anxiety levels through the roof, more time on our hands that we care to wish for and a sudden black hole looking forward. All plans on hold, that summer vacation that we were looking forward to out the window. For me, I found myself becoming very nostalgic, my mind suddenly bringing old memories to the forefront – a huge shift from my normal relentless looking forward nature. We have all had to learn a new way of life for the time being, adjust and take care of ourselves more than ever and for me, once in lockdown I decided it was now or never. I had to get The Sports Explorer up and running. I had to create a positive outlet, hone in on my passions and look forward to brighter days. So here we are…
Let’s start exploring…
I don’t know about you but through the past few months of lockdowns, travel restrictions and a realisation that travel for the next couple of years at least is going to be disrupted, my lust for travel, adventures and experiences has gone off the charts. I must have watched more travel content on YouTube recently than episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine when I was a toddler. I watched a lot of Thomas the Tank Engine. I think I thought I was Thomas the Tank Engine, only confirmed in my own mind as we share the same name. I still sometimes catch myself whispering ‘choo choo’ to myself. Sorry, I’m going off track…
As many global travel restrictions are still in place (trust me, I’m writing this post whilst on annual leave and sat in my apartment despite spending hours looking at what international travel may be possible and trying to remember what it is actually like to book a hotel) my initial focus for The Sports Explorer is going to be the United Arab Emirates, my home. That seems like a good idea though – borders are open here and tourists are welcome and as I know only too well, there is plenty to explore within the city’s of the UAE but even more so out in the deserts and mountains. At this early stage of The Sports Explorer, for residents of the UAE and incoming tourists, maybe this website can inspire us to get out again, maintaining all necessary precautions of course.
As global travel restrictions ease over the next few months and years I will take the blog and YouTube channel further afield. But, like all great things (a little presumptuous I know but you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing) we begin small and build as we go. This is only the beginning of The Sports Explorer I hope and I hope you can follow my journey but more importantly be inspired and find The Sports Explorer as an informative, trusted resource and guide for your next adventure.
So with that, I hope you enjoy the content I post on both The Sports Explorer blog and The Sports Explorer YouTube channel (please subscribe, like and comment). Stay safe on your travels and I hope, in time, The Sports Explorer community will expand and we can build a global network of explorers.
See you soon, Tom.
Ps. Please forget the fact I mentioned I sometimes whisper ‘choo choo’ to myself.