Living in Brighton, as much as I love it, is never sufficient to satisfy my wanderlust. As much as I enjoy a trip on the good old Brighton & Hove buses, it’s never sufficient. Sometimes I just have to get out of town. A day trip, with a sporting purpose, is something I always look forward too.
I support Brighton & Hove Albion, as any good football following local youngster should have recommended to them. So when the fixture list comes out in June it is a day of excitement, determining where a handful of trips will be located the following season.
Generally I would look to select maybe five days out a season. I tend to prefer trips about three hours long, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it makes it a fairly full day, and secondly, it’s about as far as the budget stretches. The occasional spur of the moment London trip does get thrown in, but that’s normally when the time suddenly becomes available.
I’ve been to over 75 league grounds during my time, mostly with the Seagulls, and this year threw up a new one, Yeovil Town, having passed up on the opportunity a few times before. Along with trips to Birmingham, Derby, Huddersfield and, in a couple of weeks time, Nottingham, Yeovil was another example of the importance I stress in my life of just seeing other pastures and enjoying time out, however uninspiring some of the visits may be to an outsider.
I try to make a point of having a look around a place before I visit a game. In August I visited a dear friend in Bromsgrove, who was recovering from a serious operation, before moving on to our first victory of the season at Birmingham City. Derby produced an opportunity to take a walk along the river and visit the cathedral, although a late arrival in Yeovil led me to take in the delights of a housing estate before taking in a drink at the only pub anywhere near the ground. It was at that game I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen for yonks, so the visit was more than made worthwhile.
I can see why many people enjoy away trips, not just for the game, but also to have a time away. When I was younger I was addicted to it, but now I go less I think I have learnt to appreciate things more. Let’s just hope there are some new grounds in the premiership to visit next year…