1 World Cup Dream Come True

World Cup Dream Job - Brazil 2014
Looking out at all the action on Copacabana Beach from the Othon Palace in Rio yesterday before the adventure began.

Five years ago I laid out a plan to travel across South America and attempt to accomplish a goal in each country that I lived in.

The idea was to inspire others to “travel deeper,” and go outside the normal tourist spots to experience foreign countries like a local.

My dreams took me to learn Spanish and get a local job in Buenos Aires, Argentina, dance like a Colombian in Medellin, cook like a Peruvian in Lima, help build libraries in Sucre, Bolivia and help develop micro-financing loans in Solola, Guatemala.

The final mission of this five-year plan however proved to be the most difficult and intimidating to date.

The seemingly far-fetched goal was to live in Brazil and find a way to work at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Without knowing Portuguese or a single person, I moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in January and began the quest to live this dream.

Today, just a few hours before Brazil faces Croatia in the opening match, I can proudly report that I am writing this post from 30,000 feet in the air as I travel to Cuiaba, Brazil (close to the Pantanal) to begin a 17-day job working for the World Cup!

World Cup Dream Job - Brazil 2014
Saying goodbye to Rio for two weeks, but I will be back in time to watch the World Cup Final!

After months of emails, phone calls, failures and headaches, I found my dream job.

Over the next 17 days during the Group Round of the World Cup tournament, I will be following 1,600 Australian soccer fans across five Brazilian cities to film a daily video journal of their World Cup adventures.

World Cup Dream Job - Brazil 2014
Behind the Scenes of Australian Newscasters live report from Copacabana beach yesterday

The Fanatics are an Australian company that organizes tours to big events around the world and they’re pulling out all the stops for the World Cup.

In between games against Chile, Spain and the Netherlands, the gang from down under will be hosting pool parties, live music and match viewing events for all the games, every day.

While Australia isn’t favored to win the World Cup, they are one of the mostly likely teams to have a great time!

My job is to capture all the madness on film and post it to their YouTube channel (stay tuned for link) each day.

I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity and now I’m even more pumped up after being back in Rio for 24 hours and seeing the world of fans who are there and ready for the games to begin.

On June 27th, after their tour, I will return to Rio to attend a quarter-final match and watch the finals from the beach or outside the stadium.

From there, I will continue traveling the country with Visit Brasil, as I still have many things to see and do.

Simply put, this is a very happy moment. Now I just have to do a good job.

Stay up-to-date with all my World Cup adventures on the T2T Instagram page and Facebook as well.

Let the World Cup begin in 3, 2, 1…

My name is Gareth Leonard, a Marketing Director turned World Traveler with a passion for slow, meaningful travel. I have been traveling the world full-time for the past 9+ years and document it all on Instagram and YouTube. Come join me!


  1. The Aussies are truly an awesome bunch of true sports fanatics! I shared many of pints and songs during the first Rugby World Cup in 1987. They were wonderful hosts – along with the Kiwis – that tournament of which France made a surprise showing in the finals.

    I enjoyed playing at St. George’s and at Edens Park in Sydney and a pick up game in Toowoomba on my way to the quarter finals in Brisbane.

    I’m sure they will appreciate that you were named after a rugby player even if the wanker was Welsh… Make sure you send me a picture of you and a few of their brave “shooting the boot” !

  2. Congratulations and all the best during this next adventure! You really really really really deserve it! You have this super power known as “perseveration and dedication” of making all of your dreams come true!!! You are simply inspiring!!! You rock, Gareth!!!

  3. What an adventurous life Gareth is living and experiencing. No words to applaud. You have a travel bug in you. You should write a book on your journey started 5 years back. Congratulations and wish you greater success. Wish I was traveling with you.

    1. Thank you Sujeeth, hopefully one day I will write a book and this will only be the first chapter! : )

  4. Just met your Mom re-habing my wife after knee replacement. Was in Brazil for 2 weeks for USA matches and 3 days in the jungle. Great time. Have previous experiences, fantastic ones , with the Aussies. Wish I could have stayed longer. Am envious of you and your “job”. That would have been a dream of mine. Have made eveery World Cup since the USA in ’94. What experiences. Want to keep up with your travels and experiences. Need to do e-mail for me or this site of yours. Cheers, Rocky.

  5. I love when people respond to your blog posts with wonderment how you are able to succeed at being a world traveler and travel blogger. Sometimes the easiest way to start a journey is to jump! You have great posts, great pictures and a great life. Thank you for the inspiration. I am determined to do the same for my retirement, which will be starting shortly even though I am nowhere near 67 😉
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