Suman Pokhrel, CEO of International Money Express (IME), enjoys travelling and exploring new destinations. He mostly travels for business purpose and frequently goes to the Middle East, Malaysia and other Asian countries to attend business meetings. Despite being preoccupied with his business, Pokhrel finds time to explore the landmarks of the cities he visits.
Apart from travelling, Pokhrel is also passionate about football and describes himself as an enthusiast of the game. Tamish Giri of New Business Age caught up with Pokhrel to note down his remarkable trip to Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea Football Club, in London.
Connection with Football and Chelsea FC
I have been a football enthusiast since childhood. Back then, my friends and I used to play on the riverbanks of our village. Even though we didn’t have a proper pair of football boots or even a ground to play, we were happy to play the game. I still play futsal with my colleagues and enjoy it very much. Football brings great joy to me and has helped me to grow into a disciplined professional.
My passion for football brought me close to Chelsea Football Club, which eventually became my favourite football team. Back in the ’90s, I first watched Chelsea live on television; Gianfranco Zola was the star player for the club during the period. Since then, I have continuously followed the club as a religion. The year 2005 and 2006 were remarkable years for me as a Chelsea fan; Chelsea won back to back premier league titles during those years. Additionally, 2012 UEFA Champions League season was a special memory to cherish with the club.
Discovering Stamford Bridge
As a diehard Chelsea fan, I always had a profound desire of visiting Stamford Bridge, the home ground of Chelsea Football Club. My long-held desire to visit the stadium was finally fulfilled last year while I was in London for official work.
In London, I bought a packaged tour of Stamford Bridge and took a cab to the famous blue ground. Upon arriving at the stadium, I joined a group of other Chelsea fans. I was the only Nepali in the group, and everyone was amazed to meet a Chelsea fan from Nepal. During the tour, I visited the players’ tunnel, dugouts, pitch side, press room, took a seat in the dressing room and explored the interactive exhibits in the club museum. Similarly, I also bought an authentic Chelsea jersey and other merchandise. It was an unbelievable and unforgettable experience. I enjoyed the tour thoroughly.
Most Memorable Experience
Touring Stamford Bridge itself is one of the most memorable experiences of my life. However, I was more overwhelmed with excitement and happiness while visiting the player’s dressing room and press room at the stadium. Taking a snap with the collection of players’ jerseys and sitting on the coach’s seat at the press room gave me immense pleasure, it is currently my profile picture on Facebook. I was very excited to watch the authentic jerseys worn and signed by the Chelsea players, especially Frank Lampard and the cabinet of trophies at the club museum. I enjoyed the stadium trip thoroughly. It was a surreal experience for me.
The hospitality in London runs in a system and is very professional. Everything is inch-perfect there - the hotel rooms, restaurants, service, and food but yet something always felt missing. However, the hotels and restaurants across London somehow lack human touch. Even though the services of the hotels and resorts in London are superior to Asia, the human connection factor here makes the hospitality of the hotels on a different level. Even the airlines and the cabin crew of the western countries lack the human connection with their passengers.
Even though I was at Stamford Bridge, I was unable to watch Chelsea play live. I was in London during the midweek and football season in England was on a break. I felt more unfortunate after I missed the Chelsea versus Manchester United fixture, which took place during that weekend at Stamford Bridge.
Likewise, I had to cancel the city tour of London due to bad weather. I visited the city during the winter and the rain during the time hampered me from visiting the historical monuments of the city.
Unexpected Subway Glitch
My overall trip to London was superb until the day I was returning to Nepal. The trouble occurred while I was returning to Heathrow Airport on a subway metro train. Meanwhile, when I was at the midway point to the airport, the train suddenly stopped following a technical error. The situation made me anxious as I thought I would miss my fight back home. Afraid and anxious, I took out my luggage from the train and climbed the stairs out of the subway station. Coming out of the subway, I took a cab and rushed to the airport. Tired and worried, I finally reached the airport on time. The cab to the airport cost me an extra 90 Pounds.
Travel Wish List
As I am very keen to know about world history and human civilisation, I am eager to travel to the ancient cities of Europe. I am interested in visiting many old European cities and Amsterdam, Venice, Rome, and Prague are on my wishlist to travel with my family.
We should first collect information about the place we are travelling to before leaving for any trip. Information regarding weather, food, hotels, landmarks of the cities can help us plan our trip very well. Likewise, planning the trip is equally essential. We must prepare our trips before the journey as it will save time and help us enjoy the trip very well.
Lastly, we should not have very high expectations for our trips to enjoy our voyage fully.