The beach volleyball tournament in Phuket, Thailand

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I didn’t go to Thailand looking to compete in a pro-am beach volleyball tournament, but that’s what happened.

Rewind to March, 2016. I’m in Malaysia, and I’m emailing my friend Sarah to inquire about visiting her and her fiancĂ© Brad, who are spending a year in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Sarah mentions that she and Brad will be traveling down to Phuket for a beach volleyball tournament in early April. It’s a open tournament with a $50USD entry fee per person. Sarah and Brad already have two teammates for the 4v4 tournament, but I email the organizers and get a quick response that, yes, I can compete despite never having played beach volleyball, and they will pair me with another player for the 2v2 tournament.

I certainly embarrassed myself out there, but it could have been worse. I was paired with a Phillipino guy. He told me had once played for the Phillipino national team. I told him I once played varsity basketball.

After losing our first two matches, we were bounced from the round robin and therefore out of the tournament. However, we did enjoy a 6-4 lead in our first match before losing 21-9. So we stood a chance.

I had fun. My partner did not. But ultimately we’re both supporting the sport and building the beach volleyball community, and I didn’t get too worked up about it.

The best part of Phuket (aside from seeing my friends Sarah and Brad, of course) was the hostel I stayed in. Doolay Hostel. Cheap, chill, and located right across from the beach. Enough said.

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