Shining a spotlight on celebrities and athletes who love to travel. Created and developed by Stacy Steponate Greenberg.
The best there ever was. There are a lot of compliments an athlete can be paid, none of them quite like that one. Taken literally, it applies to only a select few. Michael Jordan, definitely. Wayne Gretzky, for sure. And Mia Hamm, without a doubt. Beginning at age fifteen, when she became the youngest ever to play for the U.S National team, Mia Hamm compiled a career unlike any other: two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time World Cup champion, four consecutive NCAA women’s championships at UNC, more international goals than any player before her, and ultimately induction into the FIFA approved football Hall of Fame. Married now, to baseball superstar Nomar Garciaparra, Mia is just as busy chasing her three children as she is a soccer ball.
The Overhead Compartment with Mia Hamm starts now…..
OC: You played soccer for 17 years, traveling all over the world, where was your favorite place to play?
MH: Anytime we traveled to Europe, it was amazing. We played in Norway in a town called Tromso which is located above the Arctic circle. We were there in July and the temperature never warmed up higher than 55-60 degrees. It’s a beautiful fishing village surrounded by mountains and ice cold, crystal blue lakes or fiords.
OC: When you had downtime there, how would you spend a day?
MH: We walked around the town and some of us went on a fishing trip. It was cold but fun.
OC: What’s the best thing about traveling with a group of soccer players?
MH: We have to wear issued soccer gear so we all look the same. The worst? We have to wear issued soccer gear so we all look the same.
OC: Where are you just coming back from?
MH: We went on a ski trip to Colorado. We had such a great time.
OC: As the mother of three, what’s your secret to traveling with kids?
MH: Our daughters have always been great travelers and are great about carrying their own stuff (snacks, books, iPad). I carry most of our son’s necessities and some toys and snacks in his backpack. The key is to take flights that you feel the kids will get some sleep depending on the duration of the flight.
OC: You live in Los Angeles, what’s the best thing to do in Los Angeles with kids?
MH: Going to the beach.
OC: You are married to baseball star Nomar Garciaparra: what is your go-to date night in LA?
MH: We live in a great little beach town where we can walk to all the restaurants. This allows us to get some fresh air and enjoy our time together.
OC: Which of you gets recognized more in airports?
MC: Nomar, for sure.
OC: Being a part of the new Los Angeles Football Club set to join the MLS in 2017, what’s the one thing a fan needs to know when going to see a game?
MH: That they matter. And their participation is an important part of the success of the club.
OC: Top three favorite cities anywhere in the world?
MH: Chicago, Rome and Munich.
OC: First thing you do when arriving at a hotel in your room?
MC: Unpack and wash my face.
OC: Complete the following sentence I never leave home without_____?
MH: Kissing my family goodbye.
OC: You’ve spent a lot of time in Rome and recently joined the Board of the Italian Club AS Roma, what’s the one do-not-miss in Rome for travelers?
MH: The Coliseum and the Forum but unless you are fluent in Italian, make sure you get the headset to explain what you are looking at.
OC: Go to snack on the road?
MH: Apple and nuts or a protein bar.
OC: Travel secret/habit about you that no one knew until now?
MH: The times when I travel First Class, my feet usually don’t touch the floor.
Mia Hamm, please use care upon departure as items may have shifted in The Overhead Compartment during our journey. Thanks for choosing us for your travel tips! Have a wonderful day!