Pandemic life can be isolating, but a young Whitby man is proving that with a dose of creativity and some bottles of good old Canadian maple syrup, it’s still possible to expand your social circle — internationally.
He’s not travelling right now, yet Daniel Robertson’s collection of international football scarves has expanded over the past few months.
“No matter the country or the club from different places in the world that they all had scarves in common,” said Robertson.
The 19-year-old came up with a way to bring the beautiful game to him and it all started with a Reddit post.
“Hey, I’m Daniel from Canada and I’m doing this project and you have a chance to get some maple syrup and that definitely got a lot of attention, when people hear the word maple syrup from a Canadian,” Robertson said, describing his message in the post.
Robertson started trading bottles of the iconic Canadian condiment in exchange for football scarves from people around the world.
“I was walking to the mailbox every single day. I would get up, I would go to the gym, come home and eat and then go for my daily walk to the mailbox, sometimes I’d open it and there would be like seven in there,” said Robertson.
Angelo Chan in Singapore sent Robertson a Tampines Rovers FC scarf. In exchange, he not only got a bottle of syrup, but he also got a Toronto FC scarf.
“I think it’s a fair trade because I don’t know in my life if I will ever go to Canada,” Chan said.
“I have gotten the maple syrup, I used it as well, so my parents enjoyed it as well.”
Robertson’s mother is amazed by the response.
“They had this in common, the love of soccer or football and just that they can come together and using social media and sort of help each other out,” said Karen Robertson, Daniel’s mom.
But it’s about more than just the scarves for the young man.
It’s allowed him to meet new people and learn about different cultures, and he’s keeping track of his journey using a map.
“From Scotland, for example, I have, like, seven different scarves from different teams, from Germany they send me so many different club scarves, so I have around 133-135, somewhere around there,” said Robertson.
Robertson isn’t done. He hopes to collect more football scarves in exchange for maple syrup to completely fill his map in the coming months. And one day, he hopes to travel to all of the destinations to catch a game.