But unlike most of those 1.5 billion people, Pope was in the Far East just 12 days ago as a part of the U.S. National Team's run to the World Cup quarterfinals, the team's best showing in 72 years.
While "exciting" was the one word Pope chose to describe the team's performance, others might choose surprising as a more appropriate term.
"I think the only time I was surprised was maybe how quickly we jumped on Portugal," Pope said, referring to the June 5 match with the fifth-ranked team in the world. "I knew we could play that well."
The U.S. won the match 3-2.
Pope was an All-American defender at UNC from 1993-96, where he played with fellow World Cup teammate Gregg Berhalter, also an All-American. Pope and Berhalter anchored the U.S. defense in its final two World Cup games.
Pope would like to use the team's World Cup success as a springboard toward strengthening Major League Soccer and creating more awareness for his charity.
MLS, in its sixth season, is not on the same level of play as other leagues throughout the world, such as the English Premiership, but the performances of players like Pope have bolstered MLS' viability.
With strong showings on the sport's largest stage, U.S. players are offered the opportunity to play in the more competitive leagues. Following the U.S. team's abysmal performance at the 1998 World Cup, Pope had several opportunities to go to Europe but declined, saying the time wasn't right.
"I think young players can develop here," he said. "I think we showed that."