Goodbye, Sri Lanka

March 18, 2014

Well, Sri Lanka.. I am outta here.. And I couldn’t be happier about leaving. The dice didn’t roll in my favor this time. It happens! I wrote a post but it’s a little much and I need to lighten it up and reflect on my time here and how much I wanna share. In general.. I’m so happy to be gone. It just ended with a tuk tuk driver increasing the price 900 rupees mid-journey and me refusing to pay the scam.. It’s been a tiring 15 days. No regrets, I am just excited to be on my way.. I’m leaving one week early and that means one week closer to Australia! Im headed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia now to get some “work” clothes then onward to Aus it is! G’day Mate

Bumpy Roads in Sri Lanka

March 12, 2014

Yesterday I was taking a night train from up North to South in a city called Hikkadawa. It’s a common dilemma here, not knowing when you are supposed to get off your bus/train and the train conductor somehow noticed I kept asking people so he invited me to the FRONT of the train with him as he drove. I even was able to toot the horn. Every child has wanted to do that! He then invited me to his home with his wife in Galle, the city after Hikkadawa. So I took a leap of faith and went to this other town with him. It turns out to have been a great decision as it’s been a nice two days with their family. They’re super friendly, they literally made sure the mosquito net was tucked in last night and then turned off the lights for me. lol. 😬 Super kind. Today, he took me around town on his motorbike and I was able to explore Galle to the fullest as I head to Hikkadawa in the morning. It’s been a nice change of pace because I haven’t adapted to Sri Lanka well. Sad to report, it’s been my least favorite country thus far but with just under two weeks left I’m not giving up hope. There’s still plenty of time! When I started out this journey I knew there would be highs and lows and I just have to remind myself that whenever I find myself in a low, that it’s part of my path. If anything, it yields personal strength to get through not-so-desirable situations. Anyways, enough of that nonsense.. There’s roughly two weeks left and I’m gonna really put myself out there to try to turn my Sri Lankan experience around! // “The roller coasters gotta roll to the bottom to climb to the top again.”

Kaudulla National Park

March 8, 2014

Went on a safari today at Kaudulla National Park here in Sri Lanka and saw elephants in their natural habitat. We waited forever and finally they appeared from the dense, green forest. It was awesome. I’m really enjoying Sri Lanka. It took me a moment to adjust as it’s much different than Southeast Asia but now I think I “understand” it. The heat was taking a taxing toll as there isn’t any relief of air con anywhere but I think I’m also adjusting to the heat which is good. Yesterday I hiked this tall hill to the top of a rock and made a friend who was from India. He really got me excited for my upcoming time in India and when I get to Mumbai I am going to meet up with him and his friends for them to show me around. Excited to have a familiar face to meet up with about half way through my journey in his country. As for Sri Lanka.. It’s great. It’s busy.. Real busy.. People everywhere.. But I finally escaped the mayhem and landed in the National Park which was a good change of pace. The hostels are more like home stays. They cook you dinner each night and you really get to know the families running the place who are opening their home to you. It’s been harder to meet backpackers which is why I think at first it took some adjustment. You really are on your own trying to find the bus/train stations and figuring out when to get off the bus/trains.. Where to stay.. etc. It’s a nice challenge. Luckily everyone is really friendly and speak English and are quick to help you out. I haven’t had to ask locals for help nearly as much as I have here and it’s great to see them all willing to assist. Anyways, I am off to bed just thought I’d post a pic real quick. Take care!


Botanical Gardens

March 5, 2014

I was walking through the Botanical Gardens earlier in Kandy, Sri Lanka and all these monkeys were storming towards me. Funny little creatures. Tomorrow I have my “interview” at 10am for my India visa. The India visa is quite a pain in the ass.. They’re gonna hold my passport for 5 working days as well so I have to come back through this town to pick it up next Thursday. It’ll be worth it.. Afterwards it’s off to discover more of Sri Lanka. There are a couple places where you can take safaris and see elephants in the wild. One place you may catch sight of a leopard, if your lucky. Pretty stoked for that. Excited to see the photographs from it!

Trains.. Trains.. Trains…

March 5, 2014

The trains I’m Sri Lanka are fast, loud and people are crammed inside. They’re taken inside the cities or between cities and they are packed.. Like sardines. They’re so packed that people literally hang on outside of the carts.. It’s hard to explain and this photo doesn’t capture it. It’s wild. Trains are taken within the city or in between city limits.. Everyone hops on and hops off at periodic stations and often do so while the train is still moving. Yesterday I went into Colombo, the main city, and got on the wrong train while leaving back to my hostel.. I saw my exit pass by and the train kept going.. and going.. and going.. over an hour later the train finally stops. I went to the next city south by accident. I waited, I dunno, thirty minutes for the next hour plus train to take me where I was supposed or go. A nice two and a half hour detour. What can you do but laugh? I met some nice people at the train station, that’s a plus. He gave me his number and if I *ever* go back there I have a place to stay. Luckily today I had better luck. I went from Colombo to Kandy on a pleasant three hour train ride. Even took some time to sit with my feet dangling out watching the landscape pass by. It was a beautiful site. Goodnight from Kandy, Sri Lanka.


Colombo, Sri Lanka

March 3, 2014

Someone once told me the friendliest people they’ve met while traveling came from three countries: Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. They were a well seasoned traveler and I’m starting to realize after one day exactly what they meant. At lunch I was approached by a guy saying for me to join his table. They were having a good time and I spent a few hours there along the beach and they were saying that they would get me the local price. Sure enough, my meal was half price. One of them offered me to stay at their place the next time I am in Colombo. Another gave me his number saying for me to call him when I get to Kandy and he will connect me with his friends to show me around. Another got my Facebook saying he’ll help me in Sri Lanka and India if needed. Then as I left lunch I took out my camera and before I knew it everyone was coming up to me on the beach wanting their photo taken. One person gave me their physical address (which I didn’t understand) asking me to send the photo later. Another gave me their number telling me to call them later and they would help me. I couldn’t walk one minute without being approached by someone wanting genuine conversation, not trying to sell me something. Point being.. These people kick ass and I’m excited about the next three weeks. I surprisingly had some culture shock today which is always nice but.. well, shocking at first. Haven’t had that since I landed in Myanmar… But I remember when I was leaving Myanmar thinking how what once a culture “shock” was ever so normal to me by then. I’m sure that’s the case now.. I just have to get used to everything.. Especially this intense… and I mean intense heat… There is no AC in most hostels.. I’ll live but even right now in my room at 10:50pm I’m sweating bullets. Here we gooooo!


Sri Lanka -> India -> Nepal ?

February 25, 2014

Confirmed.. Flight to Sri Lanka on Sunday and Flight to India on March 26th. Not sure what I am doing heading to Sri Lanka and Southern India during the hottest part of the year but I’ll survive! Extremely excited for this last leg of the trip before Australia. I’ve been in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for two weeks now.. I hit a “wall” if you will and needed to rest. I was tired.. Tired of moving, finding a place to stay, finding place to eat, figuring out the transit system, bargaining left and right, having that introductory conversation when you meet backpackers.. Everything that was once exciting about traveling became a burden… BUT I am well rested and READY for the unique experience I know that lays ahead. Sri Lanka will be simple but I know India will push all limits of patience and understanding. Everyone I meet says it takes a while to adjust to India.. Some say they didn’t like it until they reflected on it after leaving.. Others say it takes weeks to adjust.. Few hate it.. But most will pause, smirk and then tell you there’s no place like it on Earth. “There’s India, then there’s the rest of the world”. I am rejuvenated and now have the energy to understand exactly what that means. First things first, 3.5 weeks in Sri Lanka!