Why do we feel the burning desire to travel to places far from our own country? What is it about the destinations we choose that draws us and when do we know the ‘right’ time to go? Maybe there is no ‘right’ time, maybe we need to just chase our curiosity for right now and if we’re pulled there, that’s enough.
Sri Lanka was a spontaneous decision for me. I felt ‘burn out’ from everyday life and work. I felt stifled and de-motivated. I knew I needed a small change of scenery. And what’s the antidote to negative energy? It’s adventure, of course. Although I’m all for long-term travel, I think 14-days in one place and Sri Lanka gives me enough time to scratch the surface and hopefully spice up my life, spirit, and mind.
Now I can’t say that I’ve always had Sri Lanka on the radar but over the years, those around me have come and gone, raving endlessly on their experiences, the captivating culture, the delicious curries, the local people and the jungle-like beaches. I was sold and ready to find out for myself the many mysteries of Sri lanka.
I’m not expecting some life-changing epiphany here. No, I’m searching for a different kind of solitude. A stillness that I knew I could find in this undiscovered country.
Might I add this tiny island has been through some heavy times; a 2004 tsunami that killed more than 30,000 people, war ceasing fire in 2009 after 26 years, and many political battles that has affected the local way of life.
Brutally beautiful? Yes, but fortunately for Sri Lanka tourism is booming here. I think we’re already on the cusp of something great. It’s undeniably alluring with its pristine beaches, ancient ruins, scenic train rides, rainforest, wild elephants and countless national parks. There’s just something magical about Sri Lanka.
So after a (long) 24-hour flight from Sydney to Sri Lanka, via Abu Dhabi with Etihad I was more than ready to start my adventure. No guide book, no true sense of direction, no plan. Just me, my laptop, camera, and a good old weathered backpack.
Upon arriving in Colombo, I won’t deny I had some nervous energy. But the possibility of an adventure always outweighs the anxiety of the unknown.
I also hate arriving in a new country late at night. But alas, I had arranged a hostel (Clock inn Hostel for anybody that’s interested) and a driver pick up which I might add seems to be a rather popular thing add-on with many guesthouses, hotels etc.
Hot tips from my first few days here:
- When you arrive at Sri Lanka, get a local sim with data included. It will save your life through the next few weeks and costs virtually nothing. It will require a passport scan & the two main providers are dialog or mobitel.
- Pre-arrange a taxi with your accommodation if you arrive late at night
- Don’t expect a vibrant backpacker scene (especially in low-season)
- Prices are much more inflated than the rest of South East Asia, so no it’s not cheap as chips
- ALWAYS have small denominations, Tuk-tuk drivers somehow never have change
- Skip Colombo and spend as little time there as possible
I hope that my solo adventure through Sri Lanka will help you plan your next trip, because I’ve spent a lot of time researching online, chatting to locals and people to create this on-the-fly itinerary that will be perfect for solo travelers.
But for now, I’m off to unearth the best of Sri Lanka.
Peace out y’all xox