My travel itch is about to get scratched! But for now, I am satisfied with beautiful travel reminiscences so here is to my very first solo trip back in 2011. Destination: Sri Lanka. Cities: Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Sabaragamuwa, Sigiriya and other little towns with complicated names I cannot recall. Researched then booked my flight and hotels, found a kind-looking driver / tour guide and took off to the land of Green.
From Buddhism and one monk’s blessing (he is the gowned man standing next to me who apparently saw ‘goodness’ in my eyes); to climbing Sigiriya with a 70 year old local man – thin and slouching, yet more resilient than most men (see that mountainous rock behind me – that’s the first rock I ever conquered); to my cockroach and lizard phobia – found under my bed in an eco-lodge where anything moving or remotely breathing cannot be killed (phobia had to be managed); to crocodile river-safari and scores of curious crocodiles surrounding my little boat; to elephant safari and riding; to fun elephant-bathing and an orphanage visit; to horse-riding (with fear) in some jungle in Candy accompanied by two local men and an energetic and dancing horse; to checking out coral reeves in Galle but hardly seeing anything beneath the murky water (due to the aftermath of the tragic 2004 Tsunami); to Sri Lankan traditional music and happy dancing; to my interaction with cheeky and daring monkeys; to jungle trekking with one local guide who (after I summoned up the courage to ask about snakes while trekking) told me in broken and heavily accented English “Snakes? Oh yes…there are many many MANY snakes! There are hundreds of venomous snakes but don’t worry, they usually come out at night”. What animals come out during the day I asked? Bores he said. And what if they attack us I asked? He said: “We run”! I will never forget him – that funny-looking enthusiastic little man with crooked teeth and a heavy accent. Nor will I ever forget this sensational trip that introduced me to the wondrous gifts of solo traveling!