Solo in Sri Lanka: a tough but rewarding experience

15.5.19


Palm Tree Avenue at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

It's been almost two weeks since my 2.5 week trip to Sri Lanka and WHEW what a trip it was. 
I was there during the attacks, which was obviously a difficult time. 

They happened on the morning of my 4th day there but I wasn't near the area, so other than the curfew, my plans weren't greatly affected.
The mood definitely changed though and I'd be lying if I said I still 'enjoyed' it as much, but whether I enjoyed it or not didn't really matter.

Views from Redbeach Cafe, Tangalle

The country was in mourning; people had lost their families, friends and their lives so my "enjoyment" was insignificant. Most Sri Lankan people were still smiling, asking me about my trip and giving me tips on the best places to visit, despite it all.
I hope the recovery isn’t too painful as the country is beautiful and I met some of the nicest people there.

I did a pretty popular route around the island, though I missed a few hotspots like Mirissa and Sigirya. I did originally plan to visit those areas, but the thought of moving from place to place didn’t sound appealing to me, so I had no issue with scaling down my itinerary. 


This was my route: Colombo > Udawalawe > Ella > Haputale (day trip) > Nuwara Eliya > Kandy > Negombo > home.

Sri Lanka wasn’t perfect, but nowhere is. There were times when I got frustrated and went back to my hotel room, but there were also times when I was completely in awe of my surroundings. 

The most amazing drive ever!

One of those moments was the drive from Udawalawe National Park back to my accommodation. I had just seen around 15 elephants - my first time seeing my favourite animal - and various other wildlife and this drive epitomized everything beautiful about Sri Lanka. The sky was the bluest of blues, the road was built in between the greenest rice fields that were lined with palms trees and dotted with water buffalos...and it wasn’t even 10am yet! 

It was truly one of those “wow-I’m-really-here” moments and one I won’t forget.

The highlight of my trip by far was seeing these beauties (with NO riding!)

It was a tough trip and I felt bad for admitting it wasn’t my favourite, but it was an incredibly rewarding experience and I’m glad this beautiful country was my first visit to Asia. 

I’ll go into a bit more detail in future posts, sharing my tips and tricks, so stay tuned.

Is Sri Lanka on your travel list? If not, it should be!

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