Because of the various places I have been able to live and work, I have travelled quite a bit over the last 10-15 years. A lot of the time by myself. Travelling alone can sometimes be hard work – you have to do it all – there is no one to help out when you’re feeling tired or ill. Although, conversely, travelling alone sometimes brings amazing opportunities that may not come along otherwise!

And sometimes to travel alone, and to a new destination, you need to be in a good place, mentally and emotionally. For lots of reason, it has been easier the last couple of years to revisit places in Europe and South East Asia – and they’ve all been good trips.

But I was determined to do something new for this trip, to get out there and challenge myself again, become the person I enjoy being when I’m travelling – the person I feel sometimes gets lost and caught up in the everyday grind.

And so to Sri Lanka. As I have mentioned, I was slightly unprepared for this trip. I was also slightly apprehensive about travelling alone – the guide books indicate that travel in Sri Lanka as a single woman can sometimes be difficult.  But as I quickly, and fortunately, found out, the guide books are quite out of date in many ways, and there is so much to see and discover! And I’m so glad I’ve been here! Despite my worries and apprehension, travel was easier than I thought, everyone I met was very helpful, and I certainly did get back into the swing of travelling and exploring!

I challenged myself at times.

I had many funny moments – watching the young guy seemingly leap over people and seats to save me a spot on the crowded train, being intensely stared at at a very local tea shop on the road from Kandy to Puttalam.

There were happy moments – watching the elephants bathe in the river at the Millennium Elephant Foundation, having fun with the traders at Galle’s fruit and vegetable market, eating delicious curries, making new friends with shy children, finding a huge pod of dolphins that frolicked and pirouetted around us for an hour.

And relaxing moments – an ayurvedic massage, cocktails by the pool (after not drinking alcohol for most of the trip!) with new friends, watching beautiful sunsets in Galle in the south, and at Udekki on the west coast.

And no major dramas or problems.

Of course, I didn’t see everything there is to see in Sri Lanka! My plans changed often, and depended on busy travel during the Buddhist New Year period, as well as remembering I was on holiday and did need some time to relax – I didn’t want to be moving to a new place every day or so! My travel plans ended up being right for me at the time. There’s a lot more I could have been, or some may say ‘should’ have done – but with this sort of travel, each has to find their own way of making it work, and being happy along the way. But it also means there are plenty of reasons to return!

I’m so glad I spent this time in Sri Lanka. And glad that I ended up not having a car and driver for the entire trip as I had originally thought would be the best way. Whilst I may have been able to visit more places, I would have missed out on many of the wonderful experiences travelling by train, tuk-tuk, and bus!

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