From 90 degrees to 9 degrees, 80% humidity to dry as a cold winter bone, I have returned to the states in tact and am gradually reacquainting myself with normalcy. (For the record, normalcy = less fun than traveling.)
I have been in Sri Lanka for roughly the past month, taking the definition of "family vacation" to a whole new level. A few people asked me "Why Sri Lanka" - so I thought talking a little bit about my connection to the country would be the best way to start off my next row of blog posts.
While the country is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination - for me, Sri Lanka was a family thing.
My dad emigrated to the States from Sri Lanka almost 50 years ago, later earning his citizenship. For a very long time, he had little interest in going back, even to visit. For starters, he didn't leave the country with the best of memories. He came to the states for good reason and, gradually helping to bring most of his family over as well as starting his own family, remained here.
Secondly, Sri Lanka was in civil war for a very long time. While some of my family felt safe enough traveling back and forth to visit the rest of my family still there, my father wasn't similarly motivated. As for me, the mere cost and scope of the trip coupled with the desire to experience this with my father has kept me from Sri Lanka for 32 years - too long, for sure.
Thankfully, the civil war ended a few years ago. And if ever there was a time to visit, it was going to be sooner rather than later. My aunt and uncle, who travel back to Sri Lanka regularly, were planning another trip of their own. So we joined them - me, my mom, and my dad.
I knew going into this that the trip was going to be a mixed and pretty overwhelming experience. Having traveled to both Sumatra and East Timor I know that visiting a country torn by war and tragedy is contextually difficult, and in this instance there were also strong family and personal ties to be considered.
I left with an open mind as far as expectations... but a few questions.
- Will this trip be as inspirational as I expect it to be?
- Sharing rooms for a month and in constant company, would my family drive each other (or at least me) crazy?
- and most importantly... did I pack enough clean underwear??? (just kidding.)
I'll be blogging about my experiences over the next few months, answering some of the questions above and sharing a bit about of the amazing places we visited and people we met. There's so much to share! I've also posted some of the family people photos to facebook already.
I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I enjoy writing them; I've really been looking forward to sharing. Hopefully blogging about this amazing experience will tide me over until my next journey. In the past year my travels have taken me to Iceland, England, Wales, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Sri Lanka. Of the past 12 months, I've spent over 2 of them traveling. Am I tired of it?
Not even close.
Links of Interest: