I’ve been trying to get to Sri Lanka since 1995
It’s 1995, I’m travelling around India, now in Calcutta, trying to decide if I go to China or Sri Lanka next. I left Australia with a one-way ticket – Melbourne, Kathmandu, New Delhi and London.
I’d originally planned to go to China after Nepal and India, but the Chinese embassy in Melbourne screwed up my visa application and gave me the wrong date. I had to get a new one but China wasn’t an easy country to deal with back in 1995! Not to forget, it might not be possible now I’d started my trip – it’s not like I could hand my passport over and hang around waiting for weeks, right? And it did take weeks back then…
I kept trying to make China work, and one thing I considered is crossing the border into Pakistan and heading North over the mountains, where I’d cross into China. I would be able to get a visa at the border there – right? I was sure of it. Now remember, this was 1995 – a different time and it was a massively appealing adventure for me. Today, not so much.
But then I saw an astrologist. You can’t avoid this in India.
She said: I don’t know where you are planning to travel next, but there are mountains and if you go this way, many men will break into your room and rape you.
Oh awesome. Do I ignore it? Believe it? Let it impact me?
But then I’d be pretty stupid to knowingly (possibly) put myself into a situation where I might be gang raped, yes? I mean, that would make me a fuckwit.
So back to the planning board and I head to my favourite breakfast place in Calcutta - great coffee and the best banana pancakes I’ve ever had in my life. I’m sure it’s still there.
At this point, I’m considering China (via alternative routes) or Sri Lanka.
I could fly to Hong Kong (still British at this point and the old AWESOME airport was still operational), where I’d get a visa and cross into China. Or I could fly to Sri Lanka, which was enormously desirable as an option and so much easier.
Coffee delivered, newspaper opened “Tourists in Colombo will be Killed” – or something close to that. It wasn’t a good chapter for a lot of people in Sri Lanka at this time, but for me personally it was a FAARCCKKK….
But it made things easy. Off to China I was going and it was a whole other country back in 1995, less polluted too.
It was my first miss on Sri Lanka. I’ve been planning to go back ever since – almost booked it twice – but somehow, it just hasn’t happened.
Well that changes tomorrow.
We’re off on a family holiday to Sri Lanka and I am completely excited. I’ll be sharing loads of pictures and experiences along the way, and thrilled to experience this for the first time together with my three boys. We do have fun adventuring together.
If you have any tips, must-sees or shopping recommendations, let me know?
Yours, without the bollocks
Silhouettes of traditional fishermen photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
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