I never could have guessed what would take hold of me as I descended upon the mysterious land of Sri Lanka, dark birds fluttering against the prowess of the jets and into the rippled summer sky. My pulse raced with the quiver of their wings, my heart beat along the roar of the engine, and my hands sweat against the surge of the adrenaline. As soon as I stepped off that jetway and the humidity cradled me like an organic blanket, I knew I had been wrapped in the warmth of Sri Lanka’s magic.
A jewel within the Indian Ocean, this island country has it all. Vast rainforests, sprawling mountains, ancient ruins, white sand beaches and a booming Metropolis. With a striking resemblance to the Garden of Eden, there’s this unspoken sense of adventure that pulses in the air. You see it as you corkscrew down the broken roads beneath the jungle’s dark canopy, past mountaintop temples and Buddhist caves, swerving to miss the prehistoric water monitor… This is a country built upon divinity and mystery and life’s sheer beauty. Home to some of the world’s most ancient cities, you feel as though you’re tracing the steps of the kings who lived during their mightiest reign. I know it’s not fair to play favoritism but with Sri Lanka there’s this feeling, like a lightning bolt of energy that charges your soul, and makes you want to stop, listen, and revel in its magic.
My husband and I spent our two week journey in the central and southern provinces, shaping our itinerary around the plains, the highlands and the sea. With culture as diverse as its regions, each location offers its own unique experience from landscape to lifestyle to cuisine, representing a collective unit that hums with the vibrancy of life.
Decked in exotic flora and unusual fauna, Sri Lanka hasn’t always been the beauty in green. For a while it was bathed in red, as civil warfare and political unrest besieged the country. Despite 25 years of conflict, the Sri Lankan people are some of the friendliest you will meet. With outstretched hands and dimpled smiles, their demeanor is as beautiful as the landscape. Open and excited to share stories about their heritage, they are are happy to show you a window into their lives, just be respectful of the past that is still healing and avoid the delicacy of politics.
In my next blog post follow me to the heart of Sri Lanka’s history, where you’ll be captivated by the sacred grounds of Dambulla, soar the highest heights at Sigirya and dance with the monkeys at Kandalama.