Sri Lanka and other plans.

Ok, I’ve got my travelling groove back.  

Well, not in the way Stella did, but close.

I knew I’d eventually get there and that it might take a bit of time.  

But we’re good and we all have our adventure legs under us. 

It stills feels a bit like the dog days of summer, where I flip flop between wanting to keep travelling and wanting to come home (although I’d never do it), loving hanging out with the boys and craving adult interaction.  It’s just something I need to deal with.  8 months in…I’m guessing it’s pretty normal.

It helped having some friendly faces from home around.  Rich & Jen were a bunch of fun to be travelling with and their easy going style made things simple.  Sully and Max got lost in conversations and adventures with their boys, Richie and Luke, as well. 

A local fish market in the south of Sri Lanka. (Mirissa Beach)

And of course, Gaga & Papa were a treat to have around.  They spoiled us and it was such a special time for the boys and them to travel together. 

The 3 of us also took off for a few days to a town called Tangalle.  We headed that way because a recent friend, who has a lot of experience doing charity work there (Tangalle was devastated by the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka back in 2004) set us up doing some of our own volunteer work.  Charity volunteering is something I’ve been trying to do since we left, but when you have an ongoing list of countless things to do, it often gets overlooked.  Her organization is and they’ve been working and volunteering in the southern part of Sri Lanka since the Tsunami.  Look them up when you have a moment.  They’ve done incredible things! Amalie was able to set us up with a half day tour of Palathaduwa, the village they’ve built.  After that, we spent the rest of the day at a preschool they fund, volunteering and repainting some of the school desks and the murals on their walls.

It was a special experience for the boys (and me) and allowed us to see a more normal side of living in SL, away from the main tourist spots.   

The 3 days we spent at the Goyambokka beach in Tangalle was also special. It was our first exposure to a warm ocean since Otres Beach in Cambodia and we all realized how much we love it.  And that we should probably try and spend more time at them before we’re home. 

Parts of 3 days at the beach

So we’ve made some serious changes to our itinerary.  Knowing we wanted to spend 3-4 weeks just chilling on a beach, we weighed the pros and cons of removing certain destinations from our itinerary.  We decided that we would skip Africa this time.  Ugh.  I KNOWWW…!  But, April/early May is not the most ideal time…most of the continent is going through some sort of rainy season.  So we thought about South Africa.  But they have a weird requirement for kids to enter their country.  A passport isn’t good enough, you need to show a long form birth certificate (whatever that is?) as well.  It was off the list.  In my book, that left Namibia and Botswana and if we were going that far south, I wouldn’t want to skip SA.  So we’ve pulled the entire continent.  Ha.  Frankly I’m ok with that.  Africa has always intimidated me a bit from a planning perspective (it’s not as easy to travel our usual, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants way).  And I wanted to do it right.  I think we’ll go back next summer or the one after and do what we always (or I always!!) intended…Serengetti safari, climb Kili and chill in Zanzibar.  

Originally we were going to go back to Sri Lanka from India and hang at a beach there, but after brain storming with Dave, Mary, Jen and Rich (it’s not often you can say…”where in the world would you go if you could?") we decided to head to the Philippines.  It was originally on our list and the beaches there are stunning. All that to say…we’re off to Palawan and Boracay in a few days. Sweet.

Until then, we’ll be in India.  Surviving.  My gawd this country.  It will be a blog (or 2) unto itself.  There’s nothing we’ve encountered like it!? We’re in Agra now, where we’ve spent 2 days viewing and touring the Taj Mahal.  It is breathtaking.  Simply stunning. And this instant, we’ve taken over parts of a restaurant to escape the heat.  I’m marking Math (and blogging), the boys are doing Math (well, Max is day dreaming) and we’re waiting to take the night train to Varanasi.  Ugh...another night train...can hardly wait.