I really like the reorientation that comes as a necessity upon arrival to another country. It can be particularly acute when you’re either unprepared, or hopping through a few different countries, or both. There are those inevitable questions, like:
What the heck is this scribbly manuscript everywhere that vaguely approximates written communication?
Oh, what language do they speak here again?
What time is it again? Wait, only a half hour time change??? That doesn’t even make sense!
What is the money called here? What’s the exchange rate?
Continue reading Male´: Water taxi in, seaplane out
*Full Sri Lanka photo gallery below*
We’re back in the Galle Face Hotel, overlooking the Indian Ocean in Colombo. We got in yesterday afternoon, and our flight to Male, Maldives is tonight at 2030. We’ll make sure to get there plenty early to avoid any late check-in excitement like in Dubai!
Continue reading Last day in Sri Lanka
The last few days have been kind of a whirlwind tour of the “cultural triangle” in Sri Lanka. At this point, having seen many of the highlights of ancient ruins in Sri Lanka, we are both officially “templed out.”
Continue reading Temple Hopping Sri Lanka: Sigiriya, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura
“Flashpacking” is a loosely defined, upmarket variant of backpacking. We are more than happy to take on that moniker for a lot of our approach to travel. With flashpacking, you can have really extreme variation in the budget for different aspects of your travel. The driving considerations are just fun, comfort, and safety. One area that we’re seeing the contrast in budget quite a bit is in going really, really cheap with our overland travel and staying in pretty nice 4-5 star places. The dichotomy can be pretty entertaining…
Continue reading Traveling 3rd class… Sleeping 1st class.
“Mike, you do realize this is the most ‘white devil’ stop we’ve ever had on vacation, right?”
Watching a throng of British tourists being waited on by servile Sri Lankans in traditional attire…. Yes, the thought had occurred to me. To be clear, we’re sort of co-opting the “white devil” term to refer to remnants of the more distasteful aspects of western colonialism (E.g. this attitude). However, the term has some more interesting etymology that is largely unrelated to colonialism (E.g. here and here).
Continue reading Recreating the British colonial experience
Overland transport can be one of the more interesting parts of international travel. We particularly enjoy traveling by train, and the lengthy trip from Colombo through Kandy and on to Badulla is certainly one of the more scenic train rides in the world.
Continue reading Colombo to Nuwara Eliya by train
Anyone who has taken more than a few flights may know the feeling of nearly missing a flight. Or, even worse, missing a connection. Or, even much worse, missing an international connection. But those feelings pale in comparison to missing an international connection in the middle of a multistop trip, potentially subverting prebooked lodging, ground transportation, and limited availability tickets. Even in the best of circumstances, these scenarios can be a roller coaster of hope and despair.
Continue reading The “missed” flight