Monday, 24 April 2017 – Day 11: Kandy, SRI LANKA (6.0535° N, 80.2210° E)
“Travel is the ultimate act of resistance. When you cross a border, you quickly discover that the easy categories we use to describe ourselves with — binary classifications like black and white, Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative — become less meaningful.
” – Christopher Elliott
Only one sighting today so far…TSA Pre-check Yourself in need of grub….but we have a few photos.
Onwards…check-in tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3:00PM
Ran into a few, what I would call theoretical travelers, whose biggest adventure so far has been looking at the Himalayas on the bottle of an Everest Beer in a Singapore pub… but I give them credit, they are in a strange and exotic country on a local train heading to their all-inclusive southern Sri Lankan beach resort destination for their annual two-week vacation. They are indeed traveling…
Coming back from Galle yesterday, I surrendered to a much-needed flashback while driving the Southern Expressway…Fall 1989, Spring 1991, Summer 2004, or just last year? I dunno…but visions of rice paddies touched memory synapses in my brain. The infinity of green hues (highlighted by white herons and red hibiscus flowers) that framed the dark blue sky…alas, I was there, not here…again. (Kind of like being glued to a cell phone while talking with somebody!) Green…ever present, no, omni-present color of green (aka emerald, apple, aquamarine, beryl, bice, blue-green, chartreuse, fir, forest, grass, pine, sage, sap, sea, greenish-blue, jade, kelly, lime, malachite, moss, olive, pea, peacock, spinach, verdigris, vert, viridian, willow)…the color so dominates the Sri Lankan landscape—not to mention our visual wavelength spectrum at roughly 520–570 nanometers! Few places rival the green that is here…and there, wherever I was in my brian. It seems my travel memories are my only continuity.
It, the flashback, then reminded me of a few of my favorite things about travel…some simply, some transcendental:
-Watching children play everywhere
-Visiting great museums—big and small
-Going to morning markets to see what is for dinner
-Catching a sunset from a high place in an exotic locale
-Dinner…with strangers that won’t be strangers after dinner
-Swimming in hotel pools…and local swimming holes too
-Having a beer before noon and not feeling guilty in the least…one must adequately hydrate after all!
-Looking for (and sometimes buying) moving, surprising and interesting local art
-Those quiet moments after dawn before everything comes to life
-Feeling alive 24/7 because of the newness, challenges and constant decision-making
-Being out of my comfort zone and preconceived (some would say programmed) notions
-The constant discovery and learning that is required by meeting new people
-Travel helps me understand the world–it’s beauty, uncertainty and inequality–a little better.
-The feeling of really truly being in the moment…getting into my travel zone—a sublime blissful flow.
-I discover things about myself traveling that I would never have learned by staying put: I have learned my limitations; what my real fears are; what my strengths and capabilities are; what my frail human weaknesses and egotistical blind spots are; I have gained humility, tolerance, extreme patience, compassion and empathy…
-travel helped me realize that I was okay being alone with myself;
-Travel has made me understand the transitory nature of just about everything…friendships, sadness, problems, stuff—you just have to let go…
-travel proves the cliche and I have learned that nothing ventured nothing gained…
-I have learned that you are the creator of your life—you get out of it what you put into it…
-travel reenforces to me that families are the same everywhere , that smiles are universal
-travel allows me to trust strangers in strange lands
…obviously I could go on, and on, and on—I think you all know my passion for travel!
But that last line rings true every time—trusting strangers in strange lands. You have probably heard me mention that phrase often, indeed it is one of the key philosophies of The Global Scavenger Hunt. And over a dozen successful events, I am Happy to report, that we have taken hundreds of travelers to over 70 nations around the world doing thousands of scavenges along the way–that probably included, as a modest guesstimate, over 15,000+ stranger-to-stranger encounters by our travelers (probably a lot more)–and I have yet to hear one single bad story as a result of those thousands of encounters. Not one! Think about that…think about what you have been conditioned to fear about the world and traveling…and forget what your mother told you about strangers too.
Avni & Roshy (of Team Flying Snitches):
Okay…maybe some more later. But that is all.