Sunday, March 25, 2012

Full circle in Sri Lanka

Finally I'm starting to really look forward to my trip to Sri Lanka this week. Until today, I've been too busy to do more than plan and pack whenever I could get the time. But now I'm really psyched to go and just experience travel all over again -- just to forget about work for a few days (that's never happened before, by the way) and to fully immerse myself in the place I'm in. To experience in full the sounds, sights, smells and sensations of a country with such an ancient culture that has basically been kept back in time.

Two friends are coming along with me as well, so I'm also looking forward to just having a good time, in addition to having my senses blown away by the beauty of what I'll be seeing.

In fact, I'm now so psyched for Sri Lanka that I put the following as my status update on my BBM: "Sri Lanka soon." Several good friends who themselves are in transit, traveling on the way out of or into Manila then messaged me: "What's in Sri Lanka?"

I messaged back: "I'm basically going to climb a mountain I passed up and see a cave I missed the first time I visited Sri Lanka."


It's also a sentimental trip, in a way, as it's my second trip to Sri Lanka in a matter of 12 months. On the eve of my first trip, a lot of things had been weighing on my mind; and on this first trip I had the opportunity to think about my life, to reaffirm what I believe in, and to make some decisions -- all during those long drives across Sri Lanka when I sat looking out the window, listening to songs on my iPod and thinking about my life.

My epiphany moment came on the last day of the trip. I still remember exactly when. We'd just finished the television show shoot at the Mount Lavinia Hotel and everyone had gone their separate ways just to chill out before dinner, after a pretty intense couple of days together.


I headed for the private golden beach of Mount Lavinia Hotel -- it's the only private beach in Colombo -- and I decided on a couple of things in my life exactly as I was walking the beach at sunset. It was here that I got a better picture of who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in, what's important to me, and what I'm prepared to let go of.

Those reaffirmations and decisions sustained me and strengthened me through these last amazingly wonderful and also amazingly difficult 12 months.

And now, here I am again, on my way to a place that provided me with so much insight and strength, exactly at a time when I'm looking for more of the same. And for a bit of fun. I wonder if that beach is still as beautiful as I remember it.

So I've come full circle. And, yes, I've loaded my iPod with a few new songs, including this one called "When She Believed in Me" by Kenny Loggins, which somehow feels so appropriate for this trip. Click here to listen.

Good night and best wishes for a wonderful week ahead, from all of us at Travelife Magazine.



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