For our last night in Colombo a few hours ago, living a Travelife, we had dinner at the romantic Mount Lavinia Hotel.
The Mount Lavinia Hotel has the only private beach in Colombo. It's all golden sand. Two years ago, I remember walking along this strip of sand at sunset, also at the end of my trip, and experiencing some sort of epiphany on my life.
DIFFERENT TIME, SAME PLACE
Last night, being in that exact same place at sunset, I couldn't help remembering this fact.
I said to someone walking alongside me: "This is the exact same place where I had an epiphany about my life two years ago."
How interesting then to be at this same pretty exotic place, a little older and certainly a lot more wiser.
DINNER PREPARED BY
SRI LANKA'S BEST CHEF
Then we proceeded to have dinner on the terrace of the hotel, where a very delicious Sri Lankan buffet awaited, prepared by Chef Publis de Silva, the most famous chef in Sri Lanka.
Every Sri Lankan knows who he is and the local specialties he prepares are truly unlike anywhere else on this island.
When the Sri Lankan government entertains heads of state, for instance, they call on him to do the cooking.
PRIVATE COOKING LESSONS
FROM SRI LANKA'S BEST CHEF
On my first trip, I'd had a private cooking lesson with him right next to the beach.
He'd taught me how to cook a mean Sri Lankan shrimp curry and a local vegetable stir-fry. He was also very entertaining and witty.
On Sunday night, we just enjoyed his food. No lessons. It was a fitting end to a most wonderful trip that I think everyone enjoyed.
HAPPINESS ON A TRAVELIFE
I was most touched, in fact, that people were already posting messages of appreciation and praise on Facebook and tagging me, right while we were still at Colombo airport, waiting for our plane out of Sri Lanka.
I was at the Thai Airways lounge working on my computer, and I was getting tagged by people on their computers or mobile phones, from just across the room or across the airport hall.
WHEN'S THE NEXT TRAVELIFE?
So many people said they can't wait to go on another Travelife again, and a not a few want exactly the same group to go again, even if they'd just met on this trip.
And almost everyone who came along to Sri Lanka never goes on organized tours; but they came along with us because they knew that going on a Travelife -- just like Travelife Magazine itself -- would be anything but ordinary.
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OTHER MAGAZINES GETTING ON THE BANDWAGON
In fact I've noticed how some magazines have started copying us and offering trips of their own.
I don't know what kind of trips they're doing, in terms of quality, but I can tell you that each Travelife trip is a herculean labor of love that involves painstaking attention to details and incredibly personalized service.
The main reason we're doing these trips is so that we can share the Travelife experience with other people.
And this is why we can't do them so often. If we can't do it well, we won't do it at all. And our philosophy of quality extends to our magazine, our experiences and our events.
So many travel magazines. But only one Travelife.
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