The last 24 hours began with dinner by the pool of the Mount Lavinia Hotel in Colombo, sitting outdoors on one of the most perfect evenings of my year so far, living a Travelife.
It was a starry night and there was a very cool breeze, plus the roar of the ocean nearby.
We all could have stayed there all night if only we didn't have a flight to catch.
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Our group of Travelife readers and friends were having a last dinner before flying out of Sri Lanka on the Thai Airways flight that would take us from Colombo to Bangkok and onwards to Manila.
MY FAVORITE SONG
I sat with some good friends, including an old schoolmate, the family of an ambassador stationed in the Philippines, and a hotel general manager in one round table, talking about Travel and Life, and the wonders of this small but amazing island called Sri Lanka.
THE PERFECT TIME FOR A VISIT
This was the perfect time to visit Sri Lanka, as it is still very much under the tourist radar. We had the sites to ourselves and the entire island is pretty much still pristine and uncommercialized.
Of course there are downsides to traveling to such an under-the-radar location: the long drives are maddening and some of the tourist infrastructure is not up-to-par with more modern parts of the world.
But having traveled all over the world, I find that the hotels and restaurants in Sri Lanka are utterly charming.
On these last two trips, we chose some of the best places to stay within a certain budget for the group. But you can't really compare them to what's found in more developed countries.
Fortunately, my friends were astute enough to understand that getting first dibs -- bragging rights, really -- on a country the rest of the world has yet to discover also means having to put up with certain discomforts.
Even in a Travelife.
Although I really think the itinerary we've put together is truly the best one around in terms of quality, logistics and value.
The next one I'm thinking of doing is a luxury Travelife Sri Lanka version, which will incorporate some of the most amazing places to stay and eat in the world, while seeing the sights. Costs will be different, too, of course.
JOIN US ON OUR NEXT TRAVELIFE TO SRI LANKA.
SRI LANKA LUXE Version.
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IT WON'T BE THIS WAY FOR LONG
Once you get the highways, the luxury hotel chains, and more direct flights into Sri Lanka, the country will change completely.
Real travelers can't have it both ways, and I'm so glad my friends understand this. I'm really happy that I've been able to show so many of them Sri Lanka at its most pristine.
I'm also glad my friends told me they really enjoyed themselves, as this particular Travelife was really a labor of love, more than the others. A lot of friends were on this trip, so I tried to make it the very best possible one.
This was also my second Sri Lanka trip in four months, so I knew what to do better this time around.
THE RED EYE OUT OF COLOMBO
Today we left Colombo at 2 AM.
As soon as we took off, I turned my chair into a bed and fell asleep for a good three hours, skipping what looked like a very good meal.
It's not a completely flat bed on business class from Colombo to Bangkok on Thai Airways as it's only a three-hour flight -- but it's certainly comfortable enough to fall asleep very soundly.
On the Bangkok-Manila flight, I just went back to sleep again, waking up in time for a breakfast of rice and soy chicken that was really almost like lunch.
BACK TO REGULAR PROGRAMMING
|The beach of Mount Lavinia Hotel|
And then it's back to another version of my never-endingly eventful Travelife.
I've got to go to a concert early tonight, and then to attend a dinner in honor of France's Bastille Day.
So it was dinner by the beach in Colombo last night, breakfast somewhere over Bangkok earlier, and then a concert, dinner and fireworks by the sea in Manila tonight, living just another day in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.
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