for a lifestyle full of love and adventure

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Our Top “Sri Lanka by Train” Moments – Part One

Our Top “Sri Lanka by Train” Moments – Part One

Think of green vistas sweeping away as you peep your head out of the train window. Think of jungle-clad mountains, endless tea plantations and bada iringu (corn on the cob) uncles who make their way through crowded coaches. It’s no secret that we love travelling […]

10 Sri Lankan Curry Dishes You Absolutely Have to Try in Sri Lanka

10 Sri Lankan Curry Dishes You Absolutely Have to Try in Sri Lanka

WARNING: This blog post will make you hungry. Best eaten by hand, rice & curry, in Sri Lanka is our staple meal. But don’t get fooled by the name. It isn’t only one curry as the name suggests. It’s usually three, or four….or ten. “TEN […]

Things to See and Do in Ella, Sri Lanka: A Travel Guide

Things to See and Do in Ella, Sri Lanka: A Travel Guide

Ella is a small town in Sri Lanka’s hill country with a dry, mild climate. Ella, Sri Lanka has a relaxing vibe, and over the years, it has become one of Sri Lanka’s top tourist hubs. So popular that almost everyone who visits Sri Lanka […]

Agra, 2017: Butter Chicken, Naan and Mughal Architecture

Agra, 2017: Butter Chicken, Naan and Mughal Architecture

Platform number 5. Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. Purani Dilli. It was 7.30 AM in the morning. We had just gulped down two cups of masala chai for breakfast. Two hours later, a smooth train ride took us to Agra. As soon as we walked out […]

How We Find Time to Travel With Our Day Jobs

How We Find Time to Travel With Our Day Jobs

To many, travel is just a getaway to a luxurious hotel once in every twelve months. You work and work and work and finally fly or drive your car to a palace-like hotel because that’s happiness. And that’s okay. That’s completely okay. We travel differently. This […]

Bed & Bicycle Hostel: A Quirky Modern Backpack Hostel in Mount Lavinia

Bed & Bicycle Hostel: A Quirky Modern Backpack Hostel in Mount Lavinia

Our experience and things to know about Bed & Bicycle Hostel The twinkle lights downstairs add a little magical touch to the hostel premises. Having just had two beef samosas and chicken rolls from a roadside shop nearby, we are back in Bed & Bicycle Hostel […]

Things to Do in Mirissa, Sri Lanka: A Travel Guide

Things to Do in Mirissa, Sri Lanka: A Travel Guide

A few weeks ago, we explored Mirissa with Hangover Hostels. Mirissa is a small village in Sri Lanka’s South Coast which became a hub for surfers and all sorts of tourists looking for some beach fun. We absolutely loved our time in Mirissa. There are […]

20 Photos That Will Inspire You to Visit Kumana National Park

20 Photos That Will Inspire You to Visit Kumana National Park

As I was sitting on a Panama-Colombo bus at the Pottuvil bus stand, browsing my phone, waiting for Nathan to come back from his dinner-searching trip, I was given a lens cap and a floppy hat. “The cap,” says the person standing in front of […]

Five Ways to be a Sustainable Traveler in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Five Ways to be a Sustainable Traveler in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

We had arrived in Arugam Bay after two bus journeys from Colombo and a short tuk-tuk ride. Getting to this East Coast paradise is quite a caveat if you use public transport but, as soon as we came to our eco-friendly beach hut, the sun […]

Chiang Mai: Best Place to Visit in Thailand

Chiang Mai: Best Place to Visit in Thailand

This is a guest post written by Chole from GoGo Budget Travel. Chole shares her tips and recommendations about the best place to visit in Thailand.  What is the best place to visit in Thailand? When it comes to Thailand, what’s the first place you think […]

Preparing Sri Lankan Rice & Curry with Ecowave Travels

Preparing Sri Lankan Rice & Curry with Ecowave Travels

“So you don’t know how to cook rice & curry, and that’s why you are here?” The Australian guest who joined us for the cooking class with Ecowave asks me. In Sri Lanka, we eat rice & curry for breakfast. We eat it for lunch. […]

What Do Travelers Love the Most about Sri Lanka?

What Do Travelers Love the Most about Sri Lanka?

What do travelers love the most about Sri Lanka? Is it those picture-perfect sandy beaches? Mountain views? Sri Lankan food? Or the island’s people?


A LIFESTYLE FULL OF LOVE AND ADVENTURE

Why We Choose to Travel despite the Chaos

Why We Choose to Travel despite the Chaos

It’s 4.00pm. We are in Clock Inn Colombo. Gobbling up two packets of instant noodles brought here by Nathan’s cousins all the way from Canada. They thought Sri Lanka wouldn’t have a packet of instant noodles. Or peanut butter. While we sip a cuppa, two wannabe indians laugh at a next level hilarious South Indian movie. An English, in his sixties, look at them with amaze. Despite being an old fella in Colombo’s fast-growing backpacking culture, Clock Inn Colombo still has life in it. Fifteen minutes ago, Zin sat in the cornerst table. Quiet. The table where she once sat and glorified Younis Khan. The table where Z first saw Nathan and Nathan, Z. The hostel where they met, kissed and fell in love. (Also read: One year and a little more.) While Z tries to memorize the old colour palette the hostel had, Nathan brings her a hot cup of noodles, instant but with soup. Two years ago, in the same table, he stole Z’s cup of ceylon tea. We all now think that was how Nathan planned to stole her heart. Or was it?

Sivan Kovil Colombo NatnZin
A morning at Sivan Kovil, Colombo

Our whole life, together, paints a picture in front of our eyes. One that fades away in two minutes and ten seconds. We sit quiet, trying to realise why we travel despite the chaos.

What you see on our Instagram is a picture of one beautiful morning in the hills where pink bougainvillea smile in full bloom and old colonial railways are in their late glory. What you don’t see is that we had the most tedious journey behind it.

Dalai Lama Temple
The young monks at The Kalachakra Temple in McLeod Ganj! We sat outside and spent a few minutes observing them! The Tibetan Buddhism is different to the Buddhist culture here in Sri Lanka.

We love instagram for giving a platform to share a tiny part of life. And for Nathan, it motivates him to take better photos. And experiment with his gear. But hey, it’s not all fun and glory always. What we see on Instagram are, people, in flowy maxis, sipping a king coconut in an isolated beach while the tiny caption says: life in paradise. Or a tropical fruit basket overlooking an infinity pool where it says: how breakfast in an island looks like.

Tuk Tuk Sri Lanka NatnZin
Tuktuking in Ulapane and beyond!

The same morning, we had a heavy breakfast and bade farewell to The Weir House. One place that stole our heart when we traveled. We boarded the train to kandy. One that stops in every tiny station and railway halt. Nathan sat beside Zin and talked about how much he loved quiet train journeys. Very much like this. A few people. Many stops. An Isso vadai uncle per compartment and central highlands in lush green. He wanted the next train to Colombo to be the exact same. 

(Also read: Why train is the best way to travel)

But it wasn’t exactly the same.

When we boarded the next train to Colombo one hour later from Peradeniya Junction, we sort of had an idea about how tedious our journey would be. It was, to the date, the most crowded train we’ve ever taken. We were sandwiched. Squashed, almost! The train stopped at many stations it wasn’t even supposed to stop at. That, too, twice, for more than 20 minutes. And all thanks to humidity, our clothes smelled “we need perfume. A lot! Bottles!” After 3 and a half hours barely standing on a train and being shouted at to move where there is ‘space,’ when there was none at all, we made it to Maradana. You’d think we finally made it and went home to a nice hot bath and a good cuppa! Or Nathan would make Zin a glass of chocolate mixed with vanilla ice cream and kahlua.

Wrong.

As soon as we are out, we met one of the manny May Day parades. And so we walked. Along with the rally, along with those who thank the politicians for the ‘glorious version of Sri Lanka’ now we have. We walked until we found a tuk. A tuk in which the meter is ‘broken’ and the driver charged 250 extra for a Rs.150 trip to the hostel.

Train Colombo NatnZin
Sunset sessions

And here, we sit in the corner table of Clock Inn Colombo, sipping an instant noodle soup. Talking about all the memorable moments we had despite the chaos. About how we’d never see and walk on an old iron bridge if we never made the tedious journey. About those Dua Lipa moments we had in the train. Those moments where everyone thought Nathan was Indian. And Chennai was much ‘worse.’ And even if we’ve to stand on a train for six long hours and eat vadai for one whole day with no chili, we’d never trade the feeling of travel for anything else. And in travel, the joy lies in the journey. Not quite with the destination.

Nathan and Zinara

xx