Since the trip to Mexico back in summer 2011, I finally got the occasion to travel again. Destination South Asia; more precisely to Sri Lanka, the island country located in the northern Indian Ocean.
Compared to (still and always comparing, some things never change...) my central-american experience, this adventure has been a real backpacking trip including endless bus rides trough the srilankan road anarchy, sweat-soaked t-shirts (...), mosquito battles as is right and proper,...
Backpacking is the art of knowing what to leave behind.
Back to basics has been the slogan on various levels. In a country with 20.277.597 people living , in our understanding, under absolutely "poor" conditions, one must admit what a comfort zone we live in and though we do complain much more than these guys. Buddhism is the most prevalent religion in Sri Lanka and even if you do not know much about it, it is famous for its minimalism and being a less greedy concept.
Besides the lack of needless luxury on a day to day level, you also get a reminder of who and what really matters; which unfortenutaly, in our cosy comport zone, we tend to forget ways too often. In the end, it's not only on a material level that I got to know what to leave behind.
Back in Mexico I found paradise (remember "heaven & hell can wait"); all the pictures were colorful and festive. So is the beginning of this post, all bright and full of light, though in the last pictures a certain darkness dominates. They are not ugly, just different and real and in a certain contrast to the ones before. Sri Lanka is nor heaven nor hell, it is it's own kind of paradise, if it was a person, it would be a beautiful mind.
Why do I say so ? Of course I have been amazed by the beauty of the temples, the miracles nature had to offer,... but formost I have been touched by the simplicity, gentleness and gratitude of the people we crossed. Therefor it is picture N°7 of this blogpost, with the two girls sharing a bottle of water and sharing a smile, that ended up being by favorite one.