Like a firework, lightning lit up the night sky. Soaring and screaming and bright.
‘OK. I’m awake now.’
One thousand. Two thousand. Three thousand.
The valley glowed blue and then white and then back to black. The silhouette of the balcony flashed and danced as the lighting grew closer and closer. Turning the nighttime into daylight.
One thousand. Two thousand.
Our glass box clattered and shook as the magnetic pull of the earth dragged the lighting down to the ground, helping its search for something solid. The rumble was moving. Edging closer.
As the lighting struck our roof. The roll of the thunder simultaneously roared and echoed through the hills bouncing back across the valley.
‘Do you think it hit us?’
‘Well, the power’s gone out.’
Then more thunder and more lighting. There were no more seconds into between. No more thousands to count. The rain pounded on the windows, rattling the glass door. Thrashing the roof and filling our open-air bathroom with pools of fresh water.
The room glowed and then darkened, the storm was reflecting on our faces as we watched it move across the valley. Our glass guest house vulnerable and resilient, with the best views of the storm. The ones money can’t buy.
This is why we came to Sri Lanka. This is why we came to the mountains. To hear the wondrous howl of the storm and see the world wake up anyway. With little to show for its battle, other than puddles and wet grass.
I’ve wanted to go to Sri Lanka for such a long time. After visiting India when I was barely 19, I’ve been pulled back to Asia time and time again. Sri Lanka seemed like it would be good reintroduction. Rolling beaches, crashing surf, endless tea plantations, incredible safaris and temples. But when we visited Sri Lanka we didn’t see that sacred tooth or climb for the sunrise Sigiriya rock selfies.
Of course, there are parts of the country I wish I’d seen, but now I have even more reason to go back. We spent time carving out memories and making moments count. We didn’t tick too much of our list.
- The joy of the tuk-tuk ride.
- The wondrous excitement of buying food from the train. Wrapped in a newspaper. Water sold and bough through windows.
- The tea.
- The bumpy road to that hidden beach. The beer when we finally sat on the sand.
- The bike ride that left us overheating.
- But mostly, the people. The hosts and the homemakers who taught us everything we needed to know about their country.
Why do you travel? What are you looking for? What stories are you planning? What memories are you making? Are busy ticking things off your list? Crossing things off in your guidebook as you go? Don’t forget to breathe in the smell of the earth after the rain. Don’t forget to dance in the storm or laugh at your mistakes.
These are the snippets of my stories. The memories that weave into a life. How lucky we are that these adventures make us who we are. That they become part of who we are. What countries do you want to go to and just sit and soak up the atmosphere? What places have you been to that have made you slow down and appreciate their beauty?
Don’t you think it’s weird, travelling to another country, I mean really think about it, you get on a plane and then you arrived in a whole other world. Don’t put it in a guidebook sized box. Let it show you what it had to offer.
Each month I share stories of past adventures. I don’t write travel guides or lists of the best cafes or tourist attractions to visit (I can let you know about some amazing travel bloggers that do), but instead, I hope that by sharing my stories, I can inspire you to start some of your own.
Check out some other stories here: