So a couple of months ago I decided that it was about time for me to go travelling for longer than just a week or two. It was time to escape the normal and go and see a bit of the planet and attempt to do something good in the process.
I decided on Asia as my destination and began planning. Fast forward to today when I’m writing this under a mosquito net on the top bunk of a four girl room in a locals house. So the background… I’m doing a 2 1/2 month volunteering based adventure starting in Sri Lanka and then heading on to Singapore, Cambodia, Nepal, China and Hong Kong.
I’m coming to the end of my first week away and it’s been incredible! After some teary goodbyes last Friday, me and my rucksack headed for the airport to catch flight 1 of 10 to New Delhi then on to Colombo, Sri Lanka.
It was a solid day of travelling and I did have a few weak moments when I felt like I was in the twenty/something version of eat pray love. Sat next to a stranger, listening to Vanessa Carlton 1000 miles (shuffle is a dangerous thing) and questioning all my life choices. But we muddled on and made it to a very hot and humid Sri Lanka.
I’m staying in Ambalangoda which is on the south coast. I am working with a company called PMGY and have a placement at a turtle hatchery for two weeks. The turtles are adorable and the hatchery is right on the beach!
I’m staying with other volunteers in the project co-ordinators house. We’ve actually just moved to a bigger volunteer house as of today which means there are about 23 of us and everyone has been amazing so far. We can just chill out in the evenings and there’s always someone to talk to.
It’s really awesome to work with the turtles. We get to feed them and clean them and next week we may even get to release some back in to the sea!
Wednesday was my best day so far, i got up at around 5 and went to a guided meditation with a Buddhist monk at the local temple. Climbing up around 200 steps first thing is one way to start the day but I felt so calm and centred afterwards. People generally just seem happier here.
I then had turtles in the morning and I’ve bonded with the oldest and biggest turtle Tom Aka sassy Tom. He had his front fin cut off by a boat propeller and would die in the wild, so is looked after by the sanctuary. After that me and some of the girls headed to the beach and ended up playing Volleyball with some Chinese and Sri Lankan people! My competitive nature did kick in and at one point me and the opposition Sri Lankan did face off at the net… Resulting in me getting body checked but I won the point so definitely worth it!
That night we had a beach BBQ and a little too much arrack may have been consumed. Dancing around a campfire with lovely people till the early hours is the best way to spend a Wednesday night. The sea was in the background and there was this party hut ahh incredible. Me, Anna and Molly stumbled home later and chatted on our balcony for hours, I have no idea how I managed to wake up for volunteering at 9.
I don’t feel like I have packed any of the right things though and I am truly awful at hand washing there is sand everywhere. I don’t know why I didn’t bring more beach stuff but it is so nice here for just chilling on the beach too. Most days this week we have finished projects and headed to the beach for a few bears and a lot of sun, sea and sand.
I can’t believe how lucky I am to have met such awesome people. I am genuinely sad I only have two weeks here with everyone, it’s like a paradise just with slightly more insects and ridiculous amounts of heat induced sweating.
I’m so excited already to write my next post about the week to come!