From the Arctic to the Equator

Here are the first few days that we have spent in Sri Lanka in 2020. If you are curious about how we are, make yourself comfortable and read about our story behind, our plans, first impression, struggle, and what is coming next.

My boyfriend and I spent almost two years in Iceland. It was beautiful experience. (I have to mention, we are originally from Czechia) The local Icelandic spirit will always be with me. Nevertheless, coldness and lack of light during winter time made us to think about a vacation. Long enough to fulfill us with sun and vitamins that we were missing in Iceland. Here we are now, ready to go on approximately 3 months long journey.

Since we both have been to India and Taiwan, we decided to visit some new land. Undiscovered for us but still Asian vibe sort of thing. Sri Lanka was the first and ultimate choice. In our minds it would be something like India yet not as extreme.

And it was kind of true. We’ve been here for more than 10 days by now. I don’t recall any culture shock that I usually have for at least a week. On the other hand, I started writing this post 7 days ago and I’ve rewritten it a couple of times since then. People of Sri Lanka appear to be very hospitable and friendly. They don’t bother to bargain so much (neither do I) It looks like government controls the market and takes a closer look if people violate the rules. To sum up, their appearance is similar to Indian people yet they are very different. 

What caught us by surprise was the strength of the sun.

Somehow, I didn’t realize where we spent the last two years, so local sun, super close to the equator with typical UV index 11+, is a bit extreme for me and my 30 factor sun screen wouldn’t be enough. Actually, if I didn’t use my sunscreen I would have ended up with second-degree burn. No, thank you. The regular old first-degree sunburn is just enough.  Long story short, we’re running to the local western style store for our 50 factor sunscreen. I have to tell you, we’re kind of red. I mean, we are always sunburnt the first time of meeting sun after winter time. But I’ve never been burnt after 3 minutes of standing on sunlight, ever. So here is a note for my future self: don’t underestimate the elements of nature. Overall, maybe my mind is in peace but my body is experiencing some sort of shock.  My swollen legs could tell a lot about getting used to the local temperature and humidity.

As every place in the world, tourism is changing Sri Lanka every day. Therefore, I would like to put together few tips that match the year 2020. Later on in separate posts.

Here are a few hints that give you a picture about what kind of travelers we are.

Our accommodation is kind of home stay. We eat at places recommended by TripAdvisor users (well, not always). Later on, we seek another places around the ones found on TripAdvisor. It’s like mushroom picking (if you found one, there is always more around). We travel by motorbike, train, or local bus, very rarely by taxi. We avoid big cities and usually don’t stay at one spot more than 5 nights. We book accommodation a few days ahead. Our budget including accommodation, motorbike, food, and minor pleasures (such as clothes, souvenirs, surf rent, tours) is approximately 7000 LKR a day.

Overall, I love this place. There’s a lot to do. Stay tuned for another post with particular experiences and tips. If you scrolled all the way down here, thank you for your time and see you soon!