Categories Recent Discoveries Sri Lanka

A Backpacker in Sri Lanka for 48 hours

Sunday, May 10, 2015
A Backpacker in Sri Lanka for 48 hoursLike0

A Diary By Safa Khairy

I live in Dubai, fast paced lifestyle, sometimes overworked and stressed. In these moments all anyone needs is a small quick trip to get their head straight and relax. So what better way to do that than jump on a plane for a long weekend and better yet on a small budget.. It took me 10 min to decide book my tickets for the next day, destination Sri Lanka, Unawatuna. It was my first time there.
My flight was delayed from that awful sandstorm, so I missed my train down south, taxi was the only way to go at that point. It cost 70 dollars worth every penny.. It’s a scenic road that takes you there, The mountains and greenery was beyond what I expected. 2.5 hours flew by like nothing.
Where to Stay – I booked a room in this small hotel called “dunes” where I learned it was a couple owned hotel. The room was lovely clean, spacious and quiet. Honestly, every time I think of how much I paid for the hotel, I’m in awe to how pleasantly surprised I was. Location was close enough to everything and with a garden that looks like a little piece of heaven. I highly recommend it!
Unawatuna is a small place everything mostly located on this one road walle Diwali st. There are restaurants, small shops with harem pants and beach dresses all colorful and on display, beach hotels and guest houses.
Where to eat – I wasn’t so familiar with the food there but I now it’s in my top 5 cuisines. There are places where you can take cooking classes and learn how to make this amazing food, so if you like to cook make sure that’s on your to do list. The roti from the roti shop my personal favorite food, a crepe like dhal with different filling, eggs cheese, chocolate you name it.. Savory or sweet it is a must try while your there. If your vegetarian or vegan there’s Jina’s restaurant, where the curries are an explosion of flavor. If you walk down the street you will find a place to eat every 5 meters a restaurant next to the surf shop, the pink elephant, the roti shop and so much more, all you have to do is walk in and enjoy the delicious flavors on offer.

What to do – jungle beach is the staple beach, it was a 15 min walk from my hotel, I would even call it a trek as you walk through the trees following signs, thinking where am I going through a jungle like path. Guess that would explain the name. But once arrive that’s when you realize it was def worth the up hill trek. Small and busy but the with soft sand between your toes and the sounds of the waves crashing you’ll realize it’s not as much the size but the beauty that surrounds you that make the experience. The surrounding mountains full of lush greens is an experience that was so foreign to me going to beaches. It also helps that there’s a restaurant where you can eat and drink. My only advise would be “wear sunscreen” !!
For the active out there I would suggest surfing lessons too, it’s hard and I did poorly but there is a sense of accomplishment that’s exhilarating once you stand up on your board even if it is for 30 seconds. For the animal lovers, check out the whale watching tours, turtle rescue farm where for a small donation you can help release rescued hatching back into the sea.
Honestly I can’t wait to go back, it’s definitely going to be a repeat destination.

Travel Junkie Diary

A bohemian traveler

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  • Would you go to furthermost place on earth? 
I’m so excited to announce our 5th destination release on @travelwithtjd 
Join us on the 1st-6th of May 2020 to the Northernmost Settlement on earth and explore the Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole on an Arctic expedition. In this packed polar journey, we have the chance to encounter some arctic wildlife, Kayaking into the glorious glaciers, snowmobiling into the earth’s depends fjords, enjoy husky safari, taste the culinary Arctic experience and learn so much about our beautiful planet.
Few tips on the trip: 
During May, it will be the start of the midnight sun, and so, the sun will not set below the horizon
As flights on our packages are not included, I always suggest to find the best flight deals through @wegoarabia which will give you a range of flights to chose from, matches your budget and connecting flights
Please get in touch if you would like to join this expedition, also, keep in mind that you will need a certain fitness level to join. 
Due to safety circumstances, we can only have 6 guests in one group. 
#TravelwithTJD #CreateYourReality
Photo by @dennisstever
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We visited Pyramiden, 2 hours by boat from longyearbyen, and known as a Soviet Ghost Town, an abandoned Russians coal mine settlement sold to the Soviet Union back in 1927. When we arrived, they told us that they have seen few polar bears around and so had to stay close. 
Barentsburg, the second largest settlement in Svalbard with about 450 inhabitants, mostly, also, Russians... Some of the other islands have amongst scientist and researchers. Needless to say, Longyearbyen is the northernmost capital on earth.
I also want to thank the team at @arcticexpedition.no who were so incredible with us, it wouldn’t have been the same without them, despite me being a little afraid of walking out, they assured our safety ☺️ Make sure you join us on our next @travelwithtjd in May to Svalbard once again!#TravelwithTJD
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It’s just you, the land, and your thoughts, and you can't leave until you've wrestled with yourself and emerged a survivor. 
But then again, the light is much more intense up here and everything looks different because of it. The sun hasn’t set in a couple of months, and you can see things much more clearly when it is light all of the time. 
I’m addicted to the Arctic, it has been so for the past two years as @dennisstever and I set a mission to work together to conquer it on @travelwithTJD 
Thanks to @dennisstever for capturing this moment.
Thank you to the wonderful team @arcticexpedition.no for making this a memorable experience ❤️
  • Im at the Earth’s northernmost inhabited settlement and I made this happen!!
A Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Svalbard is home to the ‘King of the Arctic’, which is the Polar Bear, followed by whales, Arctic Fox, Birds, Seals, Walrus and Reindeers. Svalbard is 600 miles away from the North Pole, the farthest place on earth I have ever been. This is not a dream...I created this beautiful reality. #TravelwithTJD @travelwithtjd @visitsvalbard
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In so many ways. 
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@dennisstever and I spent a week in Finland for the midnight sun, exploring the summer season. He probably took a thousand shots of this moment and encouraged me to keep going despite the cold waves splashing on me. 
But, I’m thankful, because, after a while, the cold numbed me, so I caught my breath, looked around and realized how F*** amazing it is to feel alive!
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Loving yourself, or accepting yourself doesn’t start with just accepting your body or its ‘flaws’, that’s not how we become ‘ordinary’, and the constant focus on bodies is directing the false message, denoting how our looks comes first and preaching about it (constantly)is not ordinary. 
Whatever happened to beauty from within? Or education? 
Are we truly loving ourselves if we put our body ‘flaws’ constantly out there on social media waiting again, for others to approve and congratulate you?
Is that not just promoting more “What’s on the outside counts more than what’s on the inside?”
Acceptance and beauty is deeper than that, because, surely, a body’s ‘ordinary’ image, is not solely what we should or should not be celebrating. 
Imperfections comes from the inside... Our actions, reactions, our weaknesses, strengths, our challenges and triumphs, our anxieties.
Loving oneself is accepting our heart and mind’s inability to function today but still give tomorrow another chance. 
We are beautiful for how we make others feel, for being there for one another, for lifting each other, for forgiving, for loyalty, for being there for your children, for your family, for strangers and for those around you and definitely not because we have or have not accepted our bodies and those around us. 
Whoever you are... our ‘imperfections’ in our souls are what makes ordinary and learning to accept it, is what makes you beautiful, and that is what we need to be sharing. 
So let’s highlight what’s on the inside, instead of just purely focusing on the outside. Because, that’s the only way we can truly love ourself, and not by perfect or imperfect bodies.
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My collection of images posted on Instagram, are spontaneous memories of living through joy, love, passion, achievements, sadness and struggles. 
My journey, my soul and those in my life, expressed in words and photography. 
I shoot for what is important for me and not for what is expected of me. I post when I want to, and not when a schedule says it’s time to. 
I might have fewer ‘likes’ on some images than others and I’m not consumed by it because my reality is keeping me ‘disconnected’ from social media ... In my real world, I have those around me who make me love with every heart beat, laugh till my stomach hurts and lift me up till my hands touch the sky. 
My intentions is to always stay true to myself first, to my passion, to my photography. I believe that’s the only way one can create something extraordinary. Thank you for all the support throughout the years, or if you have just followed... thank you for your messages and your words of encouragement. 💫
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I can never get bored of this view! 😍