BY JES WHITE
We recently made our first overseas trip as a family of 4. I packed up my family’s essentials into one fairly small suitcase, brought a travel pram, stuffed the surfboard bag with nappies and we set off for the home of the King Coconut, Sri Lanka.
My husband Rad and I had never been to Sri Lanka and were a little unsure what to expect, but boy oh boy did Sri Lanka deliver! Not only did it deliver, it blew our minds and opened our hearts in a way we couldn’t have imagined. Traveling for three weeks with a 2 year old and a 5 month old through a developing country did have its challenges, although it also brought us experiences we would have otherwise missed out on. Sri Lankans love children, their faces would light up whenever they saw Ace or Lux. We saw another side of the locals because of this, they instantly felt a connection to us. They would tell us stories about their own children while cuddling or playing with ours. Ace made friends with so many local kids, despite them not speaking the same language they would play and laugh until it was time to go our separate ways.
This little island completely satisfied our thirst for wanderlust with its diversity and culture. We spent our mornings watching wild elephants graze metres away from us as we travelled by tuk tuk on our way to the local market. There we would get our coconut fix and stock up on local fresh fruit for the day. Our days were filled with treks through the jungle to find waterfalls, visits to Buddhist temples or swimming with colourful fish in the crystal clear sea. When it was nap time Rad took advantage of the many surf breaks the island has to offer. As the sun dipped below the horizon we strolled the beach spotting turtles catching waves and took our last salty dip for the day. One afternoon we were lucky enough to witness over one hundred baby turtles freshly hatched making the start of their massive journey out to sea.
Eating in Sri Lanka provides a feast for all the senses. There is an abundance of smells of spices, a rainbow of colour of fruits and bright golden king coconuts. Just make sure you ask for no spice unless you can handle some serious heat on your taste buds! It isn’t all about heat though, the curries are served with sweet relishes, caramelised pineapple, scrapped coconuts and bitter melon. Sunset is the time of day the local monkeys were most visible and active. They would leap from palm to palm stealing food from one another which provided great entertainment for our meal.
If you are looking for a new stamp in your passport that is going to get your adventure juices flowing, India’s tear drop is the place for you! Whether it is with or without little ones it is a trip like this that fuels the burning desire for the next.