. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just a different thing. As Leah pointed out to me I have become closer to a lot of my friends since being out here, I've accepted the distance and end of several other friendships. In some cases I've been surprised by who haa made an effort to remain in contact and who hasn't. I have so much love and thanks in my heart for those who helped me through some of the more difficult days out here. I couldn't have done it without you. I've become akin to which personalities I want in my life. I've also developed a better appreciation for my family. I've always known how great you all are and how much I love you, but being away I really notice it. I am excited beyond words when I get an email, Skype or Facebook from my family (Donna and john-an ever source of inspiration, I'm including you in this group). I've become closer to certain members by being away. It's funny how things work out sometimes.
keep in mind I have been traveling without an end date and well beyond my original plan so supplies are starting to run low or more accurately non existent. I left my travel towel in Hanoi Vietnam (start of December) and have been unable to find a suitable replacement other than a sarong that also doubles as beach towel, shawl and blanket. Most guest houses don't provide towels or sheets and I've become accustomed to Air drying or of I'm in a time crunch using clothes (unfortunately they are usually dirty so it almost negates the shower). Sri Lanka is not the place to get supplies. Razors ? Nope. Feminine products? Ha! You wish ! Shampoo? Individual packets that are impressive to open. Tooth brush? Not that Ive seen, probably why everyone is sporting toothless grins that I've come to find so endearing. I brought there pairs of socks and am down to one. My unmentionable situation is becoming quite dire and it's impossible to buy anything here even in Thailand.
these thoughts and more were running through my head as I headed back go negumbo
. I took a bus to the city of Kurunegala where I met a lovely local girl about 16 years old. I helped her with her English assignment, we talked about boy bands and her crush and shared some local snacks (deep fried Dahl and peppers).she gave me a friendship barrette at the end and asked me never to forget her. The feels were real strong. I then maneuvered my way through the busiest bus station I have seen so far and headed to my final destination. I arrived in negumbo and found it almost impossible to move because of the sheer density of people. Turns out it was election day. Once again pre planning would have come in handy, but apparently that just isn't the way I roll anymore. I headed back to the hostel that Dan and I had stayed at a few Weeks earlier on my first night in Sri Lanka. It was empty except for a Finnish guy. We went for dinner, watched a sunset, joined the locals in a gambling game on the beach and watched an ocean storm from the beach as thousands of crabs scurried around us. Life really doesn't get much better. The next day was pretty much my last in South east Asia. I found a local juice and tea shop run by a mother daughter duo. I say and talked with them for over an hour about life, Canada, India, the slavery in Dubai and cricket. They invited me back for lunch after my walk on the beach. An invitation I happily accepted. I took a long stroll along the beach. the walk starts in the main village, goes past multiple 5 star resorts with tourists that refuse to leave the comfort of their beach. Locals are not allowed on this part unless they are working. I talked to a few people on my way and they were terrified to leave their resort. They were convinced they were going to get mugged, murdered and or raped. I don't I ow where they were getting their information but I hadn't felt unsafe once. I continued on past the resorts and into a fishing village where I met a local man who joined me on my walk. He pointed out all the local flora and fauna, caught crabs and clams, found stunning sea shells and taught me about their fishing culture
. We walked past empty lots that used to be resorts but were flattened by the tsunami. We walked to a lagoon where I met his entire family and spent some time swimming, drinking tea and playing tag. I left him there as I headed back for my lunch date. lunch was a lovely fruit and vegetable spread with fresh caught prawns plus tea. We talked for quite some time as we watched the ocean and listened to the birds. It is amazing how similar our childhood experiences were despite the distance, cultural differences and everything else. On the surface it would appear that we couldn't have more opposite lives, not when you break it down that just isn't the case. I left just in time to eat dinner, pack and head to bed. I had a tuk tuk come to get me at 3 am to start my very long, round about way for getting home. From Sri Lanka I flew 4 hours to Mumbai where I had a wonderful 24 hour layover. I wasn't able to get a transit visa so I was stuck in the air port. its a small one room airport under construction, full of mosquito's and nothing exciting go see or do. A big shout out to Leah, Sam and Brianna who kept me electronically company and prevented me from going absolutely mental. From Mumbai I flew 6 hours to Bangkok where I had an 12 hour layover. This time I left the air port, ate dinner, shopped, and watched a sunset from a park. At 4 am I headed back go the airport for my extra full 8 hr flight to Japan. From there I took an empty 13 hour flight to Washington DC. everyone on the flight had a full 3 person row to themselves. It was a happy comfortable flight. Everyone had extra food, drinks, blankets, pillows and space.
Naturally I have had some reservations about heading home. The date in looming in with an increasing quickness and if you asked me last week I would have told you no. I am not ready. But I am finally ready to head home. I'm emotionally and physically exhausted. Traveling has been a dream and I wouldn't change a thing about my trip but it is hard. It's hard on the body; my feet are destroyed, my back, my waistline and it's hard emotionally. I have discovered so much about myself. I have been happier than words can describe and lower than I have ever been. I have tested my limits and discovered where I am willing to bend and where I stand firm. I have been more independent than I thought possible and I've relied heavily on the kindness and company of strangers who have become closer to me in a few days then people I've known for years at home. I've learnt how to be less superficial and be happy with me. I'm nervous about reintegrating to my friends. since I've been gone so much has changed, people have come and gone, the dynamics are forever altered