Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Myth-busting and Tips for Cooling Down in a Tropical Climate

We think we know what it takes to cool ourselves off in a tropical climate, but the truth for most expats and travelers from parts of the globe that have more than one season a year, is that we have no clue. And why should we? We've grown up learning about how to deal with four seasons and the challenges of getting through cold and grey winters where you really begin to question if the sun is a figment of your imagination. So when we move thousands of miles across the ocean, to an island like Sri Lanka with a romantic notion of tropical days and warm balmy nights, the truth of it all really sets in within a few days.

We don't have the local knowledge that would truly help in this kind of climate. And we don't necessarily go in search of finding it out either. If you're like me, you drink a little more water and go swimming to cool off. But then I started to wonder what the locals do. I mean they don't look like they drink a lot of water, nor are they a nation of swimmers or beach-lovers. If they're at the beach, more often than not, it's because their livelihood requires it, or they enjoy the water by being near it, but not in it.

As the years have gone by and the island has experienced some increasingly hot weather with plenty of dry spells and delayed monsoons, I've become more interested in learning about how locals cool down. It goes without saying I've been lucky to have people share their knowledge with me, and I'm about to share what I know with you. Hopefully, you'll find it useful to acclimatizing to the tropical heat.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

An expat in Sri Lanka: the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 17

As expats I find we fall somewhere in-between immigrant and traveler. For some expats, it's closer to immigrant because roots have been planted and time has been invested in this foreign land we call home. While for other expats, it's closer to traveler because Sri Lanka is really just a short stint on the life journey of opportunity and experiences, or there's a "let's see how the first year goes" attitude combined with minimal nesting. 

Of course we are all travelers of a sort. We travel everyday to get from A to B and back again. We travel for adventure and to experience destinations around the island and beyond these shores. We travel to visit loved ones and to reconnect with our native countries. And beyond this physical travel, we travel through the internet, within the stories in books and, in the realms of our aspirations and dreams.

Traveling in Sri Lanka is both a wonderful and challenging experience for visitors and expats on multiple levels. Foremost, it provides an opportunity to experience the island's people, places, language and culture. I don't mean the kind of traveling where you jump into a private hire vehicle or your own vehicle, but the travel where you're rubbing shoulders with the locals on public transport (i.e buses, coaches, and trains) and getting the full experience of life on the island. I have learned so much from these kinds of experiences - from commuting on buses and trains in Colombo, to long-distance travels by bus, coach or train, and also off-the-beaten-track tuk-tuk rides as well.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Expat News, Articles of Interest and Diary Events #6

January 2017 felt like a literal whirlwind. Travels and re-acclimating was the order for the month. Somehow it's all settled quite nicely back into how it's supposed to be. There's lots of movement around Sri Lanka. Every time I make a trip to the airport (even with the airport maintenance at BIA), it seems as if there are more people coming and going. And, for that matter, if you read the statistics correctly, there are definitely more tourists coming to explore the island.

As for me, I'm happy to get back to life as I know it in Sri Lanka. I've made a few trips already since my return. A road trip down south and another shorter weekend trip up to Anuradhapura. It's pure joy to be able to explore and enjoy the goodness of this island.  I've got more to share on expat life and travels shortly, so watch this space...

Have you seen the calendar for February? There are plenty of long weekends to look forward to. One of the perks of expat life in Sri Lanka!