Back on the Road and Feeling Overwhelmed

It was a strange feeling getting off that Sri Lankan Airlines plane and spending the first few hours of our much-anticipated trip in Negombo. We’d been waiting to get back on the road since we came home from our previous year around the world back in 2012. We couldn’t wait for all the amazing rewards of long-term travel. Those things that we always reminisce about when we’re back in London. The incredible food, the warm weather, the epic treks, the diverse wildlife, the friendly locals and fellow travellers, the sandy beaches, the interesting cultures, the not having to go to work! So why were we feeling so overwhelmed? 

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An honest blog about how we felt being back on the road backpacking after 4 years away from long term budget travel. It's not always a holiday.

What surprised us after checking into our villa accommodation and taking a wander around Negombo’s streets is how we really felt like a couple of fish out of water. This is not how we thought it would feel being back on the road. 

The Idea of Travelling this Way Again Suddenly Felt Quite Daunting

It hasn’t been that long since we’d done this and we’d visited India before. For nine weeks in fact. A country very similar to Sri Lanka. We’ve also travelled South East Asia extensively. So we thought to come to Sri Lanka should almost feel like home. But no. We felt quite uncomfortable with the whole situation. Why were we feeling like this!

Being back in the world of budget travel made us immediately remember the negative aspects that we mostly pushed out of our memories. It’s easy to forget the negatives and reminisce about past experiences through rose tinted glasses.

An honest blog about how we felt being back on the road backpacking after 4 years away from long term budget travel. It's not always a holiday.

A Lot of Travel Bloggers don’t Talk About the Other Side of Long Term Travel

We think it’s important to show the rough with the smooth as we are too aware that there is a lot of rough to come for us. We’ve already experienced some in the first 5 days. On the first day in fact!

The staying in often very basic accommodation, the never ending sweating in 30c heat, the long and uncomfortable bus journeys, the scams to avoid, the spiders, the frustrating language barriers, the constant “no thank you’s” to tuk-tuk drivers and touts, the food poisoning, wearing dirty clothes, cockroaches! God, we hate cockroaches!!!

Have we Really Done the Right Thing by Getting Back on the Road?

Giving up our jobs back home, saying goodbye to our friends and family, assuming that everything is going be as sweet and wondrous as we remember our last year away in 2012 to be. We’re 4 years older now. Maybe we don’t have it in us anymore for real budget backpacking.

We think we have. It’s just going to take us a little more time than we thought to get our travel mojo back.

Until today we hadn’t seen any of Sri Lanka’s highlights. But this morning we took an awesome walk up to Little Adam’s Peak in Ella. A mountain peak where the views are incredible. It was just what we needed to give us a positive boost. And tomorrow we climb Ella Rock. An even higher peak with what we hear are even better views! It’s experiences like Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock that make it all worth it. The smooth far outweighs the rough.

And even now, I’m writing this blog on the terrace of our jungle accommodation. It’s raining, bird calls are everywhere and distant thunder rumbles. This is what we’ve been looking forward to. More of this please world!

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An honest blog about how we felt being back on the road backpacking after 4 years away from long term budget travel. It's not always a holiday.

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