Christmas can be a lonely time on the road. Lately I’ve found my mind fondly wandering back to memories of life back home. After 4 months away, travel ceases to be non-stop excitement and starts to become your norm. I’m even beginning to feel nostalgic about stuff I hated back in London like coming into an empty office when everyone else is on leave or Christmas shopping.
I know this is a quirk of human psychology. The grass is always greener right? I know that within a month of being back home I’d probably get all sentimental about travel. That’s how it goes.
If you’re looking at me thinking “a life of travel looks pretty great,” I have an honest message for you.
Your life looks pretty great to me too.
Life Lessons from Travel in 2015
Travel is gradually teaching me that it doesn’t really matter what I do with my life from one day to the next. There is no single secret to happiness. No path I can take that’s the perfect recipe for all my dreams and desires. There are going to be boring days. There are going to be stressful days. There are still going to be people I look at and think “wow, I wish I was doing that.”
The best I can do is work towards having memorable experiences and be grateful for all the good things that come my way.
So that I don’t forget them, here are a few of my favourite travel memories from 2015.
Have a very merry Christmas everyone. I wish you happiness and lots of happy memories, whatever you’re up to over the holidays.
Travel Memories from 2015
Walking the deserted 6 mile stretch of white sand from Arambol to Ashven in Goa.
Seeing the Maharaja’s decorated elephants returning through the palace gates to a fanfare of drums, pungi pipes and lantern light.
Witnessing a purple sunset in the midst of a thunderstorm over the ancient city of Hampi.
Two plates of the world’s best onion pakoras whilst waiting out a storm in the camaraderie of a rooftop bar with our mates Kish and Ashar.
Millions of giant fruit bats darkening the skies for an hour by Mysore Lake.
My first sleeper train experience in India.
A rainbow sunset in the hills surrounding Ooty.
The Kerala backwaters. Fireflies, kingfishers, peace and tranquillity.
Using the local Sri Lankan buses like a boss.
Witnessing the moment my wife finally broke the language barrier and made a personal connection with a shy coconut farmer named Janet.
Waking up in the dark, and watching the sunrise through my mosquito net each morning on a coconut estate in Sri Lanka.
Crab fishing on a lagoon surrounded by distant fork Lightning and lenticular clouds.
Standing 50 meters from of a herd of wild elephants.
Buying lunch for the entire staff at Poppies guesthouse and enjoying it together.
Staying up until the early hours in Galle with the lighthouse strobing across our moonlit room and the sound of the ocean drifting through the open windows.
Boogie boarding in Mirissa
Climbing the arduous Ella Rock
Standing in the ancient megalithic site known as the Temple of Kuveni in a sunny glade, lost inside the vast Wilpatthu forest reserve.
Quietly listening to the heart breaking tsunami story of a mother in Unawatuna.
Siting is silence on Pidurangla Rock, dumbstruck by the incredible view.
Waking up after an afternoon nap and secretly listening to Navi expertly comforting a young female backpacker who was homesick on her first trip.
A proper family dinner with our friend Ruckshan.
A hark back to the colonial past, our friend Tilak’s tipsy tour of the unseen world of Colombo’s Private Members Clubs.
Dhal curry with crusty white bread each morning on Mirissa Beach.
Staring over the Bangkok rooftops from a window in my favourite hotel once more after 8 years of dreaming about being back here.