You know how, in Hawaii, one simple word can mean Hello or Goodbye? Same goes for French. Aloha! Salut! While I haven’t yet had the chance to figure out if there is a word here in Sri Lanka that works the same way, I have noticed that the toot, toot of the horn speaks about as often and effectively as the people here. From what I can gather, not only does it mean Hello and Goodbye, but it works to say Yes, No, Watch Out, Go ahead, You’re being slow, You’re in my way, and I can only imagine countless more things that I just haven’t been exposed to yet. If I had fallen asleep somewhere else and woken up to all these noises, I wouldn’t have been surprised to be in New York City.
But alas, I am in Negombo, Sri Lanka today. When I first woke up in the morning (yesterday) I was in Aberdeen, Scotland crazily packing or binning the last of my belongings. When I accidentally arrived at the airport with more than three hours to spare, I found that, even then, it hadn’t set in that I was about to be a whole world away from the life I had just spent two years creating. Even now, I’m sitting on the balcony in my hotel looking out over the beach watching the day turn from sunny and sweltering to boisterously stormy (monsoon season is slowly coming to an end), but the only difference I feel compared to previous travels is a decreased sense of confidence. And yet, there’s something oddly comforting about it. I crave stability in my life, but living in a state of status quo depletes the sense of passion I feel for life. So I travel. It changes my world and installs a sense of purpose in me, especially when I am fighting for stability in my day-to-day life.
Tomorrow, I’m due for more change. The adventure to Kandy, my home base for the next six weeks, begins.