This week I will Sri Lanka and, outside a few facts I’d found by reading the news headlines and speaking with friends through the years, I realized I knew shockingly little about the united states.
I knew it had been once ruled by the British, there is an extended conflict between your Tamils and Sinhalese, the united states produces a whole lot of tea, it has beyond-delicious food, its capital is Colombo, and there are a few amazing jungles and beaches to explore.
But, beyond that superficial understanding, I understand nothing.
I couldn’t let you know if the united states was cheap or inexpensive, what things to see, one famous ruin, safety issues, where in the united states is popular to go to, getting around, what their currency or culture is, or anything among.
Sri Lanka is a blank slate if you ask me.
While I’ve no intention of ever planning trips day-by-day or moment-by-moment, I never prefer to go somewhere blind — it’s a sure-fire way to get cheated, eat the incorrect thing, get sick, make a cultural faux pas, and generally have something go badly.
Knowledge is power and, considering that so much information regarding is available online, Personally i think like going somewhere without the knowledge of that place shows a laziness in your planning and an indicator of an unskilled traveler.
So, before I flew to Dubai fourteen days ago, I sat right down to plan my visit to this brand-new destination. Normally, easily have enough of a simple understanding of a location, I simply wing it — I’ve gone to neighboring countries, know people, or have read enough with an idea. Sri Lanka required some work.
Confronted with an understanding gap, here’s what I did so — and you ought to do — to fill it:
1. Buy a Travel Guide
To begin with, I purchased the Rough Guide to Sri Lanka. I believe guidebooks are still very important to travelers. Despite the fact that their practical information is often outdated, I love overlooking them to get a synopsis of ways to get around, form ideas on what things to see and do, suggest itineraries, and appearance at the maps and featured places.
It can help me put together the building blocks of my planning. Besides, there’s just something enjoyable about holding a book and highlighting places that reading a blog doesn’t offer.
2. Read Travel Blogs
Next, I went looking for travel blogs. Guidebooks certainly are a good foundation, but blogs can complete a whole lot of gaps as possible find more up-to-date information and off-the-beaten-path destinations, and have questions of the bloggers. I searched, read, and searched even more for content and stories that gave me a feeling of the destination. For reference, they are your blog posts I read:
- The price of Travel in Sri Lanka
- A Budget Traveler’s Guide to Sri Lanka
- Train Travel is best Way to visit
- Sri Lanka | The Blonde Abroad Archives
3. Ask Friends/Family for Advice
Once I had my guide and study some blogs, I asked family and friends for his or her advice (or if indeed they knew anyone who could give me advice). It proved I had a few friends who was simply there recently and some with family there. They gave me advice, tips, and suggestions about hotels and restaurants, plus they connected me to family.
Now when I land, I’ve some people to remain with, show me around, and help me get situated. Nothing beats an area host.
4. Ask Other Travelers
With more and more people scanning this blog, I figured there has to be some readers who was simply there. Tweeting, Facebooking, and my blogs produced a flurry of messages with advice, plus some from locals seeking to meet up. It had been incredibly helpful, and today I have some individuals to hold out with when I go!
Since not many people are a blogger, I recommend Couchsurfing or The Nomadic Network alternatively. They are both great methods to connect to locals and travelers alike to get insider tips and information.
5. Read Some Books
Finally, I purchased books. As I’ve said previously, you can’t know a location in the event that you don’t know its history. With an extended flight ahead, I purchased a few books about Sri Lanka’s history therefore i can get an improved knowledge of the country’s rich history
Here’s what I read:
- The Cage
- Island of one thousand Mirrors
- Elephant Complex
Speaking with friends, family, readers, and bloggers has given me a feeling of the destination: an inexpensive, safe place with friendly locals, delicious food, and slow transportation. “Many people are incredibly nice and helpful, but don’t be prepared to get anywhere fast if you don’t rent a driver” was the normal refrain.
For the very first time in quite a while, I will a location I understand nothing about. I can’t wait to attempt to backpack and work things out along the way again! Sri Lanka sees a whole lot of tourists and it’s not completely “off the beaten track” but it’s dissimilar to me.
I’m sure my plans, route, and ideas changes when I hit the bottom. But as of this moment, I feel I’ve a better idea in regards to what I am getting myself into. I’ve a sense of what things to expect and which makes me more slightly comfortable about visiting.
You never know very well what a location is actually like until you go, however now the picture of Sri Lanka isn’t a complete blur — it’s enter into much more focus.
Visiting a location you understand little about in an area you’ve never been could be somewhat intimidating. To go somewhere very different pushes you out of your safe place and that may be a tricky thing.
Even after a decade of travel, I still have handful of trepidation before I go.
Sure, it disappears right when I land and I believe “That which was I so concerned about?” but there is that voice in the rear of my mind that sometimes goes “Are you sure you should do this?”
Performing a little research to get a knowledge of a location mutes that voice.
This is simply not about scheduling all of your days and all of your activities. This simply is approximately being more informed about the destination you are visiting.
Just because a smart and informed traveler is an improved traveler.
There’s still much to understand about Sri Lanka however now I don’t feel like I’m completely baffled or ignorant about the area.
Book Your Visit to Sri Lanka: Logistical Guidelines
Book Your Flight Look for a cheap flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite se’s because they search websites and airlines around the world and that means you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you would like to remain elsewhere, use Booking.com because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
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