A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to have American guest Nina Alpert come stay with us at Sunshinestories. During her stay, she was happy enough to answer questions about her time and travel through Sri Lanka after recent terror attacks.
How’d you find out about Sunshinestories?
Seven months ago I typed “best longboarding waves” into my google search bar. Lucky for me Sri Lanka was on that list. Soon after I stumbled upon Sunshinestories and quickly booked to stay a week at the villa in May; a place very far from home in San Diego, California. In the time leading up to my trip, I starting falling in love with Sri Lanka through the eyes of Lachlan Dempsey, the photographer at Sunshinestories. Still, little did I know how it would be when I arrived.
Why did you come even though your government advised against visiting Sri Lanka?
Less than two weeks before my trip, I saw the headlines that there had been a bombing in Colombo. Although Sri Lanka has seen peace for the last 10 years after the end of the civil war, this is not the type of news any traveller wants to hear before she takes off across the world by herself. My parents and I decided that if things didn’t escalate I would still go as planned, but take certain precautions (ie: no public transportation and not visit the city centre of Colombo). The staff at Sunshinestories were in contact almost immediately and happy to answer questions to the best of their ability. I felt more comfortable once I knew that daily life at the villa and in the southern region of Sri Lanka was proceeding as normal.
Did you feel safe?
Still, I was nervous getting off of the plane at 11 pm, but with each interaction, I was easily calmed. After one night staying outside of Colombo I had a driver take me to Weligama, a surfing area a little south of Sunshinestories. I spent two nights at a hostel settling into Sri Lanka before starting my week at the villa. I walked all over, rode on tuk-tuks, and surfed by myself. The Sri Lankan way is to give a big smile and say hello; I never felt unsafe.
My week at Sunshinestories was incredible! My surfing improved greatly, the yoga was restorative and challenging, we ate lots of good food, and shared even more laughs. I barely scratched the surface of what Sri Lanka has to offer to tourists and I can’t wait to return!
For those who are worried about travelling to Sri Lanka, I would say to proceed with the same caution you would take travelling to any foreign country at any time. Personally, I felt safer in Sri Lanka compared to how I have felt in other countries with no recent events. There was also extra security all around the airport and in other areas as well.
what are three things you can’t travel without?
Three things I can’t travel without:
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- My Seea one-piece
Would you recommend Sri Lanka to your friends?
Absolutely. There is something for everyone in Sri Lanka: yummy food, culture, surfing, animals, hiking, and more.
where are you off to next?
Just after Sri Lanka, I went to Bali for the first time, which was incredible! I think next on my list is New Zealand.
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