Saturday, February 19, 2011

The joy of travel...

What in life inspires you, tests your limits and comfort zones, makes you question your views of life and the world more than traveling to a different country? As I write, my husband is in India, then off to Sri Lanka, and finally China. I was supposed to be by his side, but foolishly opted not to go since we have traveled so much in the past 6 months. Just back from a trip the end of December, when we were making the plans and buying the tickets, the thought of getting on a plane again in the beginning of February and taking off for a month sounded exhausting. Now, as I sit home (actually, I am working my arse off at the hospital more than anything), I realize what a big mistake I made. Missing my Habibi (husband) greatly and longing to see a new part of the world.

Sri Lanka, you see, has been on the top of my list to travel. I have been to India a few times, and of course, who wouldn't want to see the Great Wall of China? But Sri Lanka has held a special place in my heart since 7th grade. My great aunt and uncle lived for a few years in India and had me mesmerized with the stories and art they came back with (though also a bit terrified of the struggle and conflict). So in 7th grade when faced with choosing a country to write about, I thought, why not the lovely island off of the most religiously and ethnically diverse country I can think of? An India with less strife, I imagined, and even more natural beauty. Indian food, perhaps similar culture, but with mostly lush green jungles and lazy, warm beaches, winding rivers, safaris, and ancient temples. I imagined it like a smaller India, easier to navigate, and more laid back.

Less than a year ago my husband and I promised we would never travel without each other again. And now I sit in the cold, rainy northwest, missing my beloved while he plays Indian Jones searching for antiques for his family's business. And I must wait until the fall, when we plan to return to India and Sri Lanka. I must suppress the urge to step onto the soil of a new land, breath the air of a new place, discover the smells and colors of a village unknown to me. Counting the sleeps until my husband returns to my arms, and then the weeks until our next adventure.

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