“Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times”
Estimated reading time: 4 min.
Travelling abroad for the first time is always memorable, you get to view new surroundings, meet new people and explore new food. Sometimes, travelling abroad can make you homesick or isolated due to new surroundings. But once you stop allowing the negative emotions to control your life, travelling abroad can be fun and exciting. I travelled to abroad for the first time a few years ago and I feel proud that I was the only one in the family to travel abroad. So I have decided to why not I share my experience of travelling abroad for the first time.
Country visited: Srilanka
Places covered: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte and Galle.
Days stayed: 5
My reactions when I crossed the country.
Once my flight GPS showed that I have crossed the South of India, I glanced to the window to see how the ambience looks like. I can able to see the tip of India from the window, it looked mesmerizing and on the next few minutes, I lost myself viewing outside and was glad that I’m officially in the overseas where I can see the Indian Ocean right from my window. I was slightly scared of whether the flight will land on water, but fortunately, it didn’t.
Once my flight landed in a foreign country.
As my flight is just minutes away from reaching the destination, I was curious about how the destination country looks like. Once I reached my destination, I was blank on how to clear the immigration as this was the first time I am entering into the foreign land, I took help from the immigration officers and they were happy to help me. Once I cleared immigration, I then went to the currency exchange to convert my currency and I was surprised to see that I have received a lot of money when I converted my dollars into Srilankan rupees (1 dollar = 150 Lankan rupees). I collected my new currency notes and bought a local sim card at the airport entrance.
Exploring the new country
Once I boarded the shuttle and when the shuttle started moving, I can see my new country, being crossed into the long and calm highways, I was not tired to see the surroundings and the roads looked breathtaking! And boy! Srilanka looked completely different than India. Srilanka looked almost like India but with well-developed infrastructure and ambience. Once my shuttle reached the Colombo city centre, my first glance was that it was filled with crowded streets and busy people.
There were other tourists being pestered by tuk-tuk drivers to get on the board and there were some Buddhist monks taking an evening stroll. The sun was setting when I reached my hostel. After getting inside my hostel I went to my room to take rest and plan for the next day.
The next few days of Srilankan tour
The next few days in Srilanka was a new and unique experience. My first plan was to explore the city by visiting the Gangaramaya temple, which showcased all sizes of Buddha statues and vintage car collections. Then I visited the Museum of Srilanka, Premadasa Cricket Stadium, and the Colombo Beach. All these spots were worth every penny.
I then headed to Galle, and trust me, the road to Galle was beautiful as the road is filled with sea following us. The journey of 3 hours was exciting and I was even curious about how Galle would look like, and indeed Galle was more beautiful than Colombo and it looked strong and massive despite facing the 2004 Tsunami. I covered the Galle Cricket Stadium, Galle Fort and Marine museum within 3 hours and got back to Colombo.
I started my next day to visit Dehiwala Zoo in Srilanka’s new capital Sri Jayawardene Kotte and I was fortunate to get a discount on the entrance fee for being a SAARC Member. I was surprised to see new animals like the Bactrian Camel, Orangutan and Lynx which were busy eating and chilling out. I also got the opportunity to hold an eagle in my arms and the eagle felt safe in my hands.
Review on the food and the people
Since I’m a Vegetarian, getting Vegetarian food was a little bit difficult and was expensive. I found myself paying Rs 2000 Lankan rupees for a lunch buffet. Despite the price, the food was good.
The people here were amazingly welcoming, they took care of me very well, since I was fluent in Tamil, I could manage to meet some Tamil speaking people and requested me to add on facebook. Despite the Civil war that injured Srilanka’s reputation to the world, the people here were very kind and began a conversation with me like a close friend.
In terms of Infrastructure, Srilanka is way ahead. The traffic rules here are implemented for the safety of the residents. It is a crime for a tuk-tuk driver to speak on the phone while driving and the traffic lights are strictly followed to avoid traffic jam and accidents.
Last Day in Srilanka
I have to thank the locals for making my stay comfortable and memorable. The travel and food expenses were costlier than in India but, it was worth my stay and once I reached the airport, I felt both like missing and becoming homesick in Srilanka. I spent 25-30K on my Srilankan tour and I felt happy in spending that much amount. I reached my country India in 2 hours with a lot of memories to share with my friends and family.
Have you visited abroad for the first time in your life? Share your experience in the comments below. 🙂
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