My post-program travel has officially commenced, and it’s already going by too quickly! After being in Madurai for so long (well it was really only 3 ½ months but it feels like a lifetime!) I definitely felt myself expecting the rest of my travels to mirror Madurai (maybe minus the salwar and plus some beaches), but thus far each of these new experiences have brought a new palette of delicious food, different cultures, and different colored autos (which in Sri Lanka are called tuk tuks).
My travel companions are two students from my program, which is sort of magical because before studying abroad we had never even heard of each other before! (and now, we find ourselves meandering the streets of Sri Lanka and Malaysia and trying endless new food items together—pretty neat!)
My first stop was Sri Lanka for 5 days, staying mostly in Mt. Lavinia (a beachside town about 20 minutes outside of Colombo) and Colombo (the capital of Sri Lanka). My fellow travelling companions and I also took a day trip to Galle, which was colonized by the Portuguese and is home to the Galle Fort, a very popular tourist destination featuring a lighthouse and colonial Portuguese architecture.
Along the way, we stopped at a turtle hatchery run by the Sri Lankan government with the intention of preserving the widely diverse sea turtle population as well as a mask and puppet museum featuring traditional Sri Lankan puppets and masks hailing from Kandy (often referred to as Sri Lanka’s cultural capital).