Long distance relationships are hard. That’s not really news, is it? Six years ago when I was moving back to the US from England, Dan and I had to decide if we wanted to stay together. We had to decide if 4,000 miles was not only worth it, but possible. I spent some time searching for inspiring long distance relationship stories on the internet, but … I didn’t find anything!
South India is known as the gluten free friendly alternative to North India. I’ve always loved Indian food and often find it’s a safe harbor of gluten free options wherever in the world I’m visiting. So I was very excited to try out real Indian cuisine when I visited South India! Part of my trip was attending my friend Vaish’s week-long wedding extravaganza in Chennai, so I was particularly comforted that I’d have someone local to help guide me through what was (and wasn’t) safe to eat.
Does anyone else feel like they are on a rollercoaster of emotions lately? One minute I am being super productive and happy, and the next I’m sitting there staring at the wallpaper wondering “what’s the point?”. I’m definitely not alone in this experience, and if you are also going through an emotional rollercoaster right now, please know that this is normal!
With over six years of a long distance relationship under my belt, I’m a self-proclaimed expert on the topic of long distance date ideas. Dating with a five hour time difference (and sometimes more!), and from a separate continent than each other, has certainly forced my boyfriend and I to get creative.
I promise I’m not going to dedicate this entire monthly recap to the pandemic but… wow. I’m pretty sure that is what’s on all of our minds when we look back on the flaming disaster that was March 2020. I mean, it wasn’t all a disaster for me on a personal level… it was more like a hairpin turn at 90 miles per hour in tuktuk that needs some maintenance, ya feel me?
I have been very open about living with endometriosis. Since my diagnosis, I have continued to travel the world, and even checked off dreams like the Mount Everest Base Camp trek, attending a friend’s wedding in India, riding the trains through Sri Lanka, and so much more. But through it all I try to be transparent that I travel with endometriosis – a chronic, incurable condition that affects my daily life. And of course, it affects how I travel.
One of my favorite small series on this blog is my travel impressions. For a moment we forget the tips, the advice, and the SEO and hone in on the essence of travel: it’s images, emotions, scents, and memories. For no place could this seem more fitting than chaotic Chennai India.
After exploring misty tea country in Ella, Dan and I wound our way down to Sri Lanka’s southern shores, and to arguably the hotel we were most excited about: Jasper House Sri Lanka. Don’t get me wrong, we loved the lavish Indian wedding we attended in Chennai, followed by the clattering 10 hour train from Colombo that wound its way through Sri Lanka’s hills. And we adored everything about Ella, especially each sweaty hike to epic viewpoints. But were we exhausted? YES. A few days of utter relaxation at Jasper House in Hiriketiya is exactly what we needed.
It was a simple photo of a blue train that first sparked my dream of visiting Sri Lanka. It was five years ago, and I had discovered a summer volunteer program in Sri Lanka. I remember spending that spring looking through all the program materials. I lingered over photos of the volunteers’ weekend trips into tea country, whipping through the countryside on the iconic blue trains.