Of all the things to do in Sri Lanka that I spent years dreaming of, no image held my imagination more so than a blue train, snaking through misty tea country. Sri Lanka’s trains are special – they are not just a mode of transportation, but a carefree experience where you can sit in the open air, dangling out the windows or doors alongside laughing locals. We took the Colombo to Ella train journey – a slightly longer route than the oft-recommended Kandy to Ella train – and are so glad we did.
It didn’t take long for us to fall in love with Ella, Sri Lanka. From the endless rings of tea plantations, to the cheeky monkeys and sunset views over Ella Rock… well, we were goners. But while Sri Lanka’s natural beauty is really something, the essence of what makes this country worth visiting are its people. By staying in a homestay, like Country Homes Ella, you get the best of both worlds.
I think I fell in love with Ella, Sri Lanka before I ever arrived. I spent years dreaming of all the things to do in Ella: from trekking its hillsides ringed in lush green tea plantations, to eating crispy egg hoppers on a balcony hugged in jungle, to witnessing the iconic grey arches of the Nine Arches Bridge. But did Sri Lanka’s hillside backpacking haven live up to my expectations?
I recently stayed at a very unique, funky hotel… right in the middle of London’s Heathrow Airport! Meet YotelAir London Heathrow, an airport hotel that at once elevates the typically boring and soulless airport hotel into something fun and interesting, yet keeps the whole experience to a budget. Yotel has actually been described as “Heathrow sleeping pods,” and you know I love a good sleeping pod experience (like during my layover in Iceland), so I had to check it out.
Oh February, you and your mercury in retrograde sure messed me up. As you may have noticed, or seen on my Instagram stories, my website crashed in February. Actually, it was hacked. There is a looong back story that is way too technical to bore you with here, but some complications meant it took three weeks to get the site back up. So first of all, I apologize if this inconvenienced you (especially those of you using my guides for gluten free travel!). Second of all, thank you for everyone who has messaged or comment or given your support!
We’re nearing the end of January and it’s been crickets on this blog. I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes, though, in more ways than one. This is what I got up to in January – on Endless Distances and beyond. Plus some changes to my monthly recap template!
I, for one, am cozying up at home for the rest of 2019. No more travels for me, but lots of time to reflect on the year that was. Last year I wrote a 2018 travel favorites blog post, reviewing the best (and worst) moments of the year. It was so fun to write, and a big hit… a lot of you ended up writing your own posts or sharing your own travel favorites in the comments!
If it can fit in a stocking, it can fit in a carry on! That’s why stocking stuffers are the ideal gifts for travel lovers. Chances are, if your loved one is a travel lover like me, they don’t want big, bulky, or expensive items for Christmas. Personally I prefer to spend my time (and money) up in the air, seeing the world, and material possessions just drag me down. I think this is a pretty common quality among those of us with wanderlust! Check out these stocking stuffers for travelers as you’re shopping this year.