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I’m in Sri Lanka! I touched down at Colombo Airport and shared an Uber with a random Iranian guy I met in the departure pick-up. He thought it appropriate to talk about Iran v Australia world cup qualifying match for the entire journey (Australia lost).

I checked into a hotel in Colombo for two nights, costing a total of $6 per night including a breakfast of toast, eggs, papaya, and coffee. Not a bad deal! Colombo was frenetic. Buses hardly stopped to pick up passengers, preferring instead to slow down as people rushed onto the moving bus as what seemed like a million different voices yelled instructions. This was a far cry from the serenity of Nusa Lembongan.

I took a few walks around the neighborhood to get an idea of how people were living, what was in their stores, and what street food wouldn’t burn a hole in my mouth.

After two days in Colombo, I was definitely ready to head south to a beach town. I took the two-hour train, which cost $1.50. It traveled along the coast with beach views while the jungle loomed on the other side of the carriage.

Arriving in Unawatuna, a small beach town on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, I felt much more relaxed than in Colombo. I put in a few shifts of work on the computer at a local cafe but mixed that in with workouts at a local gym and several beach sessions of the course.

One of the highlights was spending sunsets at the Wijaya coconut tree rope swing. It’s a weird feeling to be visiting all of the spots that I see all over social media and in travel videos.

This week I will be making a motorbike trip along the coast and trying my luck shooting some of the surfers out in the water.