Sunday, March 20, 2016

Take a Start..Make it Happen...

- Raja rata tour -

"How do I start ? "


yes you! How are you gonna start? Isn't it always the problem. You always feel like doing something new, travel the world, make a change. But what is the best step you took regarding that? well! I know you shared 100's of posts about it in Facebook and liked another 100 in Instagram. So other than that?



Have you ever wondered how many do the same? Why they have pages about it and how they make that post sound exactly like your heart says to you? now you feel bad about yourself a little? don't you? Well! That's because Millions of people dream about the same thing you dream, Thousands talk about it, Hundreds of them think of doing something . But you! you should make the difference. Be that one person who actually make it happen. So well I don't think now you have time to share those posts. Do you?

Well! Then it's time you started traveling. This is relevant to whatever the thing you wanted to do. Since all of us are here to talk about traveling, I'm gonna talk about traveling.

So every other thing in life, Travelers have their own phases too. You will never be anything overnight. It takes time and lot of sweat in this case. But not money, not at least as much as you think it will cost you.

Beyond the 100 excuses you say why you can't do that. I for one always believed that if you want something so badly in your life, you will always find a way to do it. So well this isn't about how or why you should start traveling. But it will give you little tips for a start alright while my main objective being to clarify some points between solo and group traveling.

If you are a newbie and you are left with the excuse of money problem. well! Your way could be group traveling. It might as well as for the excuse of "parents don't allow you". But well! it's up to you. After all it's what you truly desire in life.


- Alagalla -

Anyway let me tell you why it could help you. Group traveling makes it easy for everyone financial-wise. But you might wanna find the optimum number of people which would help you with the budget. You also need to have a little bit of management and organizing skills since it could lead to lot of complaints if you don't.

But after all it's fun to travel in groups since you get to know lot of people and lot of stories. When I tell you about this people, the longer the trip, harder the hike, you will be more closer. And the stories well!! Because of these stories, I've actually been to some places I've never heard of, neither I wanted to. Those stories actually helps you have more passion for travel, courage, bond between humans and of course the technical and theoretical stuff which you might need during your travels.

When I first started, I had problem creating a group to travel. People always tend to bail on me at the last minute, well I guess that is something we all have in mutual. isn't it? Or are you that friend who bail on them? 

At first you always try to stay within your comfort zone and go seeking your friends company. But let me tell you something about that. If you succeed at getting your friends to travel with you. Well!! It's not really traveling you know. It will be just another trip. Yes! of course, it's more fun in a certain way one can tell. Chatting all the time, no need of ice breaking since you already know the history between you guys, school time stories and what not right?

But well! compared to traveling with strangers? Trust me,It's not really that fun. Because you know why? With friends you will always be in the safe zone. You will always discuss about the past stories about you and yours, nothing more. You literally know everything about them already. Don't you wanna know something you don't already know? A place you've never been? A history you don't know of? of course while expanding your network. For an example, what if I tell you that right now out of my friend list in Facebook, one third are once strangers I met on the road while traveling? and the list goes up to 700 so you do the math.
















- Yakdessagala -














and the most wonderful thing I've achieved is, I'm never alone. Whenever I decided to go somewhere, I've at least 10 people with me.So well let me tell you how that happened. 

I actually got use of the social media for this. I created a group for travelers known as "Slippers, Backpacks and Sri Lanka". (There will be a separate article on the story behind the name) At first I added my friends, well people I met during my travels. But I made sure I added only the people I know at least dream of traveling. I did not care if they had experience in it or their background because it didn't matter to me anyway. I just want at least few people who got the heart to do this.

So well gradually it grew. Those people brought the people they knew and they brought their's. And I now have a fix set of people who I can count on always. thanks to them I'm never alone....To be continued...




Sunday, March 13, 2016

රේල් පාර දිගේ...

- Gangoda -

රේල් පාර! කෝච්චිය!! මගේ ඇවිදින ජිවිතේ සුන්දරම නවාතැන. ගොඩාක් දවස් වලට රැ ගත කරන්නේ කොච්චියේනේ! මොකද ගොඩක් වෙලාවට ඇවිදින්න, කදු නගින්න එහෙම යද්දි රැ ගමන ලෙසි, වෙලාව ඉතුරුයි. අනෙක පෞද්ගලිකව මට කෝච්චිය මාර පහසුයි. හේතුව නම් ඉතින් මට එක තැනක ඉන්න පුලුවන් එකෙක් නෙමෙයි නෙහ්!. අනෙක මේ උසත් එක්ක බස් එකේ පටු සීට් වල මට එච්චර වෙලා යන්න බැ. උපරිම පැය 1.5ක් යයි.

අනෙක කොච්චියේ විශේෂත්වය තමයි ඒක ගොඩාක් වෙලාවට අනෙක් ගමනාගමන විදි වලට වඩා හරි සජිවියි. හදවතට දැනෙනවා. ජිවිතය දැනෙනවා. හැම ජාතියකම මනුස්සයෝ යන තැනක්. ඒ වුනාට හැමෝම එකම මට්ටමකට වැටෙන තැනක්. තව දෙයක් කියන්න ඕනේ. මම මේ කොච්චිය කියලා කියන්නේ 1 වෙනි පන්තියේ මැදිරිවත්, A/c කල මැදිරිවත්, කලින් වෙන් කල ආසන තියෙන මැදිරිවත් නෙමෙයි. ලාබෙට පහසුවට ඕනේ වෙලාවක ගිහින් ගන්න පුලුවන් 3වෙනි පන්තියේ මැදිරි ගැන.

"වඩේ! වඩේ!! ඉස්සෝ වඩේ!!! 20ට 5යි වඩේ!",
"ගන්න වතුර එකක්! තිබහට කූල් එකක්, මයිලෝ එකක්" 

වගේ වදන් නිතර ඇහෙන 3වෙනි පන්තිය ගැන.කොච්චර වුනත් සල්ලි තියෙන-නැති,උගත්තු-නූගත්තු, ගෙදර යන-රස්සාවට යන,අපි වගේ ඇවිදින්න යන උන් වගේම, පොදි බැදන් තමන්ගේ ලමයි බලන්න යන තාත්තලත් මේ හැම ජාතියකම මිනිස්සුත්, ඔහොම කියව කියවා යන වඩේ මනුස්සයගෙන් වඩේ එකක් ගනිද්දි සමාජයේ තියෙන කිසිම මතයක්, තරා-තිරමක් බලන්නේ නැති තැන තමයි ඔය මන් කියන මේ කොච්චිය.


දුර ගමනක් යද්දි නම් ඒ පෙට්ටියේ ඒ සීට් එකේ කවුරු මොනවා ගත්තත්, හැමොමත් එක්ක බෙදාගන්නේ ජිවීතේ කවර දාකවත් අදුරන් ඉන්දලවත්, ආයේ පස්සේ දවසක හම්බ වෙයිද කියලවත් දැනගෙන නම් නෙමෙයි.

සමහර වෙලාවට hike යන්න අපි සෙට් එකක් නගිද්දි නම් එකම තැන හැමොටම සීට් නැත්නම්, ඒ තැන් වල වාඩි වෙලා ඉන්න අය්යලා,අම්මලා,සීයලා වුනත් නැගිටින්නේ "ආ පුතේ! ඔයාලා කොහෙද යන්නේ?එහෙනම් එකට වාඩි වෙලා යන්නකෝ!" කියාගෙනමයි.

එහෙම යන ගමන් අපි වුනත් අපි ගෙනාපු කන බොන දෙයක් බෙදාගන්නේ ඒ හැමොම එක්ක, ගමනේ ඉස්සරහට අපේ වාචාලකමයි, සිංදු කිවිල්ලයි වදයක් වෙන විතරක්ම නිසා නම් නෙමෙයි. 

සමහර දවස් වලට උදේම කොළඹ යන්න ඕන වුනාම 5ට සමුද්‍රෙට ගොඩ වෙන්නේ නිදිමතේ Headset එකත් ගහන් මුල්ලක් හොයගන්න නිදගන්න බලන්. කොහේ නිදගන්නෙයි! කරුමෙට හෝ වාසනාවට දන්න එකෙක් හම්බෙනෝම තමයි. ඉස්කොලේ කාලේ යාලුවෙක් නම් ජිවිතේට සීට් එකක්ට වාඩි වෙලා යන්නෙයි ඉතින්. මුන් ඒ කාලේ ඉදන්ම වෙලාවට වැඩ කරන උන් නෙහ්! ඉතින් සීට් එකෙන් නැගිටිනකම්ම ඌ මොන මොනවා හරි කතාවක් ඇදලා ගන්වා. ඒ පාර ඉතින් කොළඹට යනකම්ම ඉස්කොලේ කාලේ බයිලාවක් ගහන් හිටගෙන.

ඔහොම කාලකණියෙක් හම්බුනේ නැත්නම් යන්තම් අලුත්ගමට වගේ වෙනකම් නිදාගන්න පුලුවන්. ඊට පස්සේ ඉතින් ඔෆිස් උන්ගේ බයිලාව අහන්න ඕනේ. නිදිමතේ මොන කතාද බන්?!. මුන් ඉතින් daily by train නිසා train එක මුන්ගේ වගේ තමයි. ඒ නිසා ඉතින් සීට් එක දෙන්න වෙනෝ මාරුවෙන් මාරුවට. අවුලක් නැ ඉතින් නිදිමත නැති වුනාම ආතල් කතාවක් අහන් ඔය දෙන මොනවා හරි කකා යන එකයි තියෙන්නේ.

ඔය අතරේ ඉතින් මොන බයිලාව වුනත් බැග් එක බදන්, කෙල පෙරන් අයිනක නිදාගන්න වාසනාවන්තයොත් ඉන්නවා. උන් ඉතින් මෙලෝ රහක් නැති උන්. ඒ වගේ උන් කොන් වෙන්නේ එදා දවසට විතරක් නෙමෙයි. ආයේ හවසට ආවත් උන්ට ඒ සෙතේමයි ආතල් දෙන්න සෙට් එකක් සෙට් වුනොතින් නම්.

ඔය ඇබැද්දි, ජිවිත කතා සියල්ල ඔහොම වෙද්දි නිහඩව වෙන සිද්දීන්ද එමටයි. එවා note කරන්න ඉතින් ඒ ජිවිතේටම සම වැදිලා බලන්න ඔනේ. වටේ ජිවිත මොහොතකට mute කරලා, මනෝ පාරක් දාන ආතල් එක ඒක කරපු එකෙක්ටමයි තේරෙන්නේ.

සෙට් එකක් එකට යද්දි දෙන්නෙක් අතර ඇස් වලින් වෙන පෙම් කතාව, සෙට් එකේ උන් කොච්චර හිටියත් ඉන්න ලස්සනම කෙල්ලට පැනිය හලන කොල්ලගේ වැඩ,ඔවා කොහොම වුනත් තොරතොන්චියක් නැතුව දේශපාලනය ගැන කතා කරන මිනිස්සු දෙන්නෙක්, එක්කෝ office ඔපා දූපයක් කතා කරන ගැනු දෙන්නෙක්. ඒ අස්සේ අද පත්තරේ කියවන පිරිස Vs phone එකෙන් ගලවගන්න බැරි පිරිස.

පවුල් බර ගැන, බිල් ගැන, ලමයි ගැන, ඊලග පඩිය ගැන හිත හිත ලෝකේ ගැනම කල්පනා කරන මිනිස්සු, ඇයි එතකොට සීට් එකේ කෙලවරක, ෆූට්බොඩ් එකේ headset ගහන් තමන්ගේම ලොකේක ආතල් එකේ මනෝ ගහන මං වගේ ඩයල් වගේම එදා වේල ගැටගහන්න වඩේ ටිකක් බැදන් කොච්චියට ගොඩ වෙන මේ සියලු දෙනාම යන මේ රේල් පාර දිගේ කතාව බලන්න නම් ඉතින් Savoy, Liberty, MC ගිහින් බැ. 


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

When I finally woke up....

I woke up one day out of the blue like I was born that day itself and I found myself at a railway station with a reserved ticket to Jaffna, Sri Lanka on my hand. I was thinking what the hell was I doing? Jaffna!?! That's like the opposite edge of Sri Lanka from where I was living. I didn't know a damn thing, to start off with not even the language, culture, nothing which I was supposed to know but the fact that war happened there and it's a tough place to be, and the best part is I'm going with no one, Just alone but a ticket. Not even a proper backpack, I didn't know what to pack and what not to take. But I knew one thing for sure. This is it... I'm going... I'm gonna explore the hell out of this world...


It was around 6a.m when I got down from Jaffna railway station. I had a rough plan in my mind with the help of my cousin who worked in Jaffna. I was sleepless whole night dreaming, "yay! I'm finally out on my own". Stars were shining bright while I sat on the foot board of the train listening to my music. The crowded train was almost empty when it reached to Jaffna. I managed to talk to some people with little bit of Tamil I know with the hope of more places to visit.

Train was going lazily giving me the sights and views of my dream of how Jaffna would be. The paddy fields, the palm trees, the brownish-ness I imagined that Jaffna would be...but to describe the feeling when I first saw the railway station sign board "Jaffna", I don't think I've enough words on my vocabulary neither in a dictionary.

I was no Bair Grills, I was no Edmond Hillary neither any sort of adventurer, hiker not at least a traveler in that case. I just got started, what ever this gonna be. I just wanted to get out from where ever I was in my life, mentally so as physically. People thought I was crazy, they told me on my face that I'm crazy, but well I don't deny it. You can't do anything in your life if you aren't crazy. You gotta have that madness in you to achieve something which others wont.

"You gotta do what others don't, to achieve what others don't have"
- (My friend, Gymaholic Ashen) -

Not everybody will understand your journey but the good news is you don't have to keep explaining it to them. When that happened to me, when I was holding that ticket to Jaffna and when I met my friends that evening. They were like "Okay! so who are you going with?", "Have you planned where you gonna visit and stay?" and I was all like "I don't know, I'm just gonna go and see". I don't think I have to explain the look on their faces right ?


- That wonderful moment -

Although at the last minute of the journey I met this awesome yet unique soul to join with me. I'll just post our conversation here so that that you will see why I dedicate this part of the blog to him.

Me -"Machan! I going to Jaffna tomorrow, won't be able to make it to Colombo for few days"

Him - "Ado! Really ?, I will book a ticket too now if not I'll just buy a one tomorrow and join ya, is it ok ? "

Me - "You sure mate? Because I'm planning to walk the whole route no vehicles, I don't even know where to go"

Him - "Ado! u crazy! No problem bro, Lets go"

Me - Great! by all means bro! I couldn't get anyone to come with me, so thought of going alone. it will be good if you can make it."

I love people like this, no prior preparation. no excuses. but literally adventure from the whole heart. He never asked me where are we gonna stay or where we gonna go but he just came. That's traveling as I would define it.


- Start of the day -

- Hitchhiking with Navy officers -

You just need a start after all, and then it keeps you going on and on. Because right now from where I stand, after an almost year since I started, I've been to around like 70% of Sri Lanka and counting.

This blog is also a result of that thought. Making an Initiative, success or a failure. So here we are.... Looking forward to keep you all posted about the places I visit with the details such as the budget, expenses, routes, history, photos and whatever you might need during your visit. Hoping to continue this in both Sinhala and English languages with the ultimate hope of helping anyone who love to travel.

As I've described in "about me", I would help anyone who knows nothing about traveling but just got the heart to do it. I'm still not a very experienced traveler. But I promise you! I will not let you give up your dream. So let my "Sacheewalks" be an inspiration, a resource, to whoever out there who would love to travel with their whole heart.