our first day in sri lanka!

we have been home from our trip to sri lanka and the maldives for just five days, and it already feels like a dream! we had a really amazing time – it was an epic family adventure. we covered a lot of ground in four days in sri lanka, and our time was chock full of beauty and colour and culture. that face-paced load of awesomeness was wonderfully complimented by five uber-relaxing days on a tiny and pristinely tropical maldivian island.
we had been planning this vacation for over a year. at the end of 2015, we each applied for a credit card with a sign-up bonus of two free nights at any hyatt hotel in the world. always looking for the best “bang for our buck,” we found the (essentially) most expensive hyatt in the world – on a private island in the maldives. and then we decided we should also check out sri lanka if we were flying that far around the world.
ian is paid a regular salary and a yearly bonus, and (because it is highly variable) we do not factor the bonus payment into our monthly budgeting and travel fund savings. so when the bonus came through, we decided to use a chunk of it for this trip (even with the free nights, it was still certainly a pricey vacation). we’ve always enjoyed choosing to travel quite cheaply. we did that in sri lanka, and then our time at a luxury resort in the maldives was both a treat and a thought-provoking exercise. (more on that later.)
we had considered doing this trip either before moses was born or after he was weaned, but we are so glad we decided to do it with him in tow. he is a fantastic little traveler and having him along was wonderful in so many ways. (more on this later, too.)

both of the islands we visited in the indian ocean were full of magic and wonder, and i’m excited to share some photos and descriptions from our journey!

our first day in sri lanka was full of driving (about seven hours worth), and the views out the car window were pretty mindblowing (and basically impossible to capture).IMG_8467IMG_8469
we beheld so, so much dense natural beauty, occasionally speckled with the wonderful colour and buzz of a junction or town. we tried to take it all in despite the jetlag that made our eyelids so heavy and our senses a bit blurry. we had a few stops along the way from negombo (where we stayed overnight after arriving the previous evening) to nuwara eliya. here’s where we had lunch…!
but wait, let’s back up a little to the one tube ride/one train ride/two plane rides/one taxi ride journey from our little flat in london to that amazing island nation…
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ian had to wrap up some work things on the train to gatwick airport. check out that multitasking awesome dad! ^^
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moses slept the entire way from london to dubai (cue the hallelujah chorus!). during our layover he had a little food…
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and on plane number two, he enjoyed the views and then conked out a while longer! he was such a champ on this trip!
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we stayed overnight at this wonderful little guesthouse quite near the airport. the second we arrived we were introduced to the warmth of the sri lankan people. the owners of the guesthouse were so incredibly kind and sweet, and they loved moses. it was just the beginning of his getting dotted on by awesome new foreign friends.
and then, we drove…
and drove…
and took a little pitstop at pinnawala elephant orphanage.
it was pretty neat to see so many elephants,
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and a python, for good measure.
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i had some coconut water right out of the coconut while the elphants walked on by…
…and then we drove some more…
…through the hill country and into the tea plantations.
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the scenery was really outrageous. these pictures truly don’t do it justice. we had such a fantastic driver named koshala (more on him later), and we enjoyed the journey. when it was time to stop for lunch, we asked koshala if there was a place to eat with a great view. he took us here...IMG_8572
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yes, there’s a pretty good view from that restaurant :)
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we carried on deep into the tea plantations and marveled at the seusical rolly hills, so green they practically hurt our eyes.
that night, we stayed at a little guesthouse perched on top of a hill near the village that boasts being the highest on the island of sri lanka. the sunsetty views were pretty good…
and the sunrisey ones the next morning were even better…!

our first taste of sri lanka was amazing!


  1. Looks like fun. I'm glad Mo was a good traveler.

  2. What an amazing deal!! Do you mind sharing which card comes with this bonus? We are staying at a Hyatt in California this summer and would love to get a few free nights!

    1. we used the hyatt credit card. we each got one, and the bonus (after spending a certain amount in the first months) is two free nights at any hyatt.


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