I am on a journey with my family for up to 6 months!
It's not often in life we get the chance to hit 'pause', to slow down, regroup and hang out together for a number of months ..to try and appreciate moments and each other in this crazy fast paced world of ours, and we feel completely grateful to take this opportunity.
David is in between jobs and it's the perfect time before Isla starts intermediate school in February. To achieve this goal we have sold some possessions and rented out our house. The trip was also made possible by our lovely friends who are looking after our gorgeous dog Coco! and plus the New Zealand school system for understanding that trips like ours are educational!
It's so liberating to downsize on the "stuff" we have in our everyday worlds and fit our things into one backpack each (it took some convincing for Skye to take only one handbag for the trip ;). I also downsized on the camera department ( hardest part of packing for me !) and have a single fixed lens camera (35mm equiv. 23mm F 1:2) the Fuji X100t and my iPhone (the best camera is the one you have with you most !).
We have travelled quite a bit as a family over the years, but always for short trips and its been awhile since David and i had a real backpacking adventure. We have loosely talked about a family sabbatical for a few years ( well i have.. and the seed was planted ;) and i think i have been dreaming of this momemt when all my kids can carry their own backpack. So the time is now !
We'd love the kids to gain a new perspective on the world, to value what we have and to get that simple joy of travel by seeing how other people live.
The trip won't be poolside pina coladas at a resort with a kids club! ( although i dream of that when the kids are bickering..and yep they do ;) but we will also treat oursleves from time to time. We have chosen Asia for its cultural diversity, and its a major bonus we get to eat some of our favorite food along the way :) Some volunteer work is also on the cards, but most importantly we want to be in the moment with our family and soak it all up...as life is kind of short.
First we had a week in Italy and then got to reconnect with our UK family and friends, and then the Asian adventure began with the month of August in Sri Lanka.
For the first 2 weeks we mainly stayed in Air BnB homes between Kandy - Ella -Arugum bay - Tangelle and this allowed us to meet locals, eat home cooked food and glimpse a bit more of Sri Lankan life. The later half we booked a house near Galle as a base and explored the area.
Here are some observations that sum up Sri Lanka for us, along with some photo highlights and also our Lightroom album if you want to see more Team Hepburn Sri Lanka photos
Curry for breakfast!
King Coconuts and trees to climb for Rory!
Wild elephants on the way to the beach
Beeping horns and crazy crazy driving ( some unknown code !)
Seeing a leopard on safari
Getting into the groove of traveling and being on the move...
Pinnawala elephant orphanage.
Lotus flower temple offerings.
King coconuts aplenty.
Tea plantation visit and tastings.
Traditional Sri Lankan breakfast: coconut egg curry, rice stringers, coconut sambol (grated fresh coconut and spices) and fruit.
Roadside fruit stalls, red bananas, lychees, mangoes and papayas to name but a few favorites.
Journal time for the kids, one day they will treasure their written memories...we are also keeping up with some school work.
Tuk tuk to the beach please !
Great surfing beaches and fun to watch the local fishermen bring in their catch.
Kumana National Park..where we were also lucky enough to see a leopard!
Picture postcard beach in Tangelle where we ate prawns in the beachside shack.
Stalk fishermen on the south coast.
Walking through the rice paddies near our rental house in Galle.
Beautiful Buddhist temples.