When in need of change…

‘Getting by’ can be a daily struggle. Most of us on this island struggle to get by on an everyday basis. What’s the struggle really? What’s causing it? Is there anything that can be done to avoid or ease it?  

The struggle, no matter what the situation, no matter who the individual, is real. The struggle to live; a content and a comfortable life. Take a look around you – from the man who comes to the door every Monday to pick up the garbage to the employee sitting at her office desk waiting for the next paycheck, are dealing with difficulties every single day of their lives. Money; as we know is hard to come by and yet, spent easily.

It isn’t really about bad management. Us Sri Lankans don’t just waste away our money. Okay, maybe a few of us do. Rather on the wider scale of things, it’s the cost of necessities and the laws of this country that are taking it away as it comes. Atop every necessity required, there’s a tax imposed. Atop savings, there’s yet another tax.

Chairman and Founder of Ceylon Solutions, Marion Mariathasan immigrated to Kansas at the age of 9. He may not have spent most of his years in Sri Lanka, but maintains a close connection as the company’s development team overlooked and managed by CEO Sanjeeva Wijaya, is based here. “I’m very much a Sri Lankan at heart, and I understand there are struggles faced by the middle-class in my motherland. There are core fundamentals, ethics and values in order to develop a successful company. At the root of such a company, lies the hardworking employees. If we don’t give in to the notion of keeping them happy, supporting their ideas and investing in their well-being, then what’s the point?”

Marion Mariathasan

“I’ve come to understand that my most valuable experiences over the years have come from traveling, and the people I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with. I’ve learned that humility and kindness are virtues I admire the most, and that no matter the level of education, wealth, power and status, everyone is equal. The depreciating rupee value has made me understand that this creates tough living conditions for our local team based in Sri Lanka. Which is why, as a company, we agreed to increase everyone’s salary from the month of November, 2018,” said Marion.

As the cost of living rises, the daily struggles continue. How much is a 1,000 rupee note worth today? If you step outside your home, is it enough to get by? If you aren’t someone who takes public transport, getting from one place to another will cost you more than a couple of rupees. Your three meals will cost you a few more. There are bills to pay. Rent to settle. Taxes that eat away at your bank balance. Children’s education. Personal expenses. The list goes on.

We fail to understand the notion and similarities of every living human. We fail to understand that along with the rise of the cost of living, a stagnant salary isn’t going to suffice. “As a company, we want our employees to have a work environment that is healthy and uplifting; a life that is just so too. An unchanged salary hereon, isn’t going to make the cut when people struggle to make ends meet. We want our employees to live a happy and content life and in order to do that they must also be happy in their workplace. The most important thing is to help one another, give back to the community and this is certainly one way of doing it,” he added.

Marion and I further discussed how passionate and career-driven Sri Lankans can be, and yet why they continue to struggle and get by in life. “People don’t have an incentive to work harder, to be better and to come up with better or new ideas. There’s a hierarchy when it comes to a working environment – something that does not exist within our company. Creating different levels of standards means a junior employee is afraid to voice his or her opinion and is most often simply told what to do, instead of being allowed to grow and express him or herself. We mustn’t restrict our employees this way; we should be encouraging them to speak out, to voice their thoughts and opinions. Myself along with Sanjeeva and the rest of the team believe we should be making them feel valued and important instead of the other way round.”

Most often, businesses and companies tend to fail, have employee containment and job satisfaction issues due to these very reasons. Ceylon Solutions on the other hand believe in putting their employees first – allowing them to feel valued and thereby creating a healthy work environment. Billionaire philanthropist Richard Branson once said “look after your staff first, the rest will follow” and by all means, this rings true.

It’s about time there was a change in attitudes. A change to support one another, not just as employees of a company but as individuals. A change that allows growth, encourages stability, and also brings about a deeper sense of understanding one another. I find that what is most lacking throughout the struggles that we face every single day is empathy. If we have empathy towards one another, then we’d understand one another, and we’d support one another and grow together. Marion and his team at Ceylon Solutions provide a fine example of what empathy can embody and how it can change the lives of the people of our island. Perhaps their actions would someday drive others to do the same.

Ceylon Solutions was founded in 2005 and is based in Denver, with offices in New York City, Dallas as well as Sri Lanka. It is a software development company committed to delivering high-quality development services. Based on each client’s specific needs, the company handpicks a personalized development team of experienced coders and engineers in Sri Lanka, while still operating under US law.  

http://www.ceylonsolutions.com

A better life 


What comes to mind when you read the words ‘healthy habits’? Healthier food habits? Exercising? Getting rid off excess junk from your home? Lifestyle changes? Whatever it may be, you’re on the right track; healthy habits could be anything related to your life, no matter how old you may be.

You obviously want to begin your day on a good note and I find that getting a good night’s rest really helps. It doesn’t necessarily mean eight or over eight hours of solid sleep. Sleep patterns and hours can vary depending on your age and lifestyle but if you can try to count in at least five hours of good sleep, you’re good to go. Also, it helps to keep thinking out loud of how good a rest you had to make your body and mind believe that you actually did. Create a night and morning routine that works for you and will help you achieve this. Having a relaxed hour or so before bed, and waking up to a routine the next day are great habits to adopt as you go.

I don’t do this enough but remind yourself to continuously hydrate your body. 70% of our bodies hold water and are in need of liquids; if we don’t feed it what it needs, your body is going to feel dehydrated, lack energy and eventually not function as it should. You may have read multiple articles on how you should drink eight to ten glasses of water a day, but then again this varies too. Simply, drink as much as you can; I find that a large mug every morning, before a meal, after a meal, in between snacks, and a final one before bed is the best way I can adopt this healthy habit.

It’s important that you feed your body good food and by that I mean, the right amount of nutrients and vitamins it requires. Adopting a strict clean diet without giving yourself the opportunity to indulge on a treat every now and then isn’t the way to live life. You’re going to go through your daily routine unhappily depriving yourself, when you simply plan your meals around giving in to a treat or two. Exercise is another way you can take care of your body; whether it’s a sport you enjoy, walking, running or yoga, choose one that you enjoy and can see yourself adopting into your lifestyle. You don’t have to stick to doing it every single day of the week. Instead, twice or thrice a week is good enough.

As much as it is important to feed and nourish your body, you should be doing the same for your mind. We can tend to get caught up in the fast-paced world that we live in, with technology taking over every step of our lives. What I’d recommend is to escape from all that rush every now and then, and clear and refresh your mind. Whether it’s keeping aside your phone and other gadgets for a couple of hours a day, taking a vacation, meditating or even speaking with a therapist, choose what works and helps you.

Surrounding yourself with the people and things that you love and enjoy is another great habit you should adopt. Ever have toxic people that suck the life and energy out of you? I’ve had a few negative souls that I had to cut ties with and in all honesty, having a small circle of very close, and truly understanding compassionate friends is way better than having a hundred that make me feel all things negative and add weight to my shoulders. I also love books, so I make it a point to read one at least once a month (I aim for two).

Life is only as complicated as you make it seem. Have positive thoughts and a positive mind, let it out into the universe, and it will come back to you in great ways. If you believe in karma, then you’d understand exactly what I’m saying. Do good things, be a good person, have good thoughts and it’ll come back to you in exactly those forms. Put a smile on that face and face the day in a positive and healthier manner. It’s not rocket science; good luck!

Kurulubedda 


The common ideology about traveling to the sunny south is that everyone wants a beachfront hotel or villa. I don’t deny that the south is home to some beautiful beach spots, but I am at fault when it comes to not exploring the internal areas all too much. Whenever I visit Galle, it’s always to the same places – the UNESCO World Heritage fort and no wherever else. On my last visit however, I wanted it to be different; I wanted to head a bit away from the hustle and bustle and somewhere inland. Somewhere quiet and peaceful. And I came across Jetwing Kurulubedda.

The choice was certainly very much different to my usual vacation getaways but there’s also a sense of adventure when you make a spontaneous decision like I did. Once I had got myself to the Galle Fort I hopped into a tuk tuk who seemed to know the way and it only took us a mere ten to fifteen minutes to get to my destination. The road leading up to the property was a tad bumpy but it’s part of the experience and not something that bothers me. It’s all forgotten once you step inside – for the lush foliage and calling of the birds envelops you.

I stop and take a deep breath of the fresh, clean air and cool blue pool in front of me. Beyond the pool lies more foliage, forestry and paddy fields. The Head Butler, Prabath greets me and as I’ve already made my booking online, it’s only a matter of signing the reservation form and waiting to be led to my room. I’m a tad early though so I am asked to wait a few minutes; I don’t mind at all and instead, decide to explore Kurulubedda.

Complete seclusion

A wooden bridge and walkway lead to a private dining area, and further towards a treehouse and river edge clearing. It’s quiet and secluded and doesn’t seem like a part of the south at all. I’m told that guests can take a boat from here on towards Jetwing Lighthouse for breakfast. Maybe another time. For now, being amongst nature would do. I picked out one of the private dwellings that includes a plunge pool and as I am led towards my room, I take in the simple aesthetics and easy way of how guests share the natural habitat with nature. The setting from the dwelling verandah is picturesque and serene. The room is minimally furnished yet includes necessary amenities and has a very rustic comfort feel to it. There’s a television set along with a DVD player and a couple of movie options laid out, and I make a mental note to watch one while in bed later that night.

The property is home to a jungle of exotic bird species, monkeys and six luxury villas; that offer complete privacy in an eco boutique flair. Four of the villas are deluxe rooms with open air showers overlooking the pool and paddy fields. Two of them are dwellings with their own plunge pools and overlook the jungle canopy. Although the skies were looking a tad overcast, I want to make use of the pool; my private plunge pool however was a tad too chilly for my liking and since there was no one else on the property, I took the liberty of a couple of easy laps in the main pool. Drinks and snacks can be ordered by the poolside but I have to admit, the service was slow.

As the afternoon turned to dusk, I retreated back to my cosy room for a warm shower and propped my feet up on one of the lounge chairs on the verandah. I could do this for hours, I thought to myself. Feet propped up, no care in the world and a beautiful serene setting right before my eyes. Although complete isolation is not everyone’s cup of tea, I would recommend it at least for a day; it helps clear the mind and relax the body. One can dine either on the verandah, beside the pool or at the rooftop I came across earlier but I thought it’ll be nice to enjoy a good meal by the pool for the night and perhaps have breakfast up in my room the next day.

Like I said, if the isolation and quiet life isn’t for you, there are plenty of excursions that can be arranged by the staff. There’s a cinnamon farm nearby and guests can experience the peeling and drying process for themselves, along with also visiting the Handunugoda Tea Estate which is a couple of kilometres away. This farm also produces virgin white tea which is known to be the world’s most expensive type of brew. As said earlier, Galle is only a mere 3kms away and easily accessible too. River side safaris and a visit to a nearby conservation forest can also be arranged. If you’ve got the urge to go for a sea swim or beach walk, that’s accessible too – whether it’s Galle or Unawatuna; only a couple of minutes away.  

At dinner, once again, the service could have been a tad robust because it took some time to bring out my salad, main and dessert but it’s not like I had other plans for the night so I didn’t mind. The menu isn’t too limiting, but I did think it could have done with a few tweaks. I opted for a gotukola and grilled prawn salad, a tomato and parmasan pasta for my mail and a delicious mousse for dessert. I’m told the food is prepared with the use of home grown produce, by Prabath who has also offered information of what to do in the area. I wasn’t here for the excursions, I craved and enjoyed my alone time.

I had a pretty restful night and woke up to the sounds of rustling leaves and more chirping birds. I may not know one bird from another but it doesn’t mean I don’t bask in the calling of nature when I am surrounded by it. Breakfast arrived promptly at the time I had mentioned the night before and was a complete Sri Lankan fare of stringhoppers, plain and egg hoppers, chicken curry, fish curry, pol sambol and seeni sambol. I took my own cool time enjoying every bit of it and grudgingly headed back to the room to pack. Yes, I’d only booked a single night stay. It wasn’t enough for me. I make a mental note to come back and stay for two nights.


If you’re someone whose looking for a refreshing escape from the mundane and usual getaways, Jetwing Kurulubedda rates high on my list of places to go to.

Lost in Ceylon 

In a world where blogging and online presence is everything, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanderlust breezing through travel accounts on Instagram. It’s not often however that you’d find a personality (or rather a travel blog) that also highlights current environmental issues and gives its viewers a different perspective on travel. Lost in Ceylon is all that and more to be frank. Owned by Tashiya de Mel, the account visually portrays stories and issues encountered during her travels all over Sri Lanka.

She is a psychology graduate living in Colombo, and has spent the last five years dabbling in different industries; working for start-ups, non-profits and the United Nations, where she has specialized in communications, advocacy, and social media.

A sense of adventure

“My friends and I are very used to getting lost on a lot of our travels. We’ve always enjoyed the sense of adventure and exhilaration that comes with it – so the name seemed fitting at the time!” she said regarding the reason behind her blog being titled ‘Lost in Ceylon’.

Truth be told, it isn’t easy to have a following or get recognition for having a blog on Instagram. And not everyone has the knack to create such a profile either, but de Mel seems to have done just that quite seamlessly. “All of it happened quite spontaneously. I had many friends who would regularly ask me for travel tips and recommendations on places to explore in Sri Lanka. Since I do travel quite extensively, I decided to share some of my adventures with people who wanted to explore unique and off-the-grid locations in Sri Lanka. I don’t really consider myself an ‘influencer’ or ‘blogger’. I began sharing my adventures with the hopes of inspiring other women, and curious individuals to get outside, travel more and discover lesser known parts of the country,” she added.

Having worked as a communications strategist she admits allowed her to gain experience in writing, social media and photography. In return, that experience has helped with bringing ‘Lost in Ceylon’ to life.

Diverse outlook

While there are plenty of websites and blogs relating to travel in Sri Lanka, most of them (except for a few like Lakdasun.org) focus on the popular tourist locations like Galle, Kandy, Sigiirya etc. Instagram is home to plenty of such travel blogs and profiles too. For the most part, many of these accounts simply repost photos taken by other ‘influencers’ and bloggers. The captions beneath these photos are often trivial in comparison to what it could be used for – to spread and create awareness on the beauty of the island, to promote conscious and mindful travels, and of course useful tips to traveling.

Lost in Ceylon highlights ‘pro tips’ on Instagram in an effort to share useful tips about lesser known as well as famous locations in Sri Lanka as well as de Mel’s personal experiences. The entire outlook is certainly refreshing and its quite true when she says she has a way with storytelling, because she does. Her instastories are quite a hit when it comes to sharing images as and when they are captured, wherever she is at the time. There aren’t any pretty stickers, flourishes or filters when it comes to her online feed. It’s real, its raw and it’s a fresh perspective on just how blessed this little island is with all its natural resources and varying sights.

Conscious travels

“I feel that sustainability and sustainable travels are terms that are often misused in Sri Lanka. If done right, sustainable travel can allow us to preserve our natural landscapes and still enjoy them. However, people are only interested in sustainability if they are educated about it, and if its overall importance is effectively communicated. We wont be able to sustain the levels of tourism that the country is promoting if we only keep taking from our environment without giving back — this is why more people need to learn and be educated in ways that they can be more sustainable and mindful when traveling” added de Mel, speaking on the importance of protecting the island’s natural resources and environment.

To her, sustainability is any type of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It therefore follows that environmental sustainability is about ensuring we don’t cause damage to our environment or deplete resources that we can’t renew.

She had taken a series of small steps to either eliminate or reduce my consumption of harmful products, such as:

– Plastic water bottles/soda (she carries her own refillable water bottle with her and opt for filter water if she’s eating out).

– Plastic straws

– Plastic/polythene food packaging and plastic bags – having reusable bags with you all the time can really help.

It’s important to remember that you can’t eliminate all single-use plastics out of your life immediately. However, it is important to be aware that taking SMALL, ACTIONABLE steps is a start, and understanding WHERE and HOW you can reduce or eliminate these items, and find sustainable alternatives.

The first step is always EDUCATION. Creating awareness. Once you understand why something is harmful, its always easier to take action. It does not have to be a multitude of things all at the same time. Each person embraces sustainability in different ways, and it’s important to remember that there isn’t one right way of achieving this.

 

Lost in Ceylon’s top five experiences in Sri Lanka

1. Trekking through the Knuckles mountain range – the rugged peaks and forests of the knuckles mountains are probably my favourite place in Sri Lanka (and maybe even in the world). The multitude of hiking trails, epic views and hidden waterfalls are nothing like anything else on the island.

2. Camping at Bambarakanda falls, Sri Lanka’s highest waterfall – the top of the falls has a smaller cascade that is sheltered by pine forests and overlook a valley of rolling green hills and mountains. Unfortunately, camping here is not permitted anymore for safety reasons.

3. Talaimannar – home to vast expanses of blue, salty lagoons and mangrove islands. Way out here, the island still feels like a world apart, with desert-like landscapes, dunes, soft, white sand and pristine beaches that stretch out for miles.

4. Aberdeen Falls, Ginigathhena – no matter how many times I visit this waterfall, I cant seem to get enough of it! The base pool here is unlike any other waterfall in Sri Lanka as it has a shallow sand bank that rises from the middle. The upper cascades of Aberdeen falls is a rocky outcrop of large boulders and carved cliff faces with emerald rock pools and a series of smaller waterfalls.

5. Jaffna – the sun baked landscapes of the Northern peninsula has a distinct charm. From the culture to the food, landscapes, and people – everything about Jaffna is a cultural and historical explosion of diversity.

RAW – Refreshing Ayurvedic Wellness


There are plenty of questions that circle around the subject of raw organic juices and cleanses. If its something that’s unheard of to you, do continue to read.  

Although many believe this to be just a fad, the reality is that it isn’t. It is clearly a far more fresh and clean alternative to vegetable and fruit juices, and a safer and healthier alternative to feed and cleanse our bodies.

RAW incorporates 100% organic cold pressed juices made of vegetables, fruit and herbs that are locally sourced and ayurvedic approved. In case you’re wondering as to what ‘cold pressed’ means, it refers to juice that uses a hydraulic press to extract juice from vegetables and fruits. These juices can last up to three days if refrigerated.

“The idea was to promote a healthier lifestyle; to create awareness about the harmful foods that we are feeding our body and that instead, we need to feed it proper nutrients, and cleanse it every now and then,” said Ronali. The idea came to her while she was at church, on the first Sunday of the year 2016. When she got back home, she jumped on the bandwagon and began to research on the topic of raw cold pressed juices and was fascinated by what she found.

Unlike most juices available at restaurants and cafes or even sold at grocery stores, cold pressed juices include a much larger percentage of nutrients without the added preservatives, water, sugars or flavours. These juices are far more easier to digest and absorb into the body. Taste was a very important factor when Ronali created them and before you jump into conclusions about how bad it might be, each one tastes refreshing as they include 20 – 30% cold pressed fruit juice and 80% cold pressed vegetables and herbs. In every 350ml jar, the juice concentration is quite high, and they are well balanced in terms of flavour and easy to consume.

To ensure quality and high standard in what she produces, Ronali runs quite the effective eco-friendly and sustainable business from her home – from sourcing only organic vegetables and fruits (also growing a few in her garden), to using solar power to generate energy for cold pressing the juices, to then using the waste as compost and fertilizer in her own garden. Each juice is packed in a reusable and sterilized glass jar and delivered in a reusable cloth bag.

What started out with just three juices to the name has now expanded to a range of 12 juices. Each juice has specific benefits. “It was important to me that before I grew my business, I created awareness regarding how beneficial raw organic juice can be for your mind and body. It’s easy for someone to say we can just add raw vegetables and fruit and herbs to our every day diet but the proper amount (400g of organic produce) that needs to be consumed daily is a bit hard to match, which is why it’s easier when it is in a pressed juice form that has your daily requirement. I initially had stalls at multiple pop ups and was able to sell out in nearly all of them because there were a great many people who were and still are very much interested in healthier and clean lifestyles. I consult an Ayurvedic doctor as well as a natural medicine doctor to ensure each juice combination is balanced and healthy to consume,” she added.

Fresh organic produce of karapincha, gotukola, celery, mukunuwenna, thebu, watermelon, ginger, mango, cucumber, pumpkin and more are delivered every two to three days and Ronali also ensures to visit the farms every couple of months to ensure the highest quality and standards are met. When the orders became more than she herself could handle, she went on to hiring staff to cold press the juices every single morning and also streamlined deliveries that happen twice a day. Orders are taken generally within a 24 hour notice period.

“When it’s your own homegrown business, the job satisfaction is greater. But it doesn’t mean I’ve had it easy either – coming up with a single combination of cold pressed juices can be quite a challenge with limited produce available organic because it’s important to have a balance of health benefits and flavour. I am passionate about what I do and I love every minute of it regardless of the little hiccups along the way. Of course I’d also love to expand in the future and be able to create more raw juices. The dream is to have a proper manufacturing plant so I can streamline the process more thoroughly, able to increase the shelf life of the juices and also to have them be available island wide,” said Ronali.

Benefits of an organic raw cleanse:

  • Visibly clear skin 
  • Heals internal cells and organs 
  • Clears the mind 
  • Gets rid off bodily toxins 
  • Cleanses the body 
  • Increases energy and overall health 

Juice cleanse

  • The Classic Raw Cleanse (one day) includes six juices and one herbal tea 
  • The Lazy Raw Cleanse (one day) includes four juices 
  • The Pro Raw Cleanse (two day) includes 12 juices 
  • The Advanced Raw Cleanse (three days) includes 18 juices 
  • The Raw Green Cleanse (one day) includes six juices 

 

For more details visit http://www.rawsrilanka.com

Lime & Co. Midi

Sea salt infused breeze fills the air and I awaken from my lounge spot beside the cool blue pool. I seem to have fallen asleep during the middle of the day on a glorious Saturday, but I am not one to complain. Work or otherwise, my reasons for being here don’t matter right now. What matters is that I feel relaxed and happy.

I’m at Lime & Co. Midi, an eco-friendly economical accommodation brand, located just a mere minutes away from the Midigama Town and a hop, step and a jump away from the beautiful Indian Ocean on the southern coast of the island. Home to ten double/twin rooms and two dorm rooms, this budget-friendly property has been aesthetically designed, keeping the surrounding environment in mind. The structure was built around the existing coconut trees, instead of cutting any down to create space, and also designed to ensure natural ventilation and air flow throughout the property.

The space is decorated minimalistically and has quiet nooks for someone like me; who enjoys reading, lounging by the pool and simply staring into the clear blue sky with no agenda ahead of me. Not that I have no agenda, but we can get to that later. Right now, my mind can only focus on the afternoon breeze, the sound of the occasional train passing by (which I don’t mind really) and the pool beckoning I take a dip.

Getting there 

Traveling down south isn’t much of a hassle anymore thankfully – for those of you who own a vehicle, it’s altogether a mere 2 hour drive from the city of Colombo (taking into account the crazy traffic before the Kottawa entry to the Southern Expressway) and then the rest thereon. Midigama is about a 30 minute drive from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort. For those of you who like the convenience of taking the highway bus from Maharagama, you could get off at the traffic lights at the end of the expressway and get on a regular bus heading to Matara and get off at the Midigama Town.

You can’t miss the spot as the property wall facing the roadside has a lengthy tropical illustration. Did I also forget to mention that the beach is simply across the road and also boasts one of the more quiet and secluded spots in the area? July/August isn’t really the right time to hit the waves but you could wet your feet or have a short swim closer to the coast if you’re up for it and the tide isn’t high. Midigama is also home to some of the best sunsets on the southern coast.An ideal time to visit however would be from October to April.

In keeping with the economical theme, Lime & Co. Midi does not offer meals but does provide a communal kitchen space that guests could use to cook meals for themselves. The kitchen is complete with a refrigerator, stove top with pots and pans and utensils, a water filter, reusable glass bottles and plates and water glasses. If you’re not someone who wants to be cooking while on vacation, there’s a tiny roti shop a mere walking distance that serves home-cooked rotis with yummy fillings like cheese and tomato. There’s also Mama’s, a five minute walk down the road that does a vegetarian rice and curry buffet and worth a visit. TripAdvisor would be your best bet in helping you find other good places to dine at in the area, depending on your budget.

I always make sure to carry a book when I’m traveling. You never know when you might have a couple of free hours to lounge and unwind by yourself, and as an avid reader from childhood, I can’t pass up the opportunity to catch up on a good book even if I’m on holiday. As much as I enjoy doing so in my own bed at home, there’s something about laying back on a hammock between two coconut trees, with the occasional rustle of leaves and trees nearby to create the ideal reading atmosphere. My current read is Crash and Burn by Lisa Gardner. I’ve not previously read any of her books, but the title of this one intrigued me and so far, I’m hooked.

A few hours into the afternoon and I believe a dip in the pool to cool off is a good idea before the sun disappears and the water becomes too cool for my liking. I’ll leave the workload for tomorrow; today calls for a full on relaxed itinerary.

Things to do

If you’re an outdoor kind of individual, there’s plenty more to do in the area. Excursions can be arranged within a few hours, or with 24 hours notice the most. Whether it’s boat safaris on the Madu Ganga or Koggala Lake, visiting turtle hatcheries on the coast, or taking on bike or walking tours in Galle, boredom won’t kill the vacation mode. The Yala and Bundala National Parks are approximately a two hour drive away (depending on the glorious Sri Lankan road traffic) and are definitely worth a visit, especially during this time of the year.

A couple of laps to and fro and I seem to have cooked up a good appetite for dinner. I’ll hold off trying to nibble on some snacks because there are couple of good restaurants and cafes towards Ahangama (about a 10-15 minute tuk ride away). Cantina Lanka serves up some good pizza and tacos, whereas Mojo has a killer spicy chicken salad that I have been loving very much. The coconut roti tacos with prawn and homemade curry mayo sauce is a favourite at Spice Lane. If you’re up for it, the Galle Fort is also home to plenty of places you can dine at.


The rooms at Midi keep with the minimalistic vibe; the cement cut floors and lime washed walls add a natural cooling effect so there’s no necessity for air conditioning at all. There’s shelving and racks for storing your belongings during your stay and there are leafy paintings on the wall which add an island feel to the room. The bathrooms have been designed with an open space concept so it does not include a door to separate it from the room. It’s cement finishings give it a nomadic and simple vibe and it doesn’t hurt that the shower head has awesome pressure and includes hot water too.

I’m rudely woken up the next morning by the blasting of a bus horn from the main road nearby. It’s not a welcoming feature of my stay unfortunately. My ideal Sunday would be to naturally wake up close to noon. Anyway, I’ve also got some writing and emails to respond to, so I take the opportunity to make myself a cup of coffee at the communal kitchen and use one of the dining spaces to get some work done. I also manage a few social media accounts on Instagram and Midigama has been quite the tropical backdrop for plenty of island vibe posts.

Come noon, it’s a quick lunch on the way back to the Southern Expressway at the Galle Fort and home sweet home. It’s crazy how the weekend simply flies by and I hate the notion of having to mentally prepare myself for work the next day. But two days at Midi has certainly given me a mental boost and I feel refreshed and revived to tackle the coming week.

If you’d rather spend your money on good food and budget your way through on accommodation, I’d highly recommend checking out Midi on their main website for some good offers or even via Airbnb. The brand has a similar property in Kabalana as well, and have sister properties under the name Ceilao Villas in case you’re interested.

Have a good week!

Make Everyday Matter 

Inhale. Exhale. Make every breathe count.

Here’s the thing; we’re all struggling to fit in and find a spot in this so-called ‘rat race’ called life. What is the race all about any way? Why do we take it so seriously? Why are we constantly after something we’re not even sure of and not making every single day of our lives matter?  

Stop. Take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale.

According to Richard Branson, there’s no necessity of separating work life and play/personal life. One must simply find a balance of the two to make a life. If you aren’t finding some form of enjoyment in the daily work that you do, if there’s no passion towards the career you are building, if there’s no sense of happiness derived from the everyday job, then what’s the point? 

In order to make your every day count, be sure to fill it with a career, a job that satisfies your passion and aspirations. Once you begin to find enjoyment in what you do, when there’s a smile spread across your face at the end of a hard days work, it is then that you come to realize, the hustling and the bustling is worth it. If it isn’t, you’re simply wasting your own time.

Do something fun while also setting goals for yourself. Visit a new city or country every four months or six months of the year. Do something you’ve never done or thought you could never do. Set experiential standards that will both enrich your personal life and also motivate you. 

Your goals do not have to be extraordinary to matter; all you need are ones that will work for you and enable you to become a better version of yourself.

Challenge yourself. 

Push your limits. 

This doesn’t mean you have to go to extreme lengths of any sort, but give yourself a positive and encouraging nudge every now and then. Pat yourself on the back when you’ve accomplished something. Reward yourself when you’ve achieved a goal. Treat yourself to a massage, a new dress or book, a holiday someplace you’ve never been before, or indulge in a fancy dining experience; whichever way you choose to celebrate overcoming obstacles and challenges in life, don’t forget to take a deep breath and appreciate the journey that got you there.

Life doesn’t have to be all work hard and no play. It’s okay to have a break every now and then because you deserve it. Capture these moments, whether in the form of a photograph or keep a journal. Most often we tend to let life’s best moments pass by without truly living it and then as the years go by, memories tend to slip by as well. One way of capturing them in by taking a photograph or actually writing down how you felt in a personal journal.

It’s easy to sit back and watch the day/s go by but more often than otherwise, we tend to lose track of time and suddenly it’s a week, a month or even a year later that we’ve come to realize how much time we’ve wasted. 

Don’t let this happen too often; your time is now. 

Make it matter.

Good luck!