I have just returned from a fabulous trip to the South of Sri Lanka where I spent the New Year at the invitation of a close colleague. The trip was a mix of spiritual, ritual and tradition, wildlife and adventure. Each aspect deserves its own write up and of course, there is no shortage of photographs!
I have been quiet here over the past weeks as we approach yet another big change. My work in Sri Lanka will come to an end in 20 days, as will our stay here. Things are taking shape for the next step - the next job, the next country and, I am sure, the next pressure cooker and rice cooker! That is how it has been since we left Nepal.
Then I think back, and realise that it has been nearly 9 years since I left Scotland to come and live and work in Asia. I remember the trepidation as I prepared to leave for Kathmandu in 2000. I had never been to Nepal before. In fact my only visit to Asia had been for a certain milestone birthday trip the previous year when I travelled on the Trans-Siberian railway through Russia, Mongolia and China instead of having a party. So it was a huge step to a new life and new job in a new country, new continent and new organisation. As well as being a risk, it had been a dream for many years. A dream is all very well, but I had no idea if I was able to meet the challenge of the reality.
I arrived in Kathmandu in the middle of a monsoon downpour and the images of the journey from the airport to town are still etched firmly in my mind. Everything seemed brown (a combination of the fading afternoon light, the rain and the mud) as we drove through the narrow streets past tiny shops and cows chewing rubbish . Leaving Kathmandu nearly 6 years later was a huge wrench and it still feels more like home than anywhere else.
Now I am preparing for another departure and arrival, and coincidentally, another milestone age as it is now 10 years since the Trans-Siberian adventure. An adventure which heralded a completely new phase in my personal and professional life and which broadened my horizons beyond any wild expectations I had ever had. I still find it incredible that I have lived and worked in these special places (Nepal, Mongolia, India and Sri Lanka) and visited many more. Now after four years of a relatively nomadic experience we are hoping to be a bit more settled in our next place.
So, watch this space for news and updates...............
Living and working in Asia (Nepal, Mongolia, India, Sri Lanka and now Myanmar) for the past 9 years. Mostly (but not always) thriving on the challenges, always marvelling at how privileged I am to be here.
Life took a huge turn in a different direction in October 2009 - and this has its own space due to connection limitations in our new location. You can follow this on http://feistybluegeckofightsback.wordpress.com/
Thanks for following the Feisty Blue Gecko through thick and thin, good times and tough times!