Category Archives: Sri Lanka

How I became a traveller – my influences and travel characteristics!

Sometimes it is nice to take stock and realise the influences and people that made you the person you are today. One of the things I would count myself as is a traveller and there are many influences in my life that made me the traveller I am today.  As our byline says we are fearless family travellers embracing luxury and adventure around the globe! This is the story of how I became a traveller – what influenced me to become a family traveller, an adventure traveller and a luxury travel blogger!

How I became a Family Traveller

As family travel bloggers we prioritise travel with our daughter. It’s the whole reason behind this blog. But my own early travel memories are no where near as glamorous or exotic but definitely helped me become the traveller I am today.

Early travel blogger pose
We didn’t have much money when I was growing up but my parents always made sure we had at least one holiday a year. The earliest memories I have are vague but I remember travelling down to Weymouth in the UK and staying at a B&B. They served me ice cream for breakfast because I asked for it and that was probably my earliest travel memory.

Ice cream for breakfast

After that, we started going to a family holiday camp in the UK called Butlins and this is the earliest strong travel memory I have. I remember spending lots of time outdoors doing activities such as abseiling and archery, but also of spending quality time with my parents.

Early travel memories

I think the quality time is the thing that I have taken forward most into my own family travel. We are lucky that we get to travel to some amazing places, but really the most important thing is spending time together rain or shine (when I was little holidaying in England holidays were mainly rain)!

I also want to teach my daughter to have an adventurous spirit wherever she is – whether that is in the desert in the Middle East or exploring our local area in the UK. I think adventure can be found everywhere and you don’t have to travel for hours to get it! Now we have repatriated to the UK, I am really looking forward to exploring the UK as a family with trips to the Peak District, Yorkshire and my beloved (and hopefully hometown again) London already in the pipeline.

How I became an Adventure Traveller

Perhaps the biggest change to my travel life came when I met my husband at university. Whereas I had only really ever left the country for a quick trip to Eurodisney he was a seasoned traveller having grown up an expat. Suddenly within a year of dating I had taken my first flight and travelled round Alaska – somewhere I would never have dreamed of going growing up!

Hiking in Alaska
Now we have been to over 30 countries together with plans for a round the world trip next year! Without him I don’t think I would have ever been adventurous enough to go gorilla trekking and chimp trekking in Uganda and Rwanda or hiked in the Tongass rainforest in Alaska.

Trekking in Uganda

How I became a Luxury Traveller 

What can I say I love 5* hotels, top notch nosh and fantastic service but I don’t think there is an origin story there – it is just me!

Luxury in Uganda
I love being pampered and feeling special when I travel. Whether I’m trekking in Uganda, finding relaxation in Sri Lanka or going on a baby friendly holiday luxury is never too far away!

That’s my story of how I became a traveller – family, adventure and luxury! 

What type of Traveller are you and what made you the traveller you are today? 

Eid Escapes from the Middle East in under 5 hours

Eid is a time of celebration in the Middle East and is a public holiday across the region. Many expats use Eid as a chance to get away, especially when Eid is in the summer. Private sector workers tend to get three days public holiday while governmental workers get five days so it is the perfect chance to take a break and escape the Middle East summer. Here are the perfect Eid escapes all under five hours flight from the Middle East and reachable by a direct flight. Here my favourite Middle East bloggers and me tell you the perfect Eid escapes! Continue reading Eid Escapes from the Middle East in under 5 hours

Holiday Destinations from Doha aka Qatar’s Travel menu

One of the things that excited me most about moving to Qatar was the travel opportunities it would afford us! By living in Qatar a whole new world of holiday destinations from Doha opened up to us! Long haul was now short haul and vice versa! In the three and a half years we have been living here we have been using every opportunity we could to try new holiday destinations from Doha. So here is Qatar’s Travel menu from short haul to long haul options and the most memorable travel opportunity we had! Continue reading Holiday Destinations from Doha aka Qatar’s Travel menu

Top 10 things that makes a luxury hotel luxurious! 

We love luxury hotels. Whether we are traveling as a couple or a family we always look for somewhere luxurious to stay. But what makes a hotel luxurious?

The bathroom 

Wandermust Daddy and I have very different opinions about what makes a luxurious hotel. For him it’s all about the shower.  For me it’s all about the bath. But we both agree that open bathrooms with a view are the bees knees!

outdoor bathroom, buckingham place
Continue reading Top 10 things that makes a luxury hotel luxurious! 

Buckingham Place, Tangalle – Best Hotel Ever!

I am going to start with a disclaimer – that despite the sheer number of superlatives I am about to use in this review, I promise I have no affliation and was not paid or given products to do this review. I genuinely feel this strongly about this hotel. Continue reading Buckingham Place, Tangalle – Best Hotel Ever!

A day around Galle, Sri Lanka – a photo journey

When you think of Sri Lanka, you don’t really think of cities. Temples, elephants, tea plantations and beaches are the first things that spring to my mind but Galle is definitely worth a day trip. Here is our perfect 24 hours in Galle

Galle Overview

Galle is a colonial town on the Southwest coast of Sri Lanka. It’s fortress, one of the must dos when in Galle is a world heritage site and is a must do for any visitor. Unfortunately during our visit to Galle there was torrential rain but it didn’t stop us walking around the fort.

Walking the fort!
Walking the fort!

What surprised me about Galle was how European it felt and how good the shopping was. It had some genuinely interesting shops, not just shops filled with tourist tat. Our favourite shops were Stick No Bills, a shop dedicated to vintage travel and movie posters. It also had a small exhibition which was definitely worth a visit if you are a travel poster fan as I am. My other favourite was Barefoot Boutique where you could buy lots of artisan products from the area. We purchased some beautiful batik placemats. We also purchased some local Sri Lankan coffee which is a must for any visitor.

Another thing that surprised me about Galle was the variety of religions. We enjoyed visiting the Church of Galle along with the many Buddhist shrines we past on our journey there.

A Church in Galle
A Church in Galle

We stopped for lunch a the beautiful Amangalla Hotel. One of the most colonial places I have ever visited. I thoroughly recommend stopping there for a Club Sandwich and a G&T.

The beautiful Amangalle Hotel, Galle, Sri Lanka
The beautiful Amangalle Hotel, Galle, Sri Lanka
Enjoying a G&T at the Amangalle hotel, Galle, Sri Lanka
Enjoying a G&T at the Amangalle hotel, Galle, Sri Lanka

We also had to make a pilgrimage to the Galle cricket ground for my cricket fanatic husband! Thank goodness there wasn’t a game on or else we wouldn’t have got to the fort!

Galle Tea Plantations

The Virgin White Tea Plantation, Galle
The Virgin White Tea Plantation, Galle

We combined our visit to Galle with a trip to the nearby Virgin White Tea Plantation where you can sample a variety of teas in beautiful surroundings. Virgin White refers to the method of tea picking based on an ancient Chinese tradition. Virgin White Tea is never touched by human hands and all pickers where gloves and use golden scissors. It was very interesting to see. Our guide was very knowledgable about the tea making process and while perhaps not as striking as tea plantations around Kandy was definitely worth a visit.

Galle is definitely a must for anyone visiting Sri Lanka.

If you enjoyed this post and are interested in finding out more about Southern Sri Lanka you may also want to check out these posts:

Buckingham Place – Best Hotel Ever! Our Recommended hotel for visiting south Sri Lanka
Elephant Safari at Udewalawe National Park – Our favourite place in South Sri Lanka

This post was part of #theweeklypostcard

 

Wander Mum

 

Suitcases and Sandcastles

 

Elephant Safari at Udewalawe National Park

In celebration of #elephantday I thought I would share with you an adventure we had when we were just a Wandermust Couple in Sri Lanka! I had never been on safari, so when I got the opportunity to go to Sri Lanka before our upcoming Africa trip, I couldn’t help but feel like we were getting a warm up. An opportunity to test our safari gear, test photography etc. However this was a gross underestimate of how amazing Sri Lanka is!

Elephants cooling off in the Midday sun, Udewalawe national park
Elephants cooling off in the Midday sun, Udewalawe national park

We were looking at possible trips to Yala or Udewalawe National Park. We eventually decided on Udewalawe for a number of reasons. Firstly we had heard that Yala, was the more popular of the sights and sometimes you could be fighting with a number of other jeeps to get close to wildlife. Also, despite having fewer elephants, the smaller park size meant there were greater chances of getting a great elephant sighting.

So off we went. We had literally been in the park for four minutes when we came across our first elephant. He was more than happy to put on a show, showering himself with water right next to our car. If I had been worried about not seeing elephants, ten minutes inside the park had dispelled any concerns. We must have seen about 50 elephants during our 4 hours in the park. My personal favourite was watching a family of elephants heading into a pool of water to cool off in the midday sun. I couldn’t have asked for a better shot!

Elephant
Elephant at Udewalawe

On our trip around Udewalawe – we never saw another car and felt like we were really alone with nature. A big shout out has to go to our guides whose eagle eyes caught things we never would have. Other than elephant we saw numerous birds, and I am sure if we had got there earlier in the morning we would have seen even more.

Unfortunately we didn’t see any leopards which are notoriously difficult to spot – but I will certainly be returning for another shot!

Overall:

Safaris in Sri Lanka, can rival that of Africa, especially if you are an elephant fan. A recommendation for anyone travelling to Sri Lanka!

One happy Wandermust Mummy, Udewalawe National Park
One happy Wandermust Mummy

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