Wednesday, March 14, 2018

He made her like herself

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

"She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: a self-affection. He made her like herself. With him, she was at ease; her skin felt as though it was her right size. She told him how she very much wanted God to exist but feared He did not, how she worried that she should know what she wanted to do with her life but did not even know what she wanted to study at university. It seemed so natural, to talk to him about odd things. She had never done that before. The trust, so sudden and yet so complete, and the intimacy, frightened her."

~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah, 2013

Friday, March 9, 2018

Planning for Another Adventure

Friday, March 9, 2018

I’ve spent the last two weeks choosing where to travel next. I considered Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, and Brazil. Taiwan is easy because it’s near and I no longer have to apply for a visa to go there. But after going to Japan last year and to Hong Kong and Macau last month, I don’t want to go to another East Asian country. Papua New Guinea, touted as “the last frontier,” seems captivating, but from what I read, it’s not easy to explore the country independently.  So I ended up with Brazil.

After making an initial budget estimate for three weeks in Brazil, I proceeded with the itinerary. The plan was to enter through Sao Paulo, spend a few days in Rio de Janeiro, then onward to Salvador de Bahia and the rest of the northeast coast.  Everything’s set until I read horror stories that changed my mind and made me discard the entire plan. Personal accounts of travelers who were taken advantage of, assaulted, and robbed at gun point in broad daylight at major tourist destinations freaked me out.

Where do I want to go anyway? Somewhere exotic yet safe, unusual but accessible; a place where nobody I know has gone to and where it’s relatively easy to get a visa. My search for that perfect place that meets those standards led me to Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lanka fits the bill, I think, perhaps except for the “safe” part. There has been a spate of communal violence in Kandy, a major tourist hub in the country’s Central Province, in the past days and the government had already declared a state of emergency to halt the rioting.

So where do I go now? I still don’t know.
 
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