Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Anticipating the Unfamiliar

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

What makes traveling such a pleasure is the anticipation in knowing that each day in a foreign place may result in anything. You could get lost and end up utterly ill-prepared, shambling down a perilously steep and muddy path through a tangle of trees, creepers, and tea plantations in flip-flops, a midriff-baring top, and a long swirly skirt. That’s precisely what happened when D and I woke up one morning and decided to go to the Demodara Nine Arches Bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka.

The Nine Arches Bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka was built entirely out of brick, rock, and cement and without a single piece of steel in 1921.
Although we had no idea how to reach the bridge, we opted to walk all the way rather than taking a tuk-tuk as most tourists do. We asked locals for directions and they patiently pointed out landmarks and shortcuts to get to the bridge. Following their instructions, we walked towards Little Adams Peak then turned left until we reached  Nine Acres Resort and Spa. We then crossed the road and entered a narrow path in the middle of a dense tea plantation. We weren’t quite sure if we were on the right track, yet we walked on, trusting the directions given to us, until we reached that steep, dangerous-looking trail. As I was dressed inappropriately for that kind of hiking, I refused to go, but D convinced me otherwise. He promised to prop me up, even carry me just so we can reach the bridge. And we did.

As someone who plans everything right down to the most infinitesimal detail, I was delighted when I realized that not knowing anything about a place but going there anyway can be absolutely fun and that traveling is all about taking pleasure in the onslaught of the unfamiliar.

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