This is a belated update on the epic journey I just had in Europe and America. I planned to write this a few weeks ago after returning to Sri Lanka but the time completely disappeared and now I’m writing this en-route to New Zealand!
The Epic TRiP – “Half way around the world in 77 days!”
6 weeks ago I returned to Sri Lanka from a magical trip abroad where I had a wonderful time catching up with family and friends! “Thank you” to everyone who made this trip so special! I really appreciated the effort made in catching up! The PhD can be a bit of lonely business at times and this is exactly what I needed.
Thanks also my University supervisors who agreed to my request of having some much needed ‘time off’ from my PhD studies!). Now i’m feeling rejuvenated and ready for some “thesis write-up” action!
— So what were the highlights of the trip??
Well, I feel like i could write a book about the whole experience (…and may be I will one day), but for now I’ll try and give a brief outline of at least some of the highlights.
LONdoN ToWN… where all good European travel begins!
Catching up with friends in London and heading to the Duran Duran concert was a real blast! Also, sharing a few stories from the heart at “speakers corner” in Hyde Park was a mini-dream come true! It was an amazing experience – especially with the awesome support crew at my side! (Davina, Yo and Sandra, Laki, Su, Dan, Kelly and Sud – and of course Annabelle who who came equipped with sandwiches and champagne!).
http://bishansworld.posterous.com/duran-duran-in-the-parkAnother big catch-up happened at Dirty Martinis in Covent garden on the second weekend and this rocked just as we planned!
None of the UK fun would have been possible if it weren’t for Yosanta and Sandra organising so much “good stuff” for me, and for treating me to their fabulous apartment – so a “big thumbs-up” to you guys! (Thanks Bro for the good times!)
GeneVa – city of worlds affairs, with it’s own cosmopolitan flare!
It was great hanging out with my Danish “Nangi” Celie -again, and my long lost uni buddy “Hunter” in Geneva, even if it was only for a couple of days. Geneva as fantastic – i loved the ‘international vibe’ – I even managed to meet some people from the WHO (world health organisation) to talk about trying to support the resuscitation training project that I was working on in Sri Lanka, which was a great opportunity.
SeViLLe SpAIN – Land of sun, food, fun and festivity… ‘Da puta madre!’
The brief Swiss trip was followed by the first part of the European holiday with the fantastic tour through Andulacia (Spain) that was given to us by Sandra’s family! It was a week of relaxation , gourmet food, sun and festivity. “Mucho Gracias -nos encanta!”
GREece – HeLLeniCA – uniquely ancient and picturesque!
Then there was the amazing Mediterranean trip that Yo, Sandra I did. This started with a road trip around mainland Greece along with Taz who came for the ride. Next, us “three amigos” (Bish, Yo and Sandra) ferried on through beautiful Greek Islands;- Diving in Paros, chillin’ in “stunning” Santorini and touring Kos (where Hippocrates came up with the famous “Hippocratic oath” and the first hospital of modern times).
TURKYE:- magical, mystical and delightfully beautiful!
Thereafter we toured through southern Turkey, which was incredible! It was full of such warm and friendly people, and was laden with beautiful beaches and ancient ruins to match. The waters were warm, and the diving was great! We finished off with 3 days in Istanbul full of history and beauty, and a great historical yet funky vibe! ‘Teh shekaderam turkye’
LOS ANGeles – sunshine and fun-time!
Yo and I carried on to LA for the ‘finale’ which was Amy and Kanishka’s wedding in LA – We had such a great family reunion!
NYC & BoStOn – city that doesn’t sleep, and the ‘Academic Haven’ that’s earned it’s keep!
On the way back to home, we stopped through New York and, thanks to Sanjay and “Napkin’s party house” we had a great ‘big apple’ experience! Of course we also rocked the house with Meena, Maz, Dinsy, Bunmi and the rest of the crew in New York City!
I also snuck in a visit to Boston, and thanks to Chuck Pozner who took me into his home, and showed me his amazing simulation center at STRATUS which was affiliated with Harvard Medical school- Such a great and inspiring time!
Finally Su and Dan were just superb looking after me in that crucial London pit stop before heading back to Sri Lanka (where we snuck in a visit to the old haunt “Ministry of Sound” courtesy of my cousin Dilini! – who has to be the undisputed queen of dance partying!).
Whoah, what a trip!
KaNdY – peace, tranquility and perspective!
The meditation retreat (which was one of the SN Goenka 10 day retreats) upon returning to Sri Lanka was just what i needed – and the perfect way to round off this mega trip. This vipassana retreat was something that i’d been planning to do for a while, and it turned out to be a fantastic experience. Experiencing the “moment” and letting go a little helps so much with finding true peace in this rushed old world that we live in!
(I set up a discussion group about Vipassana meditation in daily life, so anyone who is even slightly interested, why not join? – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=174210874782 – it’s very low key but I was inspired so much after the course I set it up all the same, and it could be quite interesting if others also want to contribute?)
The CuRReNt MIssiOn – “Finishing the PhD”
After emerging from my retreat in Sri Lanka I went straight back to the PhD work and have been working hard out in Anuradhapura and Kandy. Between hanging out with my visiting supervisor, and tying up loose ends in my data collection I so busy that I didn’t make it to Colombo until the weekend just gone.
I’m really sorry for not being in touch with everyone, and feel bad –but I guess the time has come to get this PhD finished! My challenge right now is to convert some of the multitude of information that I have collected over those 3 memorable years of working in Sri Lanka into a final finished product. My plan is to submit my thesis in May next year.
It sometimes feels like a mountainous challenge that lies ahead, but I know I can do it, just as the Beatles song went.. “with a little help from my friends”. All the support I have received along the way has been so amazing – so again… thank you!
LeAvINg Sri LanKA!
It’s very sad in many ways to be leaving Sri Lanka as I’ve had such an incredible 3 and half years here. However, deep down I don’t feel like I’m “leaving for good” because my master plan is to come back and live here after finishing my emergency medicine training, in some “yet to be defined” capacity….so watch this space!
WhErE to FrOm HeRe?
I’m currently on my way to New Zealand from Sri Lanka where I’ll spend a week, and then I’ll be off to Melbourne for an Emergency Medicine conference from Nov 14-21st.
Thereafter I’ll be between Sydney and Canberra for the next 6 weeks. I’ll be back to Sri Lanka just before new years and for January 2010 thereafter returning down under to finish my Thesis write up.
In the medium-term, I’ve got a job lined up as at the Prince of Wales hospital in Eastern Suburbs, Sydey, starting next July – so I guess it’s “goodbye Sri Lanka – hello Sydney!”… at least for the next little while.
Again – Thanks again for the great times everyone!
May you all be well and happy!
Always follow your heart and your “own” dreams as life is too short to follow someone else’s dreams
Life is not a race, but unfortunately we live on a race course