When walking around in the villages in Weligama on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka in the past couple of weeks, it often struck us how open the hearts and smiles seem to be of locals we’ve met. Even if we come from a different environment, climate and social rules, we’ve been invited to come inside people’s houses and share a moment together. Often we had a cup of tea or were served a meal.
For most people living here in Sri Lanka, leading simple lives and earning money from one day to another, it’s hard to understand the concept of long-time travels and the time and money the two of us have decided to “spend” traveling rather than saving for later. And we, Anders and Wivan, certainly have a hard time to explain our situation, sometimes because of language difficulties and sometimes just because our way of living is so very different from most people’s.
Often we are surprised by the Sri Lankan’s loving and happy spirit no matter what their living conditions are, and some locals seem a bit confused of how on earth we can go traveling without having a job that gives money day to day. So we, both sides, have some sort of unspoken agreement on not understanding each other’s situations fully and just be friends anyways, accepting our different situations, lifestyles and the not-understanding part.
That “agreement” is a lovely thing. At times we just shorten our story a bit, making it all about being in Sri Lanka for a month or three and telling people how much we love this beautiful country, the people, food and the weather. Other times, when language and time to talk is not a problem, we try and explain a bit more, part of it being a way to say that it’s possible to dream big and make things happen if we dare to step into the void every now and then.
Now after arriving at our next house sit, staying in a very big and nice house, it’s again hard to explain when our Sri Lankan “brother” Mona calls to check how we are after the trip here. Yeah, we get to stay for free in a huge house, taking care of two dogs while their owner travels abroad…
Mona is a lovely guy though, and simply ask his regular question:
And when we say ‘yes, we’re very happy’, he goes on:
You happy, me happy.
See, it doesn’t have to be more difficult than that. We’re friends and “family”, and if the other is happy, so are we.
With love and gratitude,
Anders and Wivan