by Eman Kawas
There are many reasons for travelling the world, but one of the most important reasons that I travel for is quite literally food for thought. Being free to make your own decisions without any constraints, changing your itinerary as you wish and seeing the things that you are passionate about. I went solo travelling for three months. I didn’t intend to have a vacation that long, but as I travelled more I developed a connection with myself and my environment. I wanted to explore further and experience autonomy in depth.
Half way through my trip I went to Sri Lanka, one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. I heard a lot about how beautiful Sri Lanka is, but being there is a different feeling. I stayed near Bentota Beach in the south-west corner of Sri Lanka before I headed off exploring this beautiful country. Here I developed a connection with my soul. It was a serene experience to be able to meditate by this amazing sandy beach and meet people from all over the world, who come here to experience self love, trust and peace. This year, I learned about my body, my soul and my connection to our Earth. Silent walks on the beach as the sun was rising, a magical moment that was a constant reminder of new beginnings and a sense of belonging to our Earth. A constant reminder of the importance of nature in maintaining our physical and mental balance. A combination of feelings, thoughts and physical experiences turned this place into heaven for me.
I have always loved watching documentaries about animals and wildlife. I always wondered about the connection between our existence and theirs. I wondered if we ever had things in common. Since apes and us are so alike in so many ways, are we also similar in our behaviours to other animals? In Sri Lanka I fell in love with Elephas Maximus elephants. They are beautiful, gentle giants and I didn’t want to see them in a zoo or the famous elephant orphanage that all tourists go to. I went on a safari in the Sri Lankan jungle and what an amazing experience it was. I spent my whole afternoon that day in the jungle. I saw four kinds of monkeys, mongoose, jackals, sambars, water buffalos, wild boars and, of course, the amazing Elephas Maximus elephant. Majestic creatures where the females and the youngsters stick together and the giant males wonder on their own. It made me humble to have witnessed them in the wild, eating, bathing and taking care of their babies. While witnessing nature’s masterpiece - an elephant is the only giant, harmless thing - I could not help but think about the instinct for females to stick together, while males wonder on their own until they come back to mate again. Can humans relate to this behaviour at all? Or what can we learn from this?
This experience certainly gave me perspective on life. The most beautiful landscapes I had seen in Sri Lanka instilled in me courage, love and connection.
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