The true journey that I am currently embarked upon actually began March 26, 2013 in Thailand; landing in Bangkok with plans to stay only a few days while I obtained my visa. As I arrived at the embassy, the day after I landed; the embassy was closed due to an Indian holiday! As it was Friday, and with a slight feeling of frustration (Change of Plans #1) knowing that it would now be Tuesday before I could leave, I went to the hotel to do some research. After some time on the computer, I found out that I could file online and receive my visa in Colombo, Sri Lanka where I planned to be in three weeks! Great News! (Change of Plans #2) I checked flights for Phuket and took off to that beautiful Thai island on the Andaman Sea for a bit of rest and relaxation. I arrived Saturday for a quick four day break. After a bout of food poisoning and the infectious sting of a bee that had me rushed to a Thai hospital, plus two and a half weeks later, I am now deleting Malaysia and Borneo from my itinerary. (Change of Plans #3) I head directly to Colombo, Sri Lanka, to arrive again on another Friday, at another embassy, closed for another Indian holiday!! When I finally was able to get into the embassy on the following Monday, they told me 8 days minimum to receive my visa. (Change of Plans #4) That tripled my time in Sri Lanka, but I decided to make the best of it and spent my time visiting some amazing places! And, although, I experienced a lot of poverty, I was able to spend some time with some extraordinary people and their families. Photos and clips will show you a bit about their lives and my experiences. Finally, I got my visa; ran to India Airlines to get my fare, and, of course, (Change of Plans #5) everything was a mess with lots of obstacles to overcome. But, with patience ad persistence (the two most important "p"'s in travel!), I was able to work it out. Every problem has a solution! Such is the path towards enlightenment!
Written by: Norman Vangelder
Edited by: Karen Criswell