Four Experiences you Must Have on the Island Before You’re 30

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If you’re like Phoebe Buffet, and have a list of ‘Things to Do’ before you hit 30, visiting Sri Lanka is a must. But be warned! Sri Lanka’s kaleidoscopic beauty can get your head in a spin. Here’s our guide to four adventures you must have while on the island.

Explore the Waves

A golden toasty day. A cool drink waiting for you on shore. The wind in your hair as you carve a path on the blue water. If this sounds like your ideal holiday, re-route your boardshorts to Sri Lanka’s South. Set up base in one of the many hotels in Galle, and either head West to ride the waves at Hikkaduwa or move further South to Weligama and Mirissa.

All three beaches, though a little crowded especially at the weekend, are popular for a number of reasons.

  • They offer surfing options for all experience levels. Beginners can specially benefit from a lesson from one of the many surf schools around. Visitors can also learn to windsurf, kitesurf¬†¬†and snorkel.
  • Waves come in at the perfect waist to chest height and the water is warm enough to spend the entire day in.
  • With no threat from from jelly fish and other nasty creatures, the atmosphere is pretty chilled out.
  • The beaches are ideal spots from which to see marine life in their natural habitat. Whale and dolphin watching is one absolute you must not miss.

But if you’re looking for all this during Sri Lanka’s monsoon months, from May to October, don’t worry. Just head East to Arugam Bay.

A Bay is what some call the best surfing beach on the island. Don’t be fooled by Arugam Bay’s gold and teal beauty or its laid-back atmosphere, though. The waves here are generally stronger. Experience matters, but then again, this depends on what break you choose.

Arugam Bay in season is known for more than just surfing, though. There’s so much to keep explorers coming back every year. It’s no surprise then that accommodation in Arugam Bay goes fast. So, book early. Properties like Yoho Bed Sengamuwa Road will be ideal.

Share the perfect kiss

Maybe you think you’ve had yours already. But a visit to Galle Fort may just make you change your mind. Likened to a medieval European city by some, this Fort has all the right vibes that will make you hear that Barry White tune on repeat!

It may be the narrow cobble streets you get to stroll down unhindered by traffic and other nasties. Or the centuries’ old buildings that rise up around you like reassuring sentinels. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a generous sprinkling of quaint cafes, quirky boutiques and friendly smiles all around too. These and other beauties to be found within this fortified ‘village’ add to the romance that is Galle Fort.

So here’s how it goes. A day of exploring done, choose to stroll up hand in hand to the Galle Lighthouse around 18:00 hrs. The kiss you share as you sit side by side on the ramparts, looking out over cool blue waters taking on the thousand colours of the sunset, will (trust us), be close to perfection.

With so much to discover within the fort (and of course between you two), don’t let the spell fade. Spend the night within the Fort walls at Yoho Bed Church Street. If not, other hotels in Galle town will help you explore more of the Fort, the next day too.

Become a Volunteer or Donate

On the other hand it may be giving back that gets you all warm and fuzzy inside. Well then, Sri Lanka has a number of volunteer opportunities that will excite you.

If you have 1 to 12 weeks to spare, are prepared to donate as little as USD 120 a week, and share your knowledge and effort, the island needs you!

Maybe creativity, patience and energy are what you are known for? Then, why not dedicate a few hours a day of your holiday to teach English? You will be making a real impact on children living and studying in orphanages and rural schools in Galle.

Or why not volunteer your time at an Elephant conservation project? If assisting mahouts with food preparation and the bottle-feeding of baby elephants sounds like your dream holiday the time and effort you put in will no doubt be something to be proud of.

#YohoTip For those with little to no time yet still keen on donating, here is a link to help you out.

Take a Journey Inward

There’s no better way to move out of your twenties than taking some time out for yourself.

Whether you’re taking this spiritual adventure solo or with a couple of your buds, the island has a number of yoga or meditation programmes to choose from. Colombo and Kandy have a number of options but there’s something about the South’s relaxed vibe that soothingly whispers ‘retreat haven’.

Again within easy range from Galle, these healing retreats will help you find your centre and leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and above all mindful.

With life spread ahead for the taking why not take the plunge and greet your thirties with vigour and good vibes. Try some of these experiences on for size. They just might have you coming back for more.

Maria Nugara Jayakody - Yoho Creator

Be it in her professional career as a teacher or on her travels, Maria is quick to see the beauty in quaint objects, people and unexpected situations. Documenting and sharing these discoveries is one of her passions.