It is hard to get up move from this seat. There is a fear that if I get up, if I even blink, I will miss something. My backside is numb, vibrations go straight up my spine into the back of my head, yet I do not move. I could go back to my seat, but that would be something like defeat. I spend most of my waking hours staring at a computer screen, looking at numbers, and reading emails. I have my entire life to sit in a cushioned seat. This is a special moment; one to be cherished and not taken for granted. My friend is here. He is smiling and enthusiastic. We pay no mind to the heat, the wind, and the danger. Especially the danger.We are aware of, but pay no mind to it. There are signs on door screaming at us, “Thou shall not pass!”, yet we pry the metal door open anyways.I met a young boy on this train taking photos with an instant camera. He was curious about what I was doing, how I take my photos, and my camera. How does one talk to a child about an obsession that runs deep, DEEP into your soul? I say to myself, “This must be what a Dungeon & Dragons player or cosplay enthusiast feels like when someone asks them why they do what they do.” You want to tell them everything, to show them your passion, but you’re afraid of looking like an lunatic. Photography, filmmaking, travel — these are my Dungeons & Dragons. Instead I say something like, “I like to take pictures so I can remember everything later.” He finds my answer just as unsatisfying as I do and we exchange a look, a signal between us that our budding friendship has come to an end.Pictured above – definitely not the young kid I met on the train, but a fellow danger lover enjoying the view. Disregard for personal well-being comes in all ages.
As I sit here, I want to hang my legs out the side of the train car and play a harmonica. I can’t play the harmonica, so Ashley and I settle on taking selfies instead. I have traveled by train across Southeast Asia and both have something in common. Both are open-aired and there’s a connection felt between you and the world you see outside the window. I love the sound of trains pushing their way down a track; the metal on metal, the movement of the cars as they jostle around a curve. In Thailand, you could hang your head out the window and feel the breeze as you speed through the countryside. Sri Lanka allows you one step closer as you can open the doors located between the cars and hang from the side of the train if you wish. Despite the warning signs posted on the doors, train staff does nothing to curtail this behavior. I feel cheated when I’m traveling by train through Europe and the United States. Train travel in the “developed” world lacks the rustic charm that makes train travel enjoyable and adventurous.
You can see this awesome rail journey in the first part of my Ella video on my YouTube channel.
Booking Advance Tickets
So you’ve decided to go to Sri Lanka and want to travel to Ella by train? I’ll post something later this week with instructions.
Have another question or comment? Please post it below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.