My Digital Universe

3 things I learned from my trip to the Rocky Mountains

1. Negatives may be hidden positives

While we were on an off-road hike, it started to rain and snow from time to time. At the time, we got a bit nervous because we had hiked non-stop for a few hours and had a few hours back down through the woods. Later on, while getting close to our campsite, I realized that:

  • The short stops we took because of the rain was much needed for everyone in the group to recover
  • The rain cooled things-off when it started to get a bit too hot

Sometimes things won’t make sense right then and there. But, when you reflect back, from a fresh perspective, even the unpleasant moments can be seen in a different light.

2. It’s in the way that you use it 

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes your strength in one area can be a weakness in another. If I had to tried to outrun my friend that was trailing ahead of me, I might have gotten too exhausted to enjoy the scenic views once I got there. I decided that in order to keep up with him, I was going to keep a steady pace and take shorter breaks.

My friend’s approach, which worked for him, was to sprint through large steps and take a long break once he reached flatter ground. My competitive nature wanted to do the same, but I didn’t want to be exhausted. In the end, we both reached our destination simultaneously.

3. Take a minute or two … or three!!! 

I always find myself torn between wanting to stop at every beautiful spot and taking a picture Vs. wanting to blaze my way to the top as fast as I can. Part of me wants to savor the beautiful wild flowers and skip rocks on still waters, and the other part is in a rush to get to the “grand view”.

This time around, since I wasn’t rushing through, I took time to appreciate the wildflowers. I am so glad that I did. We can get too caught up on the future and forget to live the present. My past, now, is perhaps a bit more colorful, because I took those stops and didn’t power through the hike. If I was to look at a video of the hike, there will be more footage of me taking-in the beauty of Adam’s Falls than me panting, trying to catch my breath. There are times you make a run for it and times you pace yourself.

Here’s a short video of a few hikes that we took in Boulder and at the Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

 

 

Miscellaneous, My Digital Universe

My Sri Lankan road trip

I come from a family that loves the open road. During road trips, my two siblings and I gave my parents a headache from the time we got into our minivan. I remember packing little snacks and claiming the window seat, every time! I liked to put down the window and feel the cool breeze run across my face. In Sri Lanka, where I grew up, you could smell the ocean when you got close to the coast and smell tea when you got close to the mountains.

I live in the U.S. now, but recently my whole family went back to Sri Lanka. The kids were all grown up and the love of the open road had only gotten stronger over the years. We have been out of the country for some time and were excited to be back on the road where cattle, monkeys and even elephants made frequent appearances.

Driving in Sri Lanka is very different than driving in America. For one, people drive on the opposite side of the road (like they do in England). Unlike the straight, flat roads in Texas, Sri Lankan roads are bumpy, winding, narrow and full of surprises. Depending on which part of the island you are driving through, you can expect to see scenic mountain views with lavish waterfalls, white-sand beaches, landscaped tea estates and herds of elephants crossing the road! Ah, and… coconut trees–they are everywhere!

Everything about a Sri Lankan road trip is amazing. There are road-side vendors selling all sorts of exotic fruits, hand-made crafts, pottery, furniture, souvenirs, etc. You’ll also see cattle, water buffalo and elephants crossing the road at their leisure–so you have to watch out! And I love the paths in central Sri Lanka that are surrounded by green paddy fields and tall pine trees found at higher altitudes.

My family loves to make pit stops during road trips. It offers a chance to get out and take a few pictures or buy some fruit from a roadside vendor. When we were visiting the eastern coast of Sri Lanka on our last trip, we saw some fishermen bringing in their daily catch. So we pulled over and gave them a hand. Pulling a net full of fish is a community activity. A rhythmic dance-like movement helps the fishermen pull their catch ashore. The net is so heavy!

If you ever get a chance to visit this beautiful island, I can guarantee you one thing: you will not be bored. It is an adventure that will take you into a world of “exotic overload.”

By Cheran Ratnam

If you have a road-trip experience you want to share, tell us about it at scusasocial@gmail.com, RoadLoans would love to go along for the ride. Don’t forget to send pictures.