Appeal To Sri Lankans

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#LankaPositive is my mission over the next few weeks and we can achieve it together

My story is a bit ironic. A job promotion rather than fuelling my ambition further, made me realise that I had a promise to fulfill. A promise I had made to my 24 year old self. This was before I took up the assignment at a leading Indian public relations agency eight years earlier. The promise was to someday take a journey of a lifetime and get some learning in the real world. It seemed like the time had arrived.

That is how ‘The 12 Project: 12 months, 12 countries & 12 challenges’ started at the drawing board. It took me almost one year to plan and set things up. The decision wasn’t easy, but support from friends and family made it possible. ‘The 12 Project’ was also to be an effort to build a community called ‘The Odd Traveller’. Anyone who takes a trip with a purpose is an odd traveller.

The 12 challenges I was to take were ‘25 days, 25 trains’ in India, career lessons from Rock Climbing in Thailand, learning Batucada drums in Brazil, surfing in Chile, trekking in Peru, Colombia beyond drugs, scuba diving in Costa Rica, cooking in Mexico, Salsa in Puerto Rico, cycling from New Orleans to New York and finally trying my hand at stand-up comedy in New York.

The first two challenges are done. I did survive the 25 days train journey and also managed to learn rock climbing. My third project brings me to Sri Lanka.

What Am I Doing Here?                            

My connection with Sri Lanka is of a kind that I cannot describe. May be I was living on this island in my previous birth.

The country kept coming back into my life in the last few years. But every documentary I watched, every book I tried to read was about atrocities and human rights violations or the war.

I started questioning – was this the only narrative the country deserved? A country with such a great history and magnificent culture was being reduced to a war ravaged, dysfunctional society. So I wanted to come here and find out for myself. I was certain that there would be many positive stories to narrate and hence decided to take that as a challenge. I am traveling around Sri Lanka to look at the positives and write them on my blog www.theoddtraveller.in

My Appeal To Sri Lankans:

The 12 Project is built with contribution from people. I would like to invite Sri Lankans to tweet with #LankaPositive and share positive stories about their country. I will collate them and put them on my blog. Hopefully, we can share this with the world and showcase the positivity of Sri Lanka.

Just use the #LankaPositive on twitter and facebook(by joining The Odd Traveller ). If your stories are longer, post it to The Odd Traveller facebook page or email at theoddtraveller@gmail.com

My experience in the last few days has been overwhelmingly positive. As expected Sri Lankans are a great people with an enviable culture. Also, the citizens of this country are generous beyond expectation.

These are the stories the world ought to hear. And together we can be that voice.

Thank you.

Dated: 27/05//2015

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