Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sri Lanka, the soft side of Expat Living

An Expat Lifestyle

From an expat perspective, I could not fault the lifestyle.
Beaches stretch on forever, the natural beauty of the island is encompassed with a jungle filled with coconut and banana trees, tea plantations, herbs, spices and flowers. The nature reserves are beautiful with elephant, crocodile, leopard and buck. Monitors swim the canals freely and the bird life (beautiful green parrots) live in abundance, keeping the bug life at bay for natural organic farming.

As said yesterday, yes there are first world pleasures missing, life is slower, it takes a good 4 – 6 hours to get from one part of the island to another. No there are no big supermarkets, Marks @ Spence or Carrefoures down the road, but the local town markets and small supermarkets have everything you need. Clothing shops are fairly cheap and if you look around you can find everything you need. I cannot say that the roads are particularly in good condition, but in the 10 days that I visited, I did not see one accident, aggression or particularly bad driving. People were polite and moved out of each others way when you wanted to pass. There is apparently a highway in development from the North to the South of the island, which will make traveling a lot easier and faster.

Hardships could include the lack of the highway for the moment, the lack of a fast internet connection, perhaps the human waste / refuse, which allows for the influx of flies, the dirt which is left to lie around and lastly the lack of funds to rebuild the country after the Tsunami and Tamil Tiger uprisings. There are also the ongoing political threats. We saw many roadblocks and armed soldiers, although everything was peaceful, there was still the underlying feeling that not all is well.

Having said that I have to look at all the good things that you find there, the beauty of the natural resources, of the people, the beaches, game parks and mountains. This is truly a beautiful part of the world.

Tomorrow, I will look more closely at the cost of living in Sri Lanka from an Expat perspective ......