Travel 2022 and Beyond

Back in November I outlined my next likely international trip which would see me exploring Central Asia (Silk Road) and Turkey around May 2022.

I put down tour deposits and even managed to get my employer to approve leave for this trip. Unfortunately COVID, and in particular the slow pace of vaccinations in Australia, has seen Federal Government Ministers talk down allowing much travel outside of Australia during 2022 forcing me to rethink my travel plans

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First Check-in: Wealth, Weight and Wellbeing Plan (Feb 2021-Feb 2022)

So back in February 2021, as I moved into the third and final year of my original repay the mortgage plan, I expanded it to also cover weight and wellbeing in response to 100+ days of COVID lockdown and negative habits I developed which I call the COVID Kilos.

Today is the end of the first ten weeks / 5 fortnights and the first major check-in (I also undertake fortnightly reviews and adjustments which is aligned to paydays but major changes are set for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 fortnights).

I’m happy to report that I’ve met all my goals so far and it’s time to slightly expand and adjust my objectives.

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AusOpen 2021 – The Pandemic Edition

So after nearly a year of COVID restrictions, one way or the other, a second big sporting event was being held in Melbourne, the slightly delayed Australian Tennis Open.

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Wealth, Weight and Wellbeing Plan (Feb 2021 to Feb 2022)

With a lot of effort over the last 8 weeks, I have finally gotten rid of the COVID-19 lockdown kilos I gained just in time for my long planned year long Wealth, Weight and Wellbeing Plan which I’m starting today, Thursday 4 February 2021.

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Destination: Sri Lanka

Official Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Established: 4 February 1948 (Independence from the United Kingdom),  22 May 1972 (Republic)
Population: 21,803,000 (2019 estimate)
Religion: 70.2% Buddhism, 12.6% Hinduism, 9.7% Islam, 7.4% Christianity
Language(s): Sinhala, Tamil, English
Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (legislative), Colombo (executive and judicial)
Order of Visit: Fifty Sixth 
First Visit: 26 July 2016
Last Visit: 12 August 2016 
Duration: 18 Days
Visit Highlights: 
 Anuradhapura: The Anuradhapura Stupas, The sights from the top of Mihintale. 
 Colombo: Exploring a working gem mine, visiting Independence Square, the beautiful Gangaramaya Temple, walking around the Galle Face.
 Dambadeniya: Views from the former rock fortress of Yapahuwa, the school children ceremony at Dalada Maligawa Temple. 
 Galle: Exploring the Galle Fort, the beautiful cricket ground. 
 Giritale: Polonnaruwa Ruins, Dambulla Rock Temple, Kayanwala village (including canoe trip), and Herbs and Spices Garden (including back massage), exploring the Sigiriya ‘Lion Rock’ Fortress. 
 Hikkaduwa: Relaxing and exploring the Hikkaduwa Beach, undertaking a Mangrove Safari, visiting a Turtle Sanctuary, learning at the Tsunami Museum, surviving and later benefiting from a Sri Lankan Full Body Massage.  
Kandy: Watching Elephants enjoy themselves at Pinnawala, learning about tea at the Geragama Tea Factory, visiting the famous Temple of the Tooth, enjoying the Cultural Show seeing different dance styles of Sri Lanka and fire eaters and fire walkers. 
 Mirissa: Whale and Turtle Watching. 
 Negombro: Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara better known as the Kelaniya Temple), Dehiwala Zoological Gardens, Hamilton Canal Tour. 
 Nuwara Eliya: Scenic Train Trip, enjoying the ‘Little England’ feel.  
 Udawalawe: supporting the Baby Elephant Sanctuary, enjoying a Udawalawe National Park Safari.
Places Visited:
Anuradhapura, Colombo, Dambadeniya, Galle, Giritale, Hikkaduwa, Kandy, Mirissa, Negombro, Nuwara Eliya, Udawalawe
Sri Lanka Journal Entries  

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Destination: Japan

Official Name: Japan
Established: 710 (National Imperial Court), 29 November 1890 (First Constitution)
Population: 127,094,745 (2015 census)
Religion: 69% Shintoism, 66.7% Buddhism, 1.5% Christian, 6.2% other (Note: Most Japanese follow both Shintoism and Buddhism)
Language(s): Japanese
Capital: Tokyo
Order of Visit: Fifty Second 
First Visit: 03 May 2015
Last Visit: 16 May 2015 
Duration: 14 Days
Visit Highlights:
 Kamakura: Seeing the Great Buddha at the Kotoku-in Temple, exploring the Hasedera Temple in particular the beautiful gardens.
 Koyasan: Experiencing the spiritual side of Japan, staying at the Karukayado Monastery, exploring Oku-no-in Cemetery during the day and especially at night, the Zen Garden at Kongobuji Temple, undertaking meditation, attending morning prayers and cleansing the soul.
 Kyoto: The stunning Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine Gates, visiting the tranquil Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, The Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji, the Shogun’s castle (Nijo Castle), participating in a Traditional Tea Ceremony, the outrageous Ninja Show
 Hakone: Viewing the impressive Mt Fuji, sailing over Lake Ashino-Ko, watching a traditional lock box being created, exploring Hakone Gore Park, embarrassing myself at a karaoke night
 Hiroshima: The very moving and emotionally tough Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the peaceful Shukkeien Garden, an Okonomiyaki dinner (cooked in front of me).
 Yokohama: exploring traditional Japanese houses at Sankeien Garden, visiting and learning history of the local China Town.
 Miyajima Island: The floating Torii Gate, the spiritual Toyokuni Shrine, rebirth at the Daishion Temple.
 Osaka: Enjoying the super-efficient Shinkansen Bullet Train, visiting Osaka Castle and surrounding area.
 Tokyo: Observing a Shintoism wedding ceremony, visiting Asakusa Kannon Temple, exploring Meiji Shinto Shine, Harbour boat cruise, riveted by the astonishing Robot Show, witnessing the Imperial Palace grounds, captivated by the very weird fashion district in Harajuku, visiting nerd heaven AKA the Akihabara electronic district.
Places Visited
: Kamakura, Koyasan, Kyoto, Hakone, Hiroshima, Yokohama, Miyajima Island, Osaka, Tokyo  
Japan Journal Entries  

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