A backpacking trip was the first thought that flashed in my mind after I decided to quit my job. A three-month-long notice period ensured I had enough time to ponder over likely destinations. The list featured Cambodia, Vietnam, Bhutan, Srilanka, most of them being popular low budget backpacking destinations. To avoid extending my notice period (weird rules eh) even by the smallest measure, I had to miss a trip to Srilanka. So I chose Srilanka over other destinations and decided the other places will have to wait until next time conditional to my financial health.
Remember this is a low budget backpacking trip, which means I have to try and avoid splurging in any sense. But trying to be frugal never worked for me. I do several things, which in hindsight ends up being stupid and costly, negating the purpose itself. I took a red-eye flight, the cheapest option available out of Chennai. Upon reaching, I converted the currencies, procured a local sim card and then decided to spend time at the airport until daylight. I usually avoid commuting in cabs unless it is deemed necessary. A man has to try and reduce his carbon footprint. Also, I could save some money in the process and indulge in more enticing (food/beer) stuffs.
To while away time, I resorted to eating bread from the only food stall in the airport arrival. It was unfair to expect anything else at 2 a.m. A wide choice of vegetarian food in a country majorly reliant on seafood would be a little too much to ask. I gave up after eating after a couple of rounds. As much as ever I wanted, that was all my body could ever take. I was slowly losing my patience. My playlist usually saves the day for me. Now it wasn’t of any help either. Time is most cruel when you are vulnerable. When you expect it to move fast, it hardly moves.
The buses were already plying, as I noticed the sun slowly lighting up the place. Tired of waiting at the airport, I decided to walk out. I took a breath of fresh air and walked to the nearest bus stand. It took me a couple of buses, a little over 30 minutes to reach my hotel. I tried my best to wait in reception but succumbed to sleep in less than 30 minutes. Giving up the idea of saving money, I decided to check in early. I woke up at eleven o’clock, famished & exhausted. The first thought that crossed my mind, I should have just taken the afternoon flight(facepalm moment).