Tag Archives: traveling couple

Pretty City

Budapest Video

Budapest Video Compilation

Here is a brief Budapest Video showing off some of our time in Budapest, Hungary. It seems that in Europe (Cyprus, Serbia, Hungary) we focused a lot more on taking pictures and follow/spin videos than taking other video.

There were quite a few of these (follow and spin videos) from these countries which I did not find until after I made those video or did not include for some reason. Therefore, despite the fact that we spent a substantial amount of time in each of these locations, we just don’t have a ton of video footage. As per normal I also had to get rid of all the videos that were just too shaky, bad angles, too short, etc. which is typically well over half of them. The video does show many of the top touristy spots, though.

~B~

Bcharre

Lebanon Travel Videos

I tried making a single travel video but it didn’t feel right so I made the Bcharre and Beirut videos separate. So we have two Lebanon Travel Videos. I did not add music to these videos because:

  1. They are short and;
  2. It’s always a struggle so I just avoided spending the time on it this time.

The videos can also only be monetized if they don’t have copyrighted music so there’s that too. I used the original sound (mostly) for the Bcharre video and no sound for the Beirut video. I would have used sound but I didn’t decide that was a good idea until I began making the Bcharre video (I made the Beirut one first).

The Beirut video is also very shaky, practically hurts my head, but we didn’t have much stable footage and I can’t stabilize video which has been sped up. Kyle recently told me I could pre-render and add stabilization, but I am not completely thrilled with the stabilization tools anyway. Even if I tell them only stabilize- don’t stabilize and crop – they still often do crop! Well, whatever. I’ll work on it. Here are the videos for now.

Additionally, you may remember that the last specific-area video I did was in SE Asia (Bali, Kl, plus bits of others combined) so sequentially Sri Lanka should be next, but Kyle claimed it long ago. I’m sure he’ll do it eventually. The next videos will be Cyprus, Belgrade, and Budapest.

~B~

Scene from Weligama

Monthly Roundup 16: June 2016

Summary

SUMMARY- kitty

I experimented with a different way of writing the summary to give you a better idea of the month but then it turned out to be VERY long (not unlike last month’s summary) but if I think it was too long for the monthly roundup, than it was too long for the monthly roundup. I’m just going to let the rest of the roundup summarize June for us.

Despite how long it remains, I am actually leaving out lots of interesting experiences because I would like the roundup to be just a little more readable. I am also going to link to our Liebster award here because that was fun and exciting for us!

Where We’ve Been this Month

 
Map of the Month

  • 3 days Ja-Ela, Sri Lanka
  • 14 days Weligama, Sri Lanka
  • 1 day Negambo, Sri Lanka
  • 1 day transit/the Colombo Airport/Dubai Airport/Beirut Airport
  • 3 days Bcharre, Lebanon
  • 2 days Beirut, Lebanon
  • 6 days Dhoros, Cyprus

Distance Traveled by:

WHEREWEVEBEEN Weligama

  • Plane: 3503 miles
  • Train: 193 miles
  • Bus: 134 miles
  • Motorbike: 225+ miles

Highlights

HIGHLIGHTS-- Bcharre

  1. Cyprus! We are now housesitting 7 cats in Cyprus! The house is lovely and so are the cats. So far we’ve gone to the beach, checked out Paphos a little bit, including their Archaeological Park, and explored our current town in the foothills of the Troodos mountains.
  2. Yala Safari. We went on our first safari this month in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka. We saw elephants, water buffalo, a sloth bear, a sleeping leopard, and more.
  3. Surfing. While he found it exhausting, Kyle had a fun time surfing in Weligama and did pretty well!
  4. Exploring in Sri Lanka. We really enjoyed walking along the coast and up various little streets in Weligama. We also had fun exploring some of the south (such as Galle and Mirissa) by motorbike.
  5. Exploring in Lebanon. In Bcharre we walked through the Cedars of God, explored the Qadisha Grotto, and wandered through the town. In Beirut we checked out Nijmeh Square and a little bit of the area in which our Airbnb was located (Achrafieh).
  6. Privacy and Accommodation. In our place in Weligama we were somewhat separate (though in the same house) from the living space of the owners which was nice. In Negambo, Bcharre, and Beirut, we had the entire places to ourselves (and the place in Bcharre was nice.) Now we have a big beautiful house to ourselves in Cyprus.
  7. Friendly Hosts. We really got to know our first Airbnb host (and his daughter) in Sri Lanka. We had discussions on topics such as politics, religion, film, and even freemasonry over local food and beer.

    Our second host was also welcoming and generous and our third was nice. Both of our hosts in Lebanon were also very generous with both of them offering us warm welcomes and food.

  8. Carpet/rugs. In Bcharre, the living room had a carpet. Well actually, a huge soft rug. I know I judged Kyle before for complaining about dirty feet and it did not bother me at all for a while but after months of places in Asia which does not seem to know about carpet and is full of hard dirty floors, I was so happy to walk, sit and lay on the very soft carpet in Bcharre. There are also some nice rugs here in Cyprus.
  9. Hot Water! We didn’t have it at all in Sri Lanka until our last place but have had it everywhere since! It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to get hot water reliably and it’s quite nice!
  10. Food. We had some pretty good Indian food in Ja-Ela and Negambo and some delicious food in Lebanon. We finally got access to cheese in both of these places. We were able to cook with paneer while in Ja-Ela (though we didn’t have access to an equipped kitchen in Weligama- which was most of our time in Sri Lanka.)

    When we couldn’t find the restaurant we were looking for the first night in Lebanon, we went to the store and bought some yoghurt and hummus to have with the bread and cheese our host gave us and it was soo good, as was the meal we tried out the next day (fried cheese rolls and garlic yoghurt soaked fried eggplant.)

    And now in Cyprus we have a full equipped kitchen! First time on our travels. I am talking a full stove, oven, microwave, etc. Ovens are rare/pretty much non-existent in Asia so this is a pretty big deal.

  11. Did I mention we are watching 7 kitties??

Lowlights

LOWLIGHTS- dirt on soap in the bathroom

  1. Getting pick-pocketed in Sri Lanka. Kyle had his wallet stolen out of his pocket on the train from Weligama to Colombo Fort. This was annoying in many ways. Because of the whole thing throwing time off, we had to take a tuk tuk which was more expensive and then our Airbnb host was not at the proper location to pick us up.

    Kyle also had to cancel his cards to things which were on autopay and we lost some cash. Luckily most of our cash was stored elsewhere. It must be commonplace there, though because on our original ride from Fort to Weligama, the only other foreign couple on the train (I think they were British) had all of their things (bags, wallet, phone, etc.) stolen.

  2. Road Hazards in Sri Lanka. While out motorbiking one day, we/Kyle hit a pig. We escaped pretty much unscathed but it’s certainly still a lowlight. I cannot comment on the state of the pig, partly because I never actually saw it.

    The important thing is that we are fine. Anyway, though, while the roads themselves are actually in good condition in Sri Lanka, we found them to be the most hazardous between the drivers who drink, the drivers who think think they can drive on any side of the road and constantly switch between them- especially the big buses, and all of the stray animals and wildlife.

    I chose to not drive the motorbike myself and would rather not ride one there again, at least in the south- perhaps conditions are better in Kandy. We might not have used the bike at all had the alternatives for transportation (taxis/tuk tuks) not been considerably more for some of the distances we were traveling.

    I can’t deny that a motorbike is a fun way to see the beauty of the country and it was, but it was also stressful and perhaps it should not be done much in places like Sri Lanka. Though I must say I think anyone on the road there is not safe, no matter the type of vehicle.

  3. My pains. Skip if you think talking about this is TMI because I go on a bit. Anyway, each of these could be a lowlight of their own but I will just throw them all together.

    The worst pain was in my upper abdomen (above the belly button and to the left). Towards the end of Sri Lanka I started getting some pains in my upper back which interrupted my sleep. This area on my back was also extremely painful to touch for just a little while. I think I may have somehow injured it with the backpack. I am not sure.

    Then the pains started getting quite bad in the front/all the way around in the day (after like 2 nights). I especially noticed it when lying down and after eating. The pain was the worst on the plane ride to Dubai and then Beirut and also the bus ride to Bcharre and caused me to feel quite ill. It has slowly been subsiding.

    I think it was a very mild form of pancreatitis because symptoms match up best but sometimes I think it could be my kidneys. It is pretty much clearing up now, but still gives me a little pain either at times. I am trying to avoid sweets/alcohol/coffee in case it is the pancreas but am not very good at avoiding sweets. I have also gotten other abdominal pains but that is just normal for me.

    The next pain is my gums. They have really only bothered me a few days but I do worry that one of my wisdom teeth may not be coming in correctly. There is one that has been coming up and is doing just fine and rarely gives me pain but it appears a new one is trying to come in and the gums in that area became little swollen for a couple days. There is plenty of space in that area and it hasn’t bothered me at all the last few days, though.

    My knee. I have hit my knee several times. My knees have a tendency to hurt all on their own but I knocked one pretty hard into the bed trying to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and could not sit/squat/bend it for days and now I have hit my knee a few times on the table in Cyprus.

    Head. I don’t get them as often as I used to but I had a few pretty bad headaches this month.

    Now, back to my toes. While my right toe is now perfectly fine, I am now sometimes experiencing pain in my left big toe. It is nowhere near as bad as the pain in my right toe was for some time and even goes away entirely at times but can sometimes be a nuisance.

  4. Sunburns, Allergies, Mosquitos and other bugs. We have enough lowlights than I can combine lots of them. We got light sunburns a few times this month (yes we used sunscreen) and I had allergies to varying degrees just about everywhere. I got over 100 mosquito bites at our place in Ja-Ela. That was not fun.

    Spiders and ants were both abundant in all but our last place in Sri Lanka. I would put up my leg to shave it in the shower, oh look there is a spider next to my foot. I would look up at the shower, oh look there is one on the shower head which is just above my head. Oh look there are five on that wall. Oh look there is one on the door handle to leave the bathroom. I am sure you get the point. It’s all fine.

    At least we had a mosquito net at our second place and also the spiders eat mosquitos. The most annoying thing was spending over an hour getting all the ants off and out of my lap top in Ja-Ela. I don’t know why they liked it but it was so annoying dealing with that and trying to figure out where to keep it.

  5. Power and Internet. Neither of these are reliable in Sri Lanka. It made it harder to work, hotter, etc. One time my mom said she got worried because she didn’t see me on Facebook messenger for 16 hours. LOL.
  6. Enduring the Heat/No A/C. It wasn’t such a big deal and we knew before we came but we didn’t have A/C during most of our stay in Sri Lanka. There were fans and they mostly sufficed. The other super annoying thing was that I had to wear pants in the Colombo area (Ja-Ela, at Fort, etc.) While every other tourist (of which there were few) I saw in that area was definitely wearing shorts/short skirts/rompers, etc.

    I tried once and got such terribly dirty looks from everyone that I felt I had to wear pants even in the heat. I actually was still not pleased with many of the looks I got when I dressed according to their standards but I think they were not as bad. I may write a ranting post about this later because I have some opinions on the matter.

    In Weligama I chose to wear shorter things some of the time and it did not seem to be such a problem. I think it was more acceptable because we were by the beach.

  7. Various things about Sri Lanka. First of all, and I suppose this is my own fault, I stupidly thought the country was a little more developed/modern. When I say “developed” I am referring to how we tend to think about the word as westerners.

    Anyway, it was, by our standards, the least developed country we have been to so far (including Indonesia). Additionally, while our hosts were hospitable and nice and we met some other kind strangers, Sri Lanka is most certainly where people made us feel most uncomfortable. Pretty much the second we arrived I was ready to hop on a plane somewhere else.

    I tried to convince Kyle that we should just get a new flight to Eastern Europe and skip the rest of Sri Lanka and Lebanon but he reminded me that not only did we have flights purchased but our next flight was Emirates. Dang it. It really made me wish that we hadn’t gotten all of our tickets in advance but it was necessary because of the housesit.

    The last thing we didn’t like (aside from other things mentioned- like the way people drove and the bugs) was most of the food in the south. The one good thing about the Colombo area was that it had some good Indian food. We can’t say the same of the south (or at least we didn’t find it).

    The food was fine, if you were in the mood for it. We were rarely in the mood for it. It also did not seem very varied. Honestly, even their watermelon was somehow not very good! I thought the roti and the daal were decent but not memorable. Because we did not have a full kitchen, this meant for food we would have our breakfast (I could write a bit about this but won’t, at least here), wait as long as we could but before it got dark and go to a more western place (meaning it had other options- like pasta, pizza, etc.), eat a meal there, and then snack the rest of the night on chocolate bars, fruit, and peanut butter.

    The western places were a bit more expensive so we could only have one meal at them per day. We could have just sucked it up and eaten Sri Lankan food which was very cheap but we just weren’t that fond of it.

    As much as it sounds like it Sri Lanka was not all bad. In the end we did have some great experiences there (see some of the highlights). I also might have enjoyed it more had I been more prepared and had we gone at a time I felt like going to the country. Also, probably if we had more money to spend there.

  8. Activity Planning and Stress. Calling Kyle out a little. I made 3 economically similar-in-terms-of- flights-routes from Bangkok To Cyprus (necessary because of our housesit). I was happy with 2 of them. I had anxiety about one of the plans- I was concerned about the internet in Indonesia and Sri Lanka (for work) among a few other things, I was fearful about the idea of going to Lebanon- but it was the plan Kyle wanted.

    We both threw fits about getting our plans but he did a better job. Or perhaps he is just immune to mine.  He said he would plan the activities for every location after this point (we were in Bangkok).

    I was rather tired of doing all the activity planning for us at this point. I mean, I like it, but I had been doing it for about 6 months at this time and it really takes away from my time for, you know, actually doing work. I very much wanted to take a break so while I did not want to do that plan, I agreed.

    Now, once we began on his route I found that at times, Kyle’s idea of activity planning can be searching the name of the city, seeing the first couple things that pop up and then wandering around and hoping both that he/we eventually stumble upon these things and that they happen to be open at whatever time we arrive. And here is a spoiler: sometimes we never even find the activities he plans (though we may end up seeing something we wouldn’t have otherwise which is nice) and other times he chooses to go somewhere on the only day an activity is closed and it is a long walk there!

    Of course this meant I did not get my route, had to move often, and in the end still had to have a large hand in most of the activity-planning, aside from finding him jobs which leaves very little time for myself!! I will give him credit for his successful days of planning, including our Temple route in Bangkok and some activities in Yogyakarta.

    He did contribute some, but not in the way he originally agreed. Needless to say, I will not be taking any more of his bargains and I intend to make all of the travel decisions for the rest of the year (with Kyle’s approval). It is not that things did not work out fine, it is that I had to deal with more anxiety/stress and work than I would have preferred.

  9. Airbnbs Canceling on Us. First an Airbnb in Beirut cancelled on us. Then our Airbnb in Bcharre was removed from the website. I told Kyle, this is a sign! We are not meant to go! And started showing him the most affordable alternatives. Instead, he thought it would be best to book 2 new ones.

    Well one of these almost had to cancel on us too! It all worked out but I have to say it was stressful because I did not want to get stuck having to find a random hotel there considering both safety issues and the fact that Lebanon was the most expensive country we had visited at this point (Cyprus is probably comparable).

  10. People taking our window seats! On our flight from Dubai to Beirut we noticed that as we walked down the isles there were a number of arguments going on related to people taking seats. Well, when we arrived to our seats, there was a woman sitting in Kyle’s window seat.

    Then, on our flight from Beirut to Larnaca, there was a man in mine. I tried talking loudly about how angry I was that he was in my seat but it did no good. I made Kyle sit by him. It would have been a very nice scenic view had I had my proper seat.

    Honorable mentions: stepping on cow poop, losing hairbands, mold covering all of our bags in Weligama, the Colombo place smelled a little bit like paint, the bus to did not bring us to our Airbnb, I was feeling sick when arrived in Cyprus, and more.

Weird/Interesting:

WEIRDINTERESTING- wall in Beirut

I won’t elaborate on most of them, but here are some of the random things we encountered/experienced this month.

  1. A Surprise. Someone accidentally shoveled concrete into the bathroom window while I was peeing.
  2. Just don’t offer it, then. A man on the train to Weligama repeatedly offered me his seat on the train only to stand and constantly sigh and act tired until I offered it back to him.
  3. Engagement. Our host in Weligama told Kyle one night that he would be getting engaged the next day. The next day some of his family came over. When we asked where his fiance was he said she would be down from somewhere in a few months. We couldn’t find much information on the internet about how the whole thing works. They offered us some cake.
  4. Doorbells. At our place in Bcharre, there were buttons for the doorbell just about everywhere. I got a little irritated a couple times because Kyle enjoys pressing every button and trying every switch he sees and here a lot of things made the doorbell ring. I have strayed away from such behavior ever since I got shocked in Hanoi looking for the wifi router. I, myself did accidentally pressed a doorbell button a couple times, though (one was near the bathroom light switch and appeared as though it could have been the light switch.)
  5. Maybe all that time in Asia rubbed off on us? Someone in Lebanon asked if we were from Japan. When we said no, they asked if we were from the UK. Closer.
  6. A Trend. At first we thought this was a random occurrence, but now we have noticed it a few times. At at least a couple of the airports we’ve been to we have seen large groups of Chinese people doing last minute packing. It usually looks as though they did just a little too much last-minute shopping and are trying to do some re-arranging. In Sri Lanka they pretty much covered the floor area around us with their suitcases. It was really more entertaining than bothersome.
  7. Men Wearing Skirts Sarongs. Somewhat interesting as a westerner. Many of the men in Sri Lanka (and we also noticed this rather often in Indonesia- particularly on Java) seem to wear sarongs as casual clothing.
  8. Cows. Everywhere. I mean, that’s pretty much all there is to it. We saw cows everywhere in Sri Lanka. At the beach, near the houses, and just wandering the streets.
  9. Cats Eating Things. Our first Airbnb host in Sri Lanka seemed devastated when Kyle told him his cat brought in and ate a squirrel (I told him he shouldn’t have told him!). Kyle has also seen one of the cats in Cyprus bring in a bird (which upset him- I didn’t see it happen) and a dragonfly.

    Did you know that cats are actually responsible for the extinction of multiple species and sometimes catch endangered creatures? I will just note that it is really one reason (among many) to keep cats indoors, or at least get them fixed so they do not produce more kitties which depend on food outside. Now, it is healthy for them to have meat but you can also feed it to them.

    Now, keeping a cat indoors is not always very reasonable or possible and we acknowledge this as well. The cats at our current place originate as feral cats, the house has a more open style, and there are seven of them. The house in Sri Lanka was also pretty open and it was necessary to keep doors and windows open to let in a breeze.

    It is good and helpful that these kitties are being offered food and shelter and probably do less hunting because of it. All of these cats (and the one in Sri Lanka) are also fixed which helps keep down the feral population. They also probably get more exercise than the average house cat and may help prevent snakes from getting in (though I do worry about the kitties getting hurt too!)

  10. American Politics. People are talking about it everywhere. You will actually find some interesting variation in preference among international people because they don’t feel the need to stick to a party. For example, our host in Ja-Ela loves Reagan, Bush Sr, and Hillary Clinton, hates Bush Jr., and doesn’t like Trump. Our host in Beirut said he thought Trump was funny. I won’t write more in case we decide to do a post on this topic.

Firsts

FIRSTS- safari

  • First time getting pickpocketed
  • First time filing police report
  • Our first time in a country US department advises against
  • First motorbike accident/First time hitting a pig
  • First time with no A/C since traveling
  • Kyle’s first time in Europe
  • Kyle’s first time in the Mediterranean
  • First time negotiating a lower Airbnb price

Budget

BUDGET- seen in Weligama

It was yet another slightly more costly month (or is this just standard now?) at $1944.41. It’s really because all of the constant moving, though. Take away our transportation costs and the total would have been $1281. (Also note: we actually did pay for the plane tickets and most of the Airbnb costs a previous month so that second number is actually a little closer to describing what we actually spent this month).

Anyway, when we were in Korea we were actually able to get by on about $850/month which was nice and only about $50 of that was spent on transportation per month. The benefits of both house-sitting and staying in one place (as well as staying in cheap places- look at our roundups from Vietnam/Malaysia) certainly have their benefits.

Accommodation:

This was a somewhat interesting month for accommodation. We had our most expensive nightly stay and our cheapest (tied with one or two others). We spent one night at the airport/airports so we didn’t book anything that day/night and also spent the last week of the month housesitting.

All costs listed include the added Airbnb fees. We started off the month in the place we ended it in May- Ja-Ela (2 nights at $20/night), then moved to Weligama (14 nights at $10.92/night- it was $10 before fees), headed back up to the Colombo area where we had found a nice place to ourselves for $15 for the night, stayed at the airport the next day (free), made it to Bcharre ($37 a night for 3 nights), then to Beirut ($27/night for 2 nights) and finally, spent the last week of June in Cyprus (free).

Now, when we initially looked at Lebanon, I thought it was on the expensive side and it was (for us), but we did find a place in Bcharre for $20/night and a place in Beirut for somewhere around $23/night. It was more than we usually pay but it would be for a short time and we would be housesitting for the last week which would help balance costs. Because they both cancelled (see lowlights) I was thinking it seemed a bit financially (aside from the other reasons) unreasonable for us to go there because at this point we had trouble finding anything below $50/night.

I had recently been talking about the idea of negotiating with Airbnbs for prices in the future and Kyle decided this was a good time. He managed to make a compromise with one of our hosts. I have to say, while we couldn’t have afforded it, once we arrived we decided it was definitely worth it’s original price, if not more. Anyway, so the total amount we spent on accommodation for the month was $374. It definitely helped that our place in Weligama was affordable (which was one of many factors which led us there) and that we spent 1 week of the month house-sitting.

Food:

We spent a total of $411 on food this month. That is exactly the same as last month. We were not able too cook for about half the month and also had a couple more expensive meals out but were also provided with some food for free: breakfast in Ja-Ela and Weligama, various foods in Lebanon, and a few meals in Cyprus.

Transportation:

We spent $663 on transportation for the month (also nearly exactly the same as last month) which was made up of $331 ($165/person) for the flight from Colombo to Beirut (with a layover in Dubai), $167 for the flight from Beirut to Larnaca, $110 on taxis and tuk tuks, $6.41 on 3 train rides for 2, $12.30 on a couple days of renting a motorbike, $18.60 on bus rides, and $17.84 on gas. While we won’t have any flights, taxis, etc. during our time in Cyprus, we will still have to be careful because gas here is expensive.

Activity:

A large percentage of our activity total comes from our safari. It was a big activity which we discussed a great deal before deciding yes. I will discuss more reasons for our choice once I/we write about the safari but we think it was worth it. Other activities we did this month (which cost money) included renting a surf board in Sri Lanka, visiting the Cedars of God, going to the Kadisha Grotto, and visiting the Archaeological Park in Paphos. The total cost was $101.46

Miscellaneous:

This was a pretty big section this month. We lost money when Kyle was pickpocketed, spent some money on gifts (Father’s Day, parent’s bdays, etc.- though used a little bit of a gift card which I’m not counting), bought more postcard credits, bought a new pair of sunglasses (mine flew away- the replacement was about $6), needed more ibuprofen, paid for new paint for the motorbike we rented which got a little scratched (also something like $6), had a small fee for storage for our packs in the train station when we were walking around in Colombo, were charged a fee for the re-issuing one of Kyle’s stolen cards, etc. The total was $217.84.

Regular Expenses:

$171 for Kyle’s car insurance, Creative Cloud subscription, Google Drive Storage, Netflix, Storage back home, etc.

Fees:

$6.11 for ATM fees (we only used the ATM once) and transaction fees for the cards.

Work

Work in Liban

Kyle:

My work this month has not gone as well as I’d hoped. It was actually my worst month ever for income. My large animation project has dragged on a bit longer than intended (though I am happy to say it is nearing completion and should be delivered this upcoming month) and thus no payment from that client. I did manage to complete two projects: a band logo and a t-shirt design. Unfortunately, that is all that I got paid for this month. Other clients have been an issue.

One did not like the design I provided and has requested a redraw which has left me at a creative dead-end, but thankfully is not time sensitive. One client has been dragging me along, asking for redesign, after redesign but providing no feedback aside from providing me the Oprah logo and saying they like that – 7 designs in and I’ve told them they need to provide actual feedback before I do anything more for them.

Another client has gotten busy themselves and has kept me in limbo for nearly a month after I provided them an initial animation that they didn’t quite like – I’ve sent in storyboards for a new idea but have yet to receive feedback on that. One potential client that did not work out, brought me through an extensive interview process, and then asked that I “audition” by creating a 15 second lip-synch animation and create a character from scratch – I politely declined as the “audition” would have required over 40 hours of work, been unpaid, and still not guaranteed the job that did not pay a large amount to begin with.

And a final potential client has brought me through a long interview process, but has not yet gotten back to me after an initial design consult. So this month has for me, been a lot of work that has resulted in pretty much nothing – quite aggravating to say the least.

Briana:

Thankfully, my own work/projects went alright this month (but always could have been much better) but I think it’s also worth mentioning that Kyle took a break from work for a week and a half and I only semi- took part in this break.

Kyle planned for a “vacation” in Lebanon because our time there would be limited (and we thought we wouldn’t have internet), but between our time prior being so busy and then not really being able to work the first few days in Cyprus, this got extended. He also really needs a full set up to work for his drawing pad, laptop, etc. whereas I just need my lap and wifi (and not even always) so I can work more easily at places like the airport (which I did for 10 hrs).

Kyle also contributed a lot more to the blog, putting up all of his own posts. Also, it was very hard to work this month between the power outages, dealing with various problems (like the wallet), being consumed with the Orlando tragedy (where we went to college), etc. I did try to relax a little as well in Lebanon, if you can call it that (and really out of necessity from exhaustion) but still did work.

Health and Fitness

HEALTHANDFITNESS- candy bars

I mentioned my various pains in the lowlights so I’ll just mention nutrition and activity.

Nutrition:

Particularly in Weligama, we did not eat the best. We did have a fair bit of tea and fruit, but by the end I was almost getting tired of sugar. Yes, me! I almost have to wonder if the poor diet is at all responsible for some of my abdominal pains. We could get small chocolate bars for about $0.20 and regular-sized ones for about $0.68 so we tended to stock up on those as meal supplements (along with fruit).

The meals we did have out were fairly decent but not as well-rounded as when we cook for ourselves. I often found myself getting meals like the toast and fries which doesn’t provide a whole lot of nutritional value. We finally got dairy in Lebanon and took our fair share of it in the form of yoghurt and cheese.

We are not sure if the yoghurt in Lebanon was really delicious or if we were just in dire need of some of the nutrients in it but we could not stop eating it! Now that we are in Cyprus and have a full kitchen and place to ourselves we’re able to eat a more rounded diet.

Activity:

We did get quite a bit of activity! We did a lot of walking/hiking carrying all of our stuff (2 large backpacks, 2 medium packs/bags, a ukulele, sometimes food bags, etc.) and even more without it. We walked a couple miles (there and back) to get food and look at the coast (the restaurants were pretty much on the beach) pretty much every day in Weligama in addition to all the walking we did exploring the town (and others).

We walked/hiked over 20km (total) during our few days in Bcharre and also did a fair bit of walking in Beirut. So far we’ve only done a little bit of walking/exploring in Cyprus but we plan to do more.

Media Consumed

MEDIACONSUMED- at the beach

Tv shows/movies/podcasts:

Because the internet is limited in Sri Lanka (I’ll elaborate on this in a later post) and because we were busy outdoors during most of our time in Lebanon (and the internet was also not perfectly reliable), we were not really able to watch any shows. We did watch two episodes of the John Oliver show (Kyle particularly wanted to and at least 1 of these occasions was in Cyprus) and listened to 1 podcast episode.

Books:

We both read Sandstorm in my Heart (a fairly short read) by Faith Mortimer on the Kindle. We are housesitting for her so we had to try out one of her books! We started with the free one but may try out some more books of her’s as well. She writes in a few genres including mystery, psychological thriller, and romance. In addition to this, Kyle finished up The Time Machine and I finished The Secret Garden (both on the Kindle). I also just got started on another book.

See you next month!

END- colorful stairs in Beirut