Asia Sri Lanka Travel Inspiration

When I Got the Hang of Art of Doing Nothing – Galle Tales

By Anjali Chawla  

You must have heard about the beautiful Italian concept of “La Dolce Far Niente” if you’ve read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book (Eat, Pray, Love) or saw a movie based on it. It simply means the sweetness and beauty of doing nothing. I got it right this time. In Galle.

A perfect and meticulously planned itinerary has been a centerpiece of all my travels. Leaving the hotel just after early breakfast and coming back, exhausted, just in time for dinner. Ticking places off the list has always been the prime aim of my holidays. The tradition continued till I tasted the sweetness of doing nothing on a beach holiday in Sri Lanka.

Galle Beach

There’s something about the ocean…the way it meets the sky…the way otherwise monotonous sound of waves makes you feel alive…as if trying to narrate a story…

“There’s a Marine Archeological Museum nearby, I said as I spelled out the Galle itinerary, “and a beautiful Dutch Church. The museum would be a learning experience for our little daughter, what say?” Hubby gave a brief look at me while lazing on a beach and then continued looking at our daughter who was busy writing in the sand and enjoying as the waves wash it away.

Write in the sand

Sandy Toes. Sunkissed Nose. Living in the moment 🙂

I gazed at the shoreline with golden sand washed by emerald green waves intermittently and the sun making the endless ocean look like an authentic gemstone. I repeated the question pretending to myself that hubby hasn’t heard it right the first time. He gazed at me with a super quizzical look and replied, “I’m really not in a mood to go anywhere and if you ask Amishi (our daughter), she’d echo my reply.” “Let’s enjoy the moment,” he said cupping my face. With that, he went back to his relax mode leaving me to ponder over my oh so perfect itinerary going wrong.

Sun shining over ocean

I was wondering how does the sky feel losing the sun to the ocean every day.

I sat in utter despair, pondering,” What’s the point of a vacation if we are doing nothing?” Have we come this far to do nothing? What am I suppose to do? What’s fun just lying on the beach doing nothing at all? I complained. To myself of course. Observing that hubby and daughter aren’t even being considerate, I relinquished. Realizing that there’s no use being whiny and huffy, I sat there, looked around – kids were having fun running around the beach, people were reading while lying on the beach towels and some were catching up with the power nap. I laid back and felt so much at ease as I admired the vast Indian Ocean. “It’s not that bad,” I thought to myself. I started reading Ruskin Bond’s Tales of the Open Road and as I read about author’s love for mountains while gazing at the bay now and again, I felt my physical and mental stress fading away. It was satisfying and addicting. And I had simply been wearing the ocean all day. Yeah!!!

Ocean waves hitting the rocks

Sea-soaked soul.

Galle is literally a place to do absolutely nothing at all, which is exactly what we did. We spent the whole day drinking in the pretty sight of the salty sea, eating delectable Sri Lankan food, and indulging in never-ending and long conversations with the family. Believe me holding on to the precious moments like this is far better than ticking off the number of places from the list. Holidays are all about being relaxed and unhurried, spending soulful time with loved ones, and relishing each and every moment. I’m glad I listened to hubby. I have learned to slow down and that fear of missing out (FOMO) has gone with the wind. With sand in sandals and smile on faces…without visiting famous attractions…we said au revoir to Galle…I perfected the art of doing nothing without feeling guilty.

So, a key takeaway from my last trip of 2017 to Sri Lanka is to Just be. It might sound overindulgent but believe me, it is wonderfully regenerating and productive. We actually miss out because we tend to do too much and be too little. Enjoy the moment.

What about you? Have you ever had “La Dolce Far Niente” moments? I’d love to hear your story.

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Fit Foodprints (Thomas and Iris)
    January 4, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Such a lovely post! We love the layout of the blog! we hope you want to check our blog out as well! Happy travels 😀

  • Reply
    Chris
    January 6, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    I used to overload my itineraries but now I leave a margin for me to breath and enjoy. Instead of visiting half a country in a week, I prefer to stay in a single city and really get to know and enjoy the place.
    Of course once in a while I have a proper (essential) holiday which means that like you I don’t do practically anything but relaxing. Sometimes you have to take a break even from traveling.

  • Reply
    Samantha
    January 6, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    I love going places and doing absolutely nothing! Glad that you had a great time soaking up the sights of the sea! Enjoy those moments!!

  • Reply
    Divyakshi Gupta
    January 10, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Your post’s narrative Is just so awesome I felt I was there with you enjoying the ocean and gazing at it for hours!! 🙂
    The art of doing nothing is surely amazing and while it is good to rush around when you travel, sometimes being stuck at a spot is good for the soul! I had this moment in Nagarkot, Nepal!

  • Reply
    Ilana
    January 10, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Sometimes it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find some time only for enjoying the moment. It is not like you are doing ‘nothing’, but just living and it is already a lot…

  • Reply
    La Dolce Musica
    January 12, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Haha, I loved this post! Especially the title is very eye-cathing 🙂

  • Reply
    Priyanka
    January 16, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Such a beautiful post! And very relatable! Doing nothing is sometimes more productive than doing too many things.

  • Reply
    Kamara
    January 16, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    I’m headed to Sri Lanka this year and your post has me looking forward to it even more 🙂 I agree, sometimes to just do nothing and be in the moment, especially in a beautiful place like Sri Lanka, is all you need.

  • Reply
    Agness of a Tuk Tuk
    January 16, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Wow! That beach seems outstanding, Anjali! Such an exceptional place to explore. Is it a good summer destination?

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