Life before the new norm !

You might wonder why I am narrating this story right after two years of this personal experience. Yes ! You guessed it correct, I am nostalgic about my life before the new norm.

I was a passionate volunteer during my university days and extra curricular activities thrilled me more than academic things I was supposed to do . Although the degree I enrolled myself in consisted of a heavy syllabus that is pretty unmanageable I had the knack of gathering more time for my extra curricular work. I was in my second year and the situation I put myself in was quite out of my control. I had my University exams and at the same time I took up a project called “Heartbeat 2.0 ‘’ which ran for one whole month with other volunteers from different countries. Being the team leader, I had my duties and responsibilities that I had to take so crucially. Situation worsened from 0–100 as my external participant was a Chinese volunteer during initial stage of the covid outbreak. I was very disheartened as I could not do most of the things as planned as the citizens of the country extremely despised Chinese people or rather was afraid. I had many unpleasant experiences with regard to this person I was dealing with as people started to discriminate Chinese people. She was very sweet and perfectly understood the situation. That made me relax a bit even though there was so much on my plate.

Would you believe me If I tell you that I had taken up another role in a massive forum that was also held in January same year ? I was that passionate about volunteering. I have no clue still how I managed my exam, the project and the massive conference that I was a part of. I completely was under so much pressure yet I managed everything quite well although everything was so challenging. Thanks to all these experiences I was able to find my true potential. At times I was challenged by those challenges yet I had the capacity to keep everything under control. The conference experience was phenomenal and I had the privilege to work with an amazing bunch whom one way or the other impacted to create the person who I am today. We laughed ,we cried and at times we accused each other yet everything was worth it. With so much going on from Easter attack to Covid spread we were able to pull off an amazing event with 450+ local and foreign participants and world renowned Keynote speakers. At the end of the day that feeling of satisfaction overwhelmed us and those comments made us do many things in the future as well. Covid hindered our progress yet “this too shall pass ‘’ and we will soon be able to do amazing projects or we will all soon adapt to the new norm and find new possibilities that we are capable of.

Here are few of the memories from my conference experience.

The amazing bunch behind the success.

After this massive success I was taken back to the reality as I had to go on a trip right after the conference with external participants from two projects. It was around 1.30 AM that I came home after everything was settled at BMICH. I was so exhausted yet I couldn’t and I shouldn’t miss the trip that was planned. Believe me I missed the morning train and I missed all the calls from my friends as I was in deep sleep due to the exhaustion from the previous day. I had to take a bus and go to Galle fort and join my friends . I was so worn out and was bit late to join them as well.

As I already mentioned I didn’t have great expectations about it and participated it for the sake of participating. Yet miracles do happen ! Sometimes we are forced to coke out of our comfort zones to realize the new possibilities awaiting us. To my amazement I found myself enjoying the journey even more than the foreigners. Although I have previously witnessed the glory of Galle fort, this trip made me look at it in a different perspective. Thanks to one of our Dutch friends we were given the opportunity to see some of the hidden beauties and that was mesmerizing.

A tired but happy bunch of travelers.

After exploring the ancient glory of the fort, we hit the road to reach the mesmerizing Mirissa. The warm breeze and the cool chat we had made our journey easier. I am a known thalassophile and I was very much overwhelmed after seeing the warm and sandy beaches of the down South. I can say that I was benefitted in numerous ways from this little yet impactful journey.

I love to travel as much as possible for numerous reasons : it helps open my mind. I was able to realize that there’s no one way to live life. Meeting people from other places showed me that my world view isn’t the same as everyone else’s. … By being exposed to new places, people and cultures, I started to develop a wider world view.

Challenging times with problematic course units, a bad breakup made me undergo this unfamiliar journey Just like the heroine in “Eat, Pray, Love”. Travel can be a great relief from the stress and unhappiness that come along with those.