Sometimes life is not so easy and what can start out as a great time can devolve into a very stressful one. This story has been occupying my mind for the past week and I feel like I need to get it out.

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Last weekend I took a trip down to Hikkaduwa, a beach town about 2 1/2 hours south of Colombo, to surf. I was planning on buying a surfboard for the season and spent the first day out on the waves and walking around the beach looking for anyone looking to get rid of a board. I had a great room looking out over the ocean, with a nice balcony just above the palm trees.

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View from my balcony

Everything was in place for a great weekend: good surf, friends all around, and plenty of tables on the beach full of beers to drink under tropical palm trees. Then I went out at night to a party on the beach. Long story short, someone broke into my room and stole all of my money. Goodbye surfboard, and all the relaxation I had built up. What’s worse is how I was treated by the local police. I spent 2 1/2 hours being grilled by them as if it were my fault. It was clear they didn’t believe me and thought I was trying to pull some type of insurance scam. I left the beach for home depressed and pissed off at the cops.

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Unfortunately, these are the type of things that can happen sometimes. As the week progressed and Thanksgiving in the US drew closer, I gradually came out of my funk. Last night I went out to a “Thanksgiving Buffet” at a local hotel. All they did was add one dish of turkey to the usual Sri Lankan mix. However, it was a perfect meal. I was surrounded by good friends, ate myself into a coma, and drank my fill of wine. There are so many things in my life that I am thankful for, and they reduced the troubles from the week before to just a bump in the road. Just focusing on what I have and appreciating them put things back into perspective. I am sure there will be more bumps along the way but in the end they will pass and I will be happy to still be on the road.

I am proud to say that after an extended break Todd’s Wanderings has undergone a complete face lift. My life has been very hectic since I last posted in May, including starting a new job working with Human Rights. Just getting settled in took longer than I expected and my posts suffered due to it.

Now that I am back I have decided to share not only photos of my life but also a little more about me for those readers I have never met. The initial concept of this blog was to keep my friends and family up to date on my wanderings and my various adventures. I have now opened up the blog to anyone who wants to read and comment on it.

My posts will still mostly be about trips I have taken, using photographs to tell the various stories. However, I will also be commenting on what it is like to work in the field of International Development; Conflict Management; and Human Rights, and the ups and downs associated with living and working in conflict areas.

I have also begun writing a book on my experiences in Japan. Some of my pictures from this time can be seen by clicking on the signpost to the left. I am hoping to use this blog as a testing ground for some of the stories in the book, so please feel free to comment and express what you would like to read more about.

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