A boy and his bicycle

sigiriya sri lanka

Do you ever want to know the full story behind a photo?

Sometimes I see a picture that well and truly captivates me and gets me thinking. If there isn’t a caption or written feature to go along with it, I oftentimes find myself wondering what happened to lead up to that moment in time when the photographer was able to click and capture magic.

Know what I mean?

Whether I am perusing National Geographic or Instagram, it’s undeniable that sometimes photos just speak to you. This past year I have been slowly but surely working on improving my photography. I’m entirely self-taught and strive to take better photos each time I travel. That being said, I’m not THAT motivated – for example you rarely will see my up and about for sunrise whereas some of my professional photographer friends live for it. Sunrise is at like 5:30 right now in Wanaka – um hell no.

On that note, let me tell you the story behind my favorite photos from Sri Lanka.

sigiriya sri lanka
Recognize any of these characters?

I was lucky enough to be chosen to go on a scenic flight around Sigiriya with Cinnamon Air on my latest trip to Sri Lanka organized by my friend Laurence from Finding the Universe. Packed on the plane with a bunch of award-winning photographers and videomakers, I was a bit shy but also excited to be inspired by some of the best in travel blogging. Not intimidating at all.

On our way back to the hotel we were driving along backcountry roads, baked red in the sun and surrounded by dense green jungle under blue skies. Thrilled by the contrast, I poked the guide in the back of the head and asked if we could stop for a second so I could get a road shot. I love road shots – and this farm lane somehow made me think of quintessential Sri Lanka. Red and green. Everyone else was still chatting about cameras and the scenic flight.

I hopped out by myself in the hot sun to grab my shot, when I noticed a barefoot guy coming down the road on a bicycle. Deciding this could be a magical moment, I snapped his photo and waited for him to pass by. As I turned my head after he passed the other way, I noticed a young boy clinging to the back of the man riding the bike staring at me. He was so small I didn’t even notice him at first.

sigiriya sri lanka

Looking at me like I had grown two heads, I eventually smiled and gave him a little wave. His face cracked into a wide grin with big white teeth and he enthusiastically waved back at me as they peddled off. I took one shot of them riding off through the red dirt and climbed back into the van smiling as big as the little boy.

I wonder what his name is, what his story is and where he lives. Was the barefoot man his dad? Where were they off to? I wonder if he was as curious about the random blonde girl standing in middle of the road in between farmland in rural Sri Lanka wearing hot pink sneakers and Lululemon leggings and sweating like a pig.

Probably not, but one can hope.

Until then here’s to little moments on the road and waving to strangers.

sigiriya sri lanka

Thanks to Cinnamon Hotels and the PTBA for hosting me in Sri Lanka – like always I’m keeping it real – all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me.

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50 Comments on “A boy and his bicycle

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  1. A great photo you took there! Beautiful colours and personality. My favourite photos are always ones that are spontaneous and just come together by accident.

  2. I completely agree, sometimes i just want to run along side them and see where their story goes, but then i realise that’s a little bit stalker-y and i probably shouldn’t. That’s the beauty of this world though – it’s bathed in so much mystery.

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