The Happy Wanderers | Sunday Observer

The Happy Wanderers

The #ThisIsSriLanka campaign was originated by Shenelle and Shehaan to promote the beauty and diversity of our island nation. After seeing the country suffer its darkest period in recent times in April, the team is determined to put the negative aside to promote Sri Lanka’s beauty, vibrancy and diversity.

The team have travelled to most parts of the country, using social media accounts to showcase what exactly Lanka is.

Shenelle and Shehaan, talk to Youth Observer about the travel, the campaign, being adventurous and discovering new experiences every day.

Q:Tell us about #thisissrilanka?

#ThisIsSriLanka was a campaign we initiated in March 2019 to attempt to cover all of Sri Lanka in an informative manner to provide both local and foreign tourists with vital information and unique experiences available all around our beautiful Island. We had several objectives with this project, the main one being to discover all of Sri Lanka within three weeks and on a budget.

Q:What have you learnt about Sri Lanka during your travels and what do you think Sri Lankans should know about the country?

What we learnt from this trip was priceless for us. Discovering the beauty and the diversity of our country through every city we passed made us appreciate what it meant to be Sri Lankan. For us, the most eye-opening experience was seeing how friendly and welcoming our people were right around the island.

We think it is super important for Sri Lankans to explore all parts of our country. There are so many misconceptions our people and their culture have been fed to us over the years. Seeing how despite all the diversity, we are so much alike in our culture and beliefs, is something that will greatly add value to every Sri Lankan.

Q: How best can we describe you two?

Shehaan’s mom best describes us as Happy Wanderers and we would like to think that of ourselves too at this point. We love travelling in search of new experiences and building a lifestyle which will compliment it.

Q: What inspires your travel?

Travel to us is a form of learning, and the more we travel the more we can piece together the bigger picture. We grew up on this small island we call home and while we wouldn’t change that for a second , the journey has shown us just what a small place we occupy in the world, but what inspires us to travel the most is the fresh perspective we get every time that we do.

Q: How was it working with Miss World, Manushi Chhillar ,to create content in promoting Sri Lanka travel?

We were so humbled to have been entrusted with this opportunity to make an impact at a crucial time for Sri Lanka Tourism with the Cinnamon Group. It was an amazing experience which we were quite nervous about getting into at first. We were confident of our ability to portray Sri Lanka at its finest, yet working with an international celebrity and her team was something we had not done before. Manushi and her team too understood that this was not like any other promotional campaign and that we had a lot more at stake. It was super challenging, yet so rewarding to see our vision come to life

Q: Where do you see #thisissrilanka in 10 years?

We hope #thisissrilanka will encourage more local and foreign content creators to share their perspective of what Sri Lanka means to them. Having some of the bigger conglomerates join the campaign has propelled the campaign to a wider audience. And this is what we hope to keep working on in the future.

We would love to see #thisissrilanka become the official/unofficial tagline of Sri Lanka tourism someday.

Q:Where do you plan to travel in the next few months?

We are heading to Indonesia in September for a month where we are hoping to create a similar series around sustainable budget travel. India, Philippines and Malaysia are also in the works for our Youtube and Instagram channels in 2020.

Q: How do you plan to influence travellers through your blog, any unique content in the making?

Our main objective has always been to encourage sustainable travel for personal growth. We’ve experimented with a lot of themes along the way however, we will always keep true to the above as we have learnt so much from our travels and we’d love to encourage as many people as possible to do so as well!

Q: Five things travelling teaches you?

1. Enjoy living in the moment.

2. Learning to think on the move and being quick

to adapt to unforeseen events.

3. How to observe events and situations with

a broader perspective.

4. How unique yet connected life is all around the world.

5. To walk and talk with people of all walks of life.

Q: Your advice to young travellers?

Today travelling has become way cheaper than it has ever been. Invest in yourself and take some time to travel through a foreign land/city.

Don’t be afraid to travel on a budget and rough it out! Some of the best if not most life-changing experiences come from travelling. And you will no doubt grow so much as a result of it.