Asanka de Mel on Checking Out

The founder and business brains behind the LOVI Ceylon sarong brand which is gaining immense popularity amongst the men and women in cosmopolitan Colombo is a man of the world. Having lived in the US where he worked in Silicon Valley as a tech professional for most of his adult life until he felt a calling to return to his island home and reinvent the sarong with a pocket and belt, this Harvard graduate's mission to make the sarong cool again seems to be working. Here are his travel experiences. 

Co-pilot, San Francisco to LA, USA 

Why do you love travel? 

I'm an islander and it's easy to become the frog in the well. Exploring helps me avoid that. It humbles me. Plus you get to make friends all over the world. 

Your favourite travel destination and why? 

That’s not a fair question, Tina. Which one is your favourite child? 

Cruising to Glacier Bay, Alaska, USA 

Galeria, Milan, Italy 

What do you need for a perfect holiday? 

An empty calendar and great company. 

In which country have you felt most at home? 

Sri Lanka and the USA. 

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey 

Inner Passage, Alaska, USA 

Rose Playhouse of Shakespeare, London, UK 

Most unusual souvenir you have brought home? 

An American Girl. Because she reminds and teleports me to my other home. 

Worst holiday or travel experience? 

Some years back, being snowed in three days at Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, without an exit visa. I was so close to that Mona Lisa and yet so far. But I did manage to see Paris later on. 

San Francisco, CA, USA 

Savile Row, London, UK 

Best piece of travel advice? 

Relax. There’s always another flight. 

Your top five travel destinations? 

Again, not fair. But if I have to choose: Milan, London, New York, Alaska and the leather shops in Pettah. 

Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, USA 

Roof of Domo Cathedral, Milan, Italy 

What has travel taught you? 

No matter where you go, as people, we're much the same. And as a Canadian friend pointed out, there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So pack well. 

Which country did you taste the best ever cuisine? 

Texas has the best BBQ brisket and ribs, I’ve ever tasted. It's a religion there. And yes, everything's bigger in Texas, I measured. 

Sailboat - Monterey Bay, California, USA 

Next travel destination? 

Home for Christmas. West coast puddle jumping: LA, San Francisco, Portland and then back to Colombo. Bon voyage!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tina Edward Gunawardhana

Tina Edward Gunawardhana is a journalist specialising in travel, lifestyle, cuisine and personalities. She is also the features writer for Hi!! Magazine. An intrepid traveller, she likes to show readers the world through her eyes and experiences. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - tinajourno tinajourno@gmail.com

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