Checking Out Kavindya Thennakoon

Mar 14 2016.

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Current Hi!! cover girl Kavindya is a force  to be reckoned with. Winner of the Harvard Global Trailblazer Award and the Queen's Young Leader Award, Kavindya is a youth activist (she is the co-founder of Without Borders) and a humanitarian. A student at the prestigious Wellesley College in Massachusetts, Kavindya likes tea and window seats while her hobby is listening to people and re-telling their stories. Here she lists her travel experiences. 

(Read about her inspirational story in the latest edition of the Hi!! Magazine) 

Why do you love travel? 

I think for me it's about meeting incredible people who have unbelievable life stories. I am always fascinated by the notion of "place" and how you're never the same person when you leave a place. 

Your favourite travel destination and why? 

Bali. The soothing beaches, the street markets and the fact that I biked across the island with a female biker in the dead of the night. It was super empowering. 

What do you need for a perfect holiday? 

A book, zero deadlines to meet and a map. 

In which country have you felt most at home? 


Most unusual souvenir you have brought home? 

When I came back from Finland I brought home around 5 empty bottles of Sahti (a traditional Finnish beer), I have no idea what made me bring them all the way back to Sri Lanka. I thought they would be cool souvenirs, but ended up throwing them away two days later. 

Worst holiday or travel experience? 

The first country I travelled to alone was Pakistan and I was only 15. It's a beautiful country with an amazing culture and history. I met so many wonderful people there, but I was there during the Muhharam season and was cursed and spat at while trying to avoid one of the religious parades. It was pretty scary. 

Best piece of travel advice? 

Try not to have a packed schedule or a precise timetable, and allow the country and the people to lead you - it's always the best guide. 

Your top five travel destinations? 

Talin (Estonia), Finland, New York, Trincomalee and Turkey (never been there except on transit - but this tops my bucket list). 

What has travel taught you? 

Travel made me realize how insignificant me and my problems were compared to the world beyond and secondly it taught me that I didn't need a school and a pile of books to learn some of the most important lessons in life. 

Which country did you taste the best ever cuisine? 

Seafood in Baltimore! But nothing beats a good Sri Lankan chicken curry! 

Next travel destination? 

I would probably be going to India and a few places around with my mum this summer. It's a shame to have not visited your neighbour all this time. 

By Tina Edward Gunawardhana


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