This time last year, I started again. One chapter of the life book ended and a new one began, sparking a lot of awesome, scary, cathartic and generally amazing things for the soul.
After 5 weeks in India, 12 weeks in Sri Lanka and a week in Thailand, I returned home with a heavy yet enlightened heart. I learned so many things about myself, made a few mistakes, met some of the most amazing people and started a relationship with the other half I didn’t know I wanted in my life and my reason for being back here in Sri Lanka as I type right now.
Have you heard about those holiday romances where your eyes meet, you go for a romantic walk on the beach and fall madly in love and then stay together forever? Well, it wasn’t exactly like that, but almost. Nimantha was my first dive buddy and my best friend in Hikkaduwa, my dancing partner at any party I went to, the first person I wanted to talk to when I arrived at the dive centre I made a home in and my first ever English student. After 6 weeks of chills, laughs and chats on the beach, we did the thing and got together. Fast forward 9 months, 21 weeks living in different countries and a return to paradise, we’re stronger than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life and things are changing again.
A few weeks ago, my love and reason for checking my shit on the regular asked me to marry him, I said yes and we’ve been happily cruising in our lovely home in Moragoda, a beautiful and quaint village east of the beach and water sports town Aluthgama. I’m not going to lie, there have been arguments and days where we could kill each other but you know what, that’s living together and that’s love. We remind each other where we need to improve, we encourage each other when we have a lapse in self belief and we support each other when things get deep and dark.
Gentle word of warning: If you ever decide to set up camp in a village here, are white and/or living alone with your partner outside of wedlock, prepare yourself for the biggest gossip pot you have ever experienced in or outside of high school. I love life here, it’s paradise on earth but everybody knows my business, we’ve had knocks on the door to confirm if the rumor mill is churning out truths and a lot of staring if we’re out together or I’m spending time outside of the home with his mum or brother. [Insert ‘Gossip Girl’ theme tune here].
On the 25th October this year, everything changed again and I found out that I’m pregnant. Mic drop. Kidding. But really, after weeks of really weird PMT style mood swings, a fever, a missed period and some strange feels in the body, I took a pregnancy test to make sure that everything is OK. PS: If the packet says to pee into a cup and dip the test into the pee to get a result, do what it says. I missed the mark and dipped it into the toilet and although it was still a positive result, you can save yourself the near panic attack and save money on more tests. Two more tests and a giant “what the fuck” cry on the phone to my sister-in-law and here we are! We are currently 6 or so weeks pregnant, have a tiny sesame seed of a child with a beautifully strong heartbeat (best sound I’ve ever heard by the way) and are looking forward to welcoming a healthy baby around June 2019. I’ll add a picture from the next scan when the Baba looks more like a person that the cutest bean I’ve ever seen.
So far the plan is that I will return to New Zealand to work, save and spend some time with my parents and visit friends. I’ll be based back in Napier, Hawkes Bay, which has been my home away from Wellington and my parents base camp since 2010. We’re hoping to get a visa for Nima to come over to Hawkes Bay before the baby is born to spend some time together in my southern hemisphere motherland and so Baba Bean can spend time with their Hooper family before coming back to Sri Lanka next year to introduce the Bean to their Gunathilaka/Panilla family.
Travel for now is going to be between New Zealand and Sri Lanka unless we decide to take a holiday and see something a little different in the future and when Bean is out and a little older, so I’m going to change the blog a little. I’m not 100% sure how it’s going to go or even the direction it’s going to take but for now it’s going to be an honest to blog account of a vegan pregnant English ex-pat Kiwi lady living in Asia, any advice I have re: a vegan pregnancy and a few food diaries and news reports to keep the wonderful souls in my life across the world up to date. There are probably going to be a few TMI bodily function funnies but if you know me you know you’ll get those no matter what I do or where I am.
I’m sorry if this has been a really boring read, trying to squeeze the past few months into a short(ish) essay seemed like a bit of a mission.
Oh, to anybody who knew about my plans to complete my Divemaster license this year, this is now on hold until I’ve given birth and things have settled down but I’m hoping to complete it in the South coast season starting November 2019. So with some great cliches and a couple of Hoop-isms, I shall leave you with:
- Good things come to those who wait
- The universe doesn’t hand anything to you that you cannot handle
- The universe works in mysterious ways
- Increase your fiber intake as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. You’ll thank me later
- If you have no appetite but want to eat vegan pizza, just eat it
- The pull out method doesn’t work. Just saying.