editor ’s note
‘I am beginning to understand the real reason why we, in the 21st centur y, travel from one place to another. We want to discover stories in the world, as we do in our books. We want histor y bursting out of stones, secrets spilling out of streets and unexpected conversations that weave the text of our human experience, wherever we are, into our lives.’ So wrote Sri Lankan author Romesh Gunesekera in the second-ever issue of Lonely Planet magazine, while covering a journey through the southern half of the country of his birth – and capturing a motivation to travel that, almost a decade on, is still expressed throughout our pages. We published Romesh’s feature at the moment of the fifth anniversary of the tsunami that wreaked such havoc on a nation also then spiralling into the final year of its civil war. Sri Lanka has been through a great deal of healing since, and in the far north of the island – then way off limits to travellers – new discoveries beckon. Join our in-house features writer Ror y Goulding (who has been on our magazine’s team since the very start) as he shares an exploration of Sri Lanka’s north in this issue – and read more about our Best in Travel 2019 winning destinations, Sri Lanka included, from p50.