Perhaps one of the best things that happened to me in 2006 or in the past few years was the opportunity to travel to Sri Lanka to see a family friend married, while trying to take in as much of a country that I knew little about. All throughout my life I had heard stories from my parents about their good friends from grad school. They really wanted to travel to Sri Lanka to visit them, but with such a short travel window it wasn't the right time for them.
So instead I got to visit a family that I had only seen in pictures and letters (except the son to be married and his now wife). The trip allowed me to see South Asia as opposed to East Asia in culture, food, religion, and flora & fauna. My only disappointment was being lost lingually unable to even begin to make the correct sounds to say the simplest things.
I present to you a 10 day trip, including travel time, to Sri Lanka from Columbus, Ohio. From Columbus the best way to get to Sri Lanka at that time was to fly to Chicago, catch a flight to London, and then transfer onto Sri Lanka Airlines for a flight to Colombo (Negombo). In retrospect it may have been better to fly out of New York with a layover in Dubai with Air Emirate (SLA is a subsidiary of Emirate).
For the return flights I had to spend a night in London, which turned out to be a rather nice morning before I took the train in to the airport. Arriving late at night in Boston (or was it Dulles?) and then into Columbus was a bit tiring, but alright.
Purchasing a ticket online was not the easiest experience, but I managed to time the United and Sri Lanka Air flights correctly.
The only other concern was the recent London Airplane Bomb Threat and fresh incidents of unrest in North Sri Lanka between the Tamil Tigers and the Tamil minority) and the Sri Lankan military. I was not too concerned with my safety as the United Kingdom provided tighter security (although one carry-on was a bit rough), and it is rare that violence in Sri Lanka involves tourists. It's interesting that both the rebel group and the military acknowledge the power of tourism to attract interest and money.