“Destinations and landscapes aren’t a big thing for me…traveling has always been about visiting friends I’ve met throughout my life and establishing or maintaining the relationships.”
– Sahan Weliwita
In this episode of the Edge of Comfort Podcast I talk with Sahan Weliwita during a return trip to Singapore.
While some might dub Austin Powers the “International Man of Mystery”, this title is actually better suited for Sahan.
Answering the question, “Where are you from?” is often difficult for him to answer…
Sahan was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, then moved to New Jersey and Iowa all before he was four years old.
Next, he moved across the world to Kyoto, Japan for kindergarten and first grade.
Sahan then lived in Sri Lanka, where his heritage originates, for the next three years of grade school.
In 2002, at the age of 9, Sahan’s family moved to Nairobi, Kenya. He spent most of his young life here for the next 10 years.
Upon graduation from high school in 2012, Sahan moved back to the U.S. to attend Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
Arguably, the greatest university in the entire world. Totally unbiased opinion.
During university, he was accepted to the student exchange program at the National University of Singapore (NUS). This is where we met, forged our friendship, and returned to in our interview.
Shortly after graduation from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana, Sahan moved to New York City. He currently lives here and works in consulting.
So, let’s do a quick count…
Sahan has lived in nine different cities in five countries before turning 24! Maybe a bit different from the average person’s young life.
Frequently moving around seemed like the normal thing to Sahan. You’ll hear him discuss this and how it was a shock to discover most people have only lived one or two places in their lives.
Some of the other things we discuss in this episode include:
- Unique perspectives gained from growing up in different countries
- Why “follow your passion” might not be the best advice
- Social life without alcohol
- Exchange programs and international friends
- Living in a place versus visiting a place
- Traveling how you want to
Thank you for listening and enjoy!
Show Notes and Links
4:00 – Returning to Singapore
8:30 – Frequently moving throughout life
14:25 – Deciding to do an exchange program
16:30 – Culture shock returning to the U.S.
19:30 – Living in New York City
25:00 – Adjusting to life in a new place
27:20 – Social life without alcohol
36:40 – Living alone
39:00 – Is “follow your passion” good advice?
43:45 – People-centric traveling
50:45 – How our conditions affect our behaviors
52:20 – Avoiding repetitive situations in similar destinations
55:35 – Maintaining health while on the road
58:30 – Traveling versus living somewhere
1:03:05 – Why traveling is easier than it sounds
1:07:30 – License plates and landmarks
1:09:45 – Noticing small differences
1:12:05 – Useful travel resources
1:15:50 – Strategies to divert unwanted attention
1:19:00 – Cultures are different options for life
1:21:45 – Perspectives from a unique upbringing
Edge of Comfort
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Pictures from Sahan