I love Colombo. From its bustling streets full of smiling strangers, its annasivendors on random street corners and the occasional motorcade of VIP vehicles; it’s a city that’s buzzing with vigour and activity. Living in the heart of the city just near the Fort area, my everyday activities are interspersed with the best Colombo has to offer and I make sure I’m never too busy to make the most of it. My commute to work is generally hassle free (save for the rare days I skip gym and get caught in a little traffic on the way), with my drive only around ten minutes or so to the office. Given that I work close to popular restaurants and cafes in the city, I frequently hit up either Life Foods for lunch or somewhere a little more high-scale for those occasional dinners and drinks with friends.

On days I feel like indulging in the city’s more satisfying meals, I always hit up this one burger spot located in a busy intersection at a central point in the city; you know the one. Best burgers in town, hands down. The great part about living in this area of Colombo is its well-balanced mix of residential properties and high powered commercial zones. This means my neighbourhood is considerably safe and private, while drawing in a number of contemporaries, peers and friends who either come by for work or pleasure. Given these factors, I’m constantly surrounded by an endless range of stores, supermarkets and restaurants, ensuring that I’m never stuck for places to go to or things to do. Living close to the Beira Lake is one the best parts; I often head there for quiet walks in the evenings when the temperature cools down, completely unplugging from work and other responsibilities.

Friday nights with the boys are generally fun affairs, we head to one (or many!) of the numerous upscale bars and clubs coming up in the heart of the city, gradually positioning Colombo’s night life environment and atmosphere among some of the best in South Asia. The Fort area is an insanely popular destination for tourists as well, given that it’s a central location, close to most hotels and shopping sites. I’m frequently stopped and asked for directions or suggestions on where to go, something I quite enjoy. I love seeing tourists in the area, soaking in the same sights and being just as much in love with the city as I am. In years to come, it’s likely that Sri Lankan will only increase in appeal as a destination for people of other nationalities to settle down, transforming out little economic hub into a thriving metropolis.

Our culture will only grow, benefiting from the influx of various cultures and identities. All in all, living in the heart of a booming commercial capital like Colombo is an experience of its own. There are no words for the exhilaration one feels driving down the Galle Face strip late at night with nothing but the wind blowing on your face, enjoying a cool bottle of highland chocolate milk after a jog through independence square, or trips to the beach on a long weekend. I love my city and there’s no other place like it.