Having never travelled anywhere in Asia before I was very excited to have the opportunity to visit such an adventurous and diverse country as Sri Lanka, as were many of the girls who went along on the trip.

Everyone was extremely exhausted after a 15-hour trip, but delighted when we visited a restaurant and were able to try the local cuisine. The food was definitely a highlight for everyone on the trip, from trying local buffalo curd with treacle, to having a new specially made curry every day.

One amazing experience from our time in Sri Lanka was definitely our visit to Yala National Park where we saw beautiful wild elephants and incredible leopards, just metres from our safari jeeps. Another of my highlights included visiting a temple with a gigantic golden Buddha statue that loomed above us. We decided to take a photo in front of the Buddha, only to be told that it was disrespectful to turn our backs on the statue. Instead we had to turn sideways for the picture and this new experience definitely gave us an insight into their amazing religion and culture.

I will never forget trekking in the heat through various stunning landscapes, having numerous insects and animals pointed out on each step up the path, or hearing someone shriek with terror at having found a leech fixed to their ankle, which a member of the group diligently flicked away in a moment.

Visiting a local school at a tea plantation was definitely an amazing experience for me. Meeting the children, who were learning English and gaining confidence by the second, was heartwarming to see and made the group sad to have to say goodbye.

My time in Sri Lanka was truly incredible, from surfing in the rain to learning the delicate art of tea picking, and it has certainly made me want to revisit and explore more of the diverse and fascinating culture in the future.

Mia (SFC2)