As I sit on the balcony of what used to be a Governor’s mansion in Sri Lanka, but is now a tourist-friendly hotel, gazing down at the deserted beach while the cool breeze rescues me from the blazing sun, I think not about the beauty, but rather I think to myself, “Is that sentence really necessary for my Ph.D.?”
After more than four days of traveling from Washington, D.C. to Istanbul, Turkey, and then to Colombo, Sri Lanka, I finally arrived at the hotel. As a distance Ph.D. student, having the freedom to travel is one of the main benefits for me. My supervisors have been kind enough to wonderfully guide me as I write my thesis, so the research is steadily becoming easier than I had originally imagined. And yet, it is still a mammoth task. I certainly realize that this travelling does not entirely help either! Two days without Internet, a third day sleeping at random times as I try to overcome jet lag, and a fourth day attending a chemistry conference (again without Internet) make it difficult to focus on what is important…my Ph.D.
And so, while the beauty of the beach tempts me to take a break and go for a swim, I am here in front of my laptop trying to incorporate my supervisors’ comments into my draft. Hopefully, before I leave Sri Lanka, my background, literature review, and other similar sections will be complete.