The first thing I always do is switch off my gadgets except for my camera of course, roll out a beach blanket and bask in the sun. A lot of Goa hotels tend to have access to private beaches and The Zuri White Sands (the hotel I stayed in) was amongst one of them. There is something truly remarkable about staying on the beach all day, dozing off in between, reading your favourite novel and sometimes just staring at the clear blue sky.
“Traveling- it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller” – Ibn Battuta
If I had to rephrase Batuta, I would have said, “Goa- It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller” For Goa is truly a land where you can find peace and pulsating music, pristine beauty and glamour, freedom from the city along with local ties that will bind you to this place, all at the same time. I have had the opportunity to visit Goa twice in the last two years and on both occasions I avoided doing the usual touristy things. Instead, I focused on taking a break from my usual life, away from all the chaos, and settling comfortably in Goan Hotels.
I spent my time admiring the old heritage houses that I would pass by while taking a walk, interacting with a local lady who I would always go to get my daily dose of ice creams and Frooti and playing beach football with strangers even though I never managed to kick it even once!
I left Goa without any souvenirs, without any cashewnuts but with a light heart and a big smile!
During my second trip, I stayed in Alila Diwa, one of the many luxury Goa Hotels Salcette. This time, I opted to go for long drives to explore the area. I had my trusty GPS and friendly locals who would always know a short cut to reach a particular place. This trip was as fun as the last one and I had the opportunity to make many many friends as I soaked in the local culture. I surprisingly did not miss any company. It is a great experience to shut off everything and everyone you know and be a completely different person. Goa gave me an opportunity to do just that and somewhere down the line, I fell in love with the person I had become.
Some tips I would like to share with you guys are:
Have two nariyal paanis daily; its delicious
Eat as much sea food as you can from local shacks and hotels; never from fancy restaurants
Play beach football and cricket
Walk barefoot as much as possible; it feels wonderful
Don’t forget to collect shells from the beach
Avoid shopping, seriously! You are here to get away from your mundane life
My last and the most important tip, follow your heart and leave with no regrets.