Goan Blend

I know this might sound very typical of someone, and everyone you know probably claims for it to be their best travel experience, but, I don’t think they really claim it for the right reasons (or at least I want to believe that I do)

‘GOA’- a small three-letter word but a minefield of thought, freedom, inspiration and expression (as I see it).

IMG_0678There’s the typical way of seeing the place; visiting all the touristy spots- seeing the churches – indulging in the local cuisine- buying everything that the place is famous for – basically playing the part of a handsome tourist.  And there is the party hard, get wasted, dance all night, stiff your nose up with all that white powder side to Goa and it’s mostly what everyone thinks of nowadays when they say ‘Goa’.   And I certainly have done both.  Been a tourist when I went the first time with my parents and I’ve pretty much hopped from one club to the other at Baga with my party-hard friends on my last visit (not out of choice though)

So you must be wondering what was so special about this visit to Goa that makes me claim for it to be one of my best experiences.  Well, firstly NO ADULT SUPERVISION :P.  And when I say this I don’t mean it in a “Woohoo! No mom and dad lets get wasted” kind of way.  It just meant more freedom to explore and not being tied down to a schedule.

My friends planned our trip to Goa immediately after our final exams and like every other bunch of Goa enthusiasts their intentions were the same ‘Eat, Drink Party’ – and that’s exactly what they did.  Now I didn’t really have a problem with that but I didn’t want my entire trip to be one big hangover.  I wanted to explore Goa on my own terms, and experience, what I knew I had clearly missed on my visit with my parents.  

So after two days of being stuck in the party zone, I decided to take some time off from the group and do some exploring during the day and return to the madness at night.  Thankfully, I did have a few good friends who shared the sentiment. We took to our rented bikes and tried to get as far as we could from the party mongrels.  We went to beaches free from commercialism, rode for miles on end witnessing great landscapes, sought out places off the beaten path.  But what stuck out the most out of all these places was Arambol.

India_Goa_Arambol_BeachArambol is a beach located 50 kms from Panaji.  It’s a rocky-sandy beach and it is one of the only beaches in Goa that has a sweet water lake, which extends along the bottom of the valley into a thick jungle. I’d learned of it through my cousin who claimed it to be unlike anything he had ever experienced.  He told me about a colony of people who had settled in the area (hippies as some might call them) – the happiest, most inviting people he’d ever met.  He spoke of jugglers, fire dancers, live music concerts and free drumming sessions by the beach before the sunset.  Anyone could participate.

However, our visit to Arambol was not exactly what I wanted it to be.  I couldn’t make it to the sweet water lake due to tantrums from my city-slick friends.  We missed the sunset music, the dancing and all that it was to bring with it – we had to depart early to make it back to the party pack at Baga.  But what I did get from the time off was a sense of the freedom that lived in the place. Our ride to Arambol was sweet – one of the best bike rides of my life.  Long open roads, winding from one beautiful scenic view into another.  Good vibes all over. Foreigners spilt out from every direction – but seemed as if they were at home.  They wore fabrics laden with colours – embellished with beads, jewelry & smiles.  I kid you not; on one stretch of road we could’ve possibly been the only Indians riding along what seemed to be locals, but weren’t really.  We arrived at Arambol Beach through a market selling local craft, jewelry, instruments and all things colourful. The vibe of the place was exquisite.  In fact the whole of Goa does.

When I think of Goa I don’t see it as any other Indian State.  I feel as if I’ve left my country and landed in a place free of all things in an otherwise chaotic world. Goa hits you in the face like a breath of fresh air.  You see openness in people that you won’t find elsewhere.  It’s a place where nationalities fade & the self is finally home.  Where you can be whoever you want to be, dress however you want to and be truly free.  A place where some of the foreigners know more about getting about, than the locals – trust me, I’ve experienced that on occasion.

Now, I may not have had Goa served to me as I had imagined but I don’t regret missing out on stuff.  It’s left me with a hunger for more and also a conditioning of becoming one with whichever place I visit. So, I enjoyed the company and soaked in the essence of Goa.  Became friends with people from different parts of the globe and as Marley said “Rastaman vibration, yeah! Positive!”

Goa inspires you, frees you of inhibitions, and helps you express your true self. Freedom takes you by the hand and dances with you, when in Goa.

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