Goa Chronicles

Whenever I start to write about something that I’ve achieved, or the memories that I’ve made, or the life I am living, I always get a writer’s block. My experiences get etched to my skin like a perfume would when splashed all over your body; it’s present but it’s indescribable mist. Its sweet, musky, spicy or earthy scent becomes you. So, writing this post has been extremely tricky for me considering my doubts about my ability to express myself without diluting the experience, without constraining it with words? But, I’m going to give it a try.

It’s been difficult to live a life of freedom given the fact that I come from an extremely conservative family. But there was no limitation that could keep my rebellious nature on hold. No sir, I wouldn’t have let that happen! So amongst one of my numerous rebellious acts was this ‘spontaneous’ Goa trip. Not that spontaneous exactly, considering it was planned 2 months prior. So, one night, while sitting stressed and tired of work, I thought: okay, I need a break fairly soon. I desperately needed to go somewhere. I was sitting there looking at options with my roommate and I was like, “Okay, I’m going to Goa.. solo!” She stared at me for 5 minutes and finally said, “Okay, go.” In a matter of 10 minutes, I had gone from lazing around to booking the cheapest flight to Goa for the month of November.

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Everyone thought I was crazy, they all said that nobody goes to Goa alone! They firmly believed that boredom would plague me at every step. But I’m a more optimistic person and I already had too much adrenaline in my veins.

Two months later, there I was, in the poor woman’s Las Vegas – Goa. I had a limited budget and had no idea what to do. I didn’t have much time to do any research, I just went with the flow! I had no idea how to reach my hotel at Vagator beach, but in an insane rush to save money, I hopped on to a local bus.

Alas! The bus was headed to Vasco and not Vagator. And to my horror, I was informed that no buses go directly to Vagator! Nevertheless, undaunted by the task at hand, I traveled to Panjim and traveled for an hour in a rickety old bus, followed by 15 minutes of roller coaster ride to Mapsa. By this time, it was getting late and I decided that I should just take an auto to my hotel. I was advised against it by the locals, but I decided to risk my adventurous life for ₹200 (down from ₹300 after 15 minutes of haggling, goa style!)

For ₹800 per night, the best I could do was a hotel 15 mins from Vagator beach. It was time for me chill and chow, so I went to the famous restaurant, The Mango tree. It was a seemingly cosy place with a tropical vibe, along with some good music, beer and beef on the menu. Tummy Khush!

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Next morning, at Vagator beach I walked barefoot by the sea and I’d never felt more alive than at that moment in my life! Of course, I was also simultaneously Face-timing with my eager roomie/bestie who didn’t want me to keep the experience to myself. The advancement of technology, eh?

I hired a pilot next to get me to Seaquarium beach, there’s something about secluded, non commercialized beaches that feels so serene! Next was Candolim beach reached on foot. After the ordeal, I refueled with King’s Beer and Chicken Xacuti and then off to Calangute beach, 15 minutes on foot in the sweltering heat that I beat with my favourite mint choco-chip ice-cream at a local Baskin Robin’s. The day was exhausting but worth it, but the night breeze at the beach was even better!

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My holiday was cut short because of some flight booking problems, but I decided to make the most of it anyway. I went to Anjuna beach with my trusty duffle bag. There, I doodled on the beach, got emotional about my trip getting over soon and got lost. Only to be helped by a total stranger who finally got me on my bus to the airport and finally on my way back home.

I’ve learned a lot from this trip, most importantly that it sometimes makes more sense to listen to your heart than the advice of everyone else. I also learned that sometimes, trusting strangers can work out in your favor, so be brave and explore!

Goa pro tip – Get a licence and explore on your own. No pilot. No local buses after dark.

Edited by: Aamil Syed

About Ipsita Dutta:

She is a Bangalan from a small town finding music in her life, one note at a time. Her goal in life is to explore as much as possible. She is a Disney employee by day, trip planner by night.

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