Visiting a place for the first time gives you a frisson of excitement. There’s a curiosity to learn about a world that’s unlike yours, see places and meet people with stories of their own. But such adventurous trips can be pretty daunting too, having no idea what to expect.
And since you’ve made up your mind for a vacation (since you are reading the article) and seem a little indecisive about the destination. Here are four reasons why Goa will suit you best.
Goa, the smallest state in India, has kept up with time. In so many ways the phrase ‘Goa has changed’ holds truth. And yet, as you walk through the city lanes you are met by nostalgia. If you listen well, the heritage structures tell a tale of their own tested times.
Be it the churches at Old Goa or forts at Aguada and Reis Magos, these heritage sites with their innate and elaborate architectural works help you get a sense of Goa’s past.
And you will feel, rather than notice, that you’ve entered a Goan village. Travelling to the hinterlands the air gets a bit cooler, the vistas turn a lot greener and people seem to go about their quotidian at a pace that feels so natural - it’s quite contagious.
Besides its cuisine, every other cultural aspect of Goa endears the locals and tourists alike. Age-old customs and religious rituals are practiced devoutly to this date. Even in remote villages, traditions of worshipping nature and other folklore unique to the land are held sacred.
And while celebrations, parties and festivities roll out throughout the year, the never fading enthusiasm of the locals reveals their ‘living in the moment’ character.
A WARM HUG LIKE HOME
And how does an unfamiliar place turn home? With that straight-from-the-heart ‘dev boro dis duim’ (have a good day) from a stranger you just met. An inherited trait passed down generations in being hospitable and welcoming.
There’s comfort knowing that Goans go out of their way to make sure one feels belonged. For instance, they’ll communicate in some broken English but will ensure you find the help. And, if you show some interest, they’ll give you a free course and teach you a few Konkani (the language spoken in the state) words.
Like hosting a guest, Goa loves to treat and accept people into their abode. And while it makes you feel at home, it’s also expected that you treat Goa as home. Creating a nuisance, breaking basic rules and littering the place aren’t taken well.
As a tourist destination, with amenities like the exuberant nightlife, watersports activities and other attractions, Goa is a perfect getaway. Besides the experiences, Goa leaves you with memories to cherish forever.
It could be the little things - that time you shopped at the flea market at Anjuna, managed to follow the instructions given by a complete stranger, took a walk under the moonlight at the Agonda beach or relished Goan sausage pulao at a shack—Goa will make you want to extend that trip.
With that craving to venture out to see more and the contrasting urge to just relax and unwind at some beach, when it’s finally time to say goodbye, you will return with a suitcase full of Goan stories and memories.