I had been planning a holiday for quite a long time, but my responsibilities at work did not provide me an opportunity to go out for a vacation. I realized that my mind and body could not handle the stress anymore, and I felt completely enervated. Moreover, a loss in my productivity and concentration levels was also affecting the team’s performance. To rejuvenate my tormented soul, I desperately needed a holiday to a distant place where I had never been before.
I wanted to surrender myself to the peacefulness of nature, and so, I searched for that heavenly place on Earth in the travel guides of my home library, but I could not find any. Then I did a meticulous research on internet, and eventually, my laborious research showed me some beautiful pictures of golden beaches, sea waves, hilly terrains with palm trees, lush green vegetation in a vast countryside, and soon, my fantasies took me to this paradise on Earth- Goa. Goa is the smallest of the twenty eight states in the democratic republic of India, which is located in South Asia.
When I landed at the Dabolim International airport in Goa, I was greeted by two pretty Indian ladies, who were dressed in a traditional saree- one of them put a garland around my neck, and the other one smeared a fragrant paste of sandalwood in the center of my forehead. With such a gracious welcome, I felt important, but I found that all the arriving tourists were being greeted in a similar manner. I felt as if I had come to another home in a distant country. I took a cab to my hotel, which was a three-star resort on the Candolim beach in North Goa.
It was a luxurious resort with swimming pool, spa, beautiful garden, and air-conditioned rooms. I had arrived in Goa in November when the daytime temperature is 30 Celsius, and the night temperature is about 20 Celsius. Since the resort was on the beach, I could smell the fragrance of the sea breeze. The guests in the hotel were mainly from Europe, North America and Australia, while some Indian families had also come in a group tour. As the weather was a little hot for me, I put on my shorts and a T-shirt, and I went to the adjoining beach.
What an awesome sight it was! I saw a series of huge sea waves, trying to jump over another, as if uniting to conquer the shore and my resort. Alas! The mighty waves had to retreat every time they tried, and it went on, but all in vain. I must have watched it for nearly an hour, like a child trying to find a solution to a never-ending problem. Soon, I regained my maturity, and I continued walking on the beach sand. I removed my sandals as they were a little uncomfortable to walk on a cushion of dry, coarse and loose sand.
At first, it was a little strange, but then I started enjoying the tickle and the acupressure provided by the beach sand. I walked for nearly one kilometer, and then I went near the sea waves. It seemed as if the sea waves were calling me, and wanted to play with me. Hesitant but brave, scared but determined, I took a dive into the sea waves. As I was enjoying the gentle touch of sea water, a mighty wave lifted me, and plunged me onto the shore. I asked myself, “Am I alive”? It was like a memorable roller coaster ride, which the friendly sea waves had given to me, and for no fare.
I felt so happy while playing with the sea waves that I spent nearly six hours daily on the beaches of Goa for the next one week. Being an adventurer, I always want to explore different places on my beautiful planet. Every moment of my vacation in Goa was becoming full of enjoyment, relaxation and rejuvenation. Since Goa has an area of more than 3500 square kilometers, and nearly 100 kilometers of coastline, I needed different modes of transportation. The cheapest way was to hire a scooter, or a motor cycle.
Since I had driven only cars and bicycles in my country, I learnt driving the motor cycle in Goa. It took me a couple of days to balance the weight of the vehicle, and of course, my own weight too. Thereafter, it was a memorable and adventurous road trip along the coastline. During the daytime, I drove amidst lush green vegetation in the countryside, starting from the Candolim beach upto the northern Arambol beach. Driving through the hilly terrains was fun, though risky at sometime; however, I managed to squeeze through narrow lanes, and that’s what I call an adventure travel.
In the evening, I tasted cuisines from different parts of India. Since Goa is a cosmopolitan tourist place, it has a variety of restaurants offering north Indian food like chapatti with delicious dal makhani, spicy south Indian food like dosa and uttapam, and the Goan food, which has rice and tasty fish curry as the most popular items on the menu. After my supper, I would enjoy sipping water from a coconut fruit, and I did that in a traditional Goan style.
I like to live the way the locals do; hence, I had developed friendship with some folks, even learnt some words from the Goan language called “Konkani,” and it’s needless to say that Goans are very friendly and hospitable people. A large part of Goa is covered with forests, which allows an abundant growth of cashews. When I learnt about an alcohol derivative called “fenny,” which is made from cashews; I felt my trip would be incomplete without trying its taste. Although I am a teetotaler, I had a sip of it, but I must confess that it was too bitter for me.
Nevertheless, I took a couple of bottles of the Goan fenny for my buddies in my hometown. The night life in Goa was full of entertainment. Since Goa was a Portuguese colony for nearly 450 years before attaining independence in 1961, it has a western culture with bars and discotheques scattered all around the state, and some beach shacks organize special parties for the tourists. The youth and the elderly love to enjoy their lives with their friends and family members. During my brief holiday in Goa, I felt myself homely, and a part of the Goan family.