It was in the summer of 1990 that I first visited Goa. Back then I didn’t travel much because I was still in school, studying art. And unlike the opportunities available to young kids today, we were fairly restricted by a ton of factors in India.
There were four of us. Girls. And we hung out all the time together and were thick as thieves. It was a beautiful time. We spoke of the trip, hoping our parents would give us permission to travel together (yes that was a thing back then and still is for young adult girls in India). We acquired that permission because even though the trip involved a few cities, we would only be staying with families of one of us. That was one of the reasons for our parents saying yes. And we had to stay with people we knew because we had no money. We had no instagram accounts and no one to sponsor us and the thrill of putting it together, the thrill of working as a team is unlike any other feeling of joy. Between the four of us we divided our tasks and duties. We had so much fun, like the person in charge of money between us fed us only bananas for days!!! Priceless right? And sooo much fun.
I have suffered from wanderlust all my life. It somehow quietens that restlessness in me. After a hiatus from it for a long time, I am finally back to travelling again. So when the opportunity came back to travel to Goa, I grabbed it. I wanted to relive that innocent time with my friends again, of which I had only the vaguest memories.
Landing in Goa, felt strange. Like time had stood still and transported me back in time. Goa was like I remembered it. Lush green and innocent in its glory just like my memories. The last time I visited. I was in North Goa, known for its wild touristic appeal with its parties and food shacks. This time I landed in South Goa. I am so glad I did. It was even greener and so calm. I desperately needed the calm to relax after my hectic workshop in Jaipur just a day before I arrived in Goa.
I stayed at The Planet Hollywood, the perfect spot, if relaxing is what you want to do when you travel. No thousand tourists, no parties. Just nature. Pure nature. And a beach so close, it felt it was right next to my room. I have never felt so happy in my skin as I felt when I visited Goa and this property. They just quietly let me choose my pace. No bugging me, just leaving me alone and pampering me when I needed it.
On day 1, I arrived, got shown to my room, which was so cosy and looked out onto the pool. So I heard some amounts of splashing which was quite nice. I ate a delicious lunch with lots of veggie delights and particularly liked the beetroot steamed momo’s. Relaxed in my room after and chose to just laze, walk to the beach and just laze some more. The beach btw, unbelievably clean and shimmered like liquid gold. So beautiful.
Day 2, I went for an epic picnic in a spot perched up on a hill with a haunted church to keep me company. It was awesome! And so incredibly quaint. The church abandoned, and only has lovers come and keep it somewhat alive. From on top of the hill I had vast views of all of Goa, the beach on one side and a a train choo choo-ing on the other. I felt I had landed into the pages of a R.K. Narayan book with no desire to leave.
Lunch was the most incredibly thali with all sorts of Goanese delicacies made especially for yours truly since I am vegetarian and almost of Goa is not! I learned of the toddy vinegar available only in Goa. So I’m definitely going back for that! I don’t think I have eaten so much in my life. I am a very finicky eater. To the point of being annoying. And I couldn’t find fault in anything they served. Absolutely finger lickingly delicious!
I have also recently been very attracted to plants and flowers and was pleasantly surprised at the wide variety of plant life Plant Hollywood possessed. Their horticulturist showed me all the spices they grew. As a food blogger it was so cool to see some fresh spices that I had never seen grown before and made acquaintance with spices I had never even heard of. I seriously wanted to bring their horticulturist back home with me. 🙂
There were a few things that struck me and stood out the most on this short trip of just two days. One the quiet desolation of the abandoned homes reminiscent of the Portuguese in this area. Large properties, lying in ruin, awaiting for some sort of restoration to their past glory. I felt so sad for these homes. I imagined a time when they were in full swing, beautiful and loved by the people that made them. Today they lie empty. with not a soul inhabiting them. Homes love people. When people leave they fall to ruin.
The other thing was the color palette of the homes in Goa. The houses were every color but white. Now Rotterdam has the same in some parts but it just doesn’t work here. I intensely dislike the use of color. I am more of a monochromatic kind of girl. But in Goa, it worked. Don’t ask me why or how. It just did. Aesthetics are everything for me and in Goa they get it right. My eyes were satiated with what they saw.
So go here if you want to be close to nature. Want to see color everywhere you look, in personality and in paint and where you can find a little part of yourself.
Thank you to Planet Hollywood for curating this experience for me.