This was a vacation long time coming. I hadn’t been to Goa in 8 years; and I hadn’t gone on a real vacation in more than 2 years. I had traveled several times in these 2 years but I can’t really count them as vacations. I am a half Goan and had been there twice before. Almost everyone I know had been traveling there but not me, I just did not get that chance, that is up until now. My friend suggested going there and I jumped at the chance. I love Goa a lot, it’s my happy place. It always gets me euphoric.
I was traveling with one of my closest friends and two of her friends. We had an early morning flight but since we had some issues with transport to the airport, we decided to spend the night there. We kept awake all night, talking and reminiscing about our days when we worked together. Since we were only 4 girls traveling, our parents had given us a thousand instructions. The flight was only an hour’s duration. We mostly kept awake. My friend was incredibly sweet as she let me lean on to her to catch some beautiful sights outside. We felt so excited when we saw the plane was flying over a beach!
We had booked a service apartment in Goa, which worked out much cheaper than a hotel. Once we checked in, we slept off for quite a while since we were so sleep deprived. When we woke up, it was about 4 in the evening. We were discussing where we could go; I suggested the beach. It felt like the beach was beckoning me, so I just googled the nearest one and decided to go there. Baga Beach was the nearest. The sun was just setting when we reached, I was so excited! As soon as the waves touched my feet, I was in heaven. I just stood there in the water and the waves kept crashing into me. It was high tide time, so the waves were quite high and intense. Two of my friends are national level swimmers, so I held their hands to keep myself stable. We sat down on the beach after a while. I felt at peace after such a long time. Beach is my happy place and I loved every bit of it. Breathing in that fresh air and listening to the sound of the waves; it just gave me what I had needed in a long time; peace and quiet. I did not give a single moment of thought to any of my worries back home. I wanted to live in the moment. I just took it all in.
Next day we went to the Calangute beach for the water sports and some shopping. It’s an extremely crowded beach, so there is not much tranquility. First we went for parasailing. I have done parasailing on land when I was 13 years old, at my uncle’s army cantonment. People often ask me if I felt scared; but I didn’t. I have never had a fear of heights. In fact I have plans to do skydiving someday. First we climbed onto a small boat where we wore our life vests and we were taken to another boat which would be used for parasailing, quite far out into the sea. There were about 10 people on the boat, a group of guys and us girls. First the guys had their turn. When our turn came, I recorded the video on my phone while the other one clicked pictures on my digital camera. When my friend was up sailing, the instructor put the harness on me; I was so excited. I was then tied to the parachute. As the boat began accelerating, I began ascending. After just little bit of ascension, I was dipped in the water for a few seconds. Then I ascended again. I could see the vast expanse of the sea widening as I went higher and higher. The view was incredibly breath-taking! As cliched as it may sound, I really felt like I could fly. I could feel the wind on my face. I was screaming all the while, not because of fear, but because of the excitement. I felt so free. I could see the boat as a tiny speck. I was gliding in the air; soaring in the sky. And then suddenly I felt like I was descending; before I knew it, I was approaching the water. They dipped me in the water again. I felt the water suddenly hit my legs and a bit of salty water splashed my face. The water felt so cool. And then again, I was yanked up a little. This time I could see the beach as well and the people looked like tiny ants. I was again descending; they dipped me again as my legs were flailing in the water. After the third dip, as the boat turned around once more, I was ascending again, one last time; I took in the sights which would be etched forever in my memory. I saw the limitless sea and felt so happy. I began descending slowly and I landed softly on the boat. It was so exhilarating and thrilling, I felt like I could be on a high. It was really beautiful!
We had plans to do other water sports but nothing could top parasailing, so we decided not to do them. We just had lunch and went back to the hotel for a rest. In the evening we were contemplating where to go when we decided to go the Chapora Fort. Vagator beach is close to this fort. It was quite a climb up. The problem was that I wasn’t wearing my shoes; I was wearing the beach worthy rubber flip-flops. So climbing was a huge challenge. But somehow we climbed up and went inside. It’s in ruins; it has a beautiful view of the beach and the sea. We left from there once it got way too dark, we had to use our phone torch to climb down.
For dinner, we went to a famous place called Curlies, a beach shack on Anjuna Beach. But it did not live up to our expectations; in fact it was horrible! We regretted going there. Somehow we ate and left quickly to reach back to the apartment.
The following day we had plans to visit three beaches and then an evening party. First we went to Arambole Beach. During daytime, it is one of the most peaceful beaches in Goa, there is hardly any crowd and it’s a really beautiful beach. We just stood in the water, clicked pictures and again felt the waves hit us. My elation knew no bounds. I was ecstatic just being there in the water. The heat did not get to me, it was really breezy and amazing! One thing I really love to do is collect shells, fossils and stones on the beach; it’s been a hobby I have indulged in all my life. I have an enormous collection of them at home and I have displayed many of them in my room. I picked up a few nice ones. My friends helped me out too. It was so serene. When we got hungry, we went to one of the shacks and had an amazing lunch. We couldn’t have enough of the water, so we again went out to the water and stood there feeling the waves and serenity gripping us once again.
Next up was Ashwem Beach, which was nice but not that great. And there was a lot of crowd. The third in the line was Morjim beach. We had heard the sunset there looks really beautiful! So we spent quite a lot of time there. I took a picture there, posing with a V sign, as a celebration of Roger Federer’s Australian Open win, his 18th slam which came after a long time. While one my friends sat down, the three of us walked down towards one stretch of the beach. We kept on walking for quite a while, it was so beautiful. A little ahead, we saw a flock of seagulls sitting. I clicked a picture of them while they had just begun flying from there.It was a beautiful sight.
When we came back to where my friend was sitting, it was almost sunset time. We sat on the beach and waited. As the sun began setting, it truly looked beautiful. It was a mesmerizing sight; it was absolutely worth the wait. Since it was our last day on the beach, I didn’t feel like leaving from there. But as we had a dinner celebration to get to, we reluctantly left from there.
For dinner we went to a very famous Goan pub called Tito’s. One of the girls is getting married, so this was like a mini bachelorette party for her. The food was good and the ambience was really nice. There were some fire acrobatics as well.
Next day was our last day in Goa, we had a few hours before boarding the train. So we visited the famous Fort Aguada. I had seen it before on my last trip there, but no one else in my group had. I love that place so I was happily ready. It was built by the Portuguese and it is famous for its water aqueducts and the lighthouse. I love the architecture there, it’s so incredibly beautiful! There were two sets of stairs near the edge of the fort. They looked like they led to some kind of dungeons below. My friend and I felt like maybe we were in an Indiana Jones movie, or even National Treasure. We were contemplating climbing down to check but then we decided against it.
Once we reached the railway station, we had lunch first and then we boarded the train. During our journey, we played Uno, a fun card game. I am not that great with card games but I won a few of them. It was really funny! We wanted to see the Dudhsagar falls but we could only catch a glimpse as the train sped past it. Two of us took the lower berths; I kept myself awake for half the night to be vigilant about our luggage and my friend kept awake after that. We reached back early morning; I took the metro to reach to the nearest station near my home and my dad was there to pick me up.
Thus ended my beautiful, 4 day, all girls trip to Goa. I wish I could have stayed longer. I had great company and I had loads of fun and my stress was so much lower than before. Next time I shall definitely plan a longer vacation, for I know Goa will always beckon me to its shores and I shall keep going.