Happy New Year!
That time of the year when we all stop and look back at the year gone by. We inadvertently take stock of what we did in the year gone by, and what we potentially want to do in the coming year. For years, I have been writing this post mostly talking about my travels of the previous years and the lessons learned.
In India I explored Amaravati in a unique way, Kumaon for the first time, Jaipur again but in a more focused way, bit of unseen Karnataka, some new walks in Goa Stories at Assagao and Madgaon and a half-abandoned trip to Ladakh that let me explore the Zojila Pass.
I am gearing towards more focused travel that lets me connect with the destination. I am really happy the way I did my solo trips to Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and Canada.
Our new initiative our Hindi Travel Blog – started making a place for itself in the Hindi Blogging World. If you have not seen it yet, go check it out.
This January I also complete my 4 years in Goa, so let me share some Goa Stories and anecdotes from living in the hottest tourist destination of India.
And yes, this year this blog turned 13 – hence the musings of a teenage blog.
Come any kinds of holidays, including long weekends and sometimes just weekends, we have loads of guests among the tourists in Goa. It is a pleasure to meet friends of all ages and stages of life. Some of them leave us with stories or experiences we would not forget. I wish I had some superpowers to fulfill all the wishes that my readers and friends come to Goa with. Till then, here are some quirky anecdotes for you.
Can I stay with you?
This is a request that most people who live in Goa receive constantly. No complaints. We love having guests over at home. However, sometimes it takes proportions that adds to my Goa Stories to tell.
A gentleman who happened to have attended a public talk of mine took my contact number. In my naivety, I shared the number. He would call once in a while and always wanted to know where I am traveling next. So far, So good.
One December, he called and this is how the conversation went:
Caller – Hey, I am coming to Goa with family. (Family includes few grown up working adults)
Me – Great, it is a good time to be in Goa.
Caller – We would like to stay with you.
Me – Hmm…You know in December & we have friends & relatives coming
The conversation after this is something that you would not like to hear.
How I wish my home space could multiply every December to accommodate everyone who comes to Goa.
Thriving Hotel industry of Goa would want to kill me but that is another story.
Can you find me a house in Goa?
I met a visiting travel blogger X at some event in Goa.
A few days later I get a phone call from a woman. So, goes the conversation:
She- Hi, my name is Y & I got your no from X who met you at the Blah Blah event last month. Me – Hi Y, tell me.
She – I want to move to Goa and I need your help in finding a house.
Me – Oh, please refer to Navhind Times – they have the best rental listings. I used them when I was looking for a house to rent.
She – Oh No, I want you to find me a house.
Me – How? (confused in my head)
She – See, I need a two-bedroom house close to a beach and costing not more than peanuts. Locality should be great and safe, I need to stay alone you see. I do not have a car so it should be close to bus stop etc etc etc. Can you look for some houses, shortlist the best ones and show me when I come next month?
Me – M’am, you are mistaken, I do not run a property management company.
She – Oh yes, I know you are a travel blogger and all that. But, since you live in Goa, you can do this for me.
Me – Well, I do not do this usually, but I can do this as a special case for you. The fee would be Rs XXXXXX. Please share your email Id to send the invoice.
You guessed it, I never heard back from the lady.
Now, am I missing a big business opportunity in helping people relocate to Goa? I would definitely make more money than what I make in travel blogging.
Can you show me offbeat Goa?
Now, being a travel blogger – this is a pretty obvious and legitimate request. Ii is good as long as you need information. I would, more often than not, end up pointing them to what I now call my Goa Puran – a collection of offbeat Goa posts on IndiTales.
Sometimes, the conversation takes interesting turns.
A regular reader writes to me.
Reader – Hey Anuradha, am coming to Goa for 10 days from My Wish to Meri Marzi. Please keep yourself free.
Me – Sure, I would take you for a heritage walk one of the days if I am in town.
Reader – How can you say that! I am coming to Goa for you. Can you not take out 10 days to travel around with me? If you are not spending 10 days with me, I am not coming.
Me – (Should I be flattered or should I feel vulnerable)
It is one of those Goa Stories where am still at loss for words ????
Hey, I am in Goa, Come & Meet Me!
This is the more common one.
Someone – Hey, I am in Goa!
Me – (my reflex action actually) – Which Part of Goa?
Someone – Arambol – where else? (or it could be Palolem too)
Me – Well, that’s about 50 km from Panjim. Are you coming to Panjim?
Someone – Hey, I came all the way from Delhi (or Bangalore or USA) can you not come to meet me?
Me – Well, I am just waiting for Uber to launch its Sky Taxi in Goa. You know they may get the permission for sky taxis more easily than road taxis. Will come as soon as they launch.
How I wish the transport options in Goa were easy with easy taxis, waterways or maybe even air taxis
You Live in Goa – You must be on perpetual vacation!
Believe me, no. of times people have assumed that since I live in Goa – I do not need to work.
How I wish, their assumptions become reality. Until the time bills do not forget my address – I will have to work and most days work takes priority over the breath-taking sunsets of Goa.
Here is wishing you a very Happy New Year. May 2018 be filled with the warmth of your loved ones, of sunrise and sunsets, of peace within!