iTimeTravel | Staycation-ing in Goa

There are a few places that, by the mere utterance of their names create and command a visual imagery of their own – so much so that sometimes one needn’t have to have visited them to know what they may look like!
Goa is one of them.

Houses like these #SoMuchLove | Goa, India (February 2016)
Houses like these #SoMuchLove | Goa, India (March 2016)
So around two months ago when I’d gone about announcing to my tiny inner circle of friends that I would be spending a couple of days in Goa, it was not surprising to watch as their eyes widened with envy.

But Goa has meant different things to me. May be because between the ages of 8 and 18, I’ve annually spent three months (courtesy the summer and Diwali break at school) beach bumming and sumptuous food gobbling in the land of sun, sand, sea and so much more.
I recall ‘Kings’ being around and being as much of a rage among the locals even back then – as were many of the other brewed fluids!

May be that is why as infrequent as my trips have gotten over the past decade, Goa remains a trip down memory lane for me rather than living a life out of a travel brochure!
Goa feels like home. On second thoughts, I stand corrected: Goa IS home.

You'll see one of these at every bend in the road | Goa, India (March 2016)
You'll see one of these at every bend in the road | Goa, India (March 2016)
My parents have had a home in Goa that I realised (albeit belatedly and in a tube light moment of sorts) that I could go coop in when pangs of getting away from Mumbai got intense. Quite naturally then in less than a week after that realization, I packed my bags for my very first staycation! Yes, staycation.

The getaway was an opportune moment as I had to catch up with some writing. Being holed up and away from the distractions of the internet and the temptations of catching up with friends and acquaintances was a reprieve I had to grant myself. So Goa it was!

A train journey after I’d arrived in Goa, I spent my first thirty minutes simply walking around the house - that surprisingly was a gentle reminder of how much having physical space of my own mattered to me. And just like that, over those next few days it was just me and my thoughts - thoughts from being present and in the moment!

As well as thoughts from being that 8 year old who once frequented the same house and its adjoining lanes with their quaint shops
I stood in our backyard recounting the times I’d climbed walls with much trepidation, fearing how I might miss a step and fall straight into the ditch right next to me. But in all those years, I never fell and in turn conquered one of my many fears!
I recalled the times I’d made friends with 3 four-legged fur balls who’d gone on to await our return every single time over those 10 years – sometimes with an addition or so also ecstatically wagging their dainty behinds to welcome us!
I recalled the times I’d wait to hear a thud and make a dash for a ripe mango that had fallen off from the tree …before the herd of pigs strolling by got to it!

Sadly the quaint shops have had to make way for a few not-as-quaint supermarket stores
The walls now have barbed wires around them to prevent encroachment …so I couldn’t walk on them
The fur balls haven’t outlived their lifespan – so I had nobody to welcome my arrival
The mango tree has been taken over by a parasitic plant and the open plain fields where the pigs once strolled has now made way for 6 and 10 storeyed structures

The mango tree in its current avatar and the concrete structures behind it | Goa, India March 2016
The mango tree in its current avatar and the concrete structures behind it | Goa, India March 2016

The skyline of Goa has changed ...and how | Goa, India (March 2016)
The skyline of Goa has changed ...and how | Goa, India (March 2016)
During the evenings I’d step outside and walk the lanes that have now since changed – the skyline today is a lot more concretised than my 8 year old self recognises - or for that matter, my current self prefers!

But then, change is the only constant.

In just the same way that I recognise the changes I’ve brought about in my own self over the years. And thankfully, unlike the cement structures, I can rewrite some of my changes that haven’t served me well!

Because silhouettes... | Goa, India (March 2016)
Because silhouettes... | Goa, India (March 2016)

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