Saturday, 2 November 2019

Goa Tips from a Goa Hater!

Hi Readers! How are you all? Since we are stepping into the holiday season, I thought of writing about my recent trip to Goa. Usually, Goa is everyone’s go-to travel destination. It’s a vacation to chill & relax. Staying in hotels that have a beach view is mandatory. So is drinking, partying & what not. Most people love these vibes. I gave Goa a try, not once, not twice, but four times now. And every time, it let me down. So, compiling all my bad experiences, I thought of writing about the things that you MUST DO in Goa to not hate it entirely.

Now, I’m a pretty private person. I don’t like to talk much, with the exception of some 15 people. I hate partying. Drinking & smoking don’t interest me. But, I love beaches. I love to read. And, I love taking photos. So, for a person like me, ideally, I need to go to Goa with someone who is like me. If I go with friends who drag me into clubs or cruises, then obviously it won’t be an enjoyable experience for me. So, set your priorities. It can be anything!
You can stay in the hotel all of the days.
You can get high & drunk & wasted.
You can get scenic photos on the beach.
You can go sight-seeing like a tourist.
Your only agenda could be good food.
You can do all the above in Goa, but choose your company wisely & I cannot press on it enough. It really does matter. Be it friends or cousins or family or partner. You need what you need. So, think about that first & then go do what you want!
According to your priorities, you can plan the stay! If you don’t want to get out of the hotel at all, you can go for 5 star hotels which have their personal beach, infinity swimming pools, game rooms, spas & 5-star restaurant facility with room service. You get good food, good view & almost all the amenities that you need when on vacation.
If you want stunning beach photos, you got to research all the poses on Pinterest & Instagram, to be honest. Especially, if you are an awkward poser but still want good photos kind of a person.
Same goes for food. Check Youtube & Travel & Food Bloggers for restaurant recommendations!
I know this post is getting weird. You must be thinking, “I’m going to Goa to take a break from work & this lady is just asking me to get more work done, that too for a trip!” But, believe me, you will thank me later. After all, how can you chill if the hotel has drilling work on-going in the next room? How will you get Instagram-worthy photos if you just go there & do what pleases you. Nah. My mantra is research for everything! Most importantly, for trips. So, in a nutshell-

·        Stay where you have easy access to outside restaurants.
·        Stay at a walking distance from a 24/7 pharmacy for your midnight cravings for chips or your hunger swings or whatever.
·        Stay where you can rent a 2-wheeler easily. (More on this below)
·        Stay in a good hotel, instead of an AirBnB.
Ashvem Beach.
I cannot state this enough. If you plan on doing even half a day’s worth of sight-seeing, rent a 2-wheeler. It is non-negotiable. Transport in Goa really sucks. There is no Ola or Uber. There is an app called Goa Miles launched by the Goa Government. It is good to take you from & to the Goa Airport or Railway station, but not at all reliable for local sight-seeing. I was aware about this, but because of really sucky circumstances, I couldn’t get a bike, which brings me to my utterly woeful stories of every time I have visited Goa.

So, here’s my story of my latest trip. I stayed at an AirBnB in Ashvem, which is the uppermost part of Goa. It took me about 3 hours to reach the place from the Airport. It was beach facing & also had shops to rent out 2 wheelers. (Didn’t I tell you, I do research? But here’s how research failed me this time.) But, the number of problems I faced at that apartment are too many to state. Also, it was not at all close to the top attractions in Goa. I knew this when I booked the place. But, I thought, I could easily go wherever I wanted with the rented 2-wheeler. What I didn’t know was the condition of roads which made everything impossible. It was impossible to go from Ashvem to Anjuna or to Old Goa & then all the way back to Ashvem. So, the next day I checked out & checked in to an OYO Hotel which was in Mapusa. This was closer to Anjuna beach, but still the location was so unfortunate that there was no shop nearby to rent a bike. So, I had to book cabs all the time (which were very fluctuating) & ended up spending a lot of money on local transport. This is why, it is CRUCIAL to book a hotel close enough & to rent a bike. You cannot survive in Goa without these two, let alone ‘CHILL’. 
Ashvem Beach.
I went to Goa some 2 or 3 years ago with a group of then-friends. And, conclusion to point one – The Company Matters, it completely sucked. Their interests did not align with mine & I had the worst possible trip of my life that time. So, I’m stating it again, choose your company wisely. You cannot go to such places with people you can just about tolerate or people who are two-faced or frenemies. You have to go with your closest people who know & can handle all your tantrums & whose tantrums you know & can handle. I think Goa will work for me ONLY if I went with my best friend Sukanksha. With anyone else, I just cannot imagine it.

These two times were when I went to Goa with my family when I was a kid. I didn’t like it even then. It was either too sunny for me or too dirty or too fishy. I hated the weather & more so hated the tour guides who dragged me & my family for all-day sight-seeing. I should’ve stopped then, but it is my bad habit to give people & places more chances than they deserve. But, fourth time is definitely the limit. 
View of Vagator Beach from Chapora Fort.

So, all in all, if you always go to Goa, you probably already knew this. But, all you young teenagers who haven’t seen the real world, I hope I painted the real picture for you. It’s not a vacation, if you are not you.
Until next time,

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