” Don’t wait for the people or hold back from living your dreams. You could be waiting a long time until someone eventually says yes. There’s only now and if you don’t go, you’ll regret”.
Travel had always been in my mind. I made plans every year , begged my friends and colleagues to join me. Some would say I’ll think about it, another would say not this year. I had been putting off a trip as I was waiting for someone to run with me.
One day, I resolved that I won’t let others keep me far from realising my dreams. It can be unnerving and intimidating travelling alone, especially when you have never executed it before, yet for me growing old without encountering the experiences I always aspire to be is more frightening.
This is how I had started travelling solo, my first solo trip to Goa. I booked flight tickets ,hostels , packed my bag and then boarded the flight to Goa. I landed in Goa at 12:PM. Outside the exit entrance ,the chauffeur was waiting for me holding a chart on which my name was written in big bold letters ,I waved him from exit entrance. And then headed toward my destination – Anjuna where I had pre- booked a hostel named Wishing Well for three days.
Along the way, I was going through so many emotions. I was petrified at the same time excited. Petrified coz I didn’t know anyone there, I had no idea about the place and the people,excited coz I had finally made it.The feeling of being alone in a foreign land was extremely stirring.
It was a six hour journey from Guwahati . I haven’t had anything on the way, my stomach was rumbling, so I held back on the way to quite my growling belly. I had the delicious Goan “curry, vindaloo ” and chapaties.
I reached hostel at around 1:30 PM .I was damned tired , so snuggled inside the blanket.
The next morning I woke up at 5:30 in the morning,freshened up ,set out to explore Anjuna , a small laid back village in the coast of Arabian Sea . Once it was the hub for hippies, but now it is renowned for electric music , rave parties, beach , Wednesday flea market and aqua adventure .
Anjuna beach was walking distance from the hostel. The first thing in the morning, I decided to explore the beach .So I went to the beach . It was a peaceful morning not many people were around , the sun was slowly rising above the horizon ,soaring sound of sea waves and the chirping of the birds made the morning very mystifying .
I being an adventurous soul, thought why not give a shot to aqua adventure. I took a ride on jet ski and tried banana ride .The experience of riding both the water sports were thrilling and terrific .
Whole day I spent on the beach walking one end of a shore to another end ,listening sea waves . As it was Wednesday so I visited the flea market ,did some shopping and watched sunset in the beach .By the evening I was exhausted, went back to the hostel .
The following day I planned to explore nearby areas of Anjuna. Saddest part of the journey is that I couldn’t ride bikes, . My trip would have been very different, if I would have known how to ride bike . You can take a bike in rent , it’s quite affordable and you can go anywhere you desired to. Best mode to explore Goa is by bike. I had to hire a bike and the pilot to explore Anjuna .I hopped from one beach to another – Baga beach,Calungute Beach and Vagator Beach .These beaches are commercial beaches ,many people flock to the beach everyday.These beaches are very popular among the Indian tourist.
I walked from Vagator Beach to Chafora Fort around six kilometres as I wanted to see Goan lives closely.They were humbled enough to show me the direction. Goans are very cordial and welcoming.I found out that they are very helpful .They lead a very simple life.I feel Goan are somewhat laid back.
I halted in between the way,interacted with locals ,they even offered me coconut water. I met a gentle lady, she gave me a hat to save myself from scorching heat. Once I was lost in the middle of nowhere , I was tired and drenched in sweat. I asked for help and a stranger immediately reciprocated,a kind old man dropped me to my destination. You are never alone when you stumble and misstep people are always there to hold your back,you just need to open up and ask for assistance. I was literally moved by their kind gesture. It reminded me that world is still filled with kind hearted people.
After walking one hour ,I was welcomed by a uphill which lead to Chafora fort..I trekked the uphill , eventually made it to Chafora Fort, view from the fort was stunning. I spent few hours there taking pics and chatting with the other travellers.
I was concerned before the trip that if I travel solo I would be alone, but you are surrounded by people all over. You are never alone when you trip. I had made some wonderful friends during my stay in Goa. The reason why I opted to stay in hostels, to meet the other travellers. At hostels you meet people from all over the globe. You get to share ideas and experience with each other. You learn so much about people that way.
Succeeding day I took the bus to Morjim ,I stayed in wonderland hostel.I check out the nearby tourist spot and the beaches : Morjim beach, white sand beach,Ashvem beach and Arambol beach.I plunged in the beach,had sun bath and read novel,I had a relaxing day in Arambol beach.
At night, I visited Morjim beach, it’s a tranquil beach, not many tourists were around. I had a great time gazing at stars, having candle night dinner,enjoying the waves and experiencing the whispering cool breeze..It was such an awe-inspiring experience, couldn’t describe in words.This how I had spent my four days in North Goa.
To hit it short, I had spent another four days exploring South Goa. I travelled by a train to reach south Goa.I stayed there in Red Door Hostel. Palolem beach and Agonda Beach, I liked the most. These two beaches are very serene and less crowded . I spent my days in south Goa playing frisbee on the beach. I had ferried ride to Butterfly Beach from the Palolem beach on the way I had encountered Dolphins. Watching Dolphins swimming in the Ocean were a delicacy to my eye. I had done kayaking. It was an exhilarating moment.
Travelling solo is an extraordinary experience. It can be viewed as terrifying, scary and daunting, particularly if you are female solo traveller. Its like do or die situation, either you sink or swim. You must learn how to pull through in a foreign land.You need to know whom to trust,how to make friends, how you’ll find your way around.
So far , for me travelling alone means diving into the vast ocean of wonderful opportunities to recognize oneself. It is the best way to reach out to oneself. Travelling alone gives you ample time to introspect, discover yourself. Voyaging alone lets you to be the organic you. You don’t need to pretend to be the individual who is not you. It allows you to be truly who you are. Solo travel provides you the opportunity to unburden yourself from all the levels you have hoarded over the time to fit into the norms of society. Under the numerous layer, your true self has been lost somewhere. So it gives you the chance to shed all the layers and identify yourself.
Becoming used to your own company will change the perspective, what’s important, and can even give you clarity of mind to think differently. Going solo presents you with ultimate freedom. It’s just you – what you need, where you need and how you need. There is no one to force you in any one direction. It’s like looking into the mirror, seeing the child you were. It gives you a wake up call. Suddenly you start appreciating everything in your surroundings, you find joy in every little thing. You relish every bit of you. I realised while travelling that life is not about dwelling in luxury rather life is exclusively about being happy.
The greatest gift of travelling solo is the person you become, forever the best version of you. At the end of the journey I became more independent, confident, positive and in sync with my emotions and desires.
I would recommend every solo female traveller to visit Goa once in a lifetime. I feel Goa is one of the safest destination for solo female traveller.
This post is my way of showing gratitude to all the strangers who had made my stay in Goa worthwhile.