The Backpacker in Goa

I arrived in India about 18 months ago on a backpacking trip on my own and I never thought I would end up living there.

Living in Goa is laidback and a pretty easy way of live as the time passes slowly and although the costs of living is low thae quality of life is beyond my expectations.

Surprisingly, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to food and drink as there are many restaurants in Goa and a lot of them are run by hippie beach-goers who moved out there back in the 70s and 80s to live the dream and when you speak to them, they will all tell you that they are doing the job that they love and make just enough money to get by.

Many expats here own their own bars, cafes, teach yoga, Reiki, massage, sell handicrafts, or are digital nomads. I spend most of my day working from my computer at a pool, beach or cafe which I adore and then go out for dinner in the evening have drinks with friends too, all in all, my life is not too stressful at all.

Goa

Goa is not the place where you can only spend a few days as there is so much to see and explore so I would give yourself at least a couple of weeks. If you do have to cut your stay short then I would recommend that you visit Vagator or Anjuna beach where you can really get to know the laid back locals.

Unsurprisingly, the best thing to do in Goa is heading down to the beach to soak up the glorious sunshine and treat yourself to a spot of pampering whether it be hair threading, massage or just enjoying the beautiful surroundings. You can do a spot of shopping if you wish but if you’re lucky, women will come by on the beach selling anything from jewellery to brightly coloured sarongs.

I found during my stay that there some favourite restaurants that are a must visit including, Basilico for a tasty Italian meal, Thalassa for the best Greek food where you can also absorb one of the best sunsets that you will ever see. A trip to Goa would not be complete without sampling the seafood from the beach huts.

Goa has it’s local curries including and some of the most popular being xacuti, cafreal, vindaloo, sorpotel eaten with fermented rice cakes called sannas. The local drink is called “cashew fen” which can only be found in Goa and will blow your head off.

music-576989_1920Goa is famous for psychedelic trance parties so even if you don’t like the music it’s worth checking out because at the very least it will be an eye opener. Just think twice before you accept a drink from someone as it might be “magic”!! There are more mainstream clubs and some of the bests one to try out are Teso, Club Paradise and Club Cubana.

High season is October through to March and normally peaks in December. If you are staying on for several weeks then you are more than likely to come across a saturday night market which I love as it is filled with live music, great food and fabulous Indian handcrafts. Wednesdays host a flea market during the day where they will have more locally produced treats over the westernised crafts.

To explore Goa, I would recommend you either hire a bike or car so you can adventure out to the places further afield. Inland you can take to some beautiful waterfalls, rafting, see the spice plantation or explore the old Goa which has a lot of character.

I don’t believe that Goa is any less safe than any other of the popular countries expats travel to, I think if you have common sense and are alert to your surrounding then you will be just fine. Yes, you may find someone trying to scam you, but you will find this in most countries! One thing you may notice and that is local Indian men staring or taking photos or videos, but be assured this is more from a curiosity point of view and should be taken fairly lightly, the best thing to do is not let it wind you up! If you are friendly and kind to India then it will be friendly and kind back to you. It is a country that you will love and sometimes hate but it is versatile and I simply love it here.