My first solo travel to Goa, and why it mattered

2nd May 2017

"If ever one can define a defining moment, A traveler can never stop with one"

Well honestly this past year, I have been asked multiple times why an extrovert like me chose to travel alone, and why I choose that over going with friends. Half of the people didn't even believe me when I said so. Some observations and reactions after this picture was out in the newspaper were, "Why did you give your full name in the paper", "You really went with your boyfriend and had an adventure, isn't it?", "Who goes solo when you're practically surrounded by millennials, all witty and spontaneous?" but others were sincere questions about managing a solo travel in India especially at this point of time where we hear so many stories that glorify the horrors that go on. It is not always that bad but there are few honest experiences that bring down our spirit but once you cross that feeling and get past it, You always have the moments you can cherish the most.

Photo of Goa, India by Ramya Balakrishna

Why Goa? It's simple in so many ways, The laid back atmosphere is all you need to clear your head. Goa achieves perfect bliss of music that gives you the sense of freedom, Even with the smallest of experiences like wearing the kinda clothes that are comfortable, Well if you love beer then please by all means no one bothers if you're holding a beer and are on your own. You will be hit on by multiple guys but nothing you can't handle. The locals of Goa are genuinely helpful and friendly.

My itinerary was simple. I stayed in Panjim, Rented bike, went to Calangute Beach. Parasailing in Calangute beach was awesome.

Next, I went to the back side of Fort Aguada, to see the sunset. Followed by the night at Baga beach. I sang along in Karaoke Bar and sat at the beach for long until dawn. Next day went to South Goa, Vagator Beach. No matter how many times I go to this place, it never gets boring. A book, beer and me is all I need and the best views. I remember reading "Palace of Illusions" at the time. I couldn't put the book down. So I ended up sitting in one place for more than 5 hrs. I simply loved the time where I wasn't on "checklists" and "things to do" time. I breathed the sea breeze through Chapora Fort and felt absolutely at bliss.

Photo of My first solo travel to Goa, and why it mattered by Ramya Balakrishna
Photo of My first solo travel to Goa, and why it mattered by Ramya Balakrishna

The best part about this whole journey was one of the conversations with the Senior Manager of KRIPA Foundation. The rehabilitation center for alcoholics and people with other addictions. The foundation is spread across 75 countries. I got to understand the kind of therapy and the facilities they have and how life there changes you inside out. Those were some of the best few hours etched in my memory.

I also went to Saturday night market. It's when we are alone is when we observe so many things around us. Like the jewelry that is handmade at the street side and sold or the instant carvings on wood by the artist. They make all this in minutes and they are meticulous and innovative. Observing people create miraculous things also inspires us. It makes us realize that every art you create requires skill, patience, perseverance and most importantly time to invest without expecting anything in return, well at least initially.

Photo of My first solo travel to Goa, and why it mattered by Ramya Balakrishna

Honestly, world around me has changed for better. I have been traveling alone to so many places now. It has helped me understand people and their perspectives better. Changes in so many ways I never even imagined possible It always got better, since the time I decided to always move forward.

"Keep your passion close to your heart and move forward"