Are you already planning your post-graduate or after-school trip to Goa? If you’re a student in India, I wouldn’t be shocked to know that you have planned going to Goa with your friends once in your life. You might has well have already been there. It is the land of partying where beer is cheaper than water and you can keep guzzling beer down your throat while you lay drunk with your friends. Club Cabana and other popular college hangout places in Goa are so crowded after boards, you might as well feel like one sheep in a herd of many. Goa is one of the most mainstream party destination where peddlers are easier to find than uncrowded spaces. The idea of laying on a crowded beach and waiting to do all those activities annoys me. It’s not only the crowd which makes me not like the idea of Goa, but also the way college students depict Goa.
It is considered to be one of those places where you go with the intention of breaking rules of legality by getting drunk. The intention of the trip is not to learn but it involves the idea of a “crazy” party scene. Never have I heard of a goa experience which did not involve the words “drunk”, “beer”, “nightclub” or “crazy”. All you pro-Goa students don’t realize what you’re missing out on during the most crucial years of your life when you should be learning and exploring.
Question: So what is that I’m speaking about which you guys are missing out on?
[Hint: It’s getting increasingly popularized over time and college students have just started experimenting it. It is an incredible experience and it involves addictions better than those that Goa has to offer to you. You may get bored of going to Goa over and over again even if you like to party. The nightclubs will be the same and the atmosphere of the club will remain constant. Your body will be tired of it and your mind will need a break. What I’m suggesting as an alternative will involve you getting the required break and you’ll keep wanting to do it again and again. No matter how many times you do it, it won’t be enough]
Answer: The alternative that I am suggesting happens to be trekking.
College students are now choosing trekking on a mountain together instead of going to Goa because they realize the importance of trekking. The experience is an amazing one where there is more learning and adventure.
Trekking helps to build stronger relationships with friends
Trekking involves going through difficult paths and helping each other in those paths. You get to stop your friend from slipping, live with them in a campsite when there is a hailstorm happening outside, enjoy a grand view of stars and you sit on the snow and enjoy deep conversations. You can eat Maggi with your friends when there is a hailstorm happening outside and even hot water would feel like a luxury in the cold. If you are from a city, the mountain will change you in some way by reaching out to your soul and you will notice this change with your friends. It is like going out to come back as something new and better. You also get to see the true nature of people on mountains because no one can be pretentious on the mountain. These appeal to me a lot more than the idea of going out and just lying drunk on a beach. Adding a little touch of challenge by sleeping in sleeping bags instead of a five-star hotel makes all the difference. Trekking makes you realize the value of things and of life whereas a Goa trip makes you devalue life and time by just drinking it all away.
You can party on the mountain as well
The definition of partying changes on the mountain where alcohol causes dehydration and you can be hit by Altitude Mountain Sickness. Any quantity of alcohol on the mountain is risky. The mountain only has cold water so even hot water feels like a luxury. You cannot blast music off full volume and dance because your feet will be freezing in the cold and you won’t feel like coming out of your sleeping bag until morning. There will however be midnight late conversations and you can play light music. A basic activity like singing also counts as partying on the mountain. Moreover, when you’re on the mountain, you won’t feel like partying anymore. The desire to party will be gone and all you will want to do is explore.
It gives you equal quantities of me-time and social time
Me-time is the time you spend alone thinking about the things you wouldn’t otherwise. It is just the time you have alone with your thoughts or with yourself. You can enjoy the beauty of the mountain and the vast landscapes that the mountain has to offer. You can just sit in the snow and read a book or enjoy the sunset. In Goa, you have no me-time to do anything alone. It is a huge social fiasco where you are just spending time with your friends. On the mountain, you do get to spend time with your friends but there are multiple things that you can do alone in the solitude of your personal space.
It also gives you the opportunity to introspect
Introspection is very important as it helps you to work on your future goals and strive harder to achieve your dreams. It also gives you a sense of calm and unleashes the explorer in you. All this would not have happened if you were partying with your friends in Goa. I don’t deny that introspection can occur anywhere but I feel that the chances of introspection occurring are higher on the mountain than in other places. Having traveled a lot, I felt myself introspecting the most when I saw the sky filled with stars in Roopkund.
All friends get the feeling of having accomplished something together
Going through walking 4-5 km every day in a harsh cold weather and then reaching the summit on the final day gives a sense of satisfaction. You will get this sense of satisfaction with your friends which will make the journey memorable forever. You will never forget those times when you climbed up the mountain together, played light music and yes, almost slipped. This feeling of accomplishment won’t be present when you have done a Goa trip. The only things I think my friends achieve after going to Goa are just drunk nights which are not memorable.
It has addictions stronger than Goa which you wouldn’t want to leave
The mountain has various beautiful landscapes and scenic sights to offer. It is interesting to explore and wander across different mountains as some have snow, barren rocks, greenery and multitudes of different terrains. After I went trekking for the first time, I found myself being addicted to mountains. These were good addictions and I am proud to have them.
Treks can be very romantic
If you are planning to go to Goa with your partner, I want you to know that treks can be very romantic as well where you get to spend time together in the tent under the stars. The idea of an unpolluted area is far more romantic than a crowded city. The idea of having dinner on a mountain with your partner is more beautiful than the idea of dinner in a five-star. A secret stolen kiss in the middle of the forest is more romantic than a public display on a crowded beach. You can take candles on your trek and enjoy the serenity of the mountain while you both shiver in cold and hug each other for warmth.
It is not as difficult as you think
If you keep giving yourself the excuse that trekking is difficult and it can be risky, let me tell you that it’s a misconception. There are various easy treks that do not take as long to complete and they can be weekend getaways as well. They are easy to plan and you can go with a trekking brand or a trekking group. The easiest trek which I have done is Sandakphu. There are easier ones like Chandashila as well. Uttarakhand has a reservoir of mountains to trek on.
A sober clarification
I am not against all of you who would actually end up choosing Goa over a trek but this article aims to compare what I think is better in trekking than on Goa trips. I see Goa trips as being too mainstream and crowded and a break for me means going away from city life. I would not want to leave a city like Mumbai and go to another city like Goa. I would rather explore a difference in terrain by going to Goa and enjoying the scenic beauty which it has to offer. If you want to go to Goa, I just want you students to know that there are other alternatives as well and it is important for you to be aware of all those alternatives. Make an informed choice. My only suggestion to you is “Try to redefine your idea of partying”
[For those of you who I have influenced and have decided to go trekking]
I have written an article which speaks about how my first and second treks were different and the importance that the first trek holds in my life. You can read the advices that I have to offer on how to choose your first trek.
The link: https://www.tripoto.com/trip/why-i-didn-t-enjoy-my-second-trek-as-much-as-my-first-58ef3517e4909