I write this on the last day we spend in Goa. It’s been great. We have made friends that will last, we have seen more of this great country, swum day after day in the warm and pleasant Arabian Sea, watched more gorgeous sunsets than I can remember and partied with some fabulous people. It’s been a ball.
More than that though is the fact that it has been great to wake up day after day in India. To be living here has been quite different. There will be plenty of people who say that Goa isn’t really India but in many ways it most certainly is. In fact, it is very hard to point to one place on the sub-continent and say: “This is the real India”. The variety over a huge country of 1.3 billion souls is so great that a lifetime would not be enough to explore and truly know it. Goa has had the advantage of an expat community that has helped provide us with amenity and the companionship of like-minded people. If that has detracted from an “Indian experience” well then so be it. This is a different part of India with its Portuguese background and that lends it a special flavour. It is, to an extent, the Las Vegas of India with its endless hotels, cheap booze and casinos. It is changing from a playground of foreigners to the playground of Indians. I would have loved to have seen it many years ago when I first came to India but that never happened. Places change and it is foolish to lament what was. It still is a charming place and as a crossroads for travellers it has been endlessly interesting.
There is not much more to say than that, although I have written quite a bit previously about it. For us it has been one more chapter in life’s story. These are the things you don’t forget and it has been a wonderful experience. Our trip since leaving Australia has been largely settled. First to England to dump our bags and stay for months and then here to do much the same. It has been very comfortable but now for a bit of wandering again.
So goodbye Goa. I don’t know if I will pass this way again but if I don’t, well it was great to have done it at least once. Ahead lies two months on the road: Kerala, Sri Lanka and northwards (if the conflict with Pakistan doesn’t affect that). So, with a tinge of sadness there is also the excitement of new places, new experiences and all sorts of people to meet. That is the true spirit of life for me. It brings with it a love and embrace of change. Change can be a mixed bag but when you are making the changes you are setting life’s agenda, as much as that is possible. Onward we go.