(I pulled this straight from my journal entry that I wrote the day we went to North Goa)
Goa: Everything we went through before was worth it for her.
Our second day we take a car to North Goa. Boho vibe. Crowded beaches in Arjuna. Coastline dotted with shacks, restaurants and bars, live bands, massive flea markets, dreads, piercings, tattoos.
Tanned legs in flowy, colorful pants. Incense. Henna. Thatched roofs overhead, and sunlight filters through the cracks, creating a light beam mosaic on the rugs covering the dirt.
Colors. Honks. Dust. Sweltering heat. This guy
Pushy Indian sellers. Grab your arm and pull you in, pushy. I don’t mind it.
So many expats. So many dreads. They all look alike. Thin. Grungy. Tan, leathery skin. Hair that is hastily dreaded and pulled back. Baggy clothes and excessive wooden accessories. No shoes. No makeup.
I love it. I soak it all in and still want more. I want to stay and fully absorb.
The beggars here…they are docile compared to Latin American and Spain. No tricks, gimmicks, or working in teams. I’ve relaxed my vigilante attitude because I’ve realized such an extreme isn’t necessary. It comforts and unsettles me at the same time.
I love Goa. She’s no Latin America, and I have to keep reminding myself to not look for the Latin in India. Let her be what she is. When I do that, I can completely open up and appreciate her for what she is – not as I would want her to be. And that is when her beauty starts revealing itself with subtle splendor.
The gentleness of Emilio, our driver. The kindness in a stranger’s smile. Laughing and negotiating with sellers. Suns that sink into the Arabian Sea. Calm ocean water. Young children wanting their photo with me.
Other backpackers, reminding me fondly of the life I once lived 8 years ago. The satisfaction and contentment in realizing how delicious that was, but the truth is that I no longer yearn for those experiences again.
They remain peacefully in the past, always ready to embrace me when I look at them. But I’m happy to keep moving forward. That part of my life is over.
I want something else now.
photo credits: the illustrious Greg Bryan