Three things we won't forget - Goa
Living like a local
Our final destination was Goa, a small state on the western coastline of India. Having started our Journey in the North, before travelling through Kerala in the South, Goa felt nothing like the India we knew. Hippie travellers came to Goa in the 70s to basically take acid and listen to trance music 24/7, and the place has pretty much evolved around this for the last 40+ years. With this in mind we thoroughly enjoyed encountering each and every 'travelling stereotype' you could possible imagine during our 10 day stay. From tattooed and sunburnt middle aged men hard on it every night, to barely 20 year olds claiming taking acid has changed their life and turned them into an experienced philosopher; you name it, we met them. Having said that we also met some great people at our hostel, in particular the owners Druhv and Marie who were completely down to earth and inspiring in much more modest sense. What we enjoyed most about Goa was the chance to really live like a local. We hired a scooter for the duration of our stay, offered a helping hand to the development of a brand new hostel, shopped in the local markets for supplies, cooked more than we ate out (and ate our lunch out of plastic bags!) and became recognised regulars in the local bars and cafes. In other words we integrated ourselves into the local community as best we could in the 10 days, which was a great feeling. Although we found the modern culture more amusing than eye-opening the distraction gave us a chance to find our own place within the network and realise it's not always about city hopping, site-seeing and learning a culture through mimicking the locals. Through finding our own feet within a community we actually experienced how we as individuals would slot in and live our lives somewhere, which I felt resulted in a much more honest encounter.