Touching Down in Goa (Finally)

I made it to India! It was such a weird yet wonderfully familiar feeling touching down on Indian soil. I had a long, 8 hour transit in Chennai airport, which let me tell ya, was nothin’ to write home about (even though I am). My boredom was interspersed, however, with quiet chuckles as I was reminded of the wonderful idiosyncrasies of this country I love so much.

The amiable customs official who stamped me into India wearing a delightfully stained shirt directed me to the wrong terminal for my onward flight; the curious parking attendants hovered around me as I sat on my luggage trolley outside (they wouldn’t let me inside as it was too early), staring conspicuously.

A waiter advised me to ‘go and sit with my friend’  in a packed restaurant with no free tables, offering a grin and a head wobble (he was referring to the only other foreign woman in the place). The kindly check-in guy took my hand in his and wished me a very happy birthday for two weeks time as he handed back my passport.

On the short, one hour flight from Chennai to Goa, my heart pounded and my head swum with nervous thoughts. Though I have never been on a blind date, in a way this was like the most extreme blind-date ever, only our online relationship was platonic.

I was about to meet my ‘internet friend’, and though I was pretty sure I would love Hannah, a little voice of ‘reason’ filled me in on some interesting facts:

a) I did not in fact know the people I was flying across the world to stay with

b) If they were complete twats I was in for a pretty sorry Christmas, oceans away from my family in Australia and my boyfriend in the UK.

But another part of me was unbelievably excited at the prospect of the unknown. Meeting my friend who I only knew throughsome lengthy email conversations; a friend who invited me on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and was happily opening her home to me over Christmas.

I couldn’t believe this was actually finally happening, a moment I had been looking forward to for so long. A new adventure that had once been so far off in the distance, a safe distance, was now here.

It wasn’t difficult to spot the petite woman striding through the sea of taxi drivers outside arrivals at Goa airport, her blonde locks trailing behind her.

Did I look okay? Did I smell? 

After a long day of travel and transit, the answers were ‘no’ and ‘yes’, respectively. But it didn’t matter, the moment had arrived and all of my apprehension drifted away in the balmy Indian evening air. As I embraced my little friend for the first time (she’s pretty tiny!) I thought, okay, she’s real. 

I was in Goa! With Hannah!

We chatted all the way back to her house, nestled on a quiet bay, near Patnem beach in South Goa. I dumped my bags in the gorgeous little room she and Lee had prepared for me, complete with a beautiful pink ‘princess’ mosquito net.

That evening, we dined at a lovely beach-front restaurant on the sand, though it wasn’t until the following morning that I would actually see the wonderful place I was in.

I had never been to Goa before, but can now definitely see what attracted Lee and Hannah here. Their home is simple and lovely, in the most delightful location. There is a peace that inhabits the lives of the people here, and I can understand why Hannah hasn’t blogged in over a month – she is so ensconced in her way of  life here.

Columb bay Goa

The view of the bay from Hannah and Lees’ back porch

Yoga shala, Columb bay, Goa

The yoga shala next door

Columb bay, Goa

The neighbourhood

The pets (well, some of them)


I have slotted into life here better than I expected. I have met the friends, the neighbours and the pets. Hannah has adopted a lovely white cat and three gorgeous kittens who were born shortly after she arrived, and the other day while she was out I performed a rescue operation of two kittens who had somehow climbed into the roof beams and couldn’t get back down.

Life here is slow and somewhat dream-like. Cows wander along the beach, palm trees bend towards the sea, and rich curries are washed down with sweet lassis. There is time to talk; to see; to breathe.

The people I have met so far are interesting and open, with conversation topics leaning towards healing, creativity, spirituality and the pursuit of freedom.

I think I’m gonna like it here.

Goan fish curry

Goan Fish curry anyone?

The babies




Touching Down in Goa (Finally) — 34 Comments

  1. Woo hoo! I feel like some superhero alliance is waiting to be completed here with Kim’s arrival.

    I felt the same way as I went to pick up Hannah from the airport having no idea who I was looking for and wondering if I’d be interesting enough to stay with for an evening. And not surprisingly, it was so totally easy to talk (except when poor Hannah was exhausted and wanted to go to bed and I was still blabbering on…)

    Have so much fun! Merry Christmas!
    Carmel recently posted..Quinoa, black bean & sweet potato chiliMy Profile

  2. Reading about the innocent ‘conspicuous stares’ and the genuine ‘head wobble’ meaning yes or I agree, brings back memories. Congrats on being back on the surreal subcontinent. I can’t believe the Rickshaw Run is now right around the corner. I look forward to following your unconventional journey.
    EarthDrifter recently posted..Jogging: Surface Wisdom and Health BenefitsMy Profile

  3. Hi Honey Glad you are so happy having made the long journey.
    It does sound amazing and the photos are great.Say hello to Hannah she looks gorgeous in the photos.
    rest up now in wait for the run to start.

  4. I had just finished watching, “Eat, Pray, Love,” for probably the 10th time shortly before reading your post. The photos you posted could have been shots from the movie, especially the first one of the beach. It is SO calming, it just draws one in! Glad you arrived safely and I look forward to reading the Rickshaw Adventures.
    Patti recently posted..Paris in Winter ~My Profile

  5. Hi Sarah, I can’t believe you’re finally in India! The photos and your descriptions of Goa look and sound blissful. It seems like a perfect place to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit before you embark in your epic adventure.
    Great to see you and Hannah in the same photol. You both look wonderful.
    Marisol recently posted..Boracay Island: At Home in Paradise – Part 2My Profile

    • Thank you Marisol!! It’s good to finally be here, it’s starting to feel real :) Happy Christmas to you and Keith and thank you again for your very generous donation to Frank Water xxx

  6. Hi Sarah,
    Yay, I finally made it to your blog. Goa looks and sounds absolutely amazing! And you look so happy. Every morning I look at your wonderful bowl and smile and have a think about where and what you are up to.
    Enjoy the serenity before the adventure ahead! xoxoxo

    • Jyots!! Thank you so much for your very GENEROUS donation to Frank Water!! Whoa!!! And lovely as always to here from you my dear, lots and lots of love for Christmas and New Year xxx

  7. It’s funny how internet friendships sometimes just work out. :) I’ve met some truly inspiring people through travel blogging, and there are still so many more that I hope to cross paths with.

    Good luck with the Rickshaw Run!!!

  8. The way you and Hannah describes this place, it just seems lovely, so out of the world I’m used to. Can I join you? 😉

  9. How cool to meet new friends after internet contact only! I have done so too and I find these encounters precious gifts that the digital life gives me from time to time.

    I was in Goa about a month ago. We had a lovely time. I wrote some blogposts about my stay there on my blog , in case you are interested;-)

    Hannah’s place looks lovely and the cat and kitten’s are so cute! Seems like a place where you can surely lead a happy and peaceful life!
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