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Hey, I'm Sydney. I'm a 22 year old art director hailing from Birmingham, Alabama with a weird knack for cheap flights. I'm on a mission to travel deeper not wider. Join me on my adventures!


going goa gone

going goa gone

get it? my post title? ha, i have jokes...

well we woke up this morning feeling more rested than ever. both of us sat up straight in bed, frantic that we had slept through the entire day. come to find out, it was only 8am. it's amazing what a mattress and pillow will do. it made me realize how thankful i am for the little things i have at home that so many others don't have access to. 

sadly, we both still felt pretty sick, so we threw on clothes and walked down to the breakfast buffet, seeking out warm tea and honey. I was able to step outside and FaceTime my parents, and that was easily the best part of my trip to goa. we talked for a little while and caught up on life. saying goodbye to the two most important people in my life was hard. I'm worried the homesickness i felt when leaving for india is creeping back. 

when i made it back to the breakfast table, bridg and i made our rounds to the four massive buffet tables. we're both very adventurous with our food and we're both vegetarian, so eating out together has been perfect. 

 breakfast with bridg is a morning ritual

breakfast with bridg is a morning ritual

after breakfast, we walked 2 miles to the downtown area of panaji. the walk was gorgeous (albeit, hot). we admired the beautiful Portuguese architectural influences (goa was a Portuguese colony) and stopped to take many pictures. To me, goa feels removed from india. it's just so different than what i've grown to know india as. 

 the walk over to the panaji town was incredible; scooters are everywhere. 

the walk over to the panaji town was incredible; scooters are everywhere. 

we finally made it to the church we had set out to find. it's famous for its beauty and rich history. we found that in the city, any respect for our privacy went out the window, as there's a lot of indian tourists visiting since it's the off season for foreign tourists. Here we posed for pictures with a large family and got to talk to them after. it was so enjoyable talking to them, but we had to say goodbye prematurely because we were both feeling faint in the direct sun.

 since goa was a Portuguese colony up until the 60's, it is largely christian. this is the famous church of our lady. 

since goa was a Portuguese colony up until the 60's, it is largely christian. this is the famous church of our lady. 

a full water bottle later, we found a taxi driver and were on our way to calangute beach. we'd both heard about the crazy differences between indian and u.s. beaches, but we didn't fully believe all of it until we reached the goan beach. wow. it was the craziest sight. people don't sit on the beach; tanning is non-existent. everyone who's not standing or walking is either face planted in the wet shore, mimicking a hippo in the shallow parts, or standing and talking in the deeper water. i thought the experience was so cool. we found a parasailing booth, and told the guys to expect us back later. 

 goa beaches are hugely crowded and so not what either of us were used to.

goa beaches are hugely crowded and so not what either of us were used to.

after our first stroll along the beach, we located a rooftop restaurant. We had the best wait staff (there's apparently no such thing as a single waiter in india, it's more like a team effort). Both of us ordered the waiter's favorite veg dishes, which happened to be curry, and completely devoured the food when it arrived. Curry in india is great, it's just curry three times a day everyday that's not so great.

A little ways into our stay in the restaurant, a table of 5 guys started staring at us and moving their chairs to get a better view of us. Two of them even came up to our table to ask for a selfie, which we politely declined. they were so persistent though, that the waiters had to intervene and demand they return to their seats. the whole situation was just creepy and it really rubbed us the wrong way. The waiters actually ended up moving us to a table in the back. by this point, bridg and i were so over the attention and invasion of our privacy. 

I want to take a moment to explain where i'm coming from because it must sound so insensitive or silly to hear me complain about a "lack of privacy". something as simple as your skin color attracts so much attention here. you can't go anywhere without being stared at, sometimes to the point of feeling unsafe or violated. i don't doubt that most times it's the product of sheer curiosity or interest- most people really mean no harm- but sometimes it doesn't feel so innocent. bridgette and I always say yes to the pictures with little kids or families, as they always ask permission first. Plus, we get the cool opportunity to talk to them.

it's the creepy or rude people that get to us. a lot of people just shove cameras in our face or take pictures of us without asking. sometimes its hard to enjoy a special moment because you can see your face on a camera 10 feet away on someone's "sneaky" picture. why not just ask for a picture? or how about you don't take the picture while your asking to get one? it's not very polite, and after a while it gets exhausting. On the streets, people will lurk 10 steps behind you trying to get a selfie. In the case of the taj mahal, we got asked for so many pictures that we ran out of time to actually see it.  Also, in the instances with men, we've been warned many times that there's no telling what the men will do with the pictures. In more extreme cases, we've said yes to  people to be polite and they've "accidentally" put their hands on our butts. talk about feeling violated. I understand the selfies to a large degree and really try to not let it bug me, but it does get to you after a while. learning to politely decline was a great step forward for bridg and me. 

from the restaurant we made it back to the beach- we were going to parasail!! By the time we made it to the parasail booth, though, we were informed that we'd missed our window of opportunity by thirty minutes- the business had shut down for the entire summer because it was monsoon season. literally, i am the queen of bad luck. i'm a bit bitter about that..

from the beach we hailed a taxi to take us to the docks. getting there proved to be a tad more difficult than we expected. we had to pull out our old fashioned map a few times- a total tourist move. our strange day continued as we made a deal with a guy selling boat tickets on the street. thankfully, our tickets were valid and we were one of the first ones on the boat, so we got prime seats at the top. the waves were super aggressive, which made us wonder if our bad parasailing luck from earlier wasn't good luck after all. the secret selfies were horrible here, and by the end of the ride, we just wanted to get off. 

 sunset boat cruise!

sunset boat cruise!

 hey from me and brig

hey from me and brig

the sunset really got good after getting off the boat, and we took a moment to admire the cotton candy skies from the dock. goa truly is a traveler's dream. we made it back to the hotel, freshened up, and headed back out to dinner. we located a cool farm-to-table place, and indulged in incredible local cuisine. 12/10, would recommend. 

 cotton candy skies from the boat

cotton candy skies from the boat

It's crazy to think that I fly back to delhi tomorrow afternoon. I'll have a little over 24 hours to do laundry, pack my stuff, and leave a little peanut butter dessert surprise for the twins when they get home. i can't believe i'll be in morooco in two days. how is that even possible...

ode to india

ode to india

when in goa

when in goa