One month. That’s how long I ended up in Goa. The plan was to stay here for just a few days. Honestly, after the first day in Goa, we stayed in a homestay in the middle of nowhere, I thought we’d leave within the week.
The next day we moved hotel closer to the beach in Calangute. It was basic but nice. Not nice enough to stay for more than a few days. Just nice enough for a night or two.
Calangute just didn’t excite me. Supposedly it’s the hub of North Goa, but it’s just like a thousand other busy towns. Muddy red streets filled with honking cars and bikes.
Even though we found a nice café to work from, hello Café de Goa, I was ready to leave. So long Goa. Was nice knowing you!
It was at this point that we met up with some friends we made in Delhi (sociable travellers get the best experiences). We asked for a relaxed place to work from in Vagator, North Goa, and he recommended Sri Garden Resturant & Bar.
That was it.
We settled in and had a great lunch. The atmosphere was relaxed and the staff was super friendly. Even though they didn’t advertise rooms Firsta decided to ask. They had a spare room.
Richard, the owner, showed us around the back of the restaurant. There were four rooms. We immediately booked for a week. Then we extended for another week…
And another two weeks…
Once I got settled in I started to enjoy Goa.
I always thought the state was going to be a bit like Bali. It is and it’s not, which is where comparisons get you. The beaches are beautiful if a little dirty. The people are laid back and friendly. It’s relaxed, but busy.
Think Bali 30 years ago when I was in diapers (yeah, good analogy). They’re trying to catch up. Fancy hotels and housing complexes are popping up all over the province sending land prices through the roof.
If you have spare cash and you can deal with the complexities of Indian legislation buy property here. I can see prices tripling in this part of the world backed by strong domestic demand.
Anyways, I wasn’t in Goa to invest. I just wanted a place to focus on my online projects. I’d found it.
Lazy Days with Animals and the Laptop
Sri was a little slice of laid-back heaven. I quickly got into a rhythm waking early, ordering a large breakfast (Baked beans and cheese on toast and Spanish Omelette were my favorite) and cracking on with some work till lunch.
If I needed a break I’d play with one, or all seven, of the restaurant puppies and maybe poke the cat. After lunch I’d work into the late afternoon. I’d take a walk by the beach at sunset when clouds of mosquitoes searched for red meat. The evenings were a time to relax.
The work hours were longer than during the rest of my travels. If anyone tells you that you can build a business working 4 hours a day they are flat out lying. Unless you have the money to systemise or an existing network you need to invest a lot of time and your emotions into building a business.
It was good though. You need a kind of rhythm when you are working for yourself and I found it for a month in Sri. I caught up with work, did more work and just as importantly recharged my batteries.
Now I’m back on the road.
Visit Sri Garden Restaurant if you have the chance (the room isn’t advertised online so you’ll need to turn up in person). Even if it’s just for the food you’ll like it. Check out Mandrem Beach and for a chilled out atmosphere try out Agonda Beach in the South of Goa.