It is exotic, it is rare and above all, it is special. Every time I’ve travelled to a new place, I have hardly escaped its charms or the inviting culture and people. And I know I’m not the only one.
A late-Goa-bloomer, I first travelled to the overhyped, smallest state of India in October 2011, with a group of very close friends. I spent all of three days there and flew away from Dabolim airport, confident enough to return soon. At that point, I even wanted to move there.
And I went back seven times till April 2014. This time to temporarily move to South Goa for six months. And that’s when I realised the short-lived charms of Goa.
It is tough for people to believe me when I tell them that Goa isn’t as lovely beyond those 4-5 days of holiday with your bestie or significant other. Even though the locals are warm; getting any kind of work done is a pain, you are assumed for a tourist even if you speak the language and all hospitality businesses prefer attending to their foreign clientele than you. These are just some of the problems I encountered there.
Balancing the circumstances, I loved the place where I stayed and worked, and got enough time to get my blog running. If you asked me today—would you move back to Goa? I’d probably say no (for a number of additional reasons).
I have felt likewise for many other destinations. From Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Paris, Cordoba, Florence to Nepal, there is not a mountain place which has not made my heart crave for it. And why not? Every thing is just perfect for those days. Why would anyone, in their right minds, not wish to encapsulate those memories to actual every day experiences?
Because, for me, it doesn’t stand as an independent decision. Moving to any of these places (and I have seriously considered/considering Uttarakhand and Himachal) has additional liabilities, like rent and a basic cost attached to it. Correspondingly, this means I need to take up projects/jobs which pay the rent. But isn’t that the reason why I uprooted my life from Mumbai? So that I wouldn’t spend a penny of my earnings to something as intangible as rent and instead, invest it in my travels.
That brings to me the other thought that people often share with me—why don’t you just move to Shillong? I have to admit, this is a tempting and a viable proposition.
Why don’t I move to Shillong? There is no rent to pay here, cost of living is lower than my current base-city (Kolkata) and I prefer the people of my homeland. Because idealistic as it sounds, living is just as difficult in this quaint hill-city. The limited resources, the easy and slow way of life (though my personality is built otherwise and it shouldn’t be an influence) and the expensive travels to any other part of the world (other than the Northeast of India) are just some of the deterrents I’m trying to work against. (I also have a dog in Kolkata now and he is a priority.)
However, moving temporarily to Shillong or any other place, doesn’t seem to be a problem. While I fish out stories, explore the region and live like a local, it seems to cater to most of my needs without a fight.
But when people ask me: where would you like to live for life, I still don’t have a satisfying answer.
May be some of us are on a quest forever, or just bad with long-term planning, or may be every place feels like home. Perhaps, as travellers life means constantly evolving and changing.
Read: Turning Over a New Leaf
Would you move to that place forever?