Goa needs no introduction. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India, attracting thousands of international as well as domestic holiday makers each year. It’s sunny beaches, (almost) white sands, Portuguese-inspired food, warm and friendly people, and the promise of an idyllic holiday is enough to entice anyone. I first visited the laid-back, serene beach state of Goa in my early teens. It was a family holiday that consisted mainly of eating, trying out water sports, dolphin watching (rather unsuccessfully) and visits to as many churches and old Portuguese houses as possible. We spent about five days exploring the main towns of Goa like Madgaon and Panjim and stayed somewhere near Miramar in Panjim. But that is all I remember from that trip. I did not actually ‘experience’ the real Goa – the Goa that is known for its tranquil beaches, its hipster parties, its food shacks and King’s beer. King’s is a locally brewed beer, available in short stubby bottles and sold only in Goa. My love affair with Goa started while completing my post graduate degree from the university town of Manipal in Karnataka. Goa was just an overnight train or bus ride away and most students took off over a long weekend or simply whenever they felt like a break. Cheap food, cheap accommodation, really low travel costs and a short journey; nothing suited the cashed strapped student more. In the two years I was in Manipal, I visited Goa three times, and that was way less than many others! Having moved to the UK for a bit, trips to Goa went off my radar for a couple of years. But after I returned to India and started working, Goa came back to being my top travel destinations once again. Whilst sitting in office one day, two other girls and I decided to take a girls’ trip and what better place than the erstwhile Goa! And just like that, for three years consecutively, we headed to Goa every January. These trips included absolutely NO sightseeing; not even to a church, one of the hundreds that dot the state. The four days that we spent there annually for three years, were filled with gluttony and sloth. Our routine never wavered: 1) Waking up as late as possible (even the promise of a great sunrise or a scrumptious breakfast would not tempt us). 2) Ambling down to the beach and picking one of the shacks (beach side restaurants) to while away the better part of the day. 3) Ordering copious amounts of food at regular intervals. 4) Downing ice cold King’s beer with no interval in between. 5) Literally dragging ourselves back to the hotel for a shower and a nap sometime in the later afternoon. 6) Heading out to a nice place for some fresh seafood before hitting a pub or a cub. What made these visits even better was that no planning was required except for choosing a hotel and booking the flights. Nothing could beat these four days of sheer languidness and lethargy. The pace of life in this part of the world is such that actually encourages such behaviour. Nothing is rushed here and time seems to slow down except for your holiday, that seems to end even before it started. The last time I went to Goa was in 2013 and writing this post has me yearning to visit right now. But alas, that is not to be and I must make my peace by reliving my holidays through these posts. In the following posts, I am going to cover travel, food and stay in the North and the South of Goa, so stay tuned!