Goa has come a long way since the swinging 60s, when the erstwhile Portuguese colony suddenly turned into a hippie paradise. It still remains a tourists favourite, probably attracts more general tourists than hippies, but the charm of Goa remains intact because it remains one of the few beach destinations in India with a liberal and westernized atmosphere. The better known beaches have become more crowded over the years but Goa has many hidden treasures, secluded hideouts, and other surprises. That is why, a lot of people, especially western expats, love to stay long term in Goa. Many creative people also find solace and inspiration in the fresh air of the Konkan. You can live here for a few months, finally write your novel, compose your next album, or simply soak in the marine air and tropical sun doing nothing. So, here are a few things to note before you begin.
Know the State
Before you begin, take some time to understand the place. Goa looks small on the map but there is enough for you to explore. The capital Panaji, few beaches in North Goa are very famous. But you can find many other beaches and also the ones around South Goa, near Margao, are less crowded and more peaceful. Goa as we know it, was built by the Portuguese but there is a significant Hindu population in Goa too. Knowing the state, its geography, history, and culture will allow you to explore it in a better manner.
Understand Goa’s Property Market
If you are planning to stay long term, you should get a place on your own rather than staying at a hotel. It will be cheaper and will give you more freedom. Goa provides you an immense variety of options. In fact, due to the tourists inflow of toursts, a lot of investment is flowing and many old properties are also being refurbished. From basic apartments to palacial villas, everything can be rented here based on your budget. You just need to know what to look for. Here is a good Goa property guide if you are looking for property in Goa.
Understand the Goa Seasons
While visiting Goa, do understand the seasons. The peak of Goa is the winter, when the weather is mild (but never cold). Most people flock the state between October to March. The summers are understandably not very popular and the rainy monsoon season also don’t see too many visitors. However, there is a new trend of visiting it during the rains. It is less crowded in that season and the konkani monsoon can give you new inspirations if you are so inclined. But if you like to roam around and want it to be more vibrant, it is better to wait for the peak season. In short, choose the season based on what you want.
Go Beyond the Beaches
Goa is not only about the beaches. A lot of people miss out on rest of the state because they don’t even realize it. Goa has many wildlife sanctuaries, historical sites, and it even has its own carnival, like they do in Brazil (both were Portuguese colonies). There are places where you can spot sea turtles hatching eggs and at places you can walk through spice farms and learn how those exotic Indian spices are cultivated. If you trek to Dudhsagar, you can literally see a train passing through a waterfall. So, explore beyond the beaches, give it a chance and Goa will surprise you.