A Lockdown Adventure: Staycationing in Goa

My gang of girls and I have been planning a trip to Goa since our college days. But just like for most of the millennials, the plan could never see the light of the day. Two years after our graduation, we finally marked our calendars – 2020 was going to be the golden year when Goa would materialise for us! While we had previously planned our trip during the latter months of the year, the frustration and boredom of the lockdown compelled us to reconsider the plan. As it turned out, we finally pulled off a lockdown adventure in Goa – a trip very different from what we had always imagined, and yet an unforgettable one.

For starters, instead of the five of us, only three could make it to the trip. This was in fact a relief because it isn’t advisable to travel in large groups during lockdown. Next, instead of the crazy nightlife and pub scenes Goa is famous for, this trip was more about visiting the isolated beaches and relaxing in a beach resort, that is, staycationing.

Day 1

We checked into the Marina Beach Resort, a boutique 4-star property in Candolim. The hotel was a mini paradise with beautiful rooms offering stunning views of the sea. We immediately unpacked, donned our swimsuits and headed over to the Candolim beach for a beautiful evening by the sea. We spent a delightful evening ordering food and drinks at the shacks. While the options were limited and there were barely any tourists to be seen, we had an amazing time reconnecting and talking about our college days.

For dinner, we went to the resort’s gourmet restaurant and tried some Goan delicacies. Post dinner, we spent our time simply enjoying the sound of the waters hitting the shores by the balcony of our room. It was 2 AM before we realised we were stargazing and doing nothing. And yet, they were some of our most peaceful moments in months all together.

Day 2

The second day in Goa was about beach hopping. We looked up for some cab services online and booked Savaari’s safe and sanitized Goa taxi service with a local driver. While most of the beaches had little to no activity happening, we still managed to find some small shacks which were open, offering us sunbeds and limited food items on their menu. It was commendable how the smallest of restaurants had implemented the COVID safety protocols so strictly.

Since the driver was an expert in Goa, he showed us some of the hidden and cleanest beaches which were not popular with tourists. It was like exploring a whole new wonderland!

After an entire day of road tripping in both north and south Goa, we returned to the resort for an early dinner. They had arranged for a movie night in an open theatre under the sky. Although they featured a Konkani movie (we didn’t understand a word), the experience was magical! We did not watch the entire movie, and headed for our room after an hour. Three tired souls as we were, we slept off immediately after crashing in the bed.

Day 3

We decided to spend the last day of our trip by staying in and enjoying our time in the resort. The afternoon was about a cocktail making workshop which the resort had arranged with their in-house bartender. Since there were only ten guests, including the three of us, we got individual attention as each of us tried preparing our version of Bloody Mary. It was rather exciting as we learned the subtle art of cocktail making and clicked tons of pictures of our creations.

In the evening, they had arranged for a mini puppet show by the poolside. We signed up for a rejuvenating spa session for an hour and a half before making it on time for the show. It was a beautiful evening followed by a relaxed dinner in our room.

We ordered in some extra food for our late night conversations. Chatting until the break of the dawn, we finally decided to rest for a few hours before leaving the next morning.

Since we were pretty satisfied with Savaari’s service on our second day, we booked their airport car on rent in Goa to take us to the Dabolim Airport. We took back with us some souvenirs from the airport and a lifetime of memories from Goa.