the seduction of goa…

 it began the moment i stepped out of the airport into the warmth of goa’s late afternoon sun
 the air somehow felt lighter and less oppressive than in mumbai and the urban sprawl of the city was replaced by the lush, green &
 tropical landscape of goa

 the ocean and the full moon worked together to embrace me in a cool evening swim
 and in the morning, the ocean, with the help of the sun, again embraced me for some salt-water bliss

 the beach provided a warm blanket to sit on and a backdrop of life and color

 further north, arambol beach provided a sanctuary of water and sun filled with the creative energy & interwoven stories of local artisans, ex-pats, and   travelers–dreamers, artists, and explorers of the world

 the stalls that line the beach road were visually stunning with goods the shop dwellers themselves have made

 the coffee shops and restaurants were filled with people who inspire

 lucy, originally from holland, settled here 20 years ago
 she opened double dutch, a coffee shop and restaurant that is nestled amongst the trees with good coffee, pastries, and food
 but much more than that, she takes care of and has a home housing local special needs children
 if meeting lucy was not enough inspiration, meeting the young but soulful and beautiful special needs boy, ebin, who she takes care of and for whom   her foundation is named (the ebin foundation– was an incredible gift
 he described himself as a ‘healer’ and his smile filled the cafe with its brightness

 and then there were the travelers who i met and connected with so immediately
 each with a different story, each with a different craft or skill to offer, and each with a different dream
 and yet here we all were–convinced that we were meant to meet if not ever again at least in that moment– to share, connect, and take with us  some
 inspiration from each other

 and that, for me, is the true seduction of a place like goa– it implores us to let go of our inhibitions, be vulnerable and embrace the sun, the sea, and   most importantly each other