India, Offbeat, Reflections, Travel Inspiration
Comments 30

Wake Me Up When September Ends.

I find myself penning this post rather unexpectedly. I’m staying at a 500-year-old Portuguese house, restored by a charming Goan family, in a sleepy little village called Aldona, in the hinterlands of Goa. This will be my home till the end of September. I’ve spent the last few days strolling along pristine backwaters, little hamlets stuck in time, lush green rice paddies, and streets adorned with abandoned Portuguese houses and old churches. Wake me up when September ends.

Goa homestays

My Portuguese abode in Aldona.

Last week, when I flew into Goa on an invite from Goa Tourism, I was slightly apprehensive. I’ve always associated Goa with the beaches and crowds, and I do everything I can to avoid the latter. But Goa Tourism promised to help me find Goa’s best kept secrets, and I couldn’t resist.

I landed in Goa on a cloudy afternoon and drove past the misty coastline, into the lush green terrain of North Goa. Deep in the interiors, I wound my way into a typical Goan village called Pomburpa, where Roy’s Stone House was my introduction to life in Goa. Roy had played music with the hippies in the 60s, and Fatima had spent part of her life in Mozambique (Portuguese Africa); fascinating would be an understatement to describe their stories. In the evening, we strolled through the village, exchanging gossip small talk with the neighbors, watching the ‘bread man’ deliver fresh bread to every house on his bicycle!

Goa monsoon

Strolling along the rice paddies in North Goa.

Goa offbeat

My tree house at Roy’s Stone House.

Exploring Goa on my two-wheeler, I chanced upon Aldona, a village straight out of a postcard, and immediately fell in love with its laid back life. I’ve later discovered that this is also where Amitav Ghosh spends a few months every year, penning his beautiful words, and now I know where he finds his inspiration. I’m hoping to find some for myself.

Aldona, North Goa

An abandoned Portuguese home in Goa.

Goa monsoon, North Goa

Goa in the monsoons. How can I leave?

This will be my first tryst with slow travel, and I hope to unearth Goa’s best kept secrets. Come with me?


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This entry was posted in: India, Offbeat, Reflections, Travel Inspiration


After 7 years of quitting my full-time corporate job and travelling the world, I've written a book - called The Shooting Star - about my journey. This book of untold travel stories charts my adventures from the cubicle to the road, and from small-town India to remote corners of the globe. Limited copies are now available for pre-order on Amazon and Flipkart. Drop me a note if you end up pre-ordering yours today! Connect with me on Instagram/Twitter @shivya.


  1. Goa is a perfect place for a ‘slow travel’ experience. Sounds really interesting and enviable! (Just wanted to bring something to your attention – Deep in the interiors, I wound my way into a typical Goan…)

  2. Oh myyy, Shivya! This looks absolutely gorgeous. Slow travel doesn’t excite me much, but it was definitely a good idea if this is what you’re going to be living in 🙂

    • It is, Surya! This is my first tryst with slow travel, will share at the end of the month how it’s been 🙂

  3. You have an F-ing tree house?!!! I officially hate my life. 🙁 :p

    Ooooh! Music with the hippies…hmmm…wonder if he has access to…hmmm

    Damn!!! I am wondering if I should do a surprise drop in to visit you in Goa… 😉

    • Aww. I was in a tree house initially, now I’ve moved to a restored Portuguese house (even better if you ask me, it’s the first pic). Haha, I knew that’s the first thing you’d think when you hear of the hippies 😉

  4. And you better stop by Singapore in November…btw, I am in Trivandrum the first week of November and in Kolkata the last week…so in case you plan to end up in on the 3 cities mentioned…let me know. 🙂

  5. Wow !! I love slow travel, its the best way to experience a place in which you get to feel the local life. Enjoy your enviable trip/life.

  6. I’ve always associated Goa with crowds, partying and beaches, too. This is a side of Goa that I would love to explore, too.

    Aldona sounds beautiful, and your pictures show that it is indeed as beautiful as it sounds. 🙂

  7. Goa…. I just love these three letters. The place grows on you with time. And it’s the perfect time to be in Goa with the monsoons just over and crowds might not started pouring in from all side :). I hope you will have a great time and will share all the hidden places explored by you with us.

  8. hey shivya…. its nice to hear these kind of places in India… I work with HT and I would love to know more about your backpacking stories and places you visited

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  10. Aristotle once said that – The first principle of all action is leisure. I guess that is exactly what you have been experiencing in your Goa sojourn. I have always associated Goa as a laid back travel destination filled with culinary delights and it is great to see a blogger take me up on that.

    I discovered your blog during an online research and I must say I am hooked.

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  14. Hi,
    Loved reading your post. Do check out our 200+ year old home in Curtorim, South Goa…..Arco Iris (
    Cheers! Beni

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  16. Hey Shivya,
    Love you post!!! I have experience the same in my North Goa trip. The freshness in the air and tranquility near the sea, make you feel alive…

    Cheers!! Shakshi
    Travel Diaries#

  17. Hi Shivya, loved your blog. For me, Goa is a home away from home. I have visited Goa numerous times, and am definitely going to take benefit of your blog and visit some of these places. Recently, I started experimenting the offbeat destinations. I went to two places ahead of Goa on The Konkan Highway towards Bombay. If you have are still in Goa, do consider visiting them. My blog below might give you an idea about these places


  18. Nice Post! Goa is Really a good place for the visitors it’s a perfect place for “slow travel”.
    Thanks for this wonderful post.

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