Ever since I gave up my home to embrace a life of travel, Goa has become my ‘digital nomad refuge’ in the monsoons. That liberating feeling of driving a scooter along the endless rice paddies and palm-fringed interiors, working out of quaint cafes with decent Wifi, indulging my taste buds in authentic Goan curries and at organic cafes, and calling charming old Portuguese houses ‘home’ for a few weeks – it’s everything I need to recharge my batteries, catch up on work and retreat into susagade (contentment) mode.
Time and again, I’ve heard Goans lament about (and seen for myself) how mass tourism is slowly destroying the beauty of Goa. As travellers, it is upon us to make more informed travel choices and be more aware of our surroundings.
We can do our bit in these simple ways:
- Live and buy local:While deciding where to stay and what to eat, choose places owned or run by Goans – these tend to be more authentic experiences and ensure that tourism money goes back to the locals.
- Say no to plastic bags and bottles:I picked up a nifty cloth bag that folds into the size of a fist, at the boutique shop at Gunpowder. Although plastic bags are banned in Goa, many small shops still give them freely, and you just have to say no – better still, remind them about the ban. And like anywhere else, carry your own water bottle to refill fresh spring/well water and save money (and trash) on plastic mineral water bottles. Every time you see trash lining the beaches and hillsides, you’ll remember why.
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