Ashwem Beach, Goa

For more fun Goa stuff, check out Goanflavour.com

Hi there.

This site has now shifted to www.goanflavour.com. So just click the hyperlink, and you’ll be taken there.

Goanflavour.com‘s updated with more fun and useful Goa info, whether you are a solo traveler coming to Goa for the first time, or with family, backpacking, or college student. You’ll find stuff to do and places to go, courtesy detailed coverage about restaurants, hotels and beaches that I’ve personally visited.

And if you make up your mind, you can even book a trip to Goa, using any of the banner ads. Easily book a hotel or hostel, whatever takes you fancy. There’s great discounts available, especially for folks from the UK.

Cheers and travel safe :)!

Battle with the Subscribe Button and Opening the Floodgates of Internet Money

Hi All

I just read this nice post by Quixotic Semiotic and you should totally check it out, especially if you are in India and in your twenties.

It’s about the issues that hit you when you hit twenty.

The post’s honesty is so refreshing, plus the themes it touches on are totally relevant to twenty-year-olds like me. No offence to non-twenties. 

The above mentioned post inspired this post and its rather unconventional title. I felt inspired to be honest about the ongoing stuff on Goan Flavour.

As you may know, I recently shifted to self hosting on WordPress. While I said that this was for greater control and all; all that is bull*@#$. After researching about blogging and how to make money online, I was set-my-pants-on-fire excited to get started, write a blog, add ads and make big moolah. Then I could quit my job, retire to my beach bungalow, sip on my cocktail drink and laugh at the suckers who sweat it out going to work, never realizing the rat race they are in.

Easier said than done.

It’s been 2 weeks, and I am engaged in an epic battle with the Subscribe button (it’s on every page and it’s not working 😦). Shifting hosting took 7 days. Then there’s the deal with nameservers; they’ve to be shifted to point at the new address. Pretty simple, right?

Not! I shifted the nameservers and my site disappeared. No more access to the cool Goan Flavour blog. Instead, you got a happy alligator offering to host your website. Noooo!

Ok. Back up. Study more, did more hectic research. Figured out how to log in on WordPress.org and start posting stuff. Still no way to transfer all the old content.

At this point, I was also struggling with the message of Goan Flavour. I’d done a ton of research on blogging, and found some pretty amazing stuff. How do I share that with readers appropriately, on a travel blog? Should I keep it about Goa, about travel? How does it grow and where does it go? How do I write cool stuff about Goa that people want to read?

Why have the internet money gods forsaken me? WHY???

Hahaha.

I have since calmed down, and stopped entreating the money gods, and focusing more on creating quality content which will help people visiting Goa, whether they are travelling solo, with friends or family.

“Enjoy the journey, not the destination.”

I’ll probably start a new site to explain the whole setting up website and self hosting, as starting my own site has been one of the most fun and liberating things I’ve done.

On that note, I’d like to point all the readers and followers here to the new residence of Goan Flavour.

Blog:

Goa fun blog

Booking Holidays:

Book Holiday Now

Go here when you need info about Goa, and/or book a holiday. I do believe it has some really unique reviews, great places to visit, and all kinds of helpful info. I hope to expand the scope of the site to include posts reminiscing in deep philosophical ways that show you how cool and deep I am.

But for now, it’s back to battling with the subscribe button and working to open the floodgates of Internet money.

Enjoy and have a nice day :)!

Goan Flavour moved successfully!

Check out the newly self hosted site, up and running now!

http://goanflavour.com/

Still a few tweaks left to go! I’m still figuring it out.

Let me know what’s not working and I’ll fix it.

Meanwhile, enjoy the new site and photos!

Check out the latest post here:

http://goanflavour.com/back-from-the-dead-goanflavour-is-live-again/

The new theme’s gorgeous, and I’ll be uploading some fantastic photos soon. Would love to hear your thoughts on it and what you’d like to see on the new website!

Do sign up again to get the new Goan Flavour exclusive updates.

Coming soon, exclusive holidays to the Maldives. Enjoy your own haven at amazing resorts in the blue Indian Ocean. At rates you won’t find anywhere else. All thanks to a close friend who runs a travel agency.

Cheers!

 

Moved Successfully!

Check out the newly self hosted site, up and running now!

http://goanflavour.com/

Still a few tweaks left to go!

Let me know what’s not working and I’ll fix it.

Meanwhile, enjoy the new site and photos!

Check out the latest post here:

http://goanflavour.com/back-from-the-dead-goanflavour-is-live-again/

It’s a gorgeous blue, and I’ll be uploading some fantastic photos soon.

Cheers!

 

Moving to Hostgator

Hi all

I’m in the process of moving the hosting to hostgator, so the site may not be visible for 24-48 hours.

If you get an error message, sorry about that, and will update you when we are up and running again!

Utsav

Best of Thailand Trip – Unforgettable moments

Night in Bang Tao

Night in Bang Tao, Phuket

Its night out here in Bang Tao. The dark blue night sky is awash with white stars, and dark grey clouds against the dark mountains in the distance.

Its been a whirlwind of a trip, much awaited and looked forward to. I’ve fallen in love with Phuket, and I do believe it represents the best of Thailand, in terms of experiences with food, the beaches and the spirit of the people. 

Here are some of the best photos of the trip:

Bike and 91 gasoline

Bike and 91 gasoline

My beloved bike on which I roamed all over Phuket. At 250 baht (INR 500 or US$ 8) day, it was an awesome deal, thanks to Khan and Katy at Bang Tao Kitchen. Tip: Always negotiate on the bike rates, especially if you are travelling with 2 or more people. 

Pork and Chicken Strips on a Stick

Fried Squid and Sausage on a Stick

Every place has got a street food stall, and for 10-30 Baht (INR 20 or US$ .30), you can get some pretty delicious soya sauce dripping goodies.

Queen Victoria DJing at Catch Beach Club, Surin Beach

Queen Victoria DJing at Catch Beach Club, Surin Beach

Catch Beach Club

Catch Beach Club

Partying at Surin Beach.

Foot Massage at Pattaya

Foot Massage at Pattaya

Experiencing the famous Thai massage.

Tip: Bargain for the massages as well, and you can usually get a 100-200 Baht cheaper, especially if 2 or more people are getting massages at the same time.

Ladboys at Patong, Phuket

Ladboys at Patong, Phuket

Seeing the famous Ladyboys at Patong Walking Street, Phuket.

Grasshopper

Fried Grasshopper

Eating grasshoppers in Bangkok!

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Having delicious Pad Thai, my most favourite dish in Thailand.

Golden Sunlight at Nai Harn Beach

Golden Sunlight at Nai Harn Beach

My favourite picture of the beautiful Thai landscape; took this while biking on the road.

On the streets of Bangkok

On the streets of Bangkok

Overlooking Kamala Beach

Overlooking Kamala Beach

But the absolute best part was getting to chill with some of my best friends.

Will definitely recommend going to Thailand for a vacation. It provides a glorious experience, and its pretty easy to get around.

I’m inclined to post a special how to guide for people looking to party and chill in Thailand, especially on a budget :).

 

 

 

Chilling in Thailand

On a break from Goa, and what better place than Thailand???

Wish u all the best for your vacations and breaks.

Goan flavour updates to continue after July 1, 2013.

Meanwhile, enjoy some Thailand photos!

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The famous Pattaya beach

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Some awesome roast chicken in Bangkok

 

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More Bangkok street food – Pork Dumplings

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View of the Skytrain from my room

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Street food festival near Platinum Mall, Bangkok

 

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An ice cold Singha beer on the beach – Perfect way to enjoy a relaxed evening

Goan Flavour Journey – Recommended Blogs

It’s been 3 months since I wrote the first post (about Sweet Water and Tandoori Shark) on Goan Flavour. Has so much time passed already!?

Time flows eternal.

Time flows eternal.

It’s been an interesting journey. I was pretty enthusiastic about posting about Goa in the initial days, putting up pretty much everything I thought of, without really thinking how useful it is for the reader.

Goa oh Goa!

Goa oh Goa!

Hopefully I’ve learned from my lessons and the later blogs are more in tune with helping newcomers discover Goa, and old timers rediscover it :).

On a different note, these three months have led to the discovery of many interesting blogs on WordPress. It is quite awe-inspiring to read these stories, posted by some very talented people. It has forced me to think harder, and write better posts.

One of the bloggers, Les 3 Elephants, who has an amazing story by the way (read about it here), was kind enough to nominate me for the Liebster blog award.  

Inspiration!

Inspiration!

While I won’t be writing for it, I will be recommending some of the very inspiring bloggers, who’s posts are a pleasure to read. Fun, quirky and often deep, they enrich everyday life and make you think about life beyond your own world.

Here they are (in no particular order), and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do :):

  1. Fabulous 50’s  – Great posts by a “fifty-ish” baby boomer who puts many young people to shame with her vibrant energy
  2. Dreaming in Arabic – All about adventures in the UAE. Compelling and well written posts with nice photos.
  3. The Open Suitcase – Quirky, fun posts about travel with family
  4. Not in India – A nice blog with gentle, relaxing posts, quotes, thoughts and much more
  5. PS Love Charli – A very nice blog about fashion, health and celebrities
  6. AvecVeritas – Another well written blog about make up and beauty. Great to suggest to all your female friends!
  7. MissAdventure – Follow the adventures of Jessica as she travels and writes about teaching abroad in China, Thailand and more
  8. The High Heel Gourmet – I love this blog for its wonderful pictures of authentic Thai and Asian fusion food. You can see that Miranti really puts a lot of effort in writing detailed recipes designed to make you drool.
  9. Simple Tom – I enjoy Tom’s blog for his high impact visuals and informative videos. His posts are simple, not too long, but they leave you inspired and thinking of a better way to live :).
  10. CristianMihai – This is one of the latest discoveries. A writer from Romania, Cristian has great short stories, essays and more about the craft of writing, its struggles and joys. 
  11. Wanderful World – Adventures of an arm chair traveller!
  12. TheVintagePostcard – She has some of the best photograph galleries about travels around the world and a most beautiful website layout.
  13. EricJohnBaker – Another nice blog about writing. Eric is also a talented musician and just posted a great song in the genre of Progressive Post-Punk Arena Pop. Check it out the video here. The band’s called Full Blown Cranium and the albums called Cacophony of Weirdos. Just hearing the name, you know you want to listen to it :)!
  14. Chronicles of Wanderlust – As they say, two travelers discovering the world and capturing their journey with nice posts and photos. They just covered Victoria and are having a contest giving away Maple Cream Cookies, amongst other prizes :). Check it out right away!

I do apologize for my brief introductions above; they do not to do justice to the depth and breadth of topics covered by them.They cover travel, living, fashion, food, inspiration and much much more :).

 I invite you to explore and enjoy these blogs.

Relaxed Goa

Relaxed Goa

 

And do come back to Goan Flavour, for fun, food and relaxation.

Update:

I’m shifting goanflavour from WordPress to be hosted on Hostgator.com. So during the transfer process, it’s possible that some pictures/links may no longer work. If you find any link not working or post not displaying, please let me know, and I’ll fix it right away.

The decision to shift was prompted by a wish to have greater control on the website and I’m it will work out better for you:)! 

Karvanda in the Goan Summer – Juicy Berries of Joy

If you happen to be passing by the Panjim bus stand (or any market) while visiting Goa, then head over to the friendly old ladies selling fresh fruits. They have a large basket in front of them with the juiciest mangoes and the delicious local fruit known as Karvanda, or Carissa Spinarum as per Wiki.

Ladies in the market

Ladies at Panjim bus stop

For just Rs. 20 (around US$ .40, yes, just 40 cents), they hand over a generous helping of the ripe little berries of joy, neatly packaged in newspaper. Then you can eat until your mouth’s stained purple and black. There’s momentary burst of sweetness as the berry is crushed, and then you can savor the flavor.

This took me back to my childhood days spent at my grandparents place in the country, where all of us cousins used to run wild across the farms, climb trees, pluck and eat fruits, and generally raise all manner of hell in that special way that only small children can.

Blowing bubbles in the trees

Blowing bubbles in the trees

Fun, carefree days.

Back to Karvanda. They are really good for hot summer days, and if you are in Goa, its much better and healthier to have these rather than grab a cold juice/cold soda full of sugar.

A few days later after this Panjim trip, I walked over the hill near our project office and found wild Karvanda growing right off the edge. Wonderful :)!

Karvanda and the Sea

Karvanda and the Sea

I took a few nice shots with the beach in the background. Karvanda and the sea. Someone could shoot a movie or write a book about it.

Pink and slowly ripening

Pink and slowly ripening

A senior colleague told me that when the Karvanda berries become really black and ripe, it means that rain is going soon. I was enthralled by this bit of information linking the small pink fruit to the weather, marveling at the mysterious ways the natural world works.

Beyond Fear… there’s Calmness

The dark blue ocean pressed all around me, as I swam to the edge of the island in the Maldives. My father was close by, and we were both good swimmers. However, this was the first time I was swimming to the edge alone, where the white sand dropped away thousands of feet and the ocean floor was not visible.

Mysterious depths

Mysterious depths

There was nothing but endless water and mysterious shadows.

As always, I felt mortal terror press upon me, as I felt the utter vastness of the sea, and how insignificantly small I was compared to it. My mind helpfully reminded me of all the shark, giant squid and octopus attacks from all the movies I’d ever seen.

And then, it stopped. All the fear and nervousness disappeared.

Beauty of the sea

Beauty of the sea

All I could notice was how beautiful the sea was. The fish calmly swimming by, the coral fronds gently swirling and glimmering with light, a thousand exotic undersea creatures and fish, going about their business.

I realized that purposefully going into a feared area, taking a calculated risk, had taken me to a previously unimaginable place. A place of gentle calm and beauty. The dangers hadn’t disappeared, and the sea was still deep. But I had become more confident in my ability to deal with with the unknown.

And it’s a lesson I’ve applied to every fearful situation since. Whether it was travelling to a new place,  making new friends.

Trust your instinct and go with it. Even bad experiences teach you important lessons!

Go ahead, and give it a try. Who knows what you might discover :)?

Unknown journey awaiting you.

Unknown journeys awaiting you.