As someone who took travelling to exotic locations around the world as part of her job, the outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic made it hard for me to adjust. And many would relate. But, of course, like most people, I waited until I felt it was the right time to travel again. While it may sound bizarre to some, and pointless to a few others (‘cause posing for pictures with a mask on has already lost its novelty, right?) I found solace, joy and rediscovered a part of myself and India with my last travel. By Karishma Sakhrani

Take Precautions

Let’s first get to the obvious. Wear your mask at all times in public places, and sanitise often. Use contactless methods of payment, ask for e-receipts and avoid unnecessary direct contact with anyone. Replace the hugs and handshakes with a wave of the hand.

 

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Explore Incredible India

Given travel restrictions, there’s never before been more interest in exploring India. And while my list is long, I found comfort in going back to a place I’ve been several times – Goa! The sun, sand and sea of hotels and restaurants that have opened for business were too inviting to ignore.

Drive Down

I chose to drive down to Goa from Mumbai. It felt far safer, and it was my first experience of driving on the route, so the drive felt like an event in itself. It’s a beautiful drive, with lush green patches of the mountains. Driving through the clouds, watching the many waterfalls en route and the sounds of silence completed the experience to make it a very magical and memorable one.

 

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Be well prepared for long drives, though. Ours was a 12-hour journey, so we packed fluffy pillows, blankets and enough food (maybe far more than enough), water, coffee and lemonade. You want to avoid stopping for food, and try and limit pee stops to a maximum of two within such a time frame.

Stay In A Boutique Hotel

While the charm of staying in a boutique hotel inspires me in the first place, this time it was a decision taken primarily to avoid crowds and to have a richer experience. I chose to stay at a beautiful property, Ahilya by the Sea in Nerul, Goa. A family home that’s been converted into a boutique hotel, Ahilya is a hidden gem flanking the Arabian Sea, with a line of tall palm trees fringing the Portuguese style villas, making for a postcard-picture setup. The sound of the waves, an infinity pool, personalised service and a banging Goan thali will make you never want to leave. One week there felt like too little time.

Stay For Longer

This seemingly unending pandemic has birthed the half-tourist. It’s time to join those who have given up offices and are working from a secluded home in the hills or beachside villa. Or just take a long workcation. Just ensure the wi-fi connection there is strong enough for that Zoom call.

 

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Stay Calm

The whole point of travelling has always been to disconnect and let loose, right? So while maintaining an air of caution, don’t forget to stay calm and enjoy the moment!

Travel Well

Never before have we had more time for ourselves. Use it to travel well and live well!

Related: Looking For A Fab Workation Offer In Goa? Check Out These Hotels Today!