Okay, 2017! Where did you go?

I can’t believe I’m writing this post already, the last post of the year! It seems like just yesterday when I wrote my round up of 2016. A whole 12 months has flown past since then, and a lot of change has happened, too!

After bringing in the New Year 2016 and my birthday in Goa last year, I headed back to Mumbai and picked up from where I left off – drowning in work, on marketing and advertising campaigns with around a dozen of the country’s best brands as a part of a leading ad agency in India.

TGG bhandardara

Before long, February rolled around and passed uneventfully, for a change. At home, I continued blogging about the new restaurants I tried and about a couple of experiences here and there. Just as I began finding myself in a rut, BAM! I started getting opportunity after opportunity to collaborate with more brands. The difference was that I wasn’t being asked to create marketing material for them anymore, but to feature them right here on That Goan Girl!

What!! The goal I’d been working to achieve for the last 3 years with a lukewarm results was coming true all at once! The fact that I had to decline most of them because of work commitments was frustrating and that’s when I took the leap to quit in March. Would the collabs keep rolling in the way they were now? Was this spur-of-the-moment decision a mistake, especially since I’m living on my own and have to support myself? Turns out, I shouldn’t have worried so much!

In April, I headed off to Delhi for the launch of Tata Tigor and stayed an extra day to wander around. I saw the Safdarjung Tomb, Agrasen ki Baoli and as usual, visited some delicious Delhi restaurants! On returning, I set out on the next adventure and explored Aayush Resort in Panvel with some close friends.

In the terribly hot month of May, just as I was winding up my professional work commitments, I moved homes. I left the tiny apartment in the city that I hated so much and moved to a bigger, brighter one on the outskirts for less than half the rent (since I didn’t have a job and had big plans to travel, this made a lot of sense.)

aayush resort panvel

Finally, the rains arrived in June, and this was when things really started rolling! My freelance marketing gig turned into a full-fledged company – Digitally Scrambled – with my partner, Sandeep. We worked to on-board new clients, the first of which was Dubl’up, a Goa-based company! Yay!

thatgoangirl bhandardara

This was the time when I also experienced one of the best sights I have ever seen – a million fireflies in Bhandardara! Although it was to be a one-night stay, I stayed another night just to experience it again! Bhandardara was beautiful and I couldn’t stop writing about it either!! It rained almost the entire time and on the way back to Mumbai, I made my second pit-stop at Alibaug, at a property that I think I’ll always consider a favourite – Casa De La Luna. It was around this time that I dabbled in a bit of PR too!

alibaug thatgoangirl

On returning, I caught up with work and onboarded a couple of new clients. Without any planning at all, I headed off to Matheran in July and then Goa in August which was my first Mumbai-Goa road trip. I was starting to develop the kind of lifestyle I wanted, and beginning to love it. Working on my laptop while on the train, in airport waiting rooms, stopping at cafes on the side of the street, and in my PJs in bed, while having the luxury to pack up and travel without having to ask for holidays or adjust to that of others in a formal workplace. Perfect!

thatgoangirl matheran

It did come with a couple of hitches, as is the case with travel, but I’d prefer a nomadic life like this over anything else.

On the way back to Mumbai from Goa during late August, I explored a tiny bit of Ratnagiri and then for a month or so, I visited a bunch of new restaurants in Mumbai. By this time, I was getting used to the remark “so, you seem to be travelling a lot these days, huh?” Such a good feeling!!

thatgoangirl dapoli

Almost through to the last quarter of the year – wow! While I hadn’t explored a single hill station in my life, in September, I explored the 2nd one in one year! Mahabaleshwar was stunning and the resort I stayed at, Brightland, was a great, luxurious escape from the heat in Mumbai! On the way back to Mumbai, I made another stop in Ratnagiri, this time reviewing the Fern Samali in Dapoli!

thatgoangirl mahabaleshwar

November took me back to Delhi where I participated in the World Fair Trade Week, organized by the World Fair Trade Conference and Fair Trade Forum India. This all-expense paid trip at the Crowne Plaza opened my eyes to the fascinating world of Fair Trade and I learnt so much during my time there. This trip reaffirmed my belief that there’s a world of learning, experiences and opportunities out there, which I’d have otherwise missed by sitting in a cubicle all day.

thatgoangirl delhi

And then, of course, another trip back to Goa in November to catch up with all the restaurants I’d been invited to review! By now, I’d collaborated with some great brands – Nubia, 7UP, SkyScanner, Diageo,Woodland, Zivame, and a ton of restaurants!

thatgoangirl woodland

Finally, I headed off to Canada in the first week of December to experience my first White Christmas with friends and family living in Toronto. I’m still here, and while my fingers are numb from the cold, I have so many warm, snowy memories already – and there’s still another 15 days to go! Oh, and the cherry on the cake is that That Goan Girl took home an award yesterday at the Indian Blogger Awards! Yep, we’re officially the best blog in Goa now!

thatgoangirl canada

It brings me so much joy, excitement, and a little bit of nervousness when I look back and realize that the goal of becoming someone who works on the move and travels for a living on my terms is slowly shaping up. In fact, I have the first 2-3 months of 2018 planned out in terms of travel too.

Is there a downside? There always is! The lack of stability, loneliness, the nagging voice in my brain that tells me to sit up and work at 1AM when I’d rather be out partying with friends. I have learnt that there is a lot of pressure to get the best photos, write well and make sure you experience as much as possible while staying genuine and true to what you’d usually do and enjoy. Unlike in Canada, the competition in India is FIERCE, with every second individual trying their ‘luck’ in the blogosphere. I’ve learnt to stop bothering about followers, likes, etc, and go back to why I started blogging in the first place – to document my experiences for me!

It’s been a pleasure meeting and interacting with so many of you this year. Cheers to 2018 and I hope you stay on for the ride.

Happy New Year!

During the last half decade or so in Mumbai, I’ve travelled to a number of places around the city for short weekend breaks. And ever so often, one friend or another will want to make their maiden visit to one of these places and ask me to come along. Every time I find myself in such a situation, I “uhmm” and “ahhh” about it, trying to squeeze my way out of their persuasive efforts to get me to go, before finally committing.

My reasons are simple. I don’t want to spend precious time and travel budget to go somewhere I’ve been, when I can see some place new. There’s so much more to see out there!!

Strangely enough though, whenever I have gone along, I’ve never regretted making that second trip and it actually turns out to be even more enjoyable than the first.  I posed this question to my followers on Instagram and their response was unanimous, although with different reasoning behind it.

Here’s why you should visit a place you’ve already travelled to:

It is impossible to see everything in one trip (Ashfina Charania/@thewickedsoul) – Whether you’re visiting over a 2 day weekend or taking a month-long holiday, there will always be so much more to explore.

Places change (Martin Smith /@shirtman99)– Ever visited the city you grew up in? You wouldn’t even recognize it. Cities change over the years. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but you’ll have new experiences, that’s for sure. When I visited Canada two year ago, I learnt that the government keeps innovating and creating new things to do to attract tourists and locals alike.

You change! – Visiting a city as a 20 year old back-packer and as a 35 year old with funds to spare make a huge difference in how you experience the city. As you age, you’d choose a swankier neighbourhood to stay in over a dorm room and spend more money on the arts, the culture and food as opposed to mere sightseeing.

You’d experience different seasons (@sunflower_seeds_) – Take Goa, for example! Those who’ve visited during the monsoons will tell you how picturesque the state is, with its lush green fields, looming clouds and raging waves! Visiting in the winter (if I may call it that) will give you a taste of parties, water sports, street shopping and meals by the pool. Similarly, visiting Himachal Pradesh in the winter is a completely different experience, that too, without the tourist influx!

You get to live like a local the second time (Karan Bhatija / @karansbathija) – … and not like someone with a checklist of places to tick off. Re-visiting a place takes the pressure off what to see, eat and do, giving you a more authentic experience. Once you’ve accomplished those major things on your first trip, you can then experience the place more slowly and deeply. You have more time to interact with the locals, too!

You know what to expect and it makes you nostalgic ( Tharun Bangera / @bangeratharun) – The first time all of us travel to a new place, we build up expectations that are not based on reality. These expectations can leave you overly impressed or disappointed, depending on how high you set them. The second time, you know what you’re getting into!

You start uncovering secret spots and noticing details (Marissa Fernandes / @marissa_fernandes) – Little bookstores, vintage cafes, beautiful by-lanes, the strange windows that houses have… you begin noticing details and exciting spots the second time around. You can taste more of the cuisine or go back to that restaurant you loved. Another experience you can probably relate to is the fact that the first time you see something new, you’re probably looking at it through your camera, trying to get the perfect shot. The second time, you can actually appreciate it!

Time with your friends who live in the city – Thinking back to all the places I’ve visited, I realize that I spend a mere half an hour with the friends I have who live there. I was so busy with the sights I had to see that I had a rushed coffee with them! Alternatively, when travelling with friends, discussions were all about planning the next hour, lunch, things to do… and not enough aimless banter. Revisiting means having time to chill with friends when you travel

Because the place calls you back (Gautam Shah / @an_indian_abroad) – There are certain places that just make you happy and you feel the need to return. You loved the time you spent there, enjoy the vibes and just can’t get enough.

How do you feel about revisiting a city you’ve been to? Let me know in the comments below!

Catch you later!


I started doing annual recaps when I started blogging last year (see: Looking back at 2015).  I particularly loved it for one reason: it makes me happy to reminisce and see where the year has taken me, literally. With many places and cities visited, the end of December is a great opportunity to reflect upon my blogging journey, travels during the last 12 months and accomplishments along the way.  It was an exciting time, and even more rewarding to see my blog stats and traffic reflect it, with monthly hits and unique users going through the roof.

2016 has been one of my busiest years – one that been filled with beautiful memories and all kinds of experiences. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Bike Ride to Hampi – 320 kms. 2 bullets. 1 sore backside. The year started out with an impromptu interstate bike ride to Hampi, a heritage city and hippie land. A couple of college friends and me, the official map holder, rode through the Western Ghats and rural India, encountering so many smiling faces along the way. Our three days were spent walking through the lost city, admiring ruins. At night, we headed back to our guesthouse, Whispering Rocks for much needed R&R. I’m glad I went on that trip, for it was the start of many random travel plans to follow.

Eating in Udvada – A Trip to Parsi town, Udvada was yet another epic, spontaneous road trip! This tiny holy city is home to a sacred fire brought all the way from Iran over a thousand years ago. If you’ve ever eaten Parsi food, you’ll know why its worth travelling miles to get some! Seriously though, this squeaky clean town could definitely give Singapore a run for its money.

Four Hours in Delhi – I don’t know what I’m happiest about – the fact that I got tick Delhi of my bucket list or the opportunity to experience my first sponsored flight review! I got to ride through the capital and finally saw the India Gate, Chandni Chowk and have some delish street food. The trip was over in the blink of an eye, but that was enough to get a taste of Delhi and make me want to plan a much longer trip.

FOUR Newspaper features! – Whaaat!! I still don’t know how it happened. All I can say is that looking at these printed newspaper cuttings that have probably been seen by millions of people bring me so much more joy than my report card did. Ah! One day of fame!

Met one of my food idols, Gary Mehigan – You probably know him as MasterChef Australia’s Mr. Nice Guy. Personally, I have an unhealthy obsession with MasterChef, remaining glued to the TV watching the judges and contestants in episode after episode. So when I finally got the chance to meet the man himself, I was over the moon! Gary is just like what you see on MasterChef. Charming, funny, honest and quite a clown. Too bad the pictures we took came out so bad because the lighting was not ideal at all. (God, my hair!!)

First Resort Review – Until the mid of 2016, I reviewed resorts I stayed at on vacations. But in August, I visited Ratapani Range Retreat for my first press trip! Located in the buffer zone of a wildlife sanctuary in Bhopal, it was not only my first time in the state of Madhya Pradesh, but my first time in a home-stay as well. One of the highlights of the trip was meeting a monk, Guruji, who showed us around his favourite, lesser known spots that were absolutely beautiful!

…. and more Hotel Reviews – I love staying at hotels – everyone does! And I’m not even talking high end ones. They’re such an escape from reality! I stayed at quite a few this year, and blogged about the best of the lot! Della Adventure (Lonavala), UTropicana (Alibagh) and Phoebe’s Farm were a couple of resorts I told you about.

Ambassador for IDFC – I’m rubbish at anything maths or finance related, and would never have seen this coming in a million years. IDFC picked a few youth who were pursuing a passion and turning a hobby into a revenue stream. In a bid to encourage youth to invest money at a young age, I was among a few IDFC Ambassadors chosen to speak to youth. Public speaking, check!

Visited Aurangabad – I’d have never dreamed of going to Aurangabad if it wasn’t yet another random plan! But yes, I visited in December and still haven’t gotten around to blogging about it, with all the Christmas celebrations and everything. Stay tuned for that!

… and Ahmedabad – Another whirlwind weekend getaway (so many this year!) I explored the old city, ate at the famous Manek chowk and told you all about my food finds in the main city. Ahmedabad isn’t one of those exotic Indian destinations, but it was a welcome change of scenery at a time when things were getting a bit too monotonous.

Winning an Fbai Award for Culinary Travel – The cherry on the cake was That Goan Girl winning a legit professional award from a national organization, the Food Bloggers Association of India. To be selected among thousands of blogs was surreal and though I wasn’t present for the ceremony, I was flabbergasted when the congratulatory tweets poured in from the event as it happened live. This was a big deal for me.

After such an epic year, I have no clue how I’m going to top it in 2017! (But, admittedly, I do have plenty of ideas…) I hope to visit Rann of Kutch, Pondicherry, explore a lot of North India and visit a couple of countries I’ve been dying to go too. Big plans, I know – but you know what they say about the universe conspiring when you want something badly enough…

Thank you for following along on this strange, beautiful journey! Can’t wait to take you along on the ride next year!

What has the year been like for you and what do you hope to accomplish next year? I’d love to know all about it!

Go kick some ASS in 2017!

Happy New Year!! <3

Hey guys!!

It’s that time of the year again!

You’re heading home for the holidays and the whole world seems full of love and twinkling lights. Presents are placed under the tree and sweets are ready. The family descends from far and wide and requisite family gatherings increase. You spend lots of time with people who have known you forever and care (*cough* pretend to care *cough*) about you!

Yep, your grand uncle will lecture you about how easy you have it these days. Your grandma will let you know that she doesn’t want to die without seeing her great-grand children. Your mom will chime in about how big your butt is getting. Retired Uncle Sam can’t wait to re-live his bumper fishing trip in excruciating detail and like it or not, wrinkly Aunt Ruby will pull your cheeks with her icy fingers of death.

Fear not, for I come bearing gifts! Strategies to help you get through this real-life Bigg Boss situation. Here’s how you can avoid meeting relatives and make this Christmas season… well.. merry!

Carry Something – Always be carrying SOMETHING! And while you’re carrying it, walk fast. This implies that you have a lot of things to do and can’t be dawdling around chit-chatting to kill time. You will look extra busy when you’re in motion. Once you have put down your pile of items, gather up another pile and repeat.

Wear a suit – Relatives who’ve led successful lives tend to imagine that you’re going down the dangerous path of drugs and debt. They will question your life choices, current affairs and just about everything else. A suit is a like a judgement deflector. Rather than pitying your Arts degree and spoon-feeding you words of wisdom, they’ll commend you for your accomplishments and move on to another target. Once they have left, BAM! Go back to your flip flops and ragged jeans.

Type an important text – Your aunt with five cats and a bejewelled broach on her blouse sits you down for an intense conversation about how she doesn’t like the bakery’s new blueberry muffin’s. She then proceeds to ask about your recent break up. What do you do?  Start texting. Nothing is real except your phone. Be the phone!

Find your allies – You no doubt have cousins who feel the way you do. Pour yourselves a glass of wine away from everyone else and enjoy some private, like-minded conversations. Hey, you ARE with family after all! You just like this relative/s more than the rest.

Have a bad memory – There’s your dad’s second cousin’s wife’s sister coming your way. You’ve met her once before and you know how nosy… i mean… interested she is in your life. Skip on the HiiIIiiiIIIiii’s. Instead, look her straight in the eye, and without apology go, “who are you?”

Try and go a different way before they notice – The good old “duck and hide” strategy! Survey the area before hand and make a note of things you can hide behind and under as well as all exits. If all else fails, hide behind a book. Nobody likes readers.

Escape – Remember when you were a kid and you told your mom you were staying over at Jessica’s house? And Jessica told her mom she was staying over at Andrea’s house? And Andrea told her mom.. you get the drift. Gather up all these friends who have relatives they want to avoid and plan a “last-minute” outing. Make up an emotional story, if you need to. Someone’s dog died, someone else got dumped… Then scoot.

Don’t own a car – You’d think this would give you more independence, but no. You’ll be trapped in the social world by being forced to show up at places, give people rides, pick them and drop them off. Instead, confine yourself to your room with an absurd hobby, like say, Wikipedia editing.

I hope these handy-dandy tips turn out to be handy-dandy! I haven’t tried them yet, because my relatives are an awesome bunch! Let me know how it goes!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Ahhh the weekend is FINALLY here! What’s everyone doing?

I gotta tell ya, on most days, I love what I do! Digital marketing is an exciting world and I meet wonderful, creative people on a daily basis.

But last week – man, it was rough. I’ve had one of the most difficult clients I’ve ever had to deal with (and it isn’t over yet *crie*). I don’t want to delve into the ugly intricacies, but it had me thinking about my experiences working as a young professional.

I hadn’t realized this before – but right until now, I’ve always had the knack for being the youngest person in the room. I’ve thankfully just crossed over from the phase of being “young and inexperienced.” But for a while, I felt insecure about it, especially since the professional world puts so much emphasis on age.

Take this difficult client I had, for example. He’d be impatient, have unreasonable deadlines, converse rudely, ask for my suggestions and then do the exact opposite  – things he wouldn’t have dared doing with someone over 30.

Young professionals are perceived as the infants of the working world, our ideas and opinions may often be dismissed without a second thought. When we talk about stereotypes, we focus on race, ethnicity, religion… but what about age? Why is it permissible for young professionals to receive less respect than we deserve?

Think about it.

Many of us are intelligent, self-driven, talented and hungry for an opportunity to do great work. So, we don’t know everything – who does?

For the most part, I’ve been fortunate to be around people who share knowledge and nurture growth. But there are also people who feel that we’re beneath them and no matter how much we try, the label of “young and inexperienced” will stick.

There’s this old saying that goes, “better to keep your mouth shut and let others think you’re an idiot, than to open your mouth and prove it.” Everytime I’ve been under pressure to say something smart just because everyone else is contributing, I remember that line. And it works – if used sparingly.

So, if you’re the youngest in the room, there are ways to make others take you seriously:

Listen – Even if you think you know what’s right, listen to everyone’s ideas. Get a feel of how others think. If you speak up and throw your ideas in the open, older employees feel insecure and dismiss your suggestions as being silly. Allow them a chance to show you how much they know. This is your chance to be like an invisible sponge – so listen and learn.

Get to the point, fast – There are two types of people – those that go on talking about nothing, and the other kind who talks slowly around the point with no idea where they’re going. Since you don’t have the luxury of speaking while having all eyes on you, yet, you have a few seconds to speak up and say something worth listening to. If you can sum up what you want to say in a couple of sentences, go ahead. Or else, just keep listening.

Use your strengths to your advantage – There are certain advantages of being young in the workplace. For example, we have above average knowledge of social media. This powerful medium that elders don’t have much insight into, comes naturally to us because we’re surrounded by it. We look for challenges over comfort, we think outside the box, we multitask well – these are things that employers and clients look for. Remember not to let the less admirable traits of our generation get in the way!

Ask – Show interest in others and ask genuine questions. Asking intelligent questions will make people see your desire to learn and grow. Conversely, asking dumb questions will have the opposite effect and you’ll thought of as ‘annoying.’

I hope to see a day when skill and ability aren’t necessary defined by age. It’s experience, and not age, that counts. Most people dismiss this.

If you’re faced with a similar situation, don’t let people underestimate your ability and talent. Don’t let them be mean just because they can.

Know your worth. Be professional. Do great work.

And always make sure to stand up for yourself.

Because if you don’t demand that respect for yourself, no one else will.

Ever had a client who tested your patience because of something that’s not in your control? Let’s chat in the comments!

Also, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – we’re reaching a blogging milestone and may just have a contest coming up!


Every couple of months we read about millennials being the best generation – the ones born with the start-up bug, the outspoken ones, the independent thinkers and most educated.

We’re capable of doing great things and a lot of fellow Gen Y-ers are changing the world in ways no other generation was able to.

However, as we realize our potential on one hand, we struggle a lot on the other – making excuses that hold us back from doing what we want to.  We put off important decisions, waste time with the TV and avoid hanging out with people we know will have a great impact on us because we’re just plain lazy.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty good at making plans… and then putting them on hold until tomorrow for reasons I convince myself are legitimate. Deep down, I know they’re not – they’re just excuses.

In spite of knowing this, do I still make them?

Hell yes! But I’ve begun to catch myself midway and say, “look… you’re making a lame-ass excuse. Can you live with yourself knowing that?” More often than not, I can’t; so I do something about it.

The fact is, until you do something, everything you want will remain out of reach. No one will simply hand what you want to you.

I hear friends making them ALL the time – “It would be easier if I was better looking, if I had more money, if I had more will-power…”

It’s a pity – because your twenties (and mine) is the best time to go all out.

So! Have you ever caught yourself saying any of these?

“I’ll do it someday!” – This reminds me of those times I really, REALLY wanted something as a child and the parents would say, “we’ll see.” Everyone knows all too well that “we’ll see” isn’t a “yes.” Just like ‘someday’ isn’t a day of the week. Still, it makes us feel better because we aren’t saying ‘NEVER.’

Did Steve Jobs wait for “someday” to change the world with his iPhone and iPad? Did Mark Zukerberg say “someday” to start Facebook? If it’s important enough to do someday, then it’s important enough to be done TODAY.

Who can guarantee tomorrow? Start small, but start today!

“I don’t have the time” – Why? Why do we romanticize being busy like it’s a good thing? If we don’t have time now, do we think we will have tons of time in the future? We don’t have the time to apply for a new job, so we’re stuck in dead-end jobs. We don’t have the time to cook healthy, so we accept unhealthy take-outs. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but not everyone knows how to use them. It’s all about priorities. I recently read an article that said to replace “I don’t have time” with “it’s not a priority.” For example, “I didn’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If that doesn’t sound right, it’s a reminder to choose differently.

“That would work for XYZ, but not for me” – Many of us think this way. We look at what others have and think “good for them, but I can’t do it because *insert random attribute that you think you don’t have here* It’s a crippling way to think and not at all productive. Everyone starts with nothing. Every start-up grew from scratch. Every famous Youtuber has had to overcome some trial. It doesn’t mean that because you think you aren’t as pretty/don’t have financial backing/aren’t lucky etc, that you can’t do the same.

The main problem is that you’re probably looking at a giant mountain of a task instead of breaking it up into pieces, so you discard it as unachievable. Or you compare yourself to people who have already done the work. Yes, they’re 5 steps ahead of you now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the same five steps.

“No one cares about what I think” – If you haven’t given anyone a reason to care about what you think, no one will. You have to prove that what you think is valuable. You have two choices here – either stop caring about what everyone thinks or change what you think will be valuable. In both cases, you have the control.

“It’s not the right time” –Ok, so you’ve actually admitted that you want something or may want it, but you haven’t made the commitment to act on it. Rather than working towards it, you blame the bad economy, your lack of education or guidance, your new job and whatever else you have going on. No doubt, you have to take care of certain things before it can be the “right time,” but blaming something you can’t control as an excuse for not achieving what you’re after is lame-ass. There will never be the perfect opportunity, and it’s good to remember that when you delay yourself.

Have you found yourself procrastinating? Comments are always appreciated and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

P.S. I hope you’ve been following my adventures in Bhopal! Can’t wait to tell you all about it in my next post. Till then, I’m sharing little snippets on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. See ya there!

Bye! <3

I should be a drinker.

At least, society thinks I should.

I’m Goan. I’m Catholic. I live alone in a new city. I’m in my twenties.

I fall into every ‘drinking stereotype’ in the book and then some.

But it’s true. I don’t drink.

I’ll give you a moment to gasp at that declaration. People usually do.

It’s funny. I never judge anyone for choosing to drink alcohol, but I’m often judged for choosing not to because of where I’m from – a state where alcohol is dirt cheap and free-flowing.

So I thought of taking the opportunity to tell you what it’s like being a paradox in a world full of stereotypes.

But before that, let me tell you why I choose not to drink.

Firstly, I find it immensely unappealing. I never liked the smell or taste of alcohol and I could never understand why people think it’s a necessity in order to have fun.

Does that mean I’ve never had fun? Or that I’m a boring goody two-shoes?

On the contrary, I have more fun in clubs and parties than most people, all while being 100% sober. I don’t need liquid courage to go up and sing karaoke or dance without a care in the world. I definitely don’t need to get high to speak my mind – people who know me will tell you that I’m brutally honest regardless. As for all the drunken hugs people give each other, I can hug it out while drinking my lime soda. The world needs more hugs, anyway.

A part of my aversion stems from the fact that I love being in control – of myself and of whatever else I can have power over. The idea of being even a little tipsy and out of control is a scary thought. Also, alcohol leaves one worse off, not better. Fun? Not by a long shot.

Strangely, this small insignificant part of my life hugely impacts the way people perceive me. I sometimes wish that alcohol wasn’t such a big part of life and more so, wasn’t something that Goa is identified with. So that maybe I can feel less alone.

When most get to know that I don’t drink, the most common question is “why?” There’s no good answer to this question, and I know that because I’ve tried them all. More often that not, I’ll reply with the truth, “I don’t like the way it tastes.” Obviously, this answer doesn’t seem to satisfy most people and they will continue to dig until they’ve found a satisfactory answer.

“But how is that possible? You’re from Goa!” they say.

So? You’re a Mumbaikar- do you eat Vada Pao all day? Gujaratis, do you do the Garba 24×7?

“Are you joking? Have you even tried it?”

Let me break it down for you. That glass you’re holding… I don’t want one or need one. What’s so hard to understand? How does this warrant a third degree investigation into my lifestyle?

Many proceed to suggest names of drinks they think I would enjoy, or cocktails I could order. Well, genius, isn’t it kind of obvious that if I like alcohol in the slightest, I would have probably figured that out for myself during the last quarter century?

“What a waste of being from Goa. What do you drink if you don’t drink booze, especially on weekends?”

The only thing that’s wasted the time I spend listening to your drunken rants. Come back when you want to bid for a piece of my healthy liver, k?

And regarding what I do if I don’t drink? Same as you – I talk, eat, laugh, shop, socialize and have a hell of a lot more money saved at the end of the month. Sometimes… I even stay home doing nothing at all. Shocking!

Then there are the close friends who say “Man, I really want to see you get drunk one day.”

Sorry to shatter your dreams, buddy. Not in this life. And might I add, that if this is all you aspire for, I do think that aiming for something bigger would be a far better use of your time.

Teetotalers, have you ever told someone that you don’t drink, only to have them offer you a drink two minutes later? To me, it happens all the time. If you’re a vegetarian and I offered you a steak, would you dig in? Like, what is this logic? Please save the money you would have otherwise bought my overpriced drink for and buy me cheesecake, if you must.

There’s no dearth of snarky comments, especially when you’re from a state where alcohol flows like water.

“How lame.” “You’re so uptight.” “A Goan who doesn’t drink? C’mon! You MUST be lying!”

Oh wow. We are in fourth grade and I’ve given in to your peer pressure. Quick, bring me 3 vodka shots!

“But don’t you drink in church on Sunday?”

This one makes me laugh – more at the ignorance of the comment than anything else. It’s a church, not a disco. And no, we don’t sit there with our chilled beers, we drink a drop of wine maybe four times in our lives in Church. *Sigh* people are such experts on Goa… or so they think.

Let’s not forget the other kind of folks – “Good for you. You aren’t missing much,” they say this as they take another sip of their drink. So much for irony.

Since relying on drinks to have fun has become the norm these days, it takes courage to be a rebel and stand out. Ultimately, its not worth changing your choices for others anyway – people always have something to make a big deal out of.

Besides, what’s the point of all your “fun” if you look and feel miserably hung over the next day. I could certainly do without that.

Do you relate to this blog post? Do people who equate Goa with alcohol get your goat? Go ahead and share this blog post with them.

As for me, I’m going to bookmark it and forward it to the confused lot of drinkers at my next party.



Welcome back, guys and girls!

Can I be honest for a sec?

Sooo… here’s the thing! I LOVE going to church but I HATE being forced to go. Anyone else feel this way?

Yes, I’m religious, spiritual and all that… but forcing someone to go when they don’t feel like results in one of two things.

  1. Sit, Stand, Kneel, Repeat
  2. Mind wandering to kingdom come.

Just by virtue of writing this post, you’d know I fall into the second category of people. Here are some random things and universal mysteries that I wonder about in church

Hmm… who’s in church today?

There’s Shayne in the front row… and there’s Janice in the corner…

I bet 200 bucks that Diana will be late again. She’s always “on her way”


Oooh… I love what that girl is wearing.

Wow! Sarah has a great bag!

I’d kill for Michelle’s boots!

I wonder if they got it online.

*Mental note* – check out that online sale Karen was talking about.


It’s SOOO hot.

It’s about time we had some A/C in here

Man, those fans are REALLY high up. I wonder how they fixed them up there.

Woah.. look at the amazing painting work on the ceiling! Was Picasso in here?

*looks up for 10 minutes*


HAHAHAHA Uncle John is fast asleep. Look at his head tilt slowly…



Whoops! He woke up!

Time for the peace offering!

Do I look to the right first?

Or the left?

I’ll just look forward until someone turns to me.

Maybe I should turn to the back…


It’s been 25 minutes since I’ve checked my phone

25 minutes!

I’ll sneak a quick peak at it

Just one tweet.

Damn… I left it at home.


I wish they had wi-fi in here!

EUUU That guy just blew his nose.

Ughhh… he has no tissue! Grooooossssss!!

*Mental Note – Do NOT shake his hand.*

OMG how annoying!!

That baby has been crying for 2 whole minutes. Rocking him to and fro isn’t gonna make him stop, lady!

Some of us need to pray!


Ok. Pay Attention. PAY ATTENTION

No. More. Daydreaming.

Hmm…I wonder how many balloons the church could hold.

I wish Father would wrap up the sermon already.

He’s just going onnnnn and onnnnn….

I’m going to miss the Game of Thrones re-run on TV, for heaven’s sake!

St. Joseph – Pray for Us

St. Matthew – Pray for Us

St. John – Way for us

St. Mark – Wafers.

Mmm… wafers…

If Godzilla burst in here right now, the best way out would be through the second door on the left and through the hallway.

Or maybe crawl beneath the pew and make a dash for the sacristy.

… Actually a big spider would be scarier.

I can’t wait for breakfast after this.

Should I go for an omlete-ros at restaurant down the road?

Or grab some beef patties on the way home?

Nothing beats poee with butter, though…

Decisions… decisions!

Ok, I’m done with communion.

Just walk to your seat.

Keep a straight face, now.

Don’t smile.

Don’t wave.



Be cool… Be cool…

*Reach for the hymn book… flips through*

What page?

What hymn number?


*end of hymn*

Next Sunday, I’m sitting in the front so I can focus

And I’ll have breakfast BEFORE coming so I don’t think about food

No looking at the ceiling.

No grumbling about the sermon AND I’ll pay attention to the hymn numbers.

P.S. Mom, if you’re reading – IT’S ALL A LIE, I SWEAR!!!



If you’re a Goan who’s shifted to Mumbai, Bangalore or Delhi to work or study, I can bet you’ve faced people who turn speechless when they find out that you shower at night.

As for me, I can’t help but feel disgusted to find out that they don’t!!

The first time my new roommate found out that I wasn’t going to bathe that morning or the time I casually told a friend, “I can’t wait to go home and take a cold shower,” they looked at me with a smug look of morning squeaky cleanness!

Hold up!

There are these theories that support both bath-times, but here’s why bathing at night makes you feel so much better…

If you ARE living in a city like Mumbai or Delhi, you probably shower in the morning to freshen up for work.

But… it’s a city.

Everyone is literally covered in dust and grime 30 minutes after they step out the door. And most of them stay that way until the next morning. *puke*

Those who shower at night can take their own, sweet time without having to rush to work or have someone hammering on the door. There’s nowhere you have to be. Might as well sing, brainstorm or formulate an action plan for when an intruder sneaks in, right? Bathing at night is totally therapeutic – no rush, no worries about morning meetings and traffic jams. It’s simply a time to loosen up those muscles and wash the stress away!

There’s no better feeling than jumping into bed when you’re all cool and fresh. You definitely don’t feel gross when you slip between the sheets every night.

You’re clean… which keeps the sheets clean!

Not really the case when you slip into bed with the whole days worth of grime on your body now, is it?

Want to know another major perk of night-time showers? It takes two minutes to get ready in the morning. That translates to half an hour (at least) of more sleep WITH time for breakfast and finishing your homework. You won’t find Goans complaining about that!

AND another thing!!!

Got roommates? You know what it’s like to battle for bathroom time in the morning. If you’re the last one to bathe, you’ll have to jump in and jump out.

How is having to rush and hurry in the morning a good way to start a day! Please explain, morning bathers…

Let’s talk about hair! Sleeping with wet hair in the night means you’ve mastered the ‘bed head’ look in the morning. People pay beauty parlours A LOT to get the tousled look and we get it for free!.

Not to mention, spiders and creepy crawlies hate wet hair. So if you’re sleeping with dirty, dry hair, it’s like putting out the welcome mat for them. Hah!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my hair takes hours to air-dry and style. So the options are limited to waking up at the crack of dawn to have enough time to wash, dry and style or looking like a wet, bedraggled cat all day. I ain’t got time for that!

We’re not against morning baths – hell, we may need to take them sometimes, too – to get through the humid summers. But what we don’t understand is everyone’s aversion to night showers.

Why the “euuuuu,” bro?

I for one, shower at night. If I get home at 1am, I’ll darn well shower at 1am.

Unless I know I’ll be late, which is when I’ll shower before I leave.

Ever try calling a Goan between 7-8pm? You would have DEFINITELY experienced his/her mother pick up the phone and tell you that your friend is in the shower. Amirite?

So – which side of the divide do you fall on? Comment below and lemme know!

Till next time!

P.S. Please don’t take 2-3 showers a day if you don’t need to! We’re in the midst of a drought, you know!

Hey guys!!

Drum roll please….

I’ve been working with an amazing team to recreate my blog and today’s the day to reveal it!

Yep…The ‘That Goan Girl’ revamp is fiiiinalllyyy here!!

I’d been meaning to launch the new and improved blog in February (as many of my old readers know) but it wasn’t as easy as I thought. In fact, it wasn’t easy at all!

Oh well, good things take time!

First things first, I totally missed blogging during the last couple of weeks. Going without TGG was weird and I felt totally isolated from everyone (AKA you guys!) There were still posts uploaded on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but it’s not the same as writing a nice, long letter.. you know what I mean?

So, during my first job in marketing, I had to deal with people who were getting their websites developed or redesigned and it drove me crazy that they couldn’t settle on what they wanted. Going back and forth – changing the most minuscule things for months on end really tested my patience.

But after these couple of months of website work… I totally understand!

I’ve put my heart, soul and OCD-ness into this makeover and it’s more than just aesthetic changes. I’ve tried to make it as user friendly and organized as possible.

What started out as a documentation of my travel to Malaysia and Canada now incorporates a lot more food, lifestyle and personal ramblings, a teeny bit of fashion and sneak peeks of events.

That Goan Girl has totally evolved since I started blogging a year ago

And so have I…

So for me it’s become more about a healthy balance. (which is funny because the amount of time I’ve spent on this blog is absurd and is definitely not the best example of balance!)

Before I go, I have a few shout-outs to the guys behind the scenes!

Thank you Sandeep, you’re a total rock star for helping me bring the design I had in my head to reality! I know I annoyed you and you totally wanted to punch me in the face (whoops)!  I couldn’t have asked for a better digital guru!

Thanks Greig – for designing my Twitter banner and Shiva for the kick-ass logo even though I changed my mind a gazillion times.

And thank you, readers! For always coming back, commenting on the blog and on social media (I read each one and try to reply to them all). It’s been amazing connecting with you, receiving your emails every day and getting to know you! Without that, I wouldn’t have been enjoying this amazing ride quite as much

I hope you enjoy the new face-lift! PUHLEEZ let me know what you think.

Oh.. and stay tuned because there are some awesome-sauce giveaways this week to spread the joy!

Bye! xoxo

When new people I meet find out that I live alone in the city I get a lot of raised eyebrows and “are you a sociopath?” kind of expressions. That’s followed by mild questions like – “Isn’t it scary? Don’t you get bored? It’s lonely, isn’t it? How do you manage without room-mates?”

I will admit, there were times when I thought there was no possible way I could live in Mumbai without my family, best friends and comfort that comes with living somewhere for practically your entire life. Turns out, I was wrong. I’m still here, and plan on being here for a while. It’s far from boring. In fact, it’s an adventure that I don’t know where to begin telling you about.

Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learnt:

You’re cleaner than you think – Or messier… works both ways. When my house is a disaster, it becomes apparent that those room-mates I once had weren’t at fault all the time. And when it’s clean, I can take comfort knowing that it will stay that way. Plus, there’s something strangely calming in knowing that the idiot who’s left dishes in the sink again… is me!

Learn to tidy up. Fast! – For two reasons. Your friends will definitely want to hang out at your place since there are no parents around. Secondly, if you work 5-6 days a week, you don’t want to spend your weekend cleaning.

Learn to live with bugs – Gross, right? But every apartment has one at some point or the other. Stomp ‘em, spray ‘em or put a cup over them and wait for reinforcements to arrive. What I do is just never enter that room again for… you know, ever.

You’ll find out if you’re an introvert or an extrovert – While I love being outgoing and social, there are times when I work from home for days, without seeing a soul and felt so refreshed! You’ll find out if you recharge best when you’re alone or if solitude gets you feeling lonely and isolated.

Pants Optional? – You can confidently wear whatever you feel happiest in without fear of awkwardly running into a room-mate or one of their friends. While going ‘sans pants’ can be considered freedom at its finest, that really isn’t my thing. I’m more of an old-tee-I-love-so-much-it-has-holes-in-it kind of person.

You will run out of food – When you’re hungry and live with room-mates, you can just eat their food and replace it later. What a lovely back up plan! Living alone means if you’re out of groceries, you really are out of groceries and the Pizza guy will have to make his second trip of the week to your house… even though it’s only Tuesday.Speaking of food….

The craziest things will make a meal – A tomato, an egg, a pack of noodles – dinner! I’ve eaten combinations like these and let’s face it – it’s hard to cook for one person! Plus, this system works if you haven’t done the aforementioned grocery shopping.

You talk to yourself – I’ve always known I was a chatterbox, but when you live alone, it’s different. Maybe it’s about making some noise in a quiet house, or maybe I’m just losing my mind (it’s possible). But I’ve found myself wondering aloud on many occasions. And by “found myself” I mean “I’ve been overheard.”

The TV is yours! All yours! – Binge watch Masterchef Australia or slum it with old, sappy re-runs. Who cares? There’s no one to judge or complain.

Double or Triple check security – Ever get out of bed multiple times to see if you actually latched the door? Don’t worry. I do, too!

Friends are a phone call away – There are days when being alone with your thoughts isn’t what you need. You can easily sit home and wait for people to call. But that won’t do. Never underestimate the power of your social circle. Pick up the phone, call someone, text or better yet, go out and meet a friend. If I didn’t have such amazing friends, this part would have been hard.

My place reflects my style – A no-brainer. But those who live alone will understand. To live in a place where everything belongs to me, to see my mismatched collections, trinkets by the TV, scarf thrown over the chair because I like it that way… it pleases me more than I thought possible.

Other random things –
Like the hair in the drain is all mine (OMG!) and how do I zip/button up the back of my dress? Let’s not forget the philosophical stuff that occurs, like “if I eat this cheesecake and no one sees it, did I really eat it?”A couple of nights ago, I was reading an amazing book in bed and shed a teeny tear. I realized how nice it feels to have the privacy to do so – for this time of ruling the roost and making the rules. The truth is, living alone is the farthest from lonely I’ve ever felt 🙂
Can anyone else who’s living alone relate? Talk to me! – Comment below and stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram