Past the beaches of Anjuna and Baga, travel curator – Wandering Jane and wellness writer Jia Singh took us on an unforgettable trip to Goa exploring everyday hippie culture, food, music and surf schools.
One needs little introduction to Goa – from local beach shacks and backpacker hostels to bespoke labels and resorts, it is a place where one can have it all. The touristy side of Goa has your popular neighbourhoods, with night markets, famed restaurants and beach shacks turning into trance clubs by night. While this side of Goa is a must to experience, The Stylish Dish, had already been there, done that and yearned for something new. That is why we jumped for joy when we chanced upon a Goa itinerary, created by Wandering Jane, a leading travel curator for women travellers. Teaming up with wellness writer and nutritionist Jia Singh, who added a wonderful wellness angle with light yoga and options for organic and healthy food – this holiday was all about breathing in good food, checking out the local beaches while exhaling the anxiety that comes with big city life.
As we all trickled in, from different parts of country, travellers varied from college students to working moms, corporate cats and entrepreneurs, it was a mix of different age groups, backgrounds with one common goal – to let their hair down, and have fun under the Goan sun.
Day 1 – Sunset Yoga and Goan curry
In the evening we exchanged pleasantries and introductions, and made our way to Mandrem beach where we practised a yoga sequence, before the sea and a spectacular sunset. Post yoga, we all sat to unwind at a nearby beach shack, soaking in the twilight vibes and sounds of the waves, over beer and casual conversation followed by the ultimate ice breakers – tequila and a game of “never have I ever”. At our beautiful resort – Aura, a candle-lit dinner was laid out by the pool, and was specially overseen and curated by Executive Chef Hemal. We were treated to spicy Goan curry, and local Goan paos with a spinach stuffing.
Day 2 – Catching waves
We started our day stretching like cats with a light yoga session before breakfast. Being the most important meal of the day, Chef Hemal and her team did not disappoint with fresh juice, savoury waffles, eggs and Instagram-worthy smoothie bowls. For lunch we made our way to Prana Cafe, an organic cafe where the fish tacos had us drooling amongst other tasty treats. Part of the Vaayu Waterman’s Village, we ate hearty to get ready for our stand-up paddle boarding class in a mangrove lagoon. Read the full review here.
Day 3 – The music of Arambol Beach
We were treated to a Yin Yoga class led by Acupuncturist Alexandra. Going into postures and holding them for a minutes was slightly challenging, but once we got into the flow our post-yoga bliss had us glowing and nimble. We spent the rest of the day chilling by the pool, saving our energy for a night of exploring Arambol beach. Arambol has a relaxed hippie culture, with less of the tourist trimmings you would spot in popular beaches. Famous for its music scene, we checked out Organic Vibes – an organic restaurant that also serves as a platform for musicians and artists. After a live techno house session, we changed the scene to something more low key and intimate and headed to The Black Sheep. A tiny shack with artists playing musical instruments, you are free to join in or watch. Now it was time to turn up the tempo and we headed to a reggae club – The Hopping Frog and swayed to some rasta beats. By now it was midnight, and we ended our evening at the very swanky club – Waters.
Day 4 – Yoga on a boat
Today we were more attuned and less resistant in our Yin Yoga class, and enjoyed a delicious breakkie recollecting the memories from the night before. Mid-afternoon, Chef Hemal curated a smoothie workshop showing us the secrets behind making her smoothie bowls look as good as they tasted. Jia, took a personal nutritional consultation, recommending food groups and activities best suited for our dosha type. Relaxing well into the day, we headed out to Marbella Beach, a sexy beach side club with white tents, flame torches and a dance floor. Bira Beer bottles in hand, we clinked a hearty cheers to a trip with company we were surely going to miss.
Pictures courtesy Jon, Insta -@jonthevagabond
For more wellness escapes check out Jia’s website – Wandering for Wellness
Check out Wandering Jane for their upcoming trips
Planning a wellness trip to Goa? Read up on our experience at Aura Retreat, Goa
Plan your water sports at Vaayu Waterman’s Village, deep dive into the experience here