It was 8 years ago when I first stepped onto the psychedelic beaches of Goa, India. I was young, impressionable, and had no experience whatsoever when it came to mind-altering substances or spirituality. I was a walking cliché, coming to India to find myself. But somehow, I knew that staying in ashrams, visiting gurus, and taking yoga classes were not going to pave the way for my journey. It was going to be a perilous adventure filled with psytrance parties, veteran hippies, and well, psychedelics.
It didn’t take me too long to get into the Goa game. I quickly learnt that when a chillum (the highly sacred smoking pipe of Indian sages) is passed to me, I would have to smoke it. I also got into the mindset that everything, absolutely anything, could happen in Goa. People go insane, people come insane, people making other people insane, people who are temporarily insane, people who act insane, people who pretend not to be insane… Here, anyone could be anything.
My 2011 Goa season was one spent mostly on a hammock. I clocked an impressive 8 hours a day swinging about that piece of cloth, only getting out to pee when I absolutely needed to. I even ate in the hammock. And it was in those 2 months the I figured out that smoking cannabis was not really my thing because it became too much “my thing”.
But it was also during those 2 months that I got to know a group of phenomenal human beings, highly spiritual grown-ass adults that didn’t talk so much about chakras or crystals, but instead, took universal love into practice – sharing everything they had freely, bringing you a blanket when you fell asleep in the hammock at night, gently placing an incense stick beside your table so that you could immerse yourself in holy smoke, making sure you always drink enough water at parties, you know, loving you in a very real, make-an-effort-instead-of-just-talking kinda way.
And it was this philosophy, that firmly planted the cornerstone to my own path towards greater wisdom – When we say “We are one”, we better act like it.
I came back after 4 years, now more comfortable in my own skin, and equipped with a deeper understanding of service to my fellow human beings. And today, in 2019, I arrived once again in Arambol, greeted by giant smiles, tight hugs, and open hearts. I am home.
This is my love story with Goa. I remember I used to keep a little travel diary that I would write in every morning. I once shared one of my entries with a friend of mine, and it soon became a daily morning activity of the entire guesthouse – passing around my diary to read the latest “news” of Goa. And it was then I realised that I could actually write, and write pretty ok. It was on this beach, this bar, with these hippies, that I found my life’s passion.
So what’s so special about Goa? Besides being the birthplace of Psytrance, and the mecca for the International Hippie One Consciousness Association?
The beaches aren’t exactly spectacular, in some parts, litter piles are scattered across the small back lanes, empty glass bottles lay around carelessly, almost imitating the tourists who drank themselves to oblivion the evening before. But turn a corner and you will walk straight into a beautiful bunch of dreadlocked hippies, all ready to shower you with infinite love. It’s really about the people who are here right now, the people that have stepped foot here before us, and the generations of spiritual seekers and doers that will continue to come. It’s about finding a tribe of lovers that truly care about humanity and our connection with the planet, and the cosmos. And a powerful reminder that we have enough of us around the globe to make a difference if we wanted to.
Then there’s the stark contrasts between the rich tourists and the beach gypsies surviving on less than 5 USD a day, the constant nagging feeling that while you want to restore Goa to its pre-tourism glory, you being here is part of the problem, and the truth that there are many problems on this planet that need to be looked into, but it has to take a whole planet of human beings to be simultaneously awakened and enlightened to actually make a permanent change. People getting too fucked on everything being all rude and irresponsible and shit, and others who explore psychedelics for the first time and suddenly awaken to a kinder, gentler, more compassionate self.
Goa taught me that some things can’t be changed overnight, and many things just are what they are, and sometimes, we just need to learn how to flow with it. Goa taught me that we need a lot less to be happy, and life is not that complicated, as I watch the young girl that sold me some cheap jewellery 8 years ago now becoming a young mother with 2 kids. Goa taught me that being honest and nice was more important than what you worked as, or how much money you earned. Goa taught me that humanity has hope, and one day, I would love for you to join me here to experience that.
It’s only my 4th day here on Arambol beach, and who knows what might happen next? Fuck knows, but right now, it’s time for my next Kingfisher lager.
I will be working on my new book “The Universe and I Walked into a Bar – And the truths we shared” here in Arambol, Goa. If you would like to support my little love revolution, please give me your love and pre-order a copy here for only 13 Euros. Love!