Im going to India -GOA

22 hours later we got to Goa where we were met straight away by our driver (can I just say that the service we received was amazing. it was our first time booking through Southhall travel, and they did not dissappoint)

We got to our Hotel -Novotel Goa (Candolim) and were taken straight up to our room. With the boys being older we now get two adjoining rooms so that we can all have our own space. Hotel wise, we were not disappointed. It was a really nice clean hotel and the staff were attuned to our every needs.

Already we knew we were in a different place to our usual destination. There were Indians everywhere. It was a matter of spot the foreigner here, and we were only spotted because of our dressing.

So how did we spend our day here?

We woke up at 1 in the afternoon- our time at home being 8.30 am- Our internal clocks still tuned to British timing. Also the jet lagg is still seeping through our bodies.

We only have 4 days and we needed to make the most of it, and that we did.

Candolim Beach

We were told that this is the best beach around, and I have got to admit, it is a very clean and open beach…..Sunbathing on a beach means sharing your space with dogs, cats and cows. The occasional yelp of the dog, or a meow is do- able, but the moo of the cow- now that’s an entirely different culture shock.

The Cow- ‘Mata’ – Mother

For Hindus, Mothers are perceived as ‘Goddesses’ and therefore the Cow is a symbol of sacredness, because like a mother it gives out milk. So although they do not worship the cow, they do believe that it should be protected and looked after. And for this reason in India you will find cows everywhere. I mean everywhere, on the roads, the streets, shops and on the beaches. It’s an ordinary part of life in India.

Ive never seen so many dressed people on the beach on holiday. Im usually the only one in a burkini, here a burkini isnt even necessary, just go in fully dressed, no one really cares. I fit right in. You would think that on a beach its the one with the least clothes on that gets the stares, ill stop you right in your tracks, its usually me, fully dressed from head to toe, in the baking sun, sometimes the smiles are genuine, and sometimes….. well I like to ignore it. Im not one to get scared and walk away, but all I say is Live and Let live. I dont have a problem with the way people dress, so I expect the same back. (little rant over back to Goa)

The beach has a few activities going in, and we decided to go on one of the boats for a bit of sightseeing and dolphin watching,

Dressed for our ride….

At around £40 (or less) the 4 of us jumped on a boat, where they take us to 5 spots to see dolphins, and also a few tourist areas. The trip is roughly 2 and a half hours.

In terms of Dolphin watching, most of our boat trip was spent looking out to sea, trying to spot them. We didn’t get to see any jumping dolphins, a fin here or there was all we got. And it’s best to have your phone out and ready, otherwise you will miss it all.

5 secs in, a glimpse of a fin.

We were taken to a couple of spots for sight seeing. The problem I experienced is I am not really an indian film fanatic so most of it was lost on me and my boys. But the other guests in the boat we’re well informed and thoroughly enjoyed themselves and took hoards of pictures.

Fort Aguador- a very famous men’s prisons because of its location. Not in use at the moment. An indian film has used this prison as its set ‘Dil Chaata hain’
Jimmy Gazdars house- he is a notorious drug dealer and diamond smuggler in India, and this is one of his palaces, and this is the closest anyone can get to it. We didn’t know who he is, but the whole of India does.

Street Food at Candolim Beach

Walking down the beach we came to a little alley, which had a bazaar going on, and….. Street food!

What I came to India for. I love all junky and picky food. So this was heaven for me,

Mangoes with salt, chilli and chaat masala. Absolutely divine.
Charcoal cooked sweetcorn with salt and lemon. I’m salivating right now!
Fresh coconut water. Kept in ice boxes, so nice cool and refreshing!

That was day one in Goa, and can I say how much we enjoyed it? All tensions, all negative thoughts thoroughly buried, we had made the right decision. India is the place to be!

We spent our evenings in the hotel, enjoying the hotel and..

Well, boys will be boys…

But as long as I have my tea, I’m in the right place.

That was Day One, stay tuned for the remainder of our holiday….

Love and Regards

M11bna

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The First Stage of a Holiday…. Packing.

Right ok, so the yearly family holiday has been booked, and I’ve been furiously checking the weather at the destination every hour, just to make sure that the predicted weather and the current weather are in liaison with each other? (Do you do that too?) Just so that I can get an idea of what to pack.

The first stage of the holiday, and the excitement of it starts with the packing. Taking the suitcase out from under the beds, beating out the dust and taking in the aroma of an empty suitcase… ( I can smell it. It smells…. Empty!) oooooooh excitings

I have noticed a lot of influencers on Instagram at the moment are using all these little gadgets when packing clothes for their holidays.

Seriously we have reached a culture where we love watching people clean, wash their faces and also pack now!

So I thought while it’s trending l will show you all how I pack for my holidays (without the gadgets) and it’ll give me a chance to show off my clothes too!

This is well overdue, it’s from my trip to India back in October, our trip consisted of Nine packed full days where we went from Goa, to Mumbai and then a last 24 hours in Dubai and back home.

I consider myself to be a sensible packer. No. Actually I am a sensible packer. The men in the household however are not. Yup. We have switched roles here. They pack for all seasons and the whole month. But I only take the exact amount of outfits I need…. I hate bringing it all back and putting it all away.

So for the nine days I needed Nine full outfits, being a modest dresser that includes any tops to be worn inside and matching scarves.

Outfit no.1 trouser/skirt : Zara.
Black Top with gold buttons: Zara
Brown Scarf

And what I do is, I put the top and the scarf all inside, I also add the underwear here and I roll the trouser/skirt up in a roll like above.

Outfit. No. 2 Skirt/Trouser: Mango
Black and White Blouse: No idea!
Orange and Grey chiffon Scarf
Outfit. No. 3
Blue Jumpsuit : Mango
White Blouse : Mango
Nude and Blue scarf
Outfit.no. 4.
For my Day in Mumbai.
Indian Attire from Urbankai on Instagram
Outfit. No. 5
Jumpsuit: Shein
Black Blouse: Zara
Orange and Grey chiffon scarf
Outfit no. 6
Trousers: Zara
Top: Zara
Plain nude scarf
Outfit. No. 7
Denim style Linen trousers: Zara
Sleeve embroidered White Top: Zara
Light Grey Scarf
Outfit no.8
Olive Paperbag Trousers : Mango
Cream oversized blouse: Mango
creased effect scarf
Outfit. No 9 co-ord set: Shein
Contrasting cream scarf

And here they all are wrapped up within themselves, all of them have the appropriate scarves, tops, and underwear within.

I Love shoes- apart from when I’m on holiday. I hate taking good shoes because they always come back dusty and worn, and I hate showing feet skin (does that make sense?!) So on holiday my footwear is always covered. I chose the above footwear. The sandals are for the poolside and remaining footwear for day/ night comfort covering feet footwear (I didn’t realise just how particular I am until I started writing this. I actually sound quite old reading this back…. Oh my God. I am my mother!)

Don’t forget a toiletry bag for medication. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen and vitamin C are a must, all others to be added in as well.

And this is how I put it in the suitcase:

Here’s my nine outfits, plus my burkini with it’s scarf. One Toiletry bag with medication, One toiletry bag with cosmetics, and One toiletry bag with bath essential. On the other side of the suitcase I put in jewellery and shoes- so that they are away from the clothes. And don’t forget to chuck in the travel plugs.

This is such an easy way to pack and so ideal to just pull out an outfit daily. And you can see it all properly.

Hope you find it productive.

And now for my India Trip haul.

Coming up soon

Stay tuned

Love and Regards

M11bna

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