In the many nuances of Goa, I discover how uncomfortable life has made me: unmarried still, and traveling solo, and riding on bikes that I was once so afraid of among many other such trivial, uncomfortable things. Not difficult, and hardly imperfect, but not the life of my little-girl eyes. And, I realize what a good thing uncomfortable is: you are bigger, and better, and so much more when life challenges you not just with the big jolts, but the little ones from the life you once envisaged.

You may travel alone and learn how to dance to loud music in your hotel room and giggle at yourself, and you may travel single and make more friends at a bar than you have ever known. You may learn to make friends in the moment: an eclectic woman you dance with, a man you crack a joke with, a man you sing James Blunt’s ‘You’re Beautiful’ with. When he leaves he’ll tell you, how rare it is to connect with a stranger over song lyrics.

You may sing for miles after, get on the bike unafraid, and actually spread your arms out, look up at the sky and feel the rain fall. It won’t matter that your clothes are soaked, that your singing is never in tune. In that moment when you take the mic at the Karaoke night, you will do it for the moment. For the joy of jiving with a perfect dancer you’ve never met before, and never will again; for how these moments stay with you long after they are gone.

Not just dancing, and not just dancing with somebody you’ve never met before: but being open, and warm-hearted and letting go. So much slips in through the crack, when you do.

You may eat something you never have before, you may share a room with too many people and it will be okay, you may stay to watch the stars for someone else: and it will be nothing you imagined, and so much better.

It will put into perspective the why’s:

Something didn’t work out because it made you smaller.

You like someone so unlike you because it makes you bigger.

You are where you are because of how much more you can be.

It is true. And, it is also why you need holidays, miles and miles of empty beach and rain through green Goa:

So you can make peace with the uncomfortables,

Embrace the unknowns,

Be a bigger you,

Without second thought.

The ultimate source of a happy life is warm-heartedness. This means extending to others the kind of concern we have for ourselves. On a simple level we find that if we have a compassionate heart we naturally have more friends. And scientists today are discovering that while anger and hatred eat into our immune system, warm-heartedness and compassion are good for our health. ~ Dalai Lama



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