‘Falling in love with a place is just as exciting as falling in love with a person. Your senses become engaged and you simply feel more alive…, ’Fiona Caufield, a brand expert and futurist writes at the beginning of her latest Love series guidebook. And as you flip through the pages of her Goa edition, you certainly will fall in love with each love story (chapter).
Travel with the author to the North, Central and South Goa. The pages unravel many secrets that as locals you many not have heard of, like the butterfly park, and tourists will be interested to know where they take a scooter safari, go cycling or even go off on a bike adventure.
While guidebooks usually conjure images of endless lists of what to do and where, each entry in Fiona’s ‘heavily curated guide book on Goa’ has a unique story to tell. She tells of Dr Siddharth Sawaikar (MBBS) a physician and surgeon who is a consultant yoga therapist who combines yoga’s therapeutic benefits in healing. “The simplest criteria for inclusion in the guide was ‘does this place help you fall in love with Goa?’ If yes, then it was in; if no then, it was out. Simple.” All entries are based on merit, with no payments, commissions or incentives involved.
The book acts like a friend directing you to the right places. She even has a Blending In section where she acquaints the reader with the local culture. The famous IST (Indian Stretchable Time) and bureaucratic red tape finds their place in this section amongst other typical Goan/Indian quirks.
The books opens with poet Tany Mendonsa’s poem I sing a song of Goa, about both her deep love for Goa and her lament for some of the change that is taking place in the state. Next, Vivek Menezes presents a few must Must-Knows about the state, sharing Goa’s past, present and future in a pithy and informative few pages.
Aimed at the luxury vagabond, the 200-page book is completely hand made in India and printed on paper handmade in Jaipur. Was putting Love Goa different from the rest of the book? “Yes,” she replies adding, “it took a lot longer – it was the first state I have tackled and therefore I needed to cover more and it took longer – plus the seasonal variations in Goa required multiple visits.”
What makes the State a unique destination, she tells is it’s history and distinct culture as well as physical beauty.