Traveling ‘Alone’

The thing about traveling alone is that you meet so many people. Especially in countries where people are sociable and curious. I expected to be lonely, and I imagine that at some point I’ll tire of not making deeper friends, but at the moment it’s fascinating to have so many different kinds of conversations. Panjim two days ago I meet a fisherman who chatted with me about the kinds of fish in the Mandovi River in the morning. Resting in some shade that afternoon, I spent an hour chatting with a woman from Tamil Nadu whose family had won a trip to Goa. They had never before left Tamil Nadu, and they were a bit worried about finances – paying for their car and driver was 1000 rupees per day – but having the time of their lives. Her two daughters were bright-eyed and her goal was that they might go and work in America some day. That night I had dinner with a Dutch couple, both self-employed and able to travel at will.

Yesterday, after a chance word in a bookstore, I met a couple called John and Sangita Martin, who founded and run a charitable. They began in the 60s with bringing water to remote locations and graduated to microfinance and social renewal. At the moment they are working on starting up eco-tourism in India; currently they specifically need architects to help plan eco resorts. So I may have found something to do. I’ll stay at the beach in Benaulim one more day, leave Thursday to see the temples at Hampi for a few days, then take the train to the Konkan coast to meet up with the Martins. How long I stay and work with them will depend on how useful we both think I am, and how we get along, but at the moment I am very optimistic about their mission, their methods, and their energy. I hope I can be a valuable contributor.

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