For most the mention of India conjures up images of the Taj Mahal, busy streets and colourful saris. For me, I knew there was more. When I planned to visit India for 6 weeks I knew it would be exhausting, chaotic and one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. So I made sure I factored a bit of R&R time on the beaches of Southern Goa. That’s right India has beaches, and they’re kind of amazing!

A true tropical paradise // Photo by Samantha Reid @samanthalreid

Wasting my days away // Photo by Samantha Reid @samanthalreid

Grandad taking the kids to school. I couldn’t get over how happy and friendly the locals were in this region // Photo by Samantha Reid @samanthalreid

I booked myself a beach shack and spent 5 days soaking up the sunshine, swimming in the Arabian Sea and enjoying fresh juice after fresh juice. Agonda was my base and I was delighted to have almost the entire beach to myself. My timing wasn’t ideal, I arrived just before the monsoon season. Although this did mean the beaches were almost deserted it also meant the humidity was through the roof. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced heat like this in my life. Lucky the ocean was mere metres from my doorstep so I spent most of my time floating away from the heat of the day in the cool waters of the sea.

Sunset looked like this every single day! // Photo by Samantha Reid @samanthalreid

The cutest beach shacks I’ve ever seen // Photo by Samantha Reid @samanthalreid

Furry friends sheltering from the blistering heat // Photo by Samantha Reid @samanthalreid

Drying coconuts in the midday sun // Photo by Samantha Reid @samanthalreid

Nearby Palolem Beach offers a slight change of scenery with a couple of beach bars, stalls selling local handicrafts and another long stretch of beautiful white sand beach. I grabbed a tuk tuk to get there and spent a day wandering the beach and enjoying somewhere a little different before happily returning to my beach shack at Agonda.

Colourful Palolem beach // Photo by Samantha Reid @samanthalreid

I could stand and take in this view all day long! // Photo by Samantha Reid @samanthalreid

Goa is quite the contrast to the chaos of the big cities like Delhi and Mumbai. The people are laid back and friendly and there’s an easy-going vibe that washes over the region. It’s the perfect place to escape for a few days to collect your thoughts and find some balance before you throw yourself back into the crazy, beautiful, life changing country that is India!

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Words & Photographs by Samantha Reid @samanthalried