The year was 2004.
The month was April.
We were but 19 years of age. And we’d decided that we deserved a vacation. After all, it was the end of our college days. We’d completed a super-hard year of TYBA with a major in Psychology. It started out with 4 of us girls deciding to go to Goa. By ourselves. Which of course, was a great achievement given it would be our first trip without parents. I’ll refer to the girls as M, A and P. Three of my closest friends through that final year of college. A and P were probably closer to each other while M and myself were the other dyad. Somehow though, before the trip was finalised, more people joined in. A‘s boyfriend AJ, a couple of his friends (whose names I don’t even remember!), and a couple of other people from college S, R and L. Don’t ask me how that happened. My memory fails me there. Oh, and my sister also joined in. Yes, I took my then 14 year old sister on a holiday. I love her that much.
So anyway, we were to be there I think for about 3 to 5 days at this resort near the beach that was owned by M’s uncle. The plan was mainly just RnR. I, for one, was not interested in sight-seeing given that I had been to Goa some years before and well, was just exhausted after the TYBA year. We left for Goa by train from Bombay. It was a looooooooong trip. In the second-class (read: Non-air conditioned) compartment. Only A and AJ had chosen an air-conditioned apartment so we’d visit them often. In hindsight, I doubt the couple liked that! Finally, we got to Goa and were picked up from the station.
At the resort, we checked in with M, my sis and I sharing a room, A and AJ another, P and R another, S and L (another couple) sharing one and the two guys whose name I don’t know sharing the other. The holiday started off well. We did our own thing. Some people went sightseeing. Some went to the beach. Some of us like yours truly, lazed indoors. That was a stage when I was fat and refused to wear swimmers. So for me, beach visits were to walk and not sunbake and relax.
And then somehow, things went downhill. It started with a fight between A and P. I still can’t remember what it was about. And then there was a fight between A and AJ. This was after we had a good night drinking and getting tipsy [And I had tequila shots the first time ever!]. All except M and my sis. It was my first time getting drunk and I found out I am a depressed drunk. [I’m fun when I’m tipsy…more than that, not so much!] Anyway, A spent the night in our room but did end up making up with AJ only to break up with him around August that year. Her and P on the other hand, broke up completely. Like I said, I still can’t remember what it was about.
But I learnt a few things from this trip:
- Time away and together can be a make or break time for relationships including friendships. M and me are still close despite her being in Bombay and me here. Whenever I’ve gone back and caught up with her, it’s like we’ve never been apart.
- If you want to go away, do so with only a small group of friends. Especially if you are an introvert like me. Big groups end up having problems.
- Telling your younger sister to not tell mum you were drunk but then telling mum yourself is a bit stupid. Your sister will never respect you again!
- Getting drunk the night before a long train journey is NOT a good idea. Travelling in the humidity and heat in a second class compartment on the train for almost half a day with a hangover will teach you that.
- Coffee does not work for hangovers.
- Tomato juice does not work for hangovers. [I know now through experience it’s lots and lots of water and Panadol!]
- When you are staying at a resort by the beach, use the goddam beach! Your body image issues don’t matter.
- Sometimes, some relationships are just not meant to be from the beginning. But that doesn’t mean you don’t cherish the moments you did have.
- Years later you will look back on things you did and laugh at yourself.
- No matter how stressful or how obnoxious things seem during a holiday, you will find moments that will stay with you forever. Moments that will make it an incredible experience.
So while this trip wasn’t a life-defining one by any means nor was it one where I “found myself”, it is still one that taught me a lot. And like I said, if I go away again, I’m going with a max of 4 people!
Until next time,