About Girl Gone Goa
In 2008 I decided to live in Goa for half a year, ride a one-speed Indian bicycle, and chronicle the journey. I wrote more than 60 stories.
I returned to Goa in 2014 to turn the stories into a book. I photographed more than 100 Goa Moments in that four-month visit.
You can browse a story index, view just the Goa Moments, or read all the posts at once. You can also check the popular stories in the sidebar for thoughts such as It Runs in The Family. And take a look at the photos with images of people and places in Goa.
I’m a freelance writer, so you’ll also find full-text newspaper and magazine articles that I wrote for publications including columns that appeared in Momentum Magazine; as well as a profile of Ulrike Rodrigues, an opinion piece on tourism and garbage , a discussion of NRI Commission’s “Know Goa” program, and an introduction to the Goa Cycle Club and cycling in Goa.
I joke that I’m a typical Canadian: my mother is from Austria, my father is a Goan from Burma (now Myanmar). They met and married in England, I was born in Germany, and we moved to Canada when I was six.
Bemvinda is my middle name, my grandmother’s name and a way of saying “welcome” in Portuguese. I didn’t know that when I read the word “bemvindo” at the top of a menu a few years ago—I thought it meant “all you can eat” or “dinner special.”
Until just a few years ago, I also didn’t know that Goa—the place my father’s family comes from—was a Portuguese state in India until 1961. It never occurred to me that my last name, Rodrigues, isn’t a traditional Indian name. Or that being raised Roman Catholic isn’t a traditional Indian religion.
This blog is about me learning all that first hand: from October 2008 to April 2009 I lived, cycled and wrote in Goa for six months. I discovered and blogged what Goa means to people who live there. I met neighbours, relatives, expats and visitors. I bought and rode an Indian one-speed cycle and pedalled aimlessly.
I hope if you’re interested in Goa or cycling or human nature enjoy the stories.
Ulrike Bemvinda Rodrigues