In some ways, I can’t believe it’s already the last weeks of 2022. In other ways, I can. What a whirlwind it has been! For me, this year has been one long summer … but more about that later.
I’m finishing my year overseas as it began … in India! Goa, to be specific, where we were shooting the Naudic summer campaign (starting this month, with new releases all the way through to January 2023). Bear with me as I try to summarise the experience in a blog post – as is usually the case with India, the sights, sounds, and smells are too vivid to be conveyed in words.
There are words that spring to mind to when I’m thinking about the past 3 weeks in Goa … nourishment, nurturing, relaxation, cleansing, creating, meditating, sharing, immersion, and liberation. Imagine, letting yourself experience all of this in one place. It can happen, once you allow it. I knew Goa was special from the minute we arrived. It was in the warm welcome to the house we featured in the shoot, that boasted central hallways, with a dining table big enough for a crowd to sit around, and bright tables around the poolside. Gardens flowed with soft pink hibiscus, shaded by the tallest coconut and palm trees, all gently nurtured by a full-time gardener.
We started the trip with the campaign shoot, taking to the beaches and the streets, exploring the Portuguese-inspired architecture. After hours treats are to be found with a few sundowners at eateries around the city (and there are a lot!), with dedicated streets of old homes converted into cafes, bars and restaurants. There were too many favourites, but a particular few were The Flying Goat, Escobar, and Dunes, all boasting incredibly different atmospheres, but all with friendly people.
Nighttime entertainment options are endless. I alternated between a night out – jam sessions in jazz bars between a Russian saxophone player and pianist – and a night in the library. The jazz bar had an alternating trio of bassists, keyboardists, and drummers. The tunes are complemented with a vegan food menu, fun cocktails, and a fresh herb garden as the entrance. This is one of those hidden treasures that I wouldn’t have discovered without some local intel – a dear, local friend recommended it to me, because I was on the hunt for the best spots.
A typical day started with work. Being in India means indulging in the beauty of Australia being five hours ahead, allowing for concentrated work before and during breakfast. Morning work was always followed with yoga (which included being hung upside-down!), brunch, beach, and a massage or walk. After more work followed lunch, and whatever else the day held. Goa offers anything you could possibly want, take it all in.
After the shoot, it was time to relax and celebrate 2022. This year has been about liberation – exploring the world again, rekindling connections and projects, and setting the scene for what happens next. Stopping to reflect for 2023 casts a new light on these experiences. Have you ever given yourself permission to stop, review ,and reassess where you’re at? Look at what’s working and what’s not needed anymore. Say hello to the new, and goodbye to the old. Give yourself permission to not fill your calendar just because it’s the ‘right’ thing to do. It’s more difficult than it sounds!
Goa gave me this permission. Having started 2022’s adventures in India, it was fated that would end there.
Goa is anything you want it to be - an artist’s playground, a yogi’s paradise, and restaurateur’s experiment, a designer’s pool of inspiration. This isn’t the end of my stories of Goa. This trip felt like the beginning of something new to come … What that is, I’m not completely sure yet. But I know that it will become clear soon.
Until next time,