A week ago I was in Goa in India on a short IT training course. My last visit to Goa was nearly 20 years ago.
It’s only a three hour plane flight from Doha to the west coast of India, though the daily Qatar airways flights are inconveniently scheduled to arrive in Goa at 3am and depart back to Doha at 4am.
The price of IT training is substantially lower than in the west, despite adding the costs of flights. Indian IT expertise is very high. I was with people who had travelled from the USA, UK and other bits of Europe for the various IT courses available.
The training centre is on the top of a somewhat ramshackle building with small training rooms squashed into all available space. The journey up stairs to the centre was not inspiring.
Take a trip up the stairway with me
I spent three days in small air-conditioned training room. I learned a lot. The training was excellent. I also had a day or so either side of the training to be a tourist.
Goa has changed in the last 20 years since our last visit. From a few tourist flights a week and unspoiled villages and beaches, it is now a major winter sun destination attracting hoards of British and more recently Russian tourists.
Baga Beach where we stayed all those years ago has changed from a sleepy village with a few shops and restaurants and a handful of hotels all surrounded by fields, to a crowded, bustling and not too pleasant place. Sometimes it is best not to go back.
Our previous winter holidays were to escape the cold of the UK. As we get sun all year round in Doha, the weather in a vacation destination is now of far less significance. Nonetheless it was good to get out of Doha for a week after seven months in the city.