Coming to Goa

 A Home Run in Healthcare

The article below first appeared in VIVA GOA magazine in June, 2012.

Our journey to Goa began with a holiday in 2001. Goa was not our first choice for winter sun. We were supposed to be going to the Caribbean but fate intervened, and we landed up right on the beach at Sernabatim.

Alison and Martin with Big Harry

We made the decision to quit the UK and replicate our business in India in March 2006. The timing was right for an adventure; we had developed our UK business to a point where further expansion would entail a big change and we wanted to have the experience of working in a different culture. Exactly six months later we arrived in Goa with two suitcases having sold up everything at home including the home.

I think sometimes in life you only know you’re on the right path if doors keep opening. They did,so we stayed. What was supposed to be a three year project has lengthened into six years and counting.

We set about finding premises to live in and rooms to work from. Following a short publicity campaign, in March 2007 we treated our first client in a small room in the centre of Margao. Less than two years later business was such that we needed larger premises to work from and we moved to our present rooms in the modern Sports and Fitness Centre at Chowgule College.


Alison in office

When we look back, it is the unexpected laughs that stand out.  Like being in a hospital at 7am on a Sunday morning, trying to explain to the doctor how we had come to fall off our scooter.  I said: ‘We were hit by a pig’.  ‘Ah yes,’ he said, ‘Indian wildlife!’.

Or the time we left our wet weather gear in a rickshaw (because our beloved Bullet had broken down, again). Next morning a trip to the rickshaw stand, handing out business cards, not expecting much. Twenty minutes later, rickshaw driver arrives at our home to return the clothes.

We do love the climate, the food, and even the anarchy on the roads.  We dislike the garbage, the general untidiness, and the lack of planning which leads to indiscriminate building without the infrastructure to support it.


From home we sometimes miss countryside beautifully kept and easily accessible. We are both keen runners and only when you leave the UK do you realize how good Britain is at providing off road running, along rivers, through woodland, over hills and down dales.  We miss friends, cultural and arts events, and pubs.

Our work is healthcare – we are both physical therapists using different approaches (chiropractic and Bowen) to facilitate self healing, without drugs or surgery. We do not have to strike a balance between work and home because generally our work is rewarding and fun. It enables us to put back, to give of the skills we have learned to help people understand how they can help themselves.

Daily life starts early, around 5am, which give us time for exercise and meditation. We both like early morning in India – it is the only time the country is quiet! Running gives us both the relaxation and the energy we need. That is not a contradiction – the fitter you are, the more energy you have.

We try to take regular holidays, usually in India. Our favourite destinations have been Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Outside of India we love Kefalonia (a Greek Island), Sicily, France and Borneo. Generally we are attracted to places for their ambience, food, history and architecture.

But who knows where we will go next.  Ultimately, as Marcel Proust observed: ‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes’.


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