Meet the Gypsies : Rachel from Hippie in Heels

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Meet the Gypsies : Rachel of Hippie in Heels

1. Who are you? Where are you from? Where are you now?

Hi! I’m Rachel and I run the blog Hippie in Heels. I’m from Ohio but live in Goa, India. I have been in India almost 2 years now.

2. What’s your packing strategy? Heavy or light packer? Backpack or suitcase?

I change it up a lot, but just recently bought a big hardback suitcase. I travel domestically a lot from India and stay in hotels more than guesthouses now. Backpacks are starting to be a little annoying. I pack light so I can shop more!

3. How do you afford your travels? Budget traveler or lean more towards luxury?

I make a tiny bit of money from my blog, make a decent amount from Thai Yoga Massage, which I learned here in India. I also still have some savings from when I was a nurse. I live with my boyfriend so that helps a lot!

4. If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?

I would go to Sikkim. It’s high up in the mountains in NE India and I’m dying to go this monsoon. From the highest peak, you can look over and see Mt. Everest. It’s full of wild flowers and near Darjeeling. I could fly into Calcutta and turn it into an awesome month-long trip.


5. Is there anywhere you won’t travel to and why?

No, I would travel anywhere. I don’t have much desire to go back to the Thai islands, but everywhere I have been other than that I’d love to go back to. Anywhere I haven’t been I want to go!

6. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve eaten?

I ate a scorpion in Thailand, but didn’t like it near as much as the grasshoppers in Uganda!

7. You have been living in India for a little bit now. What’s one thing that you love about it and one thing you’re not so crazy about?

India has intense highs and lows as almost everyone who travels here will agree. I love the scenery, the bright colors, and the beach here in Goa where I live. It’s exciting every day. The lows are a little too low… sometimes the people can really upset me. The men can be rude and pushy in certain cities. You have to learn to stand up for yourself really quickly. I plan to learn Hindi this summer and I think that will help immensely.

8. What fashion packing tips do you have for women traveling very light?

I would say maxi dresses are the best thing on earth. They are light, small and make getting ready really easy. I pack about 5 of them. I also take a sarong and scarf for India, but silk light weight ones. I know it costs more, but I use sample size toiletries so that I can carry a lighter bag. I also forgo bras which take a lot of space. I always take a mini- OPI nail polish so if I get my nails done somewhere with old polish I can use my own. Take only 1 pair of shoes on a short trip; some cute sandals.

9. What’s the #1 item on your bucket list?

Woah, that’s a hard-hitting question. Right now I’m really wanting to get to the Philippines. The islands look so inviting.

10. What’s your most important advice for someone wanting to visit India?

I am so full of advice, it’s hard to know where to start. I think the most important thing is to not get overwhelmed. I get e-mails that say, “I’m freaking out! I hate it here! I don’t know what to do next but I don’t want to leave my hotel room.” You’re not alone, but the thing is I feel like India can read your feelings and you have to act positive and hopefully. You have to let India be that way it is and evolve or you’ll be miserable. Things aren’t easy here. You have to accept that and move on.

11. Most importantly, where to next?

We plan to take a trip to the mountains. It’s monsoon in Goa and we can only handle so much of intense rain. I think we’ll do a couple weeks in Himachal Pradesh or Uttarkhand. After, I plan to spend 2 weeks in Karnataka, seeing what the jungle in monsoon is all about.

Where to Find Rachel…

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Dave Cole

    As if I did not need another reason to go to Uganda, now I find out that they eat grasshoppers! Every time I read about a blogger who has spent a significant amount in time in India, I get the itch to head to the subcontinent. Great Q&A!

    Will you be seeking out scorpion once you get to SE Asia?

  2. It’s great to meet you Rachel and congratulations on your featured post! I’ve sure enjoyed getting to know you here and checking out your blog. I especially enjoyed your post about what you learned from the Dalai Lama. It inspired me to smile more everyday! Looking forward to reading some more. Thanks for the tip on the maxi dresses.

  3. Alli

    Nice set of Q&A! Fascinating to read about someone living not only in India but Goa! I’d love to embark there someday soon to experience all the intense highs and lows.

  4. Great Q&A. I loved India and I would move there in a heartbeat if I could find a way how… and convince my husband, who didn’t love it so much. I actually applied for a PhD just because it would have given me the chance to spend a year in India. Would love to read more about Rachel’s adventures!

  5. Chris Boothman

    It’s great to get to know Rachel a little better! There are so many diverse people out there and it’s crazy to think how we are all experiencing life in such different ways. Not sure that I could face scorpion in SE Asia but maybe that’s a hint for Ashley to try that when she ventures off on her travels to that part of the world. Great interview guys!

  6. Hannah

    I loved this interview! India gets such a bad rep as a destination for females so it’s nice to hear the positive comments from someone who is actually living there. And Sikkim sounds incredibly beautiful! Never heard of it before but now I want to go!

  7. Angela Travels

    Great introduction. I would love to travel to India. The mountain peak during a monsoon sounds amazing. I hope to see pictures πŸ™‚

  8. Ryan Biddulph

    Ashley, way cool! We didn’t make it up to Goa, as we did Kovalam Beach during our recent trip. As for faves, love the southern tip of Phuket, Vietnam, Bali….heck, everywhere we’ve been πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the pics and interview!

  9. Great interview! I’m of Indian descent and have been many times so always find it fascinating to hear other people’s experiences of it! Can’t believe you ate both scorpion and grasshopper! I too would also love to visit the Philippines!

  10. NZ Muse

    I’ve always loved dresses, and basically lived in two different ones on our RTW trip!

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