Today’s Balanced Babe is just as comfortable trekking in the rain forests as she is spending the day at a spa. Rachel Jones is an American who left a career in nursing to live on the beaches of Goa, India nearly 3 years ago where she is now a Thai masseuse, candle-maker, and travel writer. Her award winning website gives advice on the other 28 countries she’s been to but has become the go-to site on India travel, focusing on offbeat places & “glamorous travel”. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE magazine & was voted by Flipkey as one of the top 25 female bloggers to follow this year. You can follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram via her travel website!
BB: After graduating from Nursing School you spent about a year in North Carolina working in a hospital cardiac care unit. What made you realize that this wasn’t for you?
I didn’t know right away. I didn’t love nursing, but was planning to be a travel nurse in the U.S. so I could take months off at a time to travel internationally. When I went to India that all changed, since I now live here in Goa! I knew nursing couldn’t work here, and I didn’t want to be a nurse, at least then. I could see myself doing it again one day and keeping my license active.
BB: Can you offer advice on how we can each move forward to create our own vision of success and adventure?
There’s no clear cut plan but I think people get caught up in following one like go to college, get a job, maybe grad school, and stay at that job forever. Starting a business sounds scary. Since moving to India, I created a successful blog which makes me about 1/2 what I made as a nurse my first year. I also started a candle business which wasn’t a huge success but wasn’t a failure either. I became a Thai Yoga masseuse. It’s not my dream job either. I think it’s about trying new things and finding what you like.
BB: You’ve traveled the globe. What countries would you say seem to have the healthiest lifestyle?
Funnily enough Indians don’t have a healthy lifestyle, but all the foreigners living here sure do. They come here for yoga and go on health kicks, while the Indian people eat their fried food! But, it still makes me think of Goa (India) as healthy since there are so many health food shops, natural remedies for illnesses, and mostly veg diets. France was also healthy in a weird way… the girls I knew there dieted very strictly but still drank wine and smoked cigarettes all night. So, I guess since I consider a place with wine and cigarettes as a healthy place, I’m not the one to ask!
BB: What is your typical day’s meal plan when you’re not traveling?
I am trying to be a bit more healthy these days, now that these tiny bikinis are in style! I’ve been eating a Poptart & coffee for breakfast (I know, this is starting out like I’m lying about being healthy…), for lunch I go for a small sandwich like tuna and for dinner we make a meat, veg, and potatoes most nights. I can’t eat veggies plain though, so usually do something a little unhealthy to them like cheesy cauliflower or glazed carrots. I stick to water mostly. OK, and beer. and wine… I do try to cut back on snacking.
BB: How do you maintain the Balanced Babe lifestyle?
I make sure I do my workout before I check my mail or have coffee. I wake up, do 30 minutes of HIIT that a friend helped me plan. Usually a friend comes over and does it with me. I then take a short swim, all before 9 am. I even run my errands early before starting work. After I do emails and write, I try to shut down my brain a bit. I go to bed early unless there’s a party- I try not to stay up late watching TV. I also think giving yourself some pampering is important and refreshing. I guess it’s easier for me in India because I have a facialist and masseuse who come to my house for less than 15 bucks a treatment.
BB: Where to next on your travels?
I am planning to go to UK and Austria with my boyfriend this month. Next, I explore Kerala on a work trip, then I head to Bangkok for a conference in October, and NE India for about 10 days in November. I’ll take a break over Christmas!