• expat in goa

“What do you do all day?” (Expat in Goa)

I get asked from friends back home “so… what do you actually DO all day?” and I can see why since neither Ben or I have a 9-5 job. We have a lot of freedom to work when we want and options to travel or just decide to do nothing for the day (although we shouldn’t).

There are times I schedule out posts weeks ahead of time so I can hang with friends and family without having to sit on my computer- which leads them to question even more, “When exactly do you work?”.

Our days usually don’t start until about 10 with some coffee and checking emails; then it’s usually Ben and I asking each other, “so… what do you want to do today?” Him and I share a very similar work ethic which is work on our computers for 12 hours straight like a maniac then take a few days without being so hard on ourselves.

Ben has a “real job” and actual responsibilities, which usually means although he can go to the beach instead of office, he might be on his phone the whole time.

Although I put up about 4-5 blog posts a week, I find myself with a lot of free time. I spend most of it with Ben at long lunches or the beach… other parts, with the dog or by the pool and in the evenings, out to dinner or out partying with friends. I had about a million photos on my camera roll some of which I share on my personal Facebook profile, but not on my blog because they don’t have much to do with travel. Figured I’d just share them in one post.

Expat in Goa

expat in goa

expat in goaI try to get flowers at Mapusa market every week. I usually take the bouquet apart and remake it myself when I get home. I spend about $5 bucks a week on flowers. They don’t last long here (I don’t know why that is).

expat in goaThis is Scully, a friend’s dog. There are always cute dogs around and puppies that need adopted.

expat in goaBen is a terrible influence on my eating habits. At least, I’d like to believe it’s his fault. Thalassa take away, Cafe Nu in Mandrem, pork belly from Go with the Flow, and waffles from a cute place in Kochi, Kerala which I guess shouldn’t be in this post since it’s about Goa ;)

expat in goaI feel like I spend a LOT of time driving back and forth to the airport and train stations. Goa’s airport is near nothing so it’s a pain in the butt. I spend more time in the car to the airport than the flight is long to Bombay.

expat in goaNights out when Britani my friend from the US visited

expat in goa

expat in goaMy cat is a pyromaniac … but seriously. I also make candles which aren’t a super hot selling item (I am going to decrease the price on them before season ends) but they are fun to make and I love having them in the house.

expat in goaThe cat was not the most welcome creature in our house. I always had bad experiences with them (roommates in college that had crazy ones!) and I am allergic. The cat has grown on me.. a lot! We are now best buddies… but my allergies are out of control. Anyone know a good allergist in Goa?

expat in goaveggies at the market, me in our car- the famous omni, kitkat is his typical hang out spot with the security guards, and two of the security guards of our complex who are really nice and help us with all kinds of stuff.

expat in goaRishab is one of my best buds, and Ben’s BFF. He works at Thalassa, one of the many reasons we hang there so much.

expat in goaMORE FOOD… chicken in mushroom sauce at Villa Blanche, takeaway for my favorite Goan place, steak and risotto at La Plage, and pizza from Basilico in Anjuna

expat in goaHow I ever manage to get anything done with such cute pets is a mystery 

expat in goaGot the yummiest cake for Priyankas birthday from Ivan Stolfi who does catering in Goa! I don’t have his business card on hand to give you the info but email me if you’re interested and I’ll find out.

expat in goaMy dad at the Wednesday Flea Market. I don’t go every week because it does get old, but it’s a nice option. The Saturday one I usually make (just for the chicken!)

expat in goaMy Delhi (but now basically Goan girl) Priyanka

expat in goaShanti girl loves the beach since she was a beach dog in Kochi before Ben got her. To bring her to Goa, he had to put her in a cage on the train up with the conductor. He sent some friends to go with her and bring her to the house. The doorbell rang at 5 am and there was Shanti (she was confused, but after a couple days she adjusted to her new home)

expat in goa

expat in goaSo much time just hugging animals…. and napping (which is totally okay since Goa has 1-3 pm siesta)

expat in goaI got lots of clothes made when I bought khadi in Karnataka and commissioned TIA to make me some dresses and crop tops. Ben sent me this pic of the ducks (random!) and the last photo is celebrating Christmas opening a present my best friend Rachel Schlarb sent me from the US.

expat in goa

expat in goaThis guy was walking his cow through the water, while another cow ate a poor guys lunch. I didn’t interrupt the cow as I have already been head-butted by a cow once – which was one to many times.

expat in goaMy business cards for ISLA candles which I sell them in about 7 shop around Goa. I was pretty stoked by these super cute business cards. I have another card for my massage and blogging with a cute logo Ben made me. You can get cards printed in Panjim for next to nothing so if you’ve ever wanted biz cards you should totally go get them made while here.

expat in goaBrit literally hated this cat at first, so catching them cuddled up like this was SO cute

expat in goaSleeping guard dogs outside of Chesire Cat in Assagao (one place I sell my candles) and Snowy – who is not even our dog but just LOVES napping in our house.

expat in goaa homemade soup by me (the only thing I cook other than sandwiches) which is a recipe I tweak by Jamie Oliver (the most adorable chef on the plant- love you Jamie!! lol), a pile of Indian food from Starlight, and chocolate fondue from A Reverie

And that’s it! The most recent non-travel pics on my Instagram which pretty accurately show what I do all day.

Ben and I don’t know how long we’ll be in Goa for. I do know I’ve seen a LOT of India and I’m itching to go to some new countries (or continents even) and I really want to go back to Europe and visit Ben’s people in England and Austria this year.

Although I do make money from blogging, which I can do anywhere- my every day spending money from massage is really helpful so if I took a huge backpacking trip for a couple months I wouldn’t have that extra massage income. But, if I could I would totally go to South America which is the next place on my bucket list! For now, Goa is pretty damn great.

PS: For tips on Goa check out my 170-page e-book, Insider’s Guide to Goa. After five years of living in Goa, I am confident this book is the most comprehensive, up-to-date guide to Goa plus it has all my secrets inside. Click here to buy it now.


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Emma Helen January 28, 2015 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    It’s really nice to see some more personal photos of your life in Goa. Yummy food, cute animals, beautiful sunsets… it really does look pretty fabulous!

    It’s exciting that you’re getting itchy feet though.. who knows where you’ll end up next!

    • Rachel Jones January 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks Emma, I’m curious to see what place is next for me.. but think Goa is going to be for a while longer. We’ll see!

      • Vijay June 9, 2018 at 10:58 pm - Reply

        Is there pub open during monsoon

  2. Justine January 28, 2015 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    I agree that it’s nice to see a glimpse of your life in Goa. Seeing your kitty makes me miss my cat back home! It seems like you guys have made a nice life in Goa but I can certainly understand having the itch to explore other countries! I feel the same way!!

    • Rachel Jones January 29, 2015 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      Having pets as an expat also makes it harder to travel or I would say get another cat:)

  3. Tempesst January 28, 2015 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Loved getting to see more about your life in goa!

  4. Ashley of Ashley Abroad January 28, 2015 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Loved this glimpse into your life in India :). The cows on the beach cracked me up and your dog is freaking adorable. I love her name too!

    • Rachel Jones January 29, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks! She was named by ben’s employees but she is NOT a shanti dog lol she’s piso (crazy in konkani)

  5. venus john January 28, 2015 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    wonderful photos..nice post..for your allery, dr.bernadette crasto dabholkar and her husband are both doctors from goa medical college..though Bernadette is an anesthesiologist.. she would know a suitable doctor to treat allergies.if you ask her…she is on my facebook page too,and my classmate from school,though we are not really in touch now..except on facebook..her phone number probably is on this page vrundavan shalby hospital mapusa

  6. venus john January 28, 2015 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    you have great life here..don’t move out permanently..you can make some money,perhaps back home in the u.s,and build a house in goa..so that this can be a part of your life always.. of course,its just a suggestion..sorry if I am being too familiar..

    • Rachel Jones January 29, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      It’s a nice thought. Ben’s talked about buying a house here but it’s pretty hard as a foreigner- but Goa will definitely be a place we come and visit even if we do move out. We have no plans to move as of now.

      • Manisha Hunter February 3, 2015 at 10:59 am - Reply


        I am of Indian origin (although not from Goa) and fell in love with Goa during one of trips there. I ended up buying a sea facing apartment in Vasco da Gama. Loved reading your posts…I am visiting again in June this year. Would love your suggestion on how to go about renting my place after my stay.


        • Rachel Jones February 3, 2015 at 2:32 pm - Reply

          Hmm I don’t know much about renting a place out, i think you should go through an agent or even use OLX.

  7. Ashley January 28, 2015 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing! It’s nice to read a bit about your day to day life. And I am also obsessed with Jamie Oliver haha.

    • Rachel Jones January 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      He’s sooooo freakin adorable!! Ben’s english accent is fading which is killing me b/c his whole family sounds like Jamie which means ben most likely used to.. but 5 years out of england and it’s not so noticable.

  8. Christine @thetraveloguer January 28, 2015 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    I loved this post Rachel, mostly because I’m nosey, but also for the delicious looking food pics! It’s great to see more of your daily life in Goa :)

    • Rachel Jones January 29, 2015 at 1:02 pm - Reply

      haha the “nosey” posts always are favorites. They are my favorites to read on other blogs!

  9. Renuka January 28, 2015 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    OMG! Crazy post. :D Fun to have a sneak peek into your life in Goa.

  10. s a joshi January 29, 2015 at 9:50 am - Reply

    and now….Microsoft job at seattle is my second fav profession :D

  11. Nadja January 29, 2015 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Sounds like an awesome life! :)

  12. Elizabeth January 29, 2015 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    I find it so interesting to get insights into people’s daily lives, especially as expats, and yours looks like a lot of fun! It must be tough being self-employed though. I took an entrepreneurship course a couple of years ago and it really opened my eyes!

    • Rachel Jones January 30, 2015 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      Yeah it can be hard and sometimes I miss having a set paycheck just for showing up and doing what I’m told

  13. Andrea Anastasiou January 30, 2015 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Nice life ;-) Your schedule sounds like ours – work like maniacs for a few days, then take a few days to chill and eat and drink and shop…

    • Rachel Jones January 30, 2015 at 5:37 pm - Reply

      Good to know we aren’t the only ones.

    • Charl Blair February 13, 2016 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Any idea what Andrea Anastasiou does when working “like an maniac?” I wear of couple of different – not totally unrelated – hats, business-wise. For much of the past 25+ years in more than 40 countries worldwide, I’ve been acting as an advisor/consultant – mainly to governments in the developing world, private sector clients too – on key aspects of their tourism development. My current focus is with investors/developers in the tourism sector in Vietnam, where I’ve been working on a regular basis for the last 16 years (though based in the UK). My ‘other hat’…is an international art consultancy, working with high-end architects, interior designers, property developers, planners and landscape architects as the art consultants on their projects. Could be almost anything…hotels/resorts, condos, shopping malls, clinics, corporate HQs and so on. Much of this is in the Gulf/Middle East. I just thought that, logistically, Goa would be a good half-way point!

  14. savio January 31, 2015 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Haha you said Bombay! you’re no longer an expat, you’re Goan.

  15. Abhineet February 2, 2015 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Overall a very nice blog, I’m being following it since a time now… About me, I also shifted Goa with no good reasons, but I’m loving.
    Being this blog is named hippie why don’t you post something about smoking joints, doing psychedelic with shanti, getting drunked… I hope to see something like that …What I do all day, start with a tea and joint. Ride to beach, some beers on beach, some off beach. Come back to place where it started, my little room. I’ll come to arambol for some music, drum circle as we call it. I hope I see you there.
    Goa forever people.cheers

    • Rachel Jones February 3, 2015 at 2:29 pm - Reply

      haha, well being a hippie doesn’t mean I do drugs and it’s not what this blog is about but i’m glad you are enjoying yourself in arambol

  16. venus john February 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    you could also do some import export business..where you could work partly from goa/india and partly from the U.S. so you don’t get homesick…and one way to get around the redtape of owning a house in goa..could be perhaps to take a 100 year lease from the owner..which would be almost as good as buying a house..an indian family I knew in the u.a.e, had taken a very long lease on a villa,as expats could not purchase property in that country until a few years back..

    • Rachel Jones February 3, 2015 at 2:31 pm - Reply

      It seems that is what lots of expats here have to do – but is a bit scary to rent long term as they can cancel the lease and as foreigners we don’t have as many rights … *sigh

  17. Abhineet February 2, 2015 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    And u also read your interview. Awesome!

  18. Anna February 10, 2015 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for your blog. Right after Id bought my planet ticket to visit India for a month by myself I had heart palpitations immediately (feeling like oh god, what did I get myself into, which was increased by the numbers of friends and family who thought it was a dangerous thing to do). Coming across your experiences made me feel a ton better! I’ve been in the country for just over two weeks and the worst things that have happened is an upset stomach and getting a bit ripped off by rickshaw drivers (but not horribly). I’m coming to Goa for a week starting on Sunday and I can’t wait to spend some time relaxing on the beaches and checking out the markets!

    • Rachel Jones February 11, 2015 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      Happy to hear my blog has helped you ease fears.. you’re going to enjoy Goa for sure!

  19. Dannielle Lily July 27, 2015 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Really enjoyed this insight into life in paradise! Hopefully that’s how my days will be shaped some day. Work hard, play harder :)

  20. Charl Blair February 13, 2016 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Too many dogs for my liking, but never mind…nowhere’s perfect, not even Goa. But, what’s the situation regarding residency and visas etc. for longer stays or living there? I have British and Aussie passports? Also, what’s the art scene like there, many artists? Not that I’m one, more interested from a doing business perspective. Thanks! Charl

    • Rachel Jones February 13, 2016 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      Residency is nearly impossible, no matter which visa you still have to exit every 6 months so most people get tourist visas and just keep renewing. not sure for UK, for US its 10 years now. yes, there are many artists here

      • Charl Blair February 13, 2016 at 7:13 pm - Reply

        Very many thanks for your prompt reply, Rachel. I wasn’t thinking so much in terms of ‘permanent residency’ – more extension of the tourist visa (how long is that typically issued for?). Where can you get to directly from the airport in Goa…Gulf/Dubai, Bangkok? I’d be in and out of the country fairly regularly anyway, and could easily re-new the visa as necessary. Can you please recommend a good real estate agent to find somewhere reliable to rent, small house or apartment? Charl

  21. Dan May 17, 2016 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Very cool thanks – Im at a point again where I ened to travel – but all stress reducing & making a plan $$ & medications are my issues. But I have done some good travels, just not much out of the US !

    Love your posts

    • Rachel Jones May 17, 2016 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      Thanks Dan, yes all those reasons make travel more difficult. I will be doing more traveling in the US this summer. I love traveling in my home country too :)

  22. Merryn May 24, 2016 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachael…very interesting blog. Thanks for sharing! My partner & I live in Gujarat & are going to move down to Goa in the next few weeks. (I know monsoon is coming but it time to move on now from Gujarst). I’m Australian & my partner is Indian. I’m hoping to get work here but currently on a tourist visa. He is in the hotel / restaurant industry so he shouldn’t have too much trouble. Can you give me some idea of who to contact for securing accommodation for our first 6 months. We’re not sure what area to look at first…guess it will friend on where he secures a job. Are real estate agents best to try (if do any suggestions would be much appreciated) or just word of mouth? I’m in Goa until the 26th May staying at Candolim…

  23. Liza October 28, 2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel!

    I am hoping we can get advise. We just left Goa for Hampi but we were wondering if our first Diwali experience would be better or rather more intense in Goa with the “demons” being burnt. If so, is there a place south that you can recommend experiencing Diwali. We stayed in the Old Quarter, Panaji and then in Caranzalem when we were in Goa. Thanks for reading and your help. Your post have encouraged me to really consider quitting my nursing job full time.

    • Rachel Jones October 28, 2016 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      Hey not sure if I saw this in time – to see the monsters you can go to Mapusa and in the villages but the thing is it is pretty spread out and to see properly usually you get invited to someone’s house. Not sure if there is a public burning place. I only see it in the villages.

  24. Dr Pooja Tripathi December 29, 2016 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel
    I loved the way you are living a hippie life. Being a travel blogger myself i woluld love to catch up with you and Ben when i visit Gooa in February.i am sure i would love to hear your experiences over a bottle of chilled beer.

  25. Mirella Maybee May 24, 2017 at 5:12 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing all this wonderful inspiring stuff! Amazing! x

  26. Umakant Sahoo July 29, 2017 at 3:39 am - Reply

    Hello Rachael,

    i keep visiting Goa every now and then and would love to visit you guys and have a good time. I love you work and would love to see if we can collaborate and work together. I stay at Bangalore.

    I too would love to hear your experiences over a bottle of chilled beer.


  27. usha April 4, 2018 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    wow..wow. Finally I found someone like me. I love travelling. I am from India. I live in chicago. love your blog.

  28. […] check out this post from our friend Rachel who shares what a day in the life of an expat in Goa looks […]

  29. […] check out this post from our friend Rachel who shares what a day in the life of an expat in Goa looks […]

  30. […] check out this post from our friend Rachel who shares what a day in the life of an expat in Goa looks […]

  31. […] check out this post from our friend Rachel who shares what a day in the life of an expat in Goa looks […]

  32. Noella July 24, 2018 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    So interesting to hear your story. I am a Goan and an RN Nurse Manager in the US :)) We went in opposite directions, but Goa will always have my heart.

  33. Eva Gagnot April 10, 2019 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Dear Rachel,

    How much money do you need per month in Goa ta have simpel but decent life?


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