• good and bad of goa

This is India! 32

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

What I was up to other than here:

  • I did a super short interview: Expat in Goa for Expat Finder
  • My parents are back in the US now. Coming here they had issues with American Airlines… but that was nothing compared to the issues going home! Because of their first leg out of Ohio being delayed, (as I shared) they were delayed by 24 hours in Chicago. The MORNING of leaving, my dad receives and email from cheapoair (my preferred booking site) saying “because you never took your outgoing flight to India, the return has been canceled. Contact the airline.” Um, they did take the flight a day later. So more eff ups from American, who were SO rude on the phone and made us fight for almost 3 hours to get my parents seats on the plane they already paid for. Cannot even tell you the whole story in detail, as my head will BLOW UP.

Now your story,

(I warn you, this is a lot of rambling. I tried to edit it, I swear… but I just couldn’t get my point across without rambling (and still probably didn’t).

Life in Goa can look pretty damn good on Instagram can’t it? Guess what, sometimes it sucks! Yes, truly. Obviously there are days like this:

good and bad of goa

where I just lounge around, write on the blog, and make a batch of candles. But it isn’t all roses and sunshine all the time. I have a hard time believing it is for anyone.

I try not to share too much crazy negative things on here (but coincidentally JUST shared a post on how backpacking India can suck)- and share almost nothing about my personal life, except Huck’s passing and one mushy post about meeting Ben aka why I moved to India.

I do tell the negative stories that directly relate to living in India as an expat because it’s what people need to know before they decide to live here. Sometimes my ‘This is India” stories are funny while others show a side to India that is a bit dark, like the way men have treated me on occasion.

But there’s other “bad stuff”. Usually, the bad stuff isn’t necessarily blog-worthy (I don’t want to bore you!). When you’re abroad and negative things happen it seems to stack up really high, really fast because you’re far from home. Nothing like a bad week to remind you of that. 

The same week Huck fell sick from rabies, Ben and I had a downright terrifying run-in with some idiots, and a couple days later Ben saw a baby tragically die.

By the end of the week Ben left for Kochi. The BIG “bad things” were done, but little things started to happen.

The Little Bad Things: 

I’d spend three hours in hot Panjim getting business cards printed just to see the cat knock over my vase of flowers on them. A cobra would be outside the house terrifying my cat AND I’d swerve to miss a python in my alley. Our driver got in a fender-bender which resulting in a mini-street fight and my car broke down (over and over), along with the A/C’s and the fridge. Then there was the Volvo break down of the century on the way to Mysore… where I had to take packed local buses for what turned to a 19 hour journey.

My head in the clouds Goa friends told me Mercury was in retrograde and to wait to out ;) I did. Things got better, as they always do.

When it all comes at once there are times when I think “WTF am I doing in India!?” or even Goa.  I don’t always share these moments because it makes me feel like a spoiled brat complaining and they’re quite dull when they aren’t put in one paragraph all at once, but I don’t want to portray that life is always rainbows and butterflies living as an expat in Goa.

After getting some comments saying things like they’re jealous of my perfect life or they want to move to Goa for my easy peasy life, I realized maybe I’m not showing enough of the bad of living abroad in India. I have to say, I don’t think a photo of my broken refrigerator would get many likes on Instagram. I always have and will continue to share photos that aren’t that flattering (hello, my travel playlist selfie).

People who know me know a few things for certain: I don’t like hugs (or really even touching people, so how I became a nurse then a masseuse is still a freakin’ mystery!), I am not mushy gooshy, and I eat junk food and fast food all day long. I don’t really have the personality for a personal blog and that’s why I stick to sharing tips and other straight forward posts.

train selfietrain selfie! almost as bad as the playlist selfie

be yourself, travel, backpacking stereotypes, wanderlust, beach, travel foodfood, the real love of my life

good and bad of goa

This photo Ben took of me after the Omni broke down and we had to push the van half way across Panjim bridge on our own. We waited in the May heat for two hours until the car was fixed. No AAA to come save me here (Although Sai Service isn’t half bad, just slow as fuck!)

The end!

See what happens when I try to write something that’s personal? It is super long and makes no sense. Aren’t you happy now that I stick to lists and bullet points? Check in next Friday for something better ;)

This is India!

Did you enjoy this post? Let me know in the comments or by sharing it with the social media links! I’d love to keep giving you travel tricks & tips so feel free to subscribe by e-mail in the big purple box below. Don’t forget you can follow me on , ,  & bloglovin‘.


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, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Laura January 9, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Loved it! Sometimes we need a ranty write-up every now and again. It’s cathartic! Plus, it’s real, which is personally why I read other people’s blogs instead of just travel websites- to know what it’s REALLY like. Thanks for sharing the good, the bad and the selfies ;)

    • Rachel Jones January 12, 2015 at 3:51 pm - Reply

      Haha, well maybe I should have kept the selfies to myself

  2. Ashley January 9, 2015 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    I think your personality shows through your blog posts, especially the ‘This is India’ posts because they are always fun to read. Thanks for being honest and for sharing the negatives and positives!

  3. venus john January 9, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    nice post..

  4. Kirsten Johnson January 9, 2015 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    I love this one! I was living in Bali for 6 months, now Thailand and will make my way to India in Feb (will be in Goa in April/May : ) so I totally relate to this one with the critters (or snakes in your case!) and how things can be really slow and frustrating and break down — while in the next moment amazing, breath taking and truly paradise. Thanks for sharing honestly about your experience :) Xx

    PS the fridge insta comment made me laugh :)

  5. zalika January 9, 2015 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    Hey Rachael, I am a regular reader of your blog now and I must say that your personality does shine through. You may not be the typical cutesy girly blogger, and that is why I actually read your blog, and we have enough of those anyway. Variety is good. I love your blog. Keep doing what you are doing. You have actually inspired me to explore more of Karnataka and your tips are super helpful. Lots of love.

    • Rachel Jones January 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      Thanks for that, I’ll try to keep up the variety! Happy to hear you want to see more of Karnataka now! That’s awesome.

  6. Anna January 9, 2015 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    I actually prefer this kind of writing compared to “bullet list” posts, it just seems more honest and open, which is easier to relate to! That being said, I’m sorry you had a bad week and hope next week is better :)

  7. Colleen Brynn January 10, 2015 at 9:23 am - Reply

    Haha this wasn’t that long. I was all prepared to settle in for this.
    It’s true, life abroad isn’t easy, and even I saw you dealing with the AC guy when I was there. I don’t blame you for not wanting to be too personal on your blog… I used to expose myself way more, but I feel like that is becoming less interesting to write about and I’m not sure it’s what people want to read anyway.
    I still think about Huck…
    Also I didn’t know about the hugging thing… I’m not much of a hugger but I almost always assume other people are. If I hugged you, I’m sorry! haha

    • Rachel Jones January 12, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Haha oh GIRL that A/C guy… I have been dealing with him since that for MONTHS! lol it’s been so funny. I wrote about it actually and have a post scheduled ;) You probably did hug me – I mean I don’t hate being hugged but I wouldn’t go out of my way to hug someone lol

  8. Justine January 10, 2015 at 9:59 am - Reply

    I actually enjoy hearing about the positive and the negative sides of living abroad. I think I enjoy it because I can relate to a lot of what you say, well except for the cobras…I haven’t seen any of those in Jakarta! I don’t think you’re being too negative or anything. As I’ve started to learn after being in Jakarta for five months, living abroad is not always easy!

    • Rachel Jones January 12, 2015 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      You’re right it’s not always easy, just like living at home isn’t.

  9. Elora January 10, 2015 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Haha, actually quite enjoyed this Rachel. I like hearing the reality of things, both sides–and in between. So I enjoyed this breath of personal frustration! I can’ t imagine how frustrating some of them must have been!

  10. Danny January 10, 2015 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Hey Rachel
    For us as tourists, it’s always sunshine and rainbows in other countries.
    And that’s what we want to hear and see. And afterwards we go back to our normal life, and that’s also not everyday a rainbow. But be strong girl, you found the love of your life there, and that’s the most important. And also we love your stories, thanks for sharing. Danny

  11. Tim | UrbanDuniya January 11, 2015 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Sometimes you just need to vent – I totally get it, and have felt similar frustrations on occasions.

  12. Claire January 14, 2015 at 1:10 am - Reply

    Sorry you had a bad week, but I think it’s great that you are being honest and sharing some of the bad as well as good parts of living abroad.

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