• ohio country guns and amish

Home in Ohio & A VIDEO of Ben Shooting a Gun for the First Time

I’ve been back in Goa now for a week, just in time for a few months of monsoon that comes through like a Dementor sucking up my soul and stealing sunshine and happiness. Ok, it’s not that bad. I was in Ohio at my parent’s house for almost six weeks. It was the first time I’d been home in a year. It was so much fun and really bitter sweet to leave.

ohio country guns and amishmy backyard

Luckily, I think I’ve talked my parents into visiting Goa over Christmas this year. I gave my parents their 30th anniversary gift, a painting done by Saffron Illustrations.

ohio country guns and amish

ohio country guns and amish

My Month Home in Ohio

Obviously, the first thing we did was go out to eat. I had sent my mom a list on Viber of all the homemade food I was dying to eat while I was home and she made every single thing on the list! Score! Some of my favorites are stuffed peppers, BBQ ribs, pizza hoagies, sausage gravy and biscuits, and pulled pork. I got to finally have Chipotle, Panera, and local pizza and Mexican food. I’m depressed just thinking about how long it will be until I eat it again. Of course, I packed lots of goodies to bring back- 50 pounds worth actually.

ohio country guns and amishI had a bridal shower, bachelorette party, and wedding to attend for my best friend since I was 4, Rachel S. I got to see all my friends and made a couple trips to Columbus (where I attended Uni at OSU) to see even more of them!

ohio country guns and amish

ohio country guns and amishAs an expat, there are some things that need taking care of while I was home. I had to renew my driver’s license, get car insurance for the month, call my bank to get new cards sent out so they don’t expire while I’m in India, get my ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification renewed in case I ever end up working as a nurse again, and obviously shop enough for clothes to last me the next year! I have made a vow to do no online shopping this year in Goa!

I also celebrated my 25th birthday while I was home. Every year my mom gets me a DQ ice cream cake with a lady bug on it.

ohio country guns and amish

Ben came to Ohio for the last week to attend the wedding with me and meet my friends and family. I don’t think he was prepared for the country livin’! I live on a few acres out near Amish Country. Ben was surprised to see a buggy pass by my house.

ohio country guns and amish

ohio country guns and amish

ohio country guns and amish

I took him to Cincinnati to meet my grandparents and to Cleveland to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Ben shot a few guns; it was his first time even holding one! Where I’m from it’s normal to shoot. I think I killed my first raccoon when I was only 9 years old. I’ve attempted squirrel hunting, which according to my dad was hilarious. I ran around the woods like a chicken with my head cut off shooting up into the trees. I made a video of Ben shooting a few guns and it’s hilarious:

ohio country guns and amish


ohio country guns and amishbeing blown away by the backfire!

One of my favorite parts of being home was the weather. It’s the perfect time of year in Ohio the month of May. Spring rains are gone but it’s not so hot that you can’t bear it. We planted loads of flowers around the house and all the flowers inspired me to make some flower headbands!

ohio country guns and amishmy new flower headbands I made with college bestie, Alex

ohio country guns and amish

ohio country guns and amish

ohio country guns and amish

ohio country guns and amishI was afraid my dog, Brandi, who is 11 now would have forgotten who I was. She didn’t thankfully! She was as sad as I was to say goodbye at the end of the trip.

ohio country guns and amish

ohio country guns and amish

ohio country guns and amishNow that we’re back in Goa, Ben has had to head back to Kochi to get the last couple weeks of work done on a project. I’m left to re-train our dog, Huck (who is mental), fix a broken fridge, attempt to make a DIY dehumidifier with rock salts, and get my fliers up for massage new massage clients!

Last monsoon, I went to Thailand for a month, which kind of leveled out the rains. This year we want to visit Ben’s dad in Vienna, get up to the mountains for a couple weeks, check out Sikkim and Darjeeling, and even maybe go down to Sri Lanka for a week.

It’s been raining non-stop and our Omni van has seen better days: it’s down to 2/4 working doors, one window is stuck open getting us soaked with rain, and the seats aren’t attached to the floor… But, Season 2 of Orange is the New Black is up on Netflix! Silver Lining!

ohio country guns and amish

ohio country guns and amish

ohio country guns and amish



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. Amanda @ Farsickness June 19, 2014 at 5:07 am - Reply

    I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WENT TO OSU! As a Michigan alum, I must say, booooooooo ;)

    The best part of going home (besides seeing people) is definitely the food. I think biscuits and sausage gravy are currently number 1 on my list to eat when I’m back.

    Looks beautiful. Nothing like a Midwestern summer sunset.

    • Rachel Jones June 20, 2014 at 12:10 am - Reply

      lol, booooo to you as well! Actually, I always sold my tickets for shopping money- I mean 1 grand for a football ticket!?!? Crazy. If I could find the type of sausage here I would make sausage gravy biscuits all day every day. Glad you can relate!

  2. Joella J in Beijing June 19, 2014 at 6:14 am - Reply

    Oh happy birthday girl! Sounds like you had a fantastic trip home and great that Ben was able to visit for a while too. Yeh, we don’t have a lot of guns or Amish people in the UK so two new experiences for him! :-) Glad you got to eat all the food! It’s coming up for a year since I was last back in the UK but I’m travelling over Summer so it will be Christmas when I next go back. The longest I have been away in one go was for nearly two years and I was so desperate for some home made British food by then ha!

    • Rachel Jones June 20, 2014 at 12:11 am - Reply

      Ben was totally in shock by a lot of it lol. I bet you’re craving that christmas roast! Only 6 months away!

  3. Michael Huxley June 19, 2014 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Haha, that video made me laugh too! He looked half terrified of firing it! (I’ve never understood why people are so against guns, anyway…). Aw, how cute is your dog though? I just want to give her a cuddle myself. That’s one of the many things I love about dogs, they never forget you!

    I’m glad you had a nice visit home. :)

    • Rachel Jones June 20, 2014 at 12:18 am - Reply

      I miss my dog already!! Love her! and yes I had a great visit home, Ben shooting the gun was one of hundreds of fun things we did :)

  4. Veena June 19, 2014 at 11:50 am - Reply

    I completely understand going crazy with the food when you return to the States! And I live in Memphis, home of bbq and fried chicken, so it’s usually not good for my waistline…and now that I’m based out of the US, it’s the reverse when I finally get back to India – nonstop masala dosa, ragi mudhe, idli-vada, pork curry, and kheema pav. Hope you had a great visit home, and happy belated birthday! ps – I’m jealous of you being in India for monsoon season. Not only is it unbearably hot in Memphis now, but monsoon is my favourite time to be in Bangalore. Enjoy!
    V xx

    • Rachel Jones June 20, 2014 at 12:18 am - Reply

      mmmm fried chicken yummm… I just saw on your page there is a taco bell in bangalore!? is it any good!?

      • Veena June 20, 2014 at 11:18 am - Reply

        Oh yeah, Gus’s Fried Chicken — if you ever find yourself in Memphis, definitely check it out. And yes, Taco Bell opened in Bangalore back in 2010, I think! There are 2 locations I know of, but there might be more by now. And it’s pretty good! Lots of spicy options, and the volcano crunchwrap is tasty. The last time I was there they had introduced more things from the American menu, like chalupas, and it all appears to be doing well. It just always cracks me up that it’s “luxury” fast food in India! It’ll always be cheap drunk food for me :) I think they opened a few locations in Bombay earlier this year — something to check out the next time you’re up there!

        • Rachel Jones June 21, 2014 at 12:26 am - Reply

          Ohh that sounds like I lot of options actually! When I looked at their FB page they only had an egg burrito so I was skeptical, but sounds good. I heard bombay is getting a chipotle too! The TGIF there isn’t the same as USA but when I’m homesick we do get dinner there or the Chile’s in Bangalore.

  5. Elora June 20, 2014 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Loved this post! It’s great to be able to see what your home is like–especially the country. We’ve been having rain in my neck of the woods and the grass as finally turned green, and the flowers are just blooming like crazy. I LOVE wildflowers!! I flipping out over your flower photos, they are so pretty. And it was hilarious to see Ben shooting! Ha! (I would have loved to see you running around the woods shooting up into the trees though, as a kid–man, that image just makes me laugh)!

    And of course the food–I was like, “Yep, she knows what the good food is!” And then I just had to laugh at all the stuff you packed. I love oatmeal pies. Mmmmm….
    It was also interesting and informative to hear what you had to renew/get done while at home–gave me an idea of what it might be like if I ever manage to live abroad, and visit home for awhile. Thanks! Fun post!

    • Rachel Jones June 21, 2014 at 12:25 am - Reply

      I also like reading about people’s hometowns! I am hoarding the food like a freak. I haven’t eaten any of it except I’ve opened the ranch dressing! Maybe I’ll give in and eat a cream pie today lol. It is the weekend after al!

  6. Karyn @ Not Done Journeyling June 20, 2014 at 12:26 am - Reply

    I love those visits home when you live overseas. It really does so much to keep you going. Plus, it helps you decide whether you really want to remain overseas or come home.

    • Rachel Jones June 21, 2014 at 12:23 am - Reply

      That’s a good point. I’m already looking forward to my next time home. But before then, my parents are visiting India at christmas!

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