Rachel Jones, the “Hippie In Heels” travel blogger who last year moved from India to Merida, has died.
The sad news was shared by her fiancé and friends on her Facebook page. The cause of death was not disclosed, but appears to have been sudden and unexpected. Jones was planning to wed later this year, and recent social media posts indicate she may have been in Florida for her bachelorette party. The writer would have turned 30 on June 9.
According to her biography, Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India, for five years. She most recently lived in a northern Merida neighborhood, and was writing about cenotes and haciendas in Yucatan.
Jones spoke glowingly of Yucatan and had planned on building a house in Merida, according to a 2018 posting.
“Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and girly travel,” wrote Terri Marshall in an interview on Travel Writing 2.0. As her online popularity grew, Jones’ Instagram page reached over 100,000 followers. Her travel website had attracted over a million monthly page views, according to a travel blogger site.
Traveling to over 40 countries in 10 years, she became a prolific writer, posting not only thousands of stories, but also contributing to Bravo TV’s travel vertical. Rachel Ann, as she was known on Facebook, worked on dozens of travel campaigns with tourism boards, hotels and travel agencies around the world.
Jones told a reader in January that she moved to Merida only six months after learning about the city. “It was pretty random,” she said in a comment that followed a 50-item list of “unmissable” things to do here.
She also wrote about Yucatan’s restaurants and cultural attractions and shared advice on accommodations and day trips.
Her work inspired “all of us — especially young solo female travelers,” reads a tribute on a website from her former home base in India. “Though she may have gone too soon, it’s safe to say that she lived her life doing what she loved. Her legacy will definitely live on for the world to read.”
“Rachel was one of the warmest, friendliest, most down-to-earth women in the whole travel blogging community, while also being one of the most successful,” said another travel writer, Angie Orth. “She was grounded and funny, gorgeous and generous. I feel so blessed to have known her, even for a short time.”