Rachel Jones

June 09, 1989 ‒ May 04, 2019

Lexington, Ohio

With a fearless spirit and radiant smile Rachel Jones’ pursuit of love and adventure brought joy to her friends, family, and readers around the world.

Rachel Ann Jones, age 29, traveler, writer, photographer, and creator of the popular travel blog Hippie in Heels, tragically passed away Saturday, May 4, 2019 following an apparent asthma attack while in Orlando, FL for her bachelorette party surrounded by her dearest friends.

She was born June 9, 1989 in Mansfield to parents Jeffrey & Carla (Ezsol) Jones and in third grade, after reading a Magic Tree House book, Rachel prophetically declared that she wanted to travel the world! She graduated from Lexington High School, class of 2007, and was lucky enough to have the same friends since preschool. In her own words, “high school was a blur of soccer, studies, and getting into lots of secret trouble on the weekends.” She went on to graduate with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in Nursing. It was during college that she began adventuring: two summers backpacking in Europe, and one month in Uganda her senior year.

Following graduation, she moved to Charlotte, NC where, after eleven months of cardiac care, she was ready for retirement. She set off for India for a 3-month solo trip. Rachel chose the world on the road, living out of her backpack and eating street food. She met the love of her life, Ben Sullivan, in southern India. She went back to the states and tried out Seattle as a travel nurse for 3 months but couldn’t sit still and went back to Goa, India where she lived for 5 years before moving with Ben to Mérida, Mexico last year.

Rachel traveled to more than 40 countries with countless highlights including: bungee jumping in the Nile, parasailing over the Alps, sleeping on a park bench in Greece, seeing a white rhino in Kaziranga National Park, chasing down a Romanian pickpocket in Barcelona, and sitting for audience with the Dalai Lama. Using her travels as a backdrop, Rachel created a very successful business. Inspiring more than a million readers each month, her website Hippie in Heels is top-ranked for female travel blogs worldwide.

Rachel will be remembered as a humble adventurer, a loyal friend, and a lover of food, animals, and family. With a wildflower personality, she never judged her fellow humans; Rachel accepted everyone as they are. She liked everything to be tidy and organized and always wanted to be comfy! Her upcoming August wedding would have been a new adventure—as full of beauty and love as she was.

Rachel is survived by her fiancé Ben Sullivan of Kent, England; parents Jeff & Carla Jones of Lexington; brother and sister-in-law Travis & Breanne Jones of Delaware; nephew Luke Jones; paternal grandmother Joyce Jones of Hamilton; maternal step-grandmother Joyce Ezsol of Lebanon, TN; aunts & uncles Scott & Karen Jones of Hamilton, Paula & Ryan Philbeck of Liberty, IN, Larry & Bev Ezsol of McGonigle, and Gregory Smith of Eaton; numerous cousins, extended family members, close lifelong friends, and blog followers; along with her dear pets adopted from the streets of India: Shanti, Omni, and KitKat.

She was preceded in death by paternal grandfather Donald Jones; maternal grandparents Clifford Ezsol and Patricia Ezsol McKinney; and an uncle Melvin Ezsol; along with dogs Piso, Brandi, and Huckleberry Finn.

Although no public service will be held in Rachel’s memory, her family hopes that you will remember her in your own special way. A private memorial service will be held at the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home. Contributions to St. Jude Children’s Hospital may be sent to the funeral home (PO Box 3082, Mansfield OH 44904).

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Rachel’s family. Visit SnyderFuneralHomes.com to post memories of Rachel or leave a message for her family and watch her tribute video.

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  • I do not even know any of you but reading this moved me so much I had to write. What a beautiful soul. So sorry she left so soon. Happy she had all of the experiences she had. More than most in a long lifetime. Deepest sympathy to her fiancé, cannot imagine. Prayers are lifted for this gorgeous lady. She created many happy memories to remember her by with a smile. God must have needed her special talents.

  • You all are in our thoughts and prayers. May God hold you close and give you comfort. We remember Rachel as a beautiful soul, who as a child attended Bible School at Steam Corners United Methodist Church. We remember as shy child but eager to learn about Jesus and his love. I’m sure she is one of heaven tour guides welcome each one with her special smile and love! Our hearts ache for you her dear family and friends.
    Dave and Brenda Thompson family

  • Rest in paradise Rachel. What a huge, incredible, inspiring life you lived. You gave us a road map through India and the world, empowered thousands of us to go on our own journey by sharing everything you learned on yours. You spread huge joy and light wherever you went. We will miss you and promise to live a little bit more fully just for you. Life is indeed short, so we all have to remember to live it our own way and help each other as we go <3 From all of us at Girl Gone International

  • Hello. I am a colleague of Ben’s. I feel as though I know Rachel as Ben would always speak of her on our business trips – and Ben spoke of Rachel with deep love and wide pride. All of us at “work” — as Ben’s colleagues — send our love and prayers and we will be there for Ben. As for Rachel – our love for her deepens – and our hope is — we can try even a little, to spread the same joy and zest for life that she spread all over her worldwide travels, and she did that so gracefully and effortlessly. We will miss her. Our deepest feelings of sharing this loss with Rachel’s family.

  • My heart breaks for everybody. I was lucky enough to meet Rachel in Uganda. I found a kindred spirit. We immediately started making plans for river cruises, bungee jumping and white water rafting. She left the earth a better place and she will always remind people to live life to the fullest.

  • My heart breaks for Ben and Rachel’s family. While I did not knownRachel personally, I read her blog and FB posts for travel inspiration and tips and for her amazing recommendations on the cutest clothes and accessories. Her positive outlook on life and Travel was contagious. Her beautiful personality will be missed by the many lives she touched, but her spirit will live on in the hearts of all who love adventure.

  • Rachel, I cannot portray how painful it is to no longer have you with us. You inspired countless of us to follow our passion for travel and defied the normal to become an extraordinary woman who had extraordinary experiences. You will be missed so, so much. Thank you for paving the way for us, especially us women, to see the world and to learn more about this beautiful earth and its various cultures. May we all travel holding you in our hearts and our minds, and honor you with our travels – and hopefully someday see you again. Until then, with love and prayers to your friends, family and pups – Sarah.

  • My heart aches for Rachel, Ben and her family. I saw Rachel in December in NYC and she was everything described above. She will be missed but not forgotten. RIP

  • Rachel – I’ve always followed your blog. I don’t know you personally but this news has really shaken me. I can’t imagine what your family and friends are going through. You had so much to live for. Rest in Peace.

  • Thank you for making me believe the traveling life is a possibility . Rest in peace . You will be missed.

  • I met and worked with Rachel for a short time in Charlotte. She was such a loving spirit. Can’t believe she is gone. My heart goes out to family and friends. May her spirit live on forever.

  • Thanks for all the hints and tips for our upcoming trip to India.You have helped so many your legacy will live on.Rip Rachel.

  • Rachel shone through her blog and posts about India, her travels, family, Ben, her pets and her love of all things beautiful. As a not so young traveller,she inspired me to live more courageously and follow my dreams.
    My deepest condolences to all her family, Ben and all who loved her so deeply. May she fly free forever.

  • I was lucky enough to meet and travel with Rachel for a bit in India, my first solo trip. I fully attribute her as giving me the confidence the continue solo trips around the world as a female traveler. I am so grateful I was able to work with her over the years following–she was truly passionate about her blog, and her go-getter attitude was infectious. Truly a ray of light. Lots of love to Ben and her family.

  • I never met Rachel, but we spoke a few times online and she was always so kind and helpful (to a complete random stranger). This breaks my heart. Sending lots of love.

  • Dearest Carla & family,
    My heart breaks for you!!! What a beautiful girl Rachel was. Sending prayers, hugs & all my love!!

  • what a loss for the world. sending deepest sympathies to rachel’s loved ones. I loved keeping up with her adventures online, and although I was an internet stranger, she was always so friendly and helpful when we chatted online. I’m certain she was an inspiration to many and the world is certainly a darker place now.

  • I feel so very fortunate that you came by to say hi in Goa a few months ago. It’s so very hard to believe that someone so young, beautiful and with the universe at her feet, can be taken so early in life. Looking at those pictures, you wasted no time love and did so much in your 29 years. With love to all Rachel’s friends & family, my deepest condolences, your friends in Goa will miss you so much. With love, Sean.

  • Carla and Family,
    I am so heartbroken for you all. I enjoyed meeting Rachel when she was home visiting, and she was a ray of sunshine.

  • Deepest condolences to Rachel’s family. This tragic news is as much a shock for many of us Indians as for the American travel community. Rachel pioneered a unique trend of globalisation for Indian travellers. Personally, I extensively referred to her travel posts while writing a book set in Manali. May she rest in peace and her life inspire millions.

  • Rachel was gorgeous. Blessed with perfect good looks but so inspiring and loving and decent. I read her posts which helped me get around India last month. Specifically getting my Visa. Her love of life taught me to go for adventures fearlessly. But she did everything with style and grace. You Left us too soon. Angel of humanity and nature.

  • Rachel was an amazing person with a great vision for life, and it was our pleasure to work with her. She’ll be missed by all of the team at Perfomance Foundry, and we send our love and condolonces to Ben, and the rest and Rachel’s family.

  • Dearest Rachel. I met you in Thailand at my first ever blogging conference. Everything people had spoken of you was true: you are a beautiful, strong, inspirational woman full of sunshine. Keep those rays shining down on us from above. Much love to you and your family. Love Alice.

  • I am very touch and shock by her passing, since 2015 I been following the blog, I have no words of comfort for her fiancé and family.
    I just need to tell my deepest condolence to her family, friends and Ben ..she will be missed..RIP

  • You inspired me to write about my experiences in India. We shared the same birthday. You reminded me of you. Your blog inspired me to get out of the rut I was in and change my life. You had more impact on me that you probably even realise. I’m so sorry . The body may die, but I know the soul lives on.

  • So sorry to lose you. Really enjoyed your blogs. Your love for India and travel in general was so contagious. A beautiful life snatched too soon. My condolences to your family and Ben.

  • You will be so missed, Rachel. Thank you for always having a smile on and throwing your heart out, open wide, to the world. You are an inspiration for others to follow their hearts. It was an honor knowing you as a roommate for a short time in college and I will never forget our good times. Praying for Ben and Rachel’s family, I am so deeply sorry for your loss.

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