The Art of Loneliness

November 10, 2019

Bozeman, MT

After my return from the solo road trip, friends and acquaintances alike ask me how it went. Well, it was amazing, but I haven’t been able to articulate into words how I felt. I think I captured mostly how I felt through the trip through the vlogs. Since I’m limited to stills and words, what I will be doing here, is a linear recap.

 

When I first got into my car from the airport in Billings, I had absolutely zero doubts about the trip. It felt right. The road hugged me warmly as I venture an hour back west to Bozeman, MT where my first Airbnb waited. Planners will ask me how I found all these places or how I routed the trip, I honestly couldn’t say. But that was the point, to not overthink my journey and just go. In fact, I would plan my days and places the day of, do you know how liberating and fucking freeing that is? To be so insanely present through no agenda as the best agenda. I did try sticking to a budget…-ish and looked Airbnb’s in Montana for cute places around $100 a night. Alas, a yurt.

It wasn’t until getting there that I was hit with a massive thunderstorm that worry sank in. After unpacking the car in the rain, I sat in the tent under a cloud of doom thinking…

what the fuck am I doing?

When the storm passed, I made a game-time decision to head into town while I had a finicky pocket of clear skies, you know, as an attempt to feel human again. I figured food will help and should be stashed as healthy options could be sparse throughout the open road. Let me just say grocery stores are my favorite places to shop – generally speaking. Like the other day, Wes and I were with our other couple friend that we hang out with often, and the boys wanted to go to Samys, the camera store on Fairfax. At the point of a numbing 2 hours, my girlfriend and I were prompted to imagine what kind of store would administer this sort of blacking out for us. A thoughtful, well-equipped grocery store of course. And Bozeman’s was so evolved, particularly in the bulk section. So I took my time, taking home plenty of nuts, finger foods, and beverages. And a chocolate stout cause it sounded good.

 

On my way back to the yurt, I overshot my turn and drove the Suburban into a ditch in the attempt of a u-turn. Eager drivers immediately swarmed to helped tow the car out within 15 minutes. Culture shock. And instantly, I felt safe. Safe to be here. Safe to be at home.

The two nights in Bozeman were my longest stationed in one spot, so I ventured for some horseback riding (also found on Airbnb) and very, very ambitiously, drove through Yellowstone Park.

 

Now, if I were to do this over again, I would’ve rather had one night alone in the park, because it was huge. And insanely beautiful. But I spent almost the whole day site-seeing through the windows, eventually got kinda angsty, and ended up in Big Sky on the way home for some dinner. I must have driven 300 miles that day alone – which on a road trip with 1200+ miles to go, is not something you want to do to your lower back at the very beginning.

 

And a sad farewell to Bozeman, MT as I venture into a last-minute planned journey more north (and not more west, as I should be – another poor choice in planning). But I am determined, I wanted to see as much as I possibly could. So I drove to Missoula, had lunch, did a little thrifting, and drove another 3 hours north to Glacier Park for another wonderful glamping experience.

 

 

 

This long stretch of driving was probably the most inspiring content-wise. Vast open blue skies like I’ve never seen before, a glistening lake, and an abundance of wildflowers that encourages so many pit stops for a moment of surrender.

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Glacier, MT

It was at this point in the trip that, I felt space. The space from distractions. And stillness. I haven’t experienced that in years… and my [now] incredibly dirty adventure car seemed to reflect my cleanse.

On I ventured. Going west towards Los Angeles, closer to home. Pressures of making it home in time started sinking in as after 3 nights and 4 days, I was still in Montana. The rest was a sprint home.

See, I talk a game of spontaneity being the healing ingredient in our bustling lives. But structure does help, and I had none on this trip. The time crunch didn’t prevent me from stopping by a few kooky spots along the way. Including a rather sketchy hot spring that wasn’t the most comfortable place to be in a hot pink bikini in the middle of literally, nowhere. By myself. As a cute girl.

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Spokane, WA

 

I passed through Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for some devastatingly delicious thrifting where I pick up this now famed pink cowgirl hat. And I have nothing to report from Spokane except for the stark realization that I wasn’t ready to be anywhere close to a city. It felt as if I had wasted a night being in a city rather than savoring this opportunity to continue charging under the moonlight. I predicted that I would’ve been sick of living out of campsites that I booked a fancy hotel to look out for future Rachel. Wrong guess.

 

My only visual souvenir of Spokane are these two photographs in my hotel room. Oh, and I had one glass of wine by myself and was taking thotty photos and in my altered state of thinking, wanted to email the hotel management that a TV in front of a bed mirror is the most unsexy thing and send them this photo. I’m glad I didn’t.

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Portland, OR

Things Look Different Here

Another visit far too short. But Portland snapped me out of demonizing cities. I only had time for one little morning venture and I picked the International Rose Test Garden. Being there was like a serendipitous farewell to the time in nature like I was honoring that space I’ve created. Remember, I’ve been without social media for all this time and was being rebirthed on the west coast as a different human ready to be home.

 

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Of all the experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have in my career, taking a solo road trip is at the very top of the list. There’s something about selfish, contained decisions that remind you of what being young, alive, and curious feels like. I will be reminding myself of feeling til all of eternity. Or until my next one.

Also not a proper map, but here’s a Google map that I heavily abided by on my trip to get from wonder to wonder.

KISSES x

On the Real Real

May 16, 2019

I really don’t need to preface this as many of you already know, but The Real Real is hands-down my favorite place to shop. So much so, that I’ve been asked several times on help navigating the site. Without further ado, a few thoughts and words following my video on my most recent seasonal haul.

 

Having a super curious thought-process has to be the driving force of a successful time on The Real Real (or any grab bag of uncurated goods). The innate urge to probe the search engine with your imagination will guide you through a welcomed rabbit-hole that eventually leads to a discovery. That is the high of shopping on this site. Aside from the trendy conversations of consumerism, sustainability, better choices, ya-dee-yah that consignment shopping is great for, it just gives you the room to explore your style without a filter. Because there is none. You literally have to create your own to find what you love.

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With that, I know it’s still a daunting ride.

And unless it’s a muscle you’ve practiced in the past through thrift shops or eBay searching, it’s only one that you can continue to play around with until suddenly, it clicks. The process is almost so intuitively based that it’s difficult to write out in actualized actions, but I promise over time, not instantly (let’s get over the whole, “I want to instantly obtain skill sets”, please?), you’ll be able to train your eye to curate for yourself. But till then, just keep playing. Shopping online through these unfiltered spaces is a great way to practice what you want and not what companies merchandise for you to buy.

Dries van Noten is one of my favorite searches as it’s one of the only houses that have stayed so true to its core identity and never wavered to the trends of society. I appreciate that and I want to collect it.

 

 

As for the latter, I’ve been needing a beautiful, long trench to throw over in these forgiving, chilly LA spring evenings. So the rabbit hole I went down was literally going through every single page of knee-length coats (filtered with my size of course so it’s less overwhelming), until I stumbled on this jacket.

 

 

Dries Van Noten boots Raquel Allegra jacket

Bluemarine jacket and skirt

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Wishing you guys the best of luck through all your searches! Since I was spoiled by The Real Real, I am stocked for all of spring and summer and can safely share my (still) Obsessions. But I can’t link it, and nor would I want to. But here are a few things that are on my radar and maybe I’d might the bullet if one of you guys don’t buy it.

*edit:

I feel as though I need to illustrate my filter, but when I look at brands I like: Celine, Prada, Dries Van Noten… there’s obviously a lot to look at. I can’t stress enough how important the filter tool is. IT IS YOUR FRIEND. This is what my page looks like when I’m looking at Celine. Sorted from ‘low to high’, filtered my shoe size AND clothing size, so I can see everything that would possibly fit me in one swoop.

Film Dump

April 2, 2019

Oaxaca Travel Guide

July 11, 2018

¡Hola! Just got back from Oaxaca and am overwhelmed with much to share, but I’m going to keep this blog post simple, short, and sweet as a list of places I visited in the beautiful city. I’m hoping the energy was well captured through video, so I won’t really go further into my admiration for the city.

What I can share with you are some the routes we took and how to maximize your visit as best possible.

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I’ll be dividing my trip up into sections of where things are in relation to each other so you can figure best for yourself how you would plan it. We stayed about 30 minutes outside of the city, which was lovely to see how people really lived outside of bustling downtown, El Centro. There are lots of amazing places to eat and shop, here are the ones we visited

City Center

To Eat

El Pitiona – Lovely food and creative drinks. A super beautiful spot for daytime food.

El Trompo – Realllllly good and cheap tacos. Best for a late night meal after a few dance parties 

Bouleng –  We unfortunately never made it here, but it was on the list and looks delicious!

Sabina Sabe – A bright teal space for cocktails and food – we never got the food part though, but we did visit more than once for drinks! Super sweet bartenders.

Hotel Antonio – A coffee shop we stumbled in that felt like we never left LA, but in a really good way.

El Distilado – I think this was one of my favorite places we ate at and I encourage the tasting menu! The atmosphere is really good for groups; we never tried the cocktails though because of the election. 

Los Danzantes – Worth visiting for dinner for the architecture alone. The appetizers were memorable.

Criollo – This was definitely my favorite restaurant. It was the perfect harmony of craft, design, and flavors. Not to be missed.

Los Amantes – A mezcal tasting bar, very small and intimate, but we found ourselves here probably…. every night.

To Shop

Studio Q – A creative project between local artisans and designers.

Lanii  – Home of a very Instagrammable wicker wall

Aripo – It was closed when we tried to visit but looks sooo beautiful.

Collectivo 1050 – Spot for designer ceramics

Xaquixe – In an art studio where I was heavily drawn to the pastel, glass-blown goods

 

To Visit / Stay

Textile Museum – The art itself is pretty quick to go through, but there are some interesting places to pop in and out of within the blocks’ vicinity.

Casa Oaxaca – This was recommended across the board to stay and eat, but it was closed for renovations during our visit so we didn’t get to check it out.

Jardin Entobotanico – Sorely missed this as well. We didn’t realize the hours and had poorly planned our visit, soooo beautiful though.

Los Amantes – I definitely want to stay here the next time I’m in town, such a beautiful space along with a luring rooftop bar.

South Valley

Here are some of the stops in linear order:

1. Tula Tree for this historic tree

2. Teotitlan for rugs

3. Matatlan for mezcal

4. Hierve el Agua for breathtaking nature (this required a day trip on its own, but the previous can be done in a day

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Other Destinations

One of my favorite spots was Atzompa, a little pottery village. I warn future visitors right now to plan ahead to bring back some pottery that is hard to pass up. Super affordable and extremely well made crafted goods here. Abastos market was also a bit of a drive away but so worth the visit. It’s like a huge farmers market + crafts + ready-to-made food. Everyone is dressed in traditional wear and it’s really a magical, stimulating place to be.

Thank you for following along x

Night Owl

May 27, 2018

Hello frends – how have you all been? It’s been a minute since I’ve updated. Funny enough, I had a comment in Ask Rachel asking why I don’t update as much given this new platform. That’s a great question and maybe an appropriate time to answer really, what my day to day looks like.

All my life I’ve been a perpetual night owl – ever since college when my horrible procrastination habits pushed me to last-minute, 4am study cramming. Something about the world’s slumber pushed me into a zone of my own – truly, a time I can concentrate without the distraction of social updates, text messages, and fomo. This still applies to my adult life.

With that in mind, I can introduce to you the fact that Weston is a morning person, a light sleeper, and in bed by 10:30pm most nights. This has put a damper on the balance of my work and personal life, because I can’t, for the life of me, concentrate during the day. Sure, email and correspondence are easy, but editing… not so much. Emails flurry in by the hour most days and working lonesome is a lot to keep up on such back-and-forth. It’s not an excuse, rather, letting you know what first world struggles I deal with in the face of self-balance.

Dress by Han Wen

we are happy to serve you

we are happy to serve you

we are happy to serve you

we are happy to serve you

But all in all, living together has been a positive experience and definitely brought us closer. But these minute adjustments have taken me away from the grunt work I perpetually put aside. How do you guys stay motivated? Or even get through the endless distractions the daytime throws at you? WOULD LOVE SOME TIPS.

PS, How cute is that cup? Illustration credit: Adriana Gallo