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

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

New Orleans is a strange city. It’s musky, dated, haunted, grimy, lush, all to a soundtrack of street jazz under balmy weather. Yet, nothing can amount the innumerable wonders that adds to the sultriness that will make you mourn the moment you leave. You have your classics. The oysters on a balcony over-looking the ever-so-touristy French Quarters. Yet should you wander enough, you’ll find yourself in many curiosity shops with haunting stories to follow.

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New Orleans is a strange city.

New Orleans is a strange city.

New Orleans is a strange city.

New Orleans is a strange city.

New Orleans is a strange city.

New Orleans is a strange city.

New Orleans is a strange city.

  • Opening Ceremony
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills
  • Vintage

Sometime in May, I escaped to Utah to hang out with my family. Usually I’m a stickler about tourist traps in national parks. They reminds me of bad sunscreen, children, and cargo shorts. And while that was still the case, there is something majestic about Zion Park that makes the trip to Utah so worth it. Also the regions around the park are just as charming with random petting zoos and wonderful pottery.

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I believe this is my first time I’ve documented a trip with my family. Namely because the whole idea of blogging and taking photos of yourself as an intentional career is a thought so foreign for my parents. The trip was too beautiful not to document, but what was so amazing was my entire family offering to help shoot photos. It made this trip much more enjoyable because for the first time since I’ve started this blog, I felt like I can truly be my unfiltered self. It was a wonderful and grounding trip and hope you guys enjoy the photos and video.

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Hotel keys, old fashions, bubble blowers, roadside bouquets, fried food, Talking Heads, southern food, Teva sandals, sunburns, and 10 hours driving.

A fun trip is about the journey than the destination.

My favorite city of the trip was Nashville, but no real photos to document it. Sorry guys, when you’re having fun, you just forget. New Orleans was super tight too. Definitely get someone who lives there to show you around.

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After 4 days hopping southern cities, we finally made it to Bonnaroo! Best festival I’ve been to – by far. Little stages with upcoming artists and good vibes all around. Thanks Teva for letting us drive a huge suburban through the south and end it at a festival. I’ll let the photos speak for the trip, because I have white, sandy beaches on the brain and can’t properly articulate how rad this trip was.