Last month, our brand director Rachel traveled from Los Angeles to enchanting Central America, to visit the Pre-Columbian Maya walled city of Tulum on the Yucatán Peninsula. Later, the winds of wanderlust blew her down to Costa Rica. Who wouldn't welcome the chance to get out of the energy of Los Angeles for a few weeks, to soak up the sun and let the strange serenity of untamed nature inspire you? Take a peek at Rachel's travel snapshots...

 

THE TRIP

 

Coral in Tulum, Mexico

"I found this crazy piece of coral on the beach. I've always been fascinated by what lives on the ocean floor - we know less about what goes on in some ocean basins than we do about what happens in space! Anemones, coral, starfish, seaweed - they all have a mysterious beauty that serves as visual inspiration."

 

Coqui Coqui Perfumes in Tulum, Mexico

"No trip to Tulum is complete without a stop at Coqui Coqui, a boutique hotel with a perfumery in it. The scents of Tulum - the earthy jungle smell, warm salty sea air, the tropical coconut grove scent, and soft winds carrying rich herbal and sweet flower smells through the air - are what make the place so intoxicating. I picked up a few candles at the Coqui Coqui perfumery to bring the smells of Tulum home with me. Scent has such a strong connection to memory, and every time I light these candles it's almost like I'm transported back to the beaches and jungles of Mexico!"

 

Sunset on the Beach in Tulum, Mexico

"What better end to a day than watching the sun set over the ocean? The moment right before the sun touches the horizon is always breathtaking, but it was especially magical on this quiet beach in Tulum. I tried to take a photo, but no Instagram filter could capture the full beauty of the moment!"

 

Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica

"Nothing makes you understand the power of nature like a volcano does. The Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica has been dormant for a while, but the last time it erupted was in 1968 - in the grand scheme of things, that's not long ago! I also visited the hot springs near here… crazy to think that what feels like a jacuzzi is actually being heated by geothermal activity deep under the ground!"

 

Playa Matapalo, Matapalo Beach in Costa Rica

"The final stop on my trip was Playa Matapalo on the western coast of Costa Rica: one of the most serene places I have ever been. Just look at that photo! Wild, untamed jungle on one side; wild, untamed jungle on the other, and an endless stretch of deserted beach in between! I couldn't think of a more perfect place to reflect on life. It's incredible how being immersing yourself in nature can re-center you."

 

THE PACKING LIST

 

"I only brought one small bag on my trip, and I was constantly on the move, so I needed a few key items that I could just ball up, throw in the bag, and go!"

Johnny Was Easy Fit Button Down

Shop the Easy Fit Button Down

"The Easy Fit button down was my go-to. I wore it with jeans on the plane, unbuttoned it and threw it on over a bikini, and since I'm short I wore it as a dress too! The rayon doesn't wrinkle and the loose fit kept things breezy in the Mexican heat. Plus who could resist this rich red color?"

 

Johnny Was Kamelia Scarf

Shop the Kamelia Scarf

"Scarves are an absolute travel must. During the daytime, I tie mine around my head to keep my hair off of my face. Then, if it gets a little chilly at night, I use it as a wrap! our scarves are a good size, so you can even tie one around your waist and use it as a sarong. I love the Kamelia scarf because the bright print adds a pop of color."

 

Johnny Was Pete and Greta Linen Cargo Shorts

Shop the Pete and Greta Linen Cargo Shorts

"These linen shorts are breathable and super comfy, which was ideal from wandering around in the heat of Mexico and Costa Rica. Those pockets aren't just for the sake of style - I put my cash, lip balm (can't live without it!) and hotel keys in there so there was no need for a purse (or fanny pack ;). Plus, the highlighter hue is fun!"

 

Johnny Was 3J Workshop Colorblock Bohemian Top

Shop the Johnny Was 3J Workshop Bohemian Colorblock Top

"I love the floral print on this shirt! The cotton/silk mix fabric is super light, so I wore this with a bikini top or lacy bralette underneath, tucked in to a pair of jean shorts. It's also great over a tank dress or silk slip!"