TOP, BOTTOMS: (c/o) Everything But Water’s new store in Palm Beach

Just call me “Bahama Mama” from now on because I’m moving to the Bahamas.

Wow, where do I begin. My trip to the Bahamas was nothing but pure bliss…

Upon boarding my plane to Nassau, I was stressed. (What else is new Stephanie?) I was busy planning upcoming trips, sourcing clothing, answering emails, working on edits, writing, etc. I had a lot on my plate so the idea of “taking time off” to hang out in the Bahamas for a week did not seem possible.

But within minutes of seeing those beautiful crystal blue waters in the horizon, I breathed a sigh of relief and said to myself, “everything will work out.” I’m not sure why I said that but there’s something about the Bahamas that just… puts you at ease, I guess. And then I was reminded of a funny little story…

TOP, SHORTS: C/Meo (c/o) Shopbop/EARRINGS: Oscar de la Renta/SANDALS: sold out, more options here

When I was 20 years old, I made an impulse decision to visit Lima, Peru with my good friend Melissa for two weeks. At the time, I was on the brink of a burnout because the ballet company I danced for was falling apart (well, more like the ballet industry really) and I desperately needed a break from the heavy toll it was taking on me. So I hopped on a plane and didn’t think twice about it (or check my bank account). I just went with my gut…

I remember asking Melissa the second day of our trip, “so what are we doing today? I want to go here, and do this, and see this and meet this person, and shop here…” I was itching to do it all because my time was short.

Melissa laughed and said, “relax.”

Realizing I needed to chill out, I tossed out my “List of Places to See in Lima” and with complete faith, let everything fall into place in hopes of my impulsive decision to travel (slash deplete my bank account) be worth it.

TOP, SKIRT: MDS Stripes via Shopbop/EARRINGS: Oscar de la Renta

I won’t go into details (because this post is about the Bahamas!) but by the end of our trip to Lima, I was a different person. I went from being a “to-do-list” kinda gal to “no-plans-needed-sure-lets-take-a-3-hour-lunch-and-venture-into-the-mountains-on-horseback” kinda gal.

Maybe it was that “island feeling” as Bob Marley famously sang “cuz every little thing, will be alright” (yes, I just quoted Bob Marley on The Style Bungalow) or maybe it was the memory of Melissa telling me to relax upon landing in a new place that prompted me to do things differently on this trip. Either way, I’m grateful for the funny little reminder slash feeling I left with in the Bahamas.

DRESS: (c/o) Rebecca Taylor

For those asking, I stayed at the beautiful Grand Hyatt Baha Mar resort in Nassau. It’s a luxury resort with the most picturesque pools, landscaping and beach. (Yes, if you’re a blogger – this place is for you. You will have no shortage of beautiful places to shoot! If you go, be sure to wake up super early to beat the crowds.) Not pictured are the casino, the environmental reserve where you can feed sharks and stingrays and the epic golf course (for your IG-boyfriend/husband of course).

Another highlight was the day trip to Sandy Toes Beach on Rose Island. Here you can gaze upon breathtaking ocean views, fall asleep in a hammock with peacocks in the distance or feed little Bahamian piggies. There’s a villa on the island that’s completely off-grid and plenty of friendly faces to guide you throughout your stay.

ONE-PIECE SWIMSUIT: (c/o) Everything But Water’s new store in Palm Beach

The food was incredible! I’m not one to critique food because my palate (as they say) is not refined enough. (My idea of a home cooked meal? Take out.) BUT EVERYTHING WAS DELICIOUS. Towards the end of the trip, we had the most amazing 12-course meal at Shuang Ba where we tried a $1500 of wine and dim sum made from like the Chinese food Gods. Refined palate or not, I give Baha Mar five stars up in this category!

Lastly, the staff was incredible. They’re the ones responsible for putting me at ease.

Big thank you Grand Hyatt Baha Mar for hosting such a special trip! I will forever cherish these memories and look forward to visiting again soon… shop this story below!

Xo, Stephanie

[Photography by Chelsae Anne]

[Thank you Baha Mar Grand Hyatt for sponsoring this incredible trip!]