Before we dive into what was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken, Shopbop is having a sale. This happens rarely so I suggest you take advantage of it because it’s almost done! 20% off everything under $500; 25% off everything $500 or more with code EVENT18.

You’re welcome.

TOP, SKIRT: more from Petersyn here/EARRINGS: Mercedes Salazar

It seems like a month ago I was floating in the Blue Lagoon in beautiful Jamaica looking up into the sky wondering how on earth I got here. Prior to that, I was in Cartagena. And before that? Mexico. Before Mexico, the Bahamas. Next week, to… stay tuned!

Like, hold up.

“Steph, what’s with all the traveling” someone recently asked. “Not sure,” as I stopped for a second to digest the many times I’ve packed and unpacked my very tried suitcase, garment bag and tote.

BIKINI: (c/o) Everything but Water, more from Mara Hoffman here

Call it lost time between training my entire life for a ballet career (that eventually went down the drain) or working or simply not having the resources, but traveling is something I’ve wanted to do for years. I knew this year would be jam-packed with adventures. I guess I never imagined so many adventures happening in such a short amount of time. And to places like GoldenEye? Insane, I know.

“How is this place real,” I thought as I heard birds chirping away and cheerful Jamaican music in the distance.

TOP, SKIRT: (c/o) Revolve/EARRINGS: Mercedes Salazar

SWEATER DRESS: (c/o) Revolve

GoldenEye is not an ordinary hotel. Each villa, cottage, room on the property feels like a private world, set amid lush tropical gardens. (Chelsea, my photographer, kept saying how much the property looked like Bali!) The private beaches and secluded coves that gave GoldenEye its intimate atmosphere haven’t changed in years… as in the time Ian Flemming, author of James Bond, lived on the property.

DRESS: (c/o) Rhode Resort, similar here/EARRINGSmore from Oscar de la Renta here

Today GoldenEye is home to the most incredible staff. Just ask for Jeanine, the manager for recommendations on what to do on the property and she’ll personally guide you. Each and every person greets you with a genuine smile and “hey mon!” Or, respect your privacy so that you can truly relax and unwind in the warm Jamaican sunshine.

DRESS: old, more from Alexis here/MULES: (c/o) Ferragamo, more here

There’s a treetop restaurant, a swim-up spa (as in, you need a paddle board or kayak to visit), “wata sports” (like snorkeling a protected reef), Blackwell rum and plenty of copies of James Bond books laying around for you to pick up and read on your vacation.

SWIMSUIT: more from Solid & Striped here/HAT: Lack of Colors, more options here/JEWELRY: Mulberry and Grand, more options here

My favorite rooms were in the one-bedroom beach hut (I personally loved having coffee on the porch every morning) and the straight-to-sand beach cottage with the most epic outdoor shower. (You can read more about this here.) Both felt private and luxurious. Next time, I’m getting a room in the lagoon cottage – one with a balcony that juts over the lagoon! It’s incredible and so romantic.

One more note!

DRESS: H&M/SCARF: old, more options here

Many readers asked if I thought Jamaica was safe. Yes, I felt safe. I felt really safe. GoldenEye was very private and secure. While I think you should always be careful to avoid risky areas and use common sense when traveling, I think Jamaica’s reputation for being “dangerous” was a bit ill deserved. At least where I was. Sometimes you have to experience the country and the goodness of its people for yourself to make these judgements so I encourage you to do research or stay at a resort like GoldenEye if this is a concern…

If you have any questions about this or my trip to Jamaica, feel free to leave them in the comment section and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Xo, Stephanie

P.S. You guys guessed right! I’m off to INDIA next! Stay tuned…

[Chelsae Anne | Photographer]