Eat, Pray, Love - Part One

by Rachel Ashwell

I’ve never been a great fan of summertime. I prefer cooler weather and even though I consider myself a gypsy at heart and like to be spontaneous, I do prefer the structure that other seasons provide. So this summer I decided to go back to my home land, England. There I would likely be certain of cooler days and even some rain. And of course, a chance to see my son, step kids & friends. I also find that being away from my home and routine I am more free to be inspired. I flew Norwegian Air as they have an affordable "change of flight" policy. I never am sure exactly when I want to fly, whether coming or going. (Sometimes my flying anxiety kicks in or unexpected opportunities cross my path.)
I happily packed a coat as I was warned there had been unusually chilly days and nights lingering. On arrival, an unprecedented heatwave ensued. Above 80 degrees every day (and no cool down at night), with California blue skies and sun everyday for the entire month I have been here so far. City living, especially London is not set up for the heat. Not much air conditioning and the double decker buses become saunas. Sun starved Londoners with as little clothes legally permissible pack the park and overflowing pubs. Needless to say, my coat has not left my bag.
As I settled into London, I found myself feeling a little like a boat with no rudder but somehow not detached from my duties. A bump in personal and business matters had left me a little shell shocked. My main goal was to find some inner peace. It did however, take some time to settle into calm waters and my new found freedom. My feeling of being lost gradually transitioned to ease and anticipation of exploring.
Albeit hotter than I could barely stand I found myself steady, even when I was thrown into the crowds of the Pride Parade and England beating Sweden in football, making getting back to my hotel nearly impossible on foot. The silver lining is this caused me to go down side streets of London that I wouldn’t have otherwise ventured to.
 A friend suggested I read "Becoming Magic".  This book gave me an anchor to my new found mindset, being open to wherever my travels took me. My voyage has been mainly alone from destination to destination. I have conquered the trains and "Easy Jet" (well worth the few extra pounds for early boarding) and only traveling with what will fit into my Shabby Chic Weekender Bag.
I have visited churches, engaged in loving times with friends and family and found myself more connected than ever. I have eaten lots of comfy English food, yummy pasta in Italy, and France still awaits me. My own little eat, pray, love journey.
I have been sharing my journey on Instagram, not to brag about my glamorous life and certainly not of me in a bikini, but more to share the diversity of my explorations. I have taken advantage of the freedom of changing my Norwegian Airline ticket five times now. One of the tools of "Becoming Magic" is to write three things I am grateful for, twice a day. As each day goes by I find myself having a hard time choosing my lists. Grateful for the people in my life who are supporting my gypsy journey, grateful for all my adventures and I feel something profound brewing inside of me. My boat still has no rudder, but it is sailing to beautiful waters.
Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace / London
https://www.hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace/explore/the-palace-gardens/
Babington House (Soho House) / Somerset
https://www.babingtonhouse.co.uk
Juliet Balcony / Verona Italy 
https://casadigiulietta.comune.verona.it/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=42703
Fortnum and Masons / London
https://www.fortnumandmason.com

6 comments


  • Thank you for sharing your journey. The words and pictures are beautiful Rachel.
    Safe travels…

    lorraine crispino on

  • Thank you for sharing your journey. It has always been my dream to visit England and especially London.

    Meschill Billington on

  • “My boat still has no rudder, but it is sailing to beautiful waters” I love this statement, and know exactly how it feels. I am 72, single, retired, but filling my days with creative projects. It is strange after a lifetime of planning, career-building and goal setting to be in a place where I can set my own path. But I love it!

    Elizabeth Provost on

  • Can you share the author name on the book you mention “Becoming Magic”?

    Thank you kindly!

    xo xo
    Lisa K

    Lisa Klinowski on

  • I have always loved your words and your writings, whether your books, your blog or IG. Your words are really like a balm to my Soul, always. I truly relate to your words. Hope you are finding the peace on your journey and look forward to more of your beautiful words and pictures, that truly inspire calm and give me daily beauty!!!!

    xo xo
    Lisa Klinowski
    long time follower of lovely you

    Lisa Klinowski on


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

© 2017 Rachel Ashwell