Thank You and I Love You

by Rachel Ashwell

These past few weeks I have been on the road. 

Starting at my cottage in the English countryside, to a few days in London. Onto my home in Los Angeles for a few short days, back to New York and the beautiful Hudson Valley. Some stops were business related and some to see friends and family. 

Some parts of my travels required flying and I’m not the best flyer. Especially over water, when it’s dark or bumpy. Over the years, I have even attended fear of flying seminars which have been helpful as far as learning and understanding how these great big planes can hold so many people and bags without any strings attached. But my motivation and curiosity to travel has always overridden my fears and so I pop on my headphones and get lost in inspiring podcasts or music like Oprah's Super Soul Conversations or Enya. I try to pretend I’m not in a plane. On my long haul flight from London to Los Angeles, Sadie was of great comfort. 

When given the option, I will always opt for the choice of driving or taking a train whenever possible. My last train ride was from Hudson’s Valley into the big city of New York, following the Hudson River the whole way. It was restful and magical. 

The funny thing is I’m such a nester so one would think leaving my comfort zones would be hard. But I have learnt how to make little homes wherever I go. I’m sensitive to where I choose to hang my hat or lay my head. Having a room clean and quiet is usually my number one priority. Of course, I’m a little fussy about the bed. I think I can be forgiven for that given how much value I put on creating sanctuaries of the bedroom. 

 

My claustrophobia also has to be considered.  I don’t like elevators or hotel rooms where windows don’t fully open. So I seek out stairwells and balconies. So, while I’m not a diva I do have my non- negotiable needs. 

In saying all that, taking myself out of my comfort zones also holds value. I have seen and experienced things I might not otherwise when in my place of habit. And it seems I move around so much nowhere feels like my place of habit at the moment. Even my main home in Los Angeles. 

Seems curious that the "gypsy girl" in me has to keep exploring.  I love the diversity of culture and lifestyles that traveling between cities and the countryside of different countries hold. It is true the world has become smaller due to the ease of travel and social media. But still I find many different ways of living from place to place. 

Taking meetings face to face with business partnerships are invaluable. While FaceTime / Skype / emails etc are valuable tools, nothing compares with being able to touch fabrics and finishes and communicating face to face with people. This last trip to New York inspired many exciting projects for the future world of Shabby Chic that may not have come up without a face to face meeting. 

But mostly as always the biggest pay off for the effort of travel is the people I meet and seeing friends and family. Sometimes I forget that  short edited communications via email or texting gives an illusion of feeling like I’m connected. And it has value but nothing replaces looking in someone’s eyes to say thank you or I love you. For that I will always face my fears and step into those big flying machines.


4 comments


  • I just discovered this blog and relate to it deeply. I have a long-held admiration for you Rachel Ashwell. I have bought a good bit of furniture from you and pillows and bedding and I am always delighted. I love going to your stores in LA any New York and I am delighted to discover this blog to learn a little bit more about who you are. Thanks for all you do to make the world more beautiful.
    Peyton Evans on

  • Love keeping up with your travels, pics, blog posts, and all of your new ideas and imagination! Will miss you at Round Top, antique shopping this weekend!

    Portland Rosen on

  • You are welcome to come to my home .Do you like boats and their clinking? I adore you Rachel ❤❤❤

    Gladys VITALIANO on

  • This post was so inspiring. I too have a fear of flying like many, and to hear one of my icons feels the same way, and can opening talk about it, reminds me that it’s ok! I love the world of shabby chic and the woman behind it !

    Emily on

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