If Travel Has Taught Me Anything

Racism is a state of mind. I have met people of all colors during my travels and all have enriched my life immeasurably. It is time America. It’s beyond time. We must stop making our prejudice and biases about skin color a factor in our judgement and decision-making. The pandemic certainly highlighted inequality throughout the world and the last two weeks of protests have certainly compounded the realities of deep injustice in our communities.

Travel is a way of learning, you are out of your comfort zone, you meet people of different cultures, colors and religions. We all want to believe we are unique. And in a way we are. There’s no one who loves taking photographs of every new experience or has an aversion to spiders and a passion for exploring. I’m unique. But when it comes to what really matters, we are all so much alike.

We want to be accepted, we want to succeed, we want to matter. It may look different to a riad owner in Marrakech or a fisherman in the Marquesas, than it looks to a hoodie wearing techie or the button-down corporate type, but we all want to succeed..

We all want to feel loved. Everyone wants people to understand them, wants a community that they belong to, everyone wants acceptance. These needs can live in mansions, apartments and in small village huts in a jungle. These needs don’t discriminate based on skin color religion, language, or nationality or orientation.

You see the world in a new way, when you see that people are more similar than they are different. When they rejoice, you rejoice. And when they hurt, you hurt. Why is this such a challenging concept? Each individual success is a collective success in every community. We grieve for the families who have suffered the injustices of racism.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad / Roughing It

Egypt wall art
Bangkok, Thailand

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.. Albert Einstein.

Sayulita, Mexico. wall art by local village children “hug someone maybe it’s what you need”
Tree Art Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford

“America belongs to all who live here and call her home; of every color and background; that is central to what makes America great. those who believe otherwise are (in my opinion) other then American…” Leland Lewis, Random Molecular Mirroring

Native American gathering, Stanford University
Cairo, Egypt

Inspired by the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “With patient and firm determination we will press on until every valley of despair is exalted to new peaks of hope, until every mountain of pride and irrationality is made low by the leveling process of humility and compassion; until the rough places of injustice are transformed into a smooth plane of equality of opportunity; and until the crooked places of prejudice are transformed by the straightening process of bright-eyed wisdom.”

Bhutan Farmers market

“You cannot claim you treat everyone equally If you are judging others by their ethnicity.”  Charles E Hudson

Rajasthan, India

“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories.We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”  Thurgood Marshall

Amman, Jordan

“Discrimination does not ‘make America great.’ It makes America weak.” DaShanne Stokes

The Great Rift Valley, Kenya
Sayulita, Mexico – Wall Art by local village children

What makes us different? Well, besides our skin color and our nationality and maybe our religion, nothing. We all want the same thing, we all want to have success in America. Herm Edwards

Coworth Park, to the Manor Born

Over a hundred years ago, stately British Manor houses were the norm, those in high cotton spent time in the countryside at their Manor homes, a life of indulgence and luxury. There is a certain glamorous elegance in lounging about these popular British properties. More in the Manor House type properties, we have always loved Coworth Park, a Dorchester property just outside of London. Ponder the moment we ease out of our isolating Shelter in Place situation, dip a toe into civilization in a private cottage, with full five-star amenities. Civilized is a perfect description of any Dorchester property, but this is Country Civilization at the premier level! Coworth has several one and two-bedroom single access suites, and a three bedroom cottage, an exalted shelter in place, but with hundreds of acres of scenic walkable grounds, ease back into civilization here!

The Lake at Coworth Park

Location  – Of course, the location is perfect – just so accessible.  Heathrow is merely 20 minutes away, yet when you arrive you feel like you are a million miles away as the gorgeous 250-acre estate literally envelops you.  Just greenery and nature as far as the eye can see.  It is as if you have stepped off the world.  London is also within easy reach – a 40-minute train ride or one-hour car journey.  Also, one I sometimes forget to mention – Farnborough the private airspace is close by – private jet peeps can land close by.  To note on that point, helicopters can and of course do land on the Estate. 
Cottages – I think the best way to describe these is if you think about the movie The Holiday! –a series of cottages – little houses on the grounds.  These were created on the foundations where many the original outbuildings of the Estate were positioned.  They are ideal for couples, families and multi-generational families alike. Safety in serene environment.

Suite at Coworth Park
To die for tub, Coworth Park

A country cottage of your dreams. Open your door into a traditional English country house. These elegant suites feature a luxurious open-plan design with a sitting area, dining area and fireplace. Where history lives on. There’s something so restorative about waking up to a silence broken only by delicate birdsong. Coworth Park’s grounds have been faithfully restored to preserve their majestic history, and now offer a village-like atmosphere to this exclusive enclave of rooms and graceful outdoor spaces that surround The Barn.

Garden cottage Coworth Park
Suite at Coworth Park

I’ve stayed here in fall and can attest to the singular beauty, the gorgeous rolling grounds and the delicious dining – five-star menu or quaint pub menu. One of my finest Fish & Chip suppers with a pint was enjoyed on the sheltered terrace, on a fine autumn afternoon.

Scrumptious Fish & Chips

Several one-bedroom cottages, a two-bedroom cottage and a three bedroom home. An idyllic family retreat. With plenty of space and seclusion these cottages are favored by families looking for a bit of downtime together. And when the exact opposite is required, the layout across two floors allows for early bedtimes on one floor and late lie-ins on the other. Deep soaking tubs or as I prefer to describe them – if you can drown in it, the to die for tub is perfection. You’ll find The Book of Idle Pleasures waiting in your bathroom. Slip into a deep bubble bath and you’ll soon see why this sums up the experience perfectly.

Within the Stable Building with separate entrance is the Fairway Suite- the bathroom is extraordinary! One-bedroom suite with king bed and TWO copper roil top tubs – my suite at Coworth Park had such a tub – a five star tub if you are a soaker, ease away the stress of a day before cocktails and a proper dinner!

Suite at Coworth Park

Perhaps the jewel in the crown is The Dower House.  This was where Prince Harry stayed with Prince William the night before his wedding to Megan, Coworth Park backs into Windsor Great Park – so Windsor is their next-door neighbor.  The Dower House is an original 18th Century three-bedroom cottage, built in 1775. 

Suite at Coworth Park

Three bedrooms en-suite. A unique and listed house of your very own, set amongst idyllic private garden. Fully equipped kitchen, merely request private chef. Private gated entrance. Traditional beauty with a modern personality. The Dower House is a private cottage built in 1775. It has been immaculately restored by Fox Lindon Associates who have honored the legacy of the property’s Georgian history and origins. A stylish and enchanting English country escape. The bespoke, copper roll-top bathtubs take luxury to new heights. Both bathrooms are wonderfully spacious, filled with natural light and fragranced by the subtle aroma of Mitchell and Peach toiletries. Soak with spectacular views of the estate and its feathered inhabitants, as well as the glorious countryside that surrounds you, The Dower House has its own secluded garden complete with a river running through it, where you’ll often spot our family of swans.

Excellence in service. Be it a butler, a chef, or someone to prepare the fire, Coworth Park is ready to tailor everything to your heart’s desire. Activities: A walk to the outer edge of the estate rewards you with the discovery of a tranquil lake, which is home to the resident swan named Chukka, inspired by the polo fields he overlooks. This is a place of true serenity in which to enjoy a relaxed moment of calm. Saddle up – Have you ever been on a horse? Would you like to try? This is the finest way to explore the huge estate, breathe in fresh air, relax into the moment and experience life from a new perspective. Even for the complete beginner, there’s no feeling of freedom quite like the adventure of being in the saddle. All things equestrian, Coworth Park is home to eight friendly horses, the equestrian centre welcomes both beginners and seasoned riders. Take a leisurely hack around the grounds, head off for a canter or try your hand at dressage ─ the choice is yours.

Polo lessons- Whether brushing up your polo skills or trying polo for the first time, both theory and practice will be provided on Coworth Park’s High Goal fields. Half day polo master class (three hours). The best way to get up and running and hit a polo ball within one session. Gain an insight into the world of modern polo including its rich history, a thorough engagement with the fundamentals of polo riding, and a fun and pro-active exercise in polo practice from a sporting perspective. The half day experience includes further polo riding practice. All lessons include access to Guards Polo Club on the day.

Coworth Park

Country pursuits – For guests looking to stay active, guest services can provide walking and jogging maps. For more adventure, try your hand at laser clay pigeon shooting, mountain biking, tennis, or croquet on the upper lawn. You can also look forward to delicious picnics in your favorite area of the grounds.

Sumptuous Scottish Seaweed Treatment at the Coworth Park Spa. The word is derived from Gaelic word for water – ‘ishga’ and it is the name of the brand which creates all the organic skincare products at Coworth Park Spa. From the remote Scotland Hebridean Islands, the seaweed has for centuries been prized for its natural oxidant and therapeutic properties.

Spa Coworth Park

Need more enticement: several restaurants on property, Restaurant Coworth Park, proudly awarded the Michelin star of excellence, the relaxed elegance of Restaurant Coworth Park, led by executive chef Adam Smith, showcases a modern outlook on classic British dishes with stunning views of the gardens. For a more relaxed and rustic dining experience, muddy boots are most welcome at The Barn, which offers a delicious brasserie-style menu of comfort food in an informal setting, this is where I enjoyed scrumptious Fish & Chips. Full service spa with indoor pool, chill before cocktails!

Pack your essential country tweeds and corduroy pants for fall, light linen for summer sojourn. Did you know that in 1571 British Parliament fined any man not wearing his tweed flat cap? In an effort to boost domestic woolen sales, every male over seven was required to wear the woolen flat cap on Sundays and public holidays. From the Royals to the rurals, scholars and country farmers, wellies and woolens are the perfect fashionable attire for the Coworth Park. You learn so much here!

Coworth Park, oozing country charm!