Thanks to an academic essay published in Applied Research in Quality of Life in 2010, research tells us that more than half the joy of travel comes before the vacation even begins—in the anticipation and planning portion of the holiday. It’s this kind of research that makes all the ruminating Rashida Jones has done—on where she’d like to go when all this is over—that much more legitimate. The title of that study was “Vacationers Happier, but Most not Happier After a Holiday.”
“I’m really excited to go back to Scandinavia and to Italy—Italy so much,” she tells me. Where in Italy? “Everywhere, everywhere. I love it! Last summer, I went to the Tuscan coast and it was so beautiful. Because it’s Tuscany, there’re all those rolling hills, but then you’re right there on the water.” She reiterates: “I love Italy so much.”
When she does make it to Italy, Jones will be fully equipped luggage-wise. With her, she’ll bring bags of her own design—items belonging to her second collection for the device-friendly luggage company Away, which launches online today. The line features hard-case rollaboards (one in a glinty metallic copper and one that transitions from black to azul) along with leather tablet cases, weekender duffle bags, packing cubes, and a fanny pack-like accessory to be slung crossbody.
“Away has never done an ombré before and I really wanted to make that happen. It took some testing, trials, and developing to get the right color combination for it to look good and wear well. I liked the practical meeting the fantastical element of developing something that was first inspired by a thought or a feeling,” Jones explains. The jumping-off point was Jones’s home base of Ojai, California. The village rests at the bottom of a valley in the Topatopa Mountains, where the skies seem to rearrange themselves into a brilliant ombré twice a day at sunrise and sunset.
“It has been said that Ojai is a spiritual vortex, whatever that means. But the way I interpret that is the minute you enter the valley, you drop down into some other frequency. It’s really hard not to unwind or think about things in a slightly different way when you’re there,” she says.