My ten-person dorm in Edinburgh

Hostels have a rhythm and atmosphere of their own which (dare I say it?) I think I prefer to hotels

Don’t get me wrong. Certainly there is nothing to rival the treat that is staying in a nice hotel, preferably one with a grand lobby where one can take a seat in a wingback chair, alternating between reading and people watching, and with an elegant, moody bar where visitors from around the world mix with local business folks meeting up for drinks after work. And after being on the road, a charming room, luxuriant bed, spa-like shower and plush hotel bathrobe are the stuff of nirvana.

A view of the Cuillin Mountains, captured through the tour bus window.

A visit to the Isle of Skye just wouldn’t be the same without mist-covered mountains

One of the most popular destinations in all of Scotland is the Isle of Skye. At least this is what I had gathered from other hostel-goers, who all seemed to be coming from there, or were getting ready to visit. Early on, Skye had been on my possibilities list, and the mumerous endorsements from others sealed the deal for me, and I made a plan to go there in mid-July.

Looking across the beach to idyllic Thurso

A short walk along Scotland’s northern coastline on a splendid summer day

At the tippy-top, most northern part of Scotland, the first ferry of the day from Stromness on Orkney Island arrives in Scrabster on the mainland at 8am.

I had taken this early morning service, which had given me the option of staying the night before in one of the cabins on the ferry (see my previous post, Savoring the Local Hero Vibe in Orkney), where I got the best sleep I’d had in months.

So I was full of vim and vigor as I strapped on my big backpack and stepped onto the dock at Scrabster. Adding to the spring…

Along the bustling main street of Stromness

The happy circumstance of when your travels drop you into the middle of a beloved movie

Ah, breathing room!

After a month of being in busy cities overrun with tourists, I was feeling ready for some open space and fewer folks. But more than that, I wanted to go remote in Scotland — something which for decades I’ve hoped to do — in large part because of a beautiful little movie called “Local Hero.”

The 1983 film is a comedy-drama starring Peter Riegert and Burt Lancaster, and tells the story of Mac, a young oil company executive from Houston who is sent to a secluded village in Scotland to buy up all of the property in…

The remnants of Urquhart Castle overlooking Loch Ness.

The portal city to the Scottish Highlands is rich in beauty, history and lore

After the weeks of exuberant fun in beautiful Edinburgh, I’ve come farther north in Scotland, my first stop being Inverness — another city, with another vibe. Smaller, a bit chillier, with the scenery of a river instead of a beach. Though it’s a city, Inverness has the spirit of the highlands and the enormous sky which surround it. There is a crisp, simple certainty to everything — the folks here are warm in spirit, and unflappable.

It’s far enough north now that Gaelic words have begun creeping into conversations, and road signs are printed in two languages, with Gaelic often…

Edinburgh Castle.

Scotland’s beautiful capitol city offers opportunities to get your groove on, be it traditional or international

This isn’t the first time my trusty backpack and I have ventured into Scotland’s beautiful capital city. We were here a few decades ago, during my first time traveling in Europe. My study abroad group had come here for two weeks during the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and I spent a good amount of time dashing between plays, stand-up comedy performances, and authors’ lectures.

Sometimes what is needed in a long journey is respite in a beloved and familiar place

After an eventful week aboard the QM2 and the literal launch of my next book’s journey, I was glad of my choice to begin my time in Europe in my old stomping grounds of Oxford.

The weeks and months leading up to my travels had been focused on finishing my first book, finding the right publishing venue (an ongoing process) and clearing the last vestiges of my homestead out of storage in Marina del Rey, California and into a POD (not knowing where I will land when this journey is over, the only thing I know to do is make…

Breakfast with the boys

A voyage across the Atlantic with heroes of WWII as the head to Normandy to celebrate D-Day

I write this aboard the Queen Mary 2, as she traverses the North Atlantic on her way from New York City to Southampton, England. It’s always an exhilaration to watch the ship cut through the water as she travels in this direction. Sailing east means the journey is just beginning.

At the start of my last book project, on my first voyage on the QM2, I crossed with the girls, Cornelia and Emily, and we traveled together throughout that summer. …

And so begins another journey, a nomadic existence, and more goodbyes

“Home is wherever you hang your hat.”

These are the words I used on the map which chronicled my journey two years ago, when I followed in the footsteps of my favorite book, Our Hearts Were Young and Gay. You can read all about those travels under the Enchanted Summer heading at my website.

And now here I am again, about to put to the test that adage I find so reassuring. …

A walk in the sunshine with Tico, one of my hosts at the schoolhouse

The Unexpected Beauty of Living in a Cemetery

The following post was written between my travels, when I was holed up in Hudson, New York, writing my first book. I was living in a former schoolhouse, circa 1900, which had been converted into funky, upbeat studio apartments by artist Laura Ann Jacobs. The schoolhouse is situated between two cemeteries. To me, it’s beautiful, peaceful and even inspiring — nothing creepy or frightening here. One cemetery is 300-years-old, where Revolutionary War soldiers are buried alongside some of the famous Hudson Valley Artists. But here I am writing about the other cemetery, the one my windows faced, where the more…

Adrienne Crow

A nomad for 3 years, I’ve just published my first book, “Enchanted Summer”. My second travel book is on hold for the present time.

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