Judith Crowell could tell you about places to eat in Canada, about a little town in Indiana called Peru, and about things to see in Europe. She could tell you about her time living in Augusta, Ga. In Stuttgart, Germany. In Chicago. And in Chappaqua, N.Y.
“I’ve been traveling most of my life,” Crowell said.
Those travels prompted Crowell to become a freelance travel writer in 2004 after selling Berrybridge, a successful upscale bridal store she owned in her hometown of St. Louis.
From there, Crowell began to travel more frequently, making her way around the world and coming across little finds that many people never would have known about.
Through her adventures, Crowell translates her trips into stories. After selling her business, Crowell began writing for St. Louis Seasons Magazine. When that publication closed a year ago, she started writing travel stories for Ladue News in St. Louis.
She eventually found her way to Santa Barbara after her two daughters and four grandchildren moved to the area in 2002.
Here & There will include stories written by Crowell, Noozhawk contributing writer Jenn Kennedy and others.
With each destination, Crowell discusses the things she sees, the places she recommends travelers go, personal antidotes, and the unique and different spots within each area that one wouldn’t find elsewhere.
“I try to make them personable,” Crowell said. “I usually put some humor in (my stories), too.”
For Crowell, the places she travels really catch her eye.
“None of these locations is ‘a find’,” she explained. “It’s really just something that catches my fancy.
“I really enjoy — especially in the last couple years — writing about places within the United States,” she added. “Times are tough for people financially and it’s really important to me to highlight wonderful places here in the United States.
“People don’t have to travel to Europe or China to find amazing places.”
Although Crowell has found that she has a knack for travel writing and photography, she wasn’t always a travel reporter.
“I tried to transition from being in the (bridal business) to a travel writer,” she said, noting that she wrote a book about her experiences in the bridal business to ease the way.
The book, A Shop’s Fables, includes short stories of her experiences, funny things she has seen, and advice from an expert who has endured everything from overbearing mothers to pregnant brides.
While her travels take her all around the world, Crowell splits much of her time between Santa Barbara and St. Louis. With her family in Santa Barbara and lifelong friends in St. Louis, she spends roughly half a year in each location.
“I’m lucky to be able to do that,” Crowell said.
By traveling back and forth, Crowell is able to stay connected with her family and be a part of their lives, whether it’s through watching her grandchildren in their activities or just being there for her family.
Click here for more information about Crowell. Click here to visit Noozhawk’s new Here & There section.