"Put 'em up!"

"Put 'em up!"

"Want to find some crabs?" Bethany asked me. 

"Sure!" I scrambled down after her as she gracefully picked her way down to the rock covered beach. She began to nudge stones. Little scuttling crabs began to pop into my vision, when before they had blended in with the shells and rocks on the ground. She picked one up and gave me a brief science lesson. I felt like a little kid again in an instant, my grin spread wide across my face. He slipped out of her grip and claws up began his sideways run away from us. 

Play is so difficult to plan into my adult world. It's sometimes hard to break off the path of my schedule to make time for beauty and discovery. Cheers to crab hunting and friends that pull you to the beach. 

To see more of my adventures follow me here on Instagram: Kate.creech


Traveling for the Timid

A Not So Thorough, but Possibly Adequate Guide

I had booked the flight to Scotland (and then to Italy) months in advance, but as I looked at the sea of faces in the international terminal I began to seriously think about not boarding the plane. "What was I thinking?" I wondered. "Why did I think traveling alone was a good idea?"

I forced myself on the flight, even in the air I was seriously doubting my decision. I wasn't worried about being able to take care of myself or even really my safety. I think it was the fear of being alone, of not being known by anyone.

The very next day after arriving in Scotland, I jumped on a tour out into the Highlands and to the Isle of Skye. I became friends with a very sweet German father daughter pair. He helped me not fall off cliffs and she held my mutual love for sticky toffee pudding. The experience began to feel like a shared one, the brightly dyed green sheep along the road became funnier, the breathtaking landscape was even more gorgeous, and the food was possibly better when eaten with the group.

I now realize I don't necessarily always need to take a friend on a journey with me. In some ways that may be a distraction to really immersing myself in the experience and it could keep me from getting out of my comfort zone. Sharing beauty with strangers and having conversations about God, life, and experiences was one of the best things that came out of that trip.

Kate's Guide for Fellow Timid Travelers:

1. Go. Just do it. Force your way out of your normal daily grind and do something that stretches you a little...or a lot.

2. It's ok to be scared. I was terrified. Was that fear realistic? No, not really. By facing the fear of traveling alone internationally I gained more confidence!

3. Keep a journal. I tried to record a few lines of things that were happening or encounters I had with people. This is so valuable for bringing out at a later time to remind yourself what beautiful things you saw or the flight you missed because you overslept. Having receipts or postcards to slip into the journal also adds another dimension and it's much easier to put together than a scrapbook.

4. It's okay to phone a friend. Seriously! They will remind you why you went in the first place. Also, it's really helpful when you're jet lagged and need a friendly voice to talk to.

5. Relax. This was a biggie. Just be in the moment. Put the phone or the map down and enjoy the miles you've flown, the hill you hiked, the foreign language you maneuvered through to order your dinner.

6. Have fun. This is important, because why did you book the trip in the first place?

7. It's ok to be an introvert. Finding a park bench and people watching is a great thing to do to get to know a culture better, but...

8. Talk to people. You'll never know what story you'll uncover.

Wandering through Italy

I walked the cobblestone streets trying to keep my mouth from dropping. I don't know if I've ever wandered around a place for so many hours in such a short period of time. Every corner revealed something new, the walls held layers of chipping paint peeling away to show decades and centuries of it's secrets. The Colosseum and the Vatican are impressive and should be visited, but I was most taken by the people, the tiny alley ways, and the bubbling excitement of piazzas. 


Bury My Heart in Scotland

Through my jet-lagged haze I watched sunrises and sunsets over lochs and mountains; I climbed hills like a happy clumsy mountain goat. It was amazing. I could spend weeks just exploring the Isle of Skye, there were so many corners where there wasn't a soul...only the birds for company.

Even in Edinburgh there were plenty of quiet spaces away from the Royal Mile and touristy woolen shops. Scotland radiated both charm and ferocity at the same time and I can't wait to return. 


Out in the Thistle and Heather

Only a couple of months ago, I decided I was going to pack up a suitcase and fly alone across the pond to have an adventure. When I got to the airport my inner worry-wart began to scream at me to turn around and return to the safety and security of the familiar. I forced myself to board the plane and was still battling doubt as I settled in for the long haul. Sure, Scotland is not Turkey or Russia, it's relatively safe to wander, but the thought of being mostly on my own for a week and a half until I met up with my friend Liz, was extremely scary. I've never been good with the unknown or being alone for long stretches of time. 

I landed and smushed myself in a cab, soaking up the mountains and the melodic accent of my driver, still battling fear. Once I had dropped my stuff off at my hotel, I stepped out into the brisk air and climbed Calton Hill. Staring out over the city of Edinburgh watching the sun set over the castle, I began to feel a little better. The hard part was over, I had made it to the place that I had been dreaming of visiting for years. Now, it was time to enjoy the beauty and breathe in the adventure the Lord had provided for me. 

Aubrey, Texas

Ever since moving back to the Lone Star State, I've been itching to go out and explore wide open spaces. It's been quite an adjustment going from such a crazy, beautiful, magnetic place like NYC to the epitome of suburbia, but I love waking up to the stillness of a winter morning (yes, we have winters in Texas) and the warmth of family close by.