A letter to my future self

Hey guys,

So this morning as a form of procrastination, I re-read all of my posts to see if there were spelling mistakes etc as I was probably too lazy to do it when I first published them (I am going to work on this). I came across my post, A Series of Unfortunate Events, where I wrote about a bucket list I wanted to achieve before I turned 20. I am going to be 21 in August and I just realized that I had done very few of the things I wanted to get done for last summer. So here is me ticking off another thing on my list.

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

Dear future Kathy,

As you write this, you are sitting in the basement of the ORB in UCC. You are listening to Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill and smiling at the lines, “But I was younger then, take me back to when We found weekend jobs, when we got paid We’d buy cheap spirits and drink them straight Me and my friends have not thrown up in so long, oh how we’ve grown But I can’t wait to go home”. I don’t know when you are going to re-read this. I hope you have achieved all that you want to. I hope you got that summer job in the bank that you wanted to. That you made it to Alicante.

I hope that you are no longer sick, that despite having a rough start to 2017 that now you are ok. I hope that you have stopped hurting yourself, remember that scratch you got off the briar in Gran’s house about 10 years ago? That scarred you. you scar too easily to add more to your collection yourself.

I hope that no matter where you end up after this hellish year of college, you are happy. I hope that the people you want to support you do, without questioning it. I hope that you do you, you can do this. Remember, you are who you choose to become. Don’t let anyone change your mind and tell you otherwise. As I sit here and write this, my minds is all over the place, I don’t know where I’m going to be in two weeks time. I don’t know if I’ll be living at home for the summer, if I’ll be in Tralee or if I’ll be in Cork. Wherever you end up, whatever you do, remember you got this girl.

No matter what you’re doing, go outside, take a walk. Ring Mum for a chat, then ring Anna. Tell them you love them. Live every day to the full. Don’t be afraid to fall in love. Don’ ever let someone hurting you change how you look at love and relationships keep wearing your heart on your sleeve and don’t let anyone change that. Oh, and finish that bucket list of yours. 😛

Ok I think this went in about 15 different directions, this is a prime example of what you were like at exam time.

Lots of love,

20-year-old Kathy.

 

 

Favorite March Music

Hey guys,

So I decided that I was ready for some commitment in my life and took the grown up plunge to invest in Spotify Premium.. Yay meeee! 😛 Since I took the plunge, I have gone through 3 pairs of earphones (anyone have any recommendations for good ones that don’t break?). In fairness none of the earphones were all that expensive and I could probably do with buying a proper pair but ain’t nobody got time for that.

So in addition to me suddenly having endless music at my fingertips and having an immense amount of college work to do I have spent A LOT of the last month plugged in. Here are some of my favorites from the month of March 🙂

1. ÷ (Divide), Ed Sheeran

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely obsessed with this album. I fell in love with ‘Castle on the Hill’ when it first came out and couldn’t wait for the rest of the album. He has such a variety of types of songs and music on the album that you never get bored listening to it. I also love Galway Girl (it night be the Irish girl in me) and Nancy Mulligan (this definitely appeals to the romantic in me). Way to go Ed, this album is fantastic 😀

2. Water Under the Bridge, Adele. 

I think all of Adele’s stuff is great but I love this song!! It’s a song about fighting for what you want and who you love. Plus its really catchy..

3. El Mismo Sol, Alvaro Soler.

I came across this Spanish gents music while in Madrid last summer due to his single Sofia being played EVERY.SINGLE.TIME the radio was turned on. That said I love Sofia too but some things can be slightly overplayed (I think my family will agree with me on this one seeing as they all know the words to it and they don’t speak Spanish…). My 5-year-old in Spain taught me the words and I have video footage of her doing it 😛 She never failed to entertain. Anyway I went slightly off topic.. but yeah.. El Mismo Sol is great. The title  translates as ‘The Same  my interpretation of the song is that it’s about unity and how we are all under the same sun.. there are bits about love in there too but I like the last line, ‘Aquí todos estamos bajo el mismo sol’ meaning “Here we all are, under the same sun.”

4. Phil Collins.. In general

So I’m a big Phil Collins fan. My music taste is quite varied and probably slightly weird but as my good friend one told me, when it comes to music, everyone has different tastes 🙂 I love the music from Tarzan and that is how I fell in love with more of his music 🙂

5. Take A Bow, Rihanna/ Love Song, Sara Bareilles

Some serious throwback songs that ended up on my discover playlist 😀

 

So this was a bit of an unusual post for me but I have been writing an essay for college all day and this is what I was listening to.. 😛

Hope you enjoyed,

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

(P.S. here is the link to my March playlist on Spotify… https://open.spotify.com/user/11141787897/playlist/56tSudORfEJYMmldcrZihY)

 

My top 5 things to do in Belgium

Hey guys,

So my last few posts have been more about the disaster that is my life and not about the traveling adventures that I originally started this blog to post about. There will probably be more personal posts but this one is all about Belgium 🙂

When I was in school, I studied French and I wanted to improve it so I thought about going to France for a summer to work when I was 16. I did some research and discovered that I wouldn’t be paid for working in France due to employment laws so a friend of my mums, a French teacher, suggested that I go to Belgium. As it happens, the place where I worked for the summer when I was 14 had a sister place in the French-speaking region of Belgium so off I went. I spent 3 and a half weeks working in the kitchen of a hospitality/ residential conference center about 45 mins outside Brussels. I  worked hard and I was working 5-5.5 days a week so I didn’t get to travel enough as I would have liked.. So I went back for longer the following year 😛

I will always have fond memories of Belgium. I made some amazing friends there, some Mexican, Guatemalan, Spanish and even a really good Irish friend. I also had my fair share of accidents there 😛 I had one really accident prone day when,in the morning, while cutting an onion, I nearly took the top off my finger.. That afternoon I then had an argument with a gate and the gate won, thus resulting in me getting a spike of it through my foot.. Fun times 😛 There was no major damage, just crutches for a few weeks, serious antibiotics and painkillers.. Twas grand 🙂 It happened on a Sunday and I was planning on flying home the Tuesday so I was grand.

Despite my spending so much time working, I got to do a significant amount of traveling. Here are mt top 5 places to go in Belgium.

  1. Grand Place, Brussels.

Both times I was in Belgium it was in June/July, Grand Place was one of the first places I visited and I was blown away by how beautiful it is. It is surrounded by Gothic buildings, including the town hall. Every two years in August, an enormous “flower carpet” is set up in the Grand Place for a few days. A million colorful  flowers are set up in patterns, covering the entire square.

Grand Place

2. Manneken Pis

My friend Ruth really didn’t like this guy but I’d recommend checking him out, especially if there is something going on in Belgium at the time. When I was there the second time, it was during the last soccer world cup so he was dressed up as a soccer player. In reality, he is a tiny bronze statue who pees into the fountains basin.

3. Bruges and Gent

These two towns are absolutely spectacular! I only managed to get to them both once but they are stunning. Both are on built on canals and they, much like Venice are used to get around on.The streets are narrow and cobbled and old. They are both just so beautiful.

4. Leuven/ Louvain

The thing about places in Belgium is that they have names in both French and Dutch. Louvain is a university city much like the one where I live in Ireland. It is quite easy ti tell when the hour is up as the streets get busier with students moving from class to class. Myself and Ruth spent about 3 hours sitting in McDonald’s in Louvain next to the window on the first floor just watching people move through the streets. It is another lovely city, possibly my second favorite, my all time favorite is still to come. 😛 It was Louvain where I finally found my Yves Rocher shop that I had spent weeks looking for. Yves Rocher is a French cosmetics company that I came across in France. I love their stuff but you can’t get it in Ireland so I always make sure to stock up when I’m abroad.

Leuven city hallLeuven

5. Antwerp

Antwerp is where I want to be proposed to. It is my favorite place in Belgium. The first time I was there, I was walking down the boardwalk with my Mexican friends Isabel and Nancy and I saw a couple in front of us with their kids and it was at that moment when I decided that I wanted that to be me. Me and my over active imagination saw that man proposing to his girlfriend on that same boardwalk, them going there to have their wedding photos taken and then going there with their kids. As their two little girls ran ahead of them, with us still walking behind then, the couple wrapped their arms around each other and kept walking. Yes, I am a completely hopeless romantic but I wanted that. My friend Blaithin has been told to inform any future men in my life of this wish of mine 😛 Antwerp is also famous for its diamonds. When you come out of the train station (which is spectacular as well) there is an entire street of diamond shops. The best place to window shop 😀 In my opinion, it is a must visit for anyone going to Belgium.Oh and they have a chocolate shop that sells ‘Chocolate Pills’ because.. Duhh chocolate fixes everything.. 😛

antewrp docAntwerp Choc pills

So I think I turned my top 5 places to go in Belgium into a ‘why I love these places’ but i hope you enjoyed reading it. I had so much fin looking through all my old photos and re-reading my travel diary to remind me of all my adventures. The most important thing I took away from my trips in  Belgium are my friendships. I was working with Isabel and Nancy. They are both from Monterrey, Mexico and I am still in frequent communication with Isa who is currently studying a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile. I knew Ruth before we went away together, we had met a few times but we wouldn’t have been friends. Her french teacher (the friend of my mums) encouraged her to come with me and now I know, no matter what, Ruth is there for me. She will be at my wedding.

Ok I might have gotten too deep, but hey, I’m an honest person,

Thanks for reading,

All my love,

Kathy ❤

4 weeks in..

Hey guys,

How is everyone dong today? Me? I’m a zombie.. This is what happens when I get 5 hours sleep after working an 8 hour shift but apparently going to college  and getting an education is important? Who knew right 😛 Ok, I joke, I just found it really hard to peel myself from my bed this morning. I have been pretty good at keeping up on my college work this semester, that being said I do only have about 11 hours a week.. 🙂 Yay me!

I have developed a couple of good habits during the start of this semester. Firstly I was back in the library on my first week. You might say ‘But it’s the first week back, what do you have to be doing on week 1?’.. Last year, I would have agreed with you, as I was so busy over the Christmas break, I had loads of research to do with regards to my Erasmus next year, if you haven’t read my last post, The Alicante Diaries: Flight Booked, please be a bae and check it out!! I had to research classes and calendars and look for accommodation and all that fun stuff. I think coming to the library week 1 really set me up for the semester. I now have my favorite computer in the whole building (trust me its a big library) and I’m able to come here and study and charge my phone as its right next to a plug! Winning at life so I am! 😛

So another good habit I have developed has been to start printing my lecture notes! Last semester a number of the lecturers were really sound and brought the printed notes to class but this semester it’s up to us, so I decided I’d better be a good student and print things! Today alone I spent about €15 on notes, a fancy accordion type folder and a mini stapler (because every girl needs a pink mini stapler)!! I can use these notes now to make me focus and keep my attention during class as opposed to spending my time on Facebook… I used to bring my laptop to college but it’s such a brick that I decided that I didn’t really need it this semester and my back is thanking me for it 🙂

In addition to these things, going to the gym has been such a great thing to keep me going! I must admit that I haven’t been going quite as much as I should have been in the last week due to an old knee injury reappearing and being a general pain in the ass but hopefully I’ll be back in business by Thursday!

Anyway, I have a lecture in 25 minutes so I should probably go and get myself organised!

Write soon guys,

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

 

The Alicante Diaries: Flight booked

Hey guys,

So as I am studying Spanish in University, next year, I am doing an Erasmus which means I will be going to Universidad de Alicante next year. I am really excited and I thought I might as well chronicle my adventures while I’m there.

In August, I, along with 3 class mates and another 4 people from UCC will be arriving in Spain for the year. We are required to take classes that to relate to our course, so as I am a business and Spanish student, I need to balance my subjects equally between Spanish and various business subjects, be they law, economics, tourism or anything else related to the business world that I find interesting and can make it to. I also need to take some Spanish language classes which will be interesting seeing as my Spanish is currently pretty dismal.

A friend of mine is in his 4th year of Spanish in the same Uni as me and he spent last year studying in Mexico which is really cool. I was considering going to Mexico but if I was there, I would be there for the year. whereas when in Spain, I can come home for Christmas and the odd weekend here and there if I really wanted to. It’s a bit more peace of mind being only 3 hours away as opposed to being on the opposite side of the world.

I have already begun looking at places to stay when I go over! I have my flight booked for August 29th and the excitement is starting!

Write soon with more updates,

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

 

New year, New me?

At the risk of sounding totally cliché, this year is going to be my year. I may be slightly late with this post, I do realize that it is indeed more towards the end of January than the beginning but better late than never I suppose (I really am killing this whole cheesy thing today right?)

The last few months were pretty rough for me, I broke up with my boyfriend in October, in the end it came down to the distance being the biggest problem, I was overrun by college work and so stressed out about exams and assignments, I was working all the hours that were given to me in an attempt to save money and even this week, I found out some bad news about my Gran.

Despite all these setbacks, I refuse to let them get to me. I was in a bad place a few months ago, very few people know but at one point I felt so low and shitty about myself, I tried pulling apart a razor blade to use to harm myself. I had a bad 2016, a lot like most people it seems. Some nights I went to bed and hoped that I wouldn’t wake up the following morning. In some ways, I feel like my breakup was the best thing that could have happened to me. Yes it was awful to lose someone who I loved but since then, my confidence has been boosted, I feel more confident in myself and I have grown into the strong, independent woman who I always knew I could be. I took the best stab at my exams as I could. I worked really hard for them all semester long and for the first time since starting Uni, I don’t think I failed any of them! Work has its own challenges, crazy colleagues, intense hotel guests and a workplace that could have its own soap opera!  But hey, its providing me with a somewhat steady income! 🙂

Since the start of 2017, things seem to have fallen into place somewhat, I paid off some of my college fees, I reached a major milestone in my savings and I even managed to have some money left over to spend on myself in the sales! 🙂 I have begun going back  to the gym since going back to college too. No this is not a New Years resolution, it is something I promised myself I’d do long before the beginning of January. My justification of it, I am moving to Alicante, Spain in August and I want to look hot in a bikini on the beach.. Shallow? Maybe.. But its working for me! 😛 In addition to the gym, I have tried starting to eat more healthily.. This is the bit I struggle with a bit more, I have a massive sweet tooth and I love me some food.. Any hints, tips or advice on how to stick to clean eating would be greatly appreciated! This year is going to be the year I reinvent myself, into a person I am proud to be and I plan on documenting every moment of it!

As always, thanks for reading,

Write soon,

Kathy ❤