Life update

Hey guys,

By my clock, its been exactly 30 days since I wrote. I have meant to sit down and write so many times and have realized for once, I don’t have some drama or struggle to document. I am having the best summer I have had in years, completely different to previous years and yet the most liberating. I haven’t felt so much myself in a very long time.

This time last year, I was suffering big time with my mental health, I was in a bad relationship, was going through some family stuff and was attempting to study for my repeats, all while on a family holiday in West Cork. This year, I am writing this from my bed, snapchatting videos of myself singing and dancing to one of my best friends (Yes, I’m talking about you Mairtin), despite the fact I need to get up in 7 and a half hours for work..

Getting away from my life is exactly what I needed to do to see what I want to do with it.. I still have absolutely no idea what I want to be when I grow up, or where I’ll be living in a months time, but this time, it doesn’t scare the beejsus out of me, I am terrified, but its an excited terrified.

This evening I came in from work and sat down on the couch with the dog curled up on top of me, when my Gran suggested we went out to the beach with the dogs. As soon as we got there, it started to rain. She went for a paddle in the sea while I took the two dogs up the beach. When I was walking, I realized I was walking away from the rain and towards the sun on the beach. It reminded me of the song Chasing the Sun by The Wanted. It was myself and my friend Ciara’s anthem of the summer yearsss ago and I threw it on on Spotify. This resulted in my singing and dancing my way back down the beach, looking like a crazy person and being totally in my element!!

This lighthearted person who isn’t afraid to look like an eejit is who I am and due various reasons, I lost sight of that… But  I’M BACK BABYYYY.

Thanks for reading,

Love always,

Kathy ❤

Snapchat-1900706478Snapchat-1418147902Snapchat-783248296

Dissertations and 13 Reasons Why

Hey guys,

How is everyone doing? I know I haven’t written in weeks, life has been kicking my ass. It turns out that for me to be a semi functional adult, I need to nap.. everyday. Do I enjoy napping? Yes. Is it inconvenient? Extremely.

Over the last few weeks I have had to write a dissertation for college. It would have made life a million times easier if I had just decided to do a bit every week but alas I am the queen of bad decisions. I wrote my dissertation on NAFTA and the economic relationship between the US and Mexico. It was actually a pretty interesting subject, even if I do say so myself.

While taking breaks from writing, I watched 13 Reasons Why. It was my sister who convinced me to watch it, I didn’t really want to commit to a new series with my dissertation to do and exams just around the corner. If you haven’t seen it, its brilliant. Very dark and twisty but well worth the watch. If you don’t know what it’s about, a bullied teen, Hannah Baker, leaves 13 suicide tapes (instead of a note) explaining the 13 reasons why she killed herself. Some of the reasons were genuine reasons but some of them were kinda bullshit to be perfectly honest.

While watching the series, I was reminded of a similar scenario that happened an Irish girl in the US. Phoebe Prince moved to the US with her family from Ireland and following bullying, she committed suicide in January of 2010. 9 people who were in school with her were charged with criminal harassment, civil rights violation, rape and a number of other offences. When I was in school, one of my teachers made us watch a documentary on Phoebe Prince and the consequences of bullying.

I was lucky in school, I had some great friends, some whom are still some of my best friends to this day. Sure we had our ups and downs, bitchy remarks were passed but I don’t know where I’d be without some of these people ❤ I think what I want to say is that actions have consequences. Bullying kills, rumors and sly remarks eat away at someone and there is no need for it.

Ok I think that’s my rant over for today, I now have a super romantic date with my economics notes 🙂

Write soon,

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

Life gets in the way

Hey guys,

Its been a couple of weeks since I’ve uploaded. I came on today just to have a quick look at my stats and whatnot and it was only then I realized how longs its been! Life really has been busy the last few weeks. That being said I haven’t done anything except go to college, work and the doctor.. I don’t even know where time goes anymore.

So a quick life update, I have had about 15- 20 doctors appointments since I hurt my shoulder back in February. I have had two finger infections, a sinus infection and have had to have bloods taken. When I went to the doctor about having a finger infection (the first time) she told me that my body was basically falling apart because of stress. She also tole me I should get my bloods done once I was finished the course of antibiotics I was on that she prescribed me. A week later,  I was back in the health center  again to see the doctor to get my bloods done. When I was there I complained of a sore throat and she started tapping my face and came to the conclusion I had a sinus infection, resulting in more antibiotics (if you guessed it you get a virtual prize :P). When I was there she was asking about my general well-being/ my course (I go to the Student Health Clinic at my University). It came up in conversation that I had a massive panic attack the day before so she referred me to the counselling service in the same clinic.

A few days later, I was in the library studying for a Spanish test (I know, student of the year award goes to me) when I got a phone call from my doctor saying that some of my bloods had come back funny and that I needed to come into them first thing the following morning. When I arrived the following morning I was a bit concerned because I didn’t know what was going on. I went into the doctor anyway and she explained that my vitamin b12 levels were half of what they should be which explained why I had been sick so much recently and why I have absolutely no energy. To fix this, I get to get a series of b12 injections. There are 5 of them :O I have had 2 already so only another 3 to go!

The following day saw my trip to the counselor. I literally went in and started talking to him and just started bawling crying.. which I continued to do for the entire session. He told me things about myself and my course that I knew but didn’t want to admit to. He also helped me to come up for a backup plan if my exams don’t go to plan in a couple of weeks time. I’m not going to share that plan with anyone just yet as it is a secret and I don’t know if I’ll need to implement it just yet.. That being said, I’m kinda excited about it 🙂

Other than doctors appointments I have been really pissed off at the whole Bus Eireann strike thing. Yeah most people won’t know what that is so its all g 😛

I would also like to thank people who read this blog. When I logged on today I have people reading from Vietnam, Malta, Russia, Portugal, Spain, USA, Canada.. I’m Irish so it’s amazing to see my ramblings and rants being read by people from so far away (and from closer to home too)

Anyway I’m off to get an award so I shall talk to ye soon,

As always, Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

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 ❤

Studying, Stress and a Subluxed shoulder

Hey guys,

My apologies for not uploading sooner, I have had a kinda crazy month! College for the last month has been nuts! Between RAG week (where I was really boring and didn’t even go out once) and study my time-table has been pretty full. I also managed to injure myself at work so that’s always fun.

So during the summer I had two exam repeats as I failed them the first time I took them. That couple with a bad ending to my au-pairing experience left me in a bad mental space. I felt worthless and genuinely didn’t want to wake up in the morning after falling asleep. I got into a bad routine of not going to bed until around 2 am and not waking until around noon. I would then spend the entire day sitting on my bed on my laptop studying for my exams. It was bad and it was a contributing factor to how I was feeling. Things were also not good with my parents at the time, partially due to them not liking my then boyfriend and partially due to me coming home early from Spain. All these factors added up led me to have daily panic attacks and to my self harming. Obviously, none of this was ideal. This led me to go on and fail one of the repeats I had to sit. Once again, not ideal. I found that once my boyfriend and I broke up in October, I felt much better. I was able to focus more on uni and work and my mental health improved. I was on an upwards stretch until I hit a bump recently. The month of March is crazy for me, I had an exam on the 9th, an assignment (3000 words) due for the 27th and a Spanish test worth 30% of this years grade on the 29th. It’s a lot of pressure by itself but when you have your mother on your back EVERY FRIKIN DAY it makes things even worse. Recently things haven’t been so great for me. Stress levels are high and I started self harming again. I haven’t in about three weeks and the marks on my arms are healing but they are still there.

I haven’t told most people about how I’m feeling, mostly just one of my best friends, who I regret telling because he gets so worried about me. I don’t know why I’m writing this but it feels kinda good to let it all out and put an order on things. I still haven’t told anyone about this blog so I won’t be spilling my secrets to my friends and family. I have 5 exams coming up at the end of April/ start of May and I am absolutely terrified of failing. I can’t take much more of feeling like a failure, despite me spending nearly all my free time in the library since this semester began.

In addition to this, I haven’t been able to keep up going to the gym which is my stress relief due to injury. At the start of February, I sprained my ankle coming out of a lecture. It took about 2 weeks to recover and I was looking forward to being able to go to the gym. One Monday at work, I was all excited to go to the gym the following day when I was carrying a crate of beer and suddenly I had a crippling pain in my shoulder. I immediately dropped the crate (Onto a keg so it didn’t have far to go) and went in search of my manager. When I found her, I explained what happened and she was all concerned but there was  nothing she could do and she just reckoned I’d pulled a muscle. The following day, I went to the medical center in college and went to see the physio who diagnosed my shoulder as being subluxed. She said basically, my collar-bone popped out-of-place and back into place spontaneously. Fun right? Basically its just been one thing after another recently. I now have an infected finger cause stress is quite literally making my body break down. Yayyy.. Another prescription!

Anyway, Thanks for reading guys,

See you soon,

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 ❤

 

Trying to focus on the good

Hey guys 🙂

So this week I’m back to my normal update about whats happening in Madrid! 🙂 It’s safe to say I ain’t too happy with my family here but I’ve done enough venting about that so I’m gonna focus on the good! 🙂

It is safe to say that I absolutely LOVE this city! It is so beautiful, so easy to get around, so reasonable and to top it all off, I have made some pretty amazing friends here! 😀 I first fell in love with Madrid when I was here in 2011, I was blown away by the city, Spanish people and Spanish culture! It was my first time away in a couple of years and it was my first time away without my family. The second time I was here, my love for the city was only fueled and I got to experience it with my Mum and my sister, two very important people in my life! (Even if my sister did nearly kill me by dragging me out in front of a bus in  Plaza de Cibeles..). I am glad that I have had two good experiences in this city, otherwise this experience wouldn’t encourage me to come back!!

I have met an amazing group of girls since arriving in Madrid! They are all other Au-pairs and live all over the city and in its surrounding areas. I have made friends from Scotland, France, Italy and the US! Being from Ireland we make up a pretty diverse group! 😀 BONUS: we all speak English 😛 I speak French but switching between French and Spanish results in me speaking some strange mixed up language with words in one language and more in another! I’m currently dancing around to Spanish music and keep making mistakes!

On Saturday night I got to properly experience the night life of Madrid and boy was I impressed! 😀 We met up in Puerta del Sol at 9.30, where we were passed by various hen and stag parties. We went from there to get tapas in a place one of the girls had heard about called El Tigre.. I cannot recommend this place enough! The thing about this bar is that when you go in, you order a drink (beer, vodka, sangria, cider, wine, cocktails.. just about anything really) and then they give you a mixed plate of tapas. There were 6 of us so we had a lot of alcohol and a lot of food! 🙂 I paid €5 for a ‘vodka and orange’ that was literally 75% vodka and the rest was made up of a fizzy orange drink. From there, we went to the infamous club, Teatro Kapital. I was shocked by how much it cost us to get in! It was €17 per person with two drinks. (and that was with a discount!) At home on nights out I usually pay €6.. Granted they are student nights out but still!

The club was sooo worth the €17!! It has 7 floors with a mixture of bars, dance floors and chill out areas! 🙂 The music they were playing was great and we just had so much fun! If you are ever in Madrid, check this place out! As far as I know there are some nights that are free before 1 am or girls get in free but I’m not 100% sure! The Madrid nightlife starts late and finishes in the early hours of the morning! When I left, there were still people in my group of friends on the go!!

Madrid is such a beautiful city and I’m sad that my stay here has been cut short but I fly back home to Ireland on Thursday from Valencia! I can’t wait to go there and to see my friend who I haven’t seen in a year!!

Talk to you soon guys,

Kathy ❤