Killing headphones, shopping and haircuts

Hey Guys,

So this could technically fit into My Alicante Diaries seeing as I did buy stuff for Alicante but there is other stuff in here too 🙂 So this morning, I accidentally met my friend John for breakfast. We both just happened to be in the same place on campus at the same time and I needed food.. 😛 When we were eating, I got a snapchat from a mutual friend of ours and took a picture of John but when I put my phone back down, I accidentally dropped one of my earphones into the bottom of the fruit cup I had just finished, thus drowning one of my earphones. This is the 4th pair this semester I’ve killed.. At least the 4th pair anyway. Because its exam season I can’t survive without earphones… So I may have gone and bought a new pair 😛

Buying a new pair of earphones now is just another thing to add to my list of things that I bought over the weekend. So on Friday, I spent €53 in Boots, a drugstore. I then spent €45 on a suitcase, because everyone needs a suitcase 😛 Whenever I traveled previously, I was never gone for more than a few months at a time so it was fine to take luggage from home but seeing as I’m moving to Alicante, I might need to leave some bags with my family.. The suitcase is pretty cool for a suitcase in fairness, I shall have many adventures with it 🙂

So today, I am getting my hair cut, I have just below shoulder length brown curly hair. It was really long the last time I cut it, but I cut it just after a breakup and decided to cut it all off. BIG MISTAKE. Today I’m not looking to make any major changes, a trim and some shape is how I described it to one of my friends, he is a guy and had absolutely no idea what I was talking about 😛 Another one of my friends tole me not to cut off too much of my hair because my hair defines me.. My hair most certainly does not define me but it is part of who I am. There may come a time when I grow it out to cut it off and donate it to charity,  that being said, I’d look slightly scary with my hair really short. But hey, all for a good cause.

So this post is kinda short and sweet, I wanted to write something because with it being exam season, I will do just about anything to avoid study, especially when that study is Accounting..

Anyway I should go do some work before my bank account takes another hit, write soon.

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

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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 ❤

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 ❤

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

Is one way to describe how my summer has gone.

This summer was supposed to be the best summer yet but alas, no. I was so excited at the start of the summer, I was starting this blog, I was going away and doing a lot of travelling and I was ready to embrace my freedom and wanderlust for those few months. I was then planning on coming home, acing my college exams that I had to repeat and getting a job, all the while hanging out with my friends and seeing my boyfriend as much as possible. I had a bucket list for this summer… And this is what happens when I make plans…

It couldn’t have turned out any different if I’d tried. If you have been following my blog for a while, you will have seen that I was an Au-pair in Madrid and was planning on going from there to Krakow in Poland for World Youth Day (WYD or JMJ as it’s also known as). My au pairing situation turned messy quickly and I left the position early. This then meant that I was unable to stay in Spain as I had planned and travel from Spain to Krakow as I was planning. Instead I came home. As I am a student and was unable to find a job for the Uni year, I had little enough money to my name and coming home early from Spain and paying for my flight etc. left me no money to travel back to Poland. I missed out on the one experience I was looking forward to most since I left WYD in 2011. I was devastated. My sister went anyway and she had a fantastic time! I am so glad that she got to go and experience the atmosphere and the intensity of the week. It is quite something, being surrounded by over 2 million young people, all there for the same reason that you are, to profess their faith.

Instead of travelling to Krakow, I spent my family holiday in West Cork sitting in front of my laptop studying. I got myself into a rhythm, unhealthy as it might have been, waking up at 1 pm (ish), studying around half 2, taking a break for dinner and another one for coffee at some stage. I would then sometimes go for a walk around 8 and come back and watch Netflix with my sister until around 2 am. (Gilmore Girls, American Odyssey and a few episodes of Gossip Girl were what we watched). My studying was long and intense but I was happy with how things were going. I left my holiday house one morning to get the bus to UCC where I had an exam. I knew leaving it that it didn’t go well for me but I hoped with everything inside me that I had passed it. The second exam a few days later went much better than the previous one and I was very happy with it.

After doing my exams and being finished with study, I then turned my attention to finding a job. I applied to the local supermarkets and also ones closer to my college in the hopes that I would get something. The day I turned 20, I spent in Cork City handing my C.V’s into places and hoping that somebody would hire me. Not exactly how I had planned on spending my birthday, needless to say.

Fast forward a few weeks and here I am. After failing one of my exam repeats, not knowing what will happen to me for Uni next year (I have been in contact with the Students Union and I have to say they have been an amazing help) and still waiting to hear back from places, desperately seeking a job!

What about my bucket list you may ask? Well I honestly haven’t looked at it in quite a while. Here are the 20 things I hoped to do before I turned 20:

  1. Have sex in a car
  2. Jump into a pool fully clothed (Accomplished in July 2015, it was more I was pushed than I jumped though 😛 )
  3. Go to a fancy party (I’m counting this as Accomplished too… In Ireland we have this prom like event when we finish school called the Debs/ Grads. I wouldn’t say no to another one though!)
  4. Go zip lining
  5. Throw a badass house party
  6. Take a summer to travel – I still plan on it!
  7. Get unbelievably drunk – Just once
  8. Take a huge financial risk
  9. Get a tattoo or a piercing somewhere – I have my ideas
  10. Take up a really odd hobby
  11. Make a new friend group (I think I managed this one in Madrid! I met some of the most amazing girls)
  12. Climb a mountain and scream as loud as you possibly can
  13. Book the cheapest flight you can find to another country
  14. Sneak into a hotel conference
  15. Spend the night in jail – yeah I think I might take a pass on this one!
  16. Get rid of your phone for a week – This one will be very hard
  17. Write a letter to your future self
  18. Pull the ultimate sickie
  19. Give your lunch to a homeless person
  20. Take part in a protest (Which I did this year!)

Although I have turned 20, I still want to accomplish these things. I don’t want to remember my life by the negative times, I want to remember the good. The night I went swimming fully clothed was one of the best nights I had while in Spain teaching English in summer camps. My Debs was such good fun and I felt beautiful. I made some amazing new friends in Madrid from all over Europe and further afield. I stood up for something I care about in a protest (protesting repealing the 8th amendment in Ireland which protects the life of both the mother and her unborn child).

Some of these things may seem slightly crazy to some of you but I’m ready to get back to living my life on my terms.

It’s good to be back,

Hope you enjoyed,

See you soon

Kathy ❤

The Sheep’s Head

Hey guys,

I haven’t written in a while due to there being nothing exciting in my life going on right now. My family holiday consists of me spending my days in front of my laptop trying to absorb as much information as humanly possible before I go insane. A bit of advice, pass your uni exams first time round!

I failed two exams this year in college, not my finest moment. That means that I have two exams coming up, one on the 3rd of August and the other on the 8th. I am so, super excited (I am beyond freaked out it isn’t funny!!). I am usually pretty good at dealing with stress but this week between the exams and other personal drama I haven’t been dealing so well!

In other news, I a currently down on the Sheep’s Head peninsula in West Cork. I might be biased but I think it’s just about the prettiest place in Ireland (when the sun shines, of course :P). This is my 6th year coming down here and I do really like it. Despite liking the place, I was reluctant to come down this year. I would have preferred to stay at home, house sit and hang out with my cats (I know, I sound like a crazy cat lady..) due to the stress of studying and getting myself all worked up. I am so glad I came down! The scenery down here is just gorgeous and there is loads of walks you can do on The Sheep’s Head Way. Being able to get up from my laptop and being able to take myself and the dogs out for a run is the best thing ever! I will insert some photos I’ve taken below!

I’ve a favor to ask you guys, please pray for my exams/ wish me luck/ send good karma my way.. I could use all the help I can get!! 🙂

Thanks for reading,

See you again soon,

Kathy ❤

Coming Home

Hey guys,

I know its been a while since my last post, that’s what happens when you are an absolute genius and leave your laptop charger on the bus home from the airport (Yay me!). I’m writing this in the library of my university seeing as my laptop is still out of commission and I need to study.

I spent 4 days in Valencia with my friend and her family before coming home! After spending the few days there, my Spanish came on more than it did the entire month I was in Madrid. It was great! I spoke so much Spanish that since coming home and having a French student in the house, I’m speaking Spanish to her instead of French! My French is a million times better than my Spanish!

So I came home last week and a small part of me regrets it (it’s a lot colder in Ireland) but mostly I’m happy to be home! My flight home was, just my luck, delayed for 2 hours. I was not impressed, I know these things happen but it sucked! I was travelling for over 11 hours, including a half hour metro, a 3 hour flight and a three and a half hour bus home.. It was a long day. I did take some gorgeous pictures of sunsets on the way home though. I didn’t realize how much I missed sunsets in Spain until I was home! It’s hard to see them over the apartment building next to you…

Since coming home the best ting that has happened is seeing my boyfriend! 😀 It had been 6 and a half weeks since I’d seen him and I needed cuddles! 😛 We had a great few days together. I talk to him everyday for at least an hour but it is so different seeing him! 🙂 I even voluntarily got up before 7 am to be able to go see him! I really like my bed and am currently falling asleep as a result but sure.. All for the sake of love.

Next weekend I am going to West Cork with my family for a few weeks. It is where we usually go and I usually can’t wait to go! This year, I was planning on still being away for most of it and then not going down due to my exams but alas I am coming! 🙂 Its beautiful down there but again, I need to work.. Seriously guys, if I can give you one piece of advice, don’t fail your exams.. I have spent the summer being stressed out about mine ans studying for them! DAMN IT! I even have an exam while on holidays with my family and one the following week so I won’t be relaxing then either.

 

I have a feeling this is a slight rant more than anything,

My apologies,

See you soon (I’ll be nicer, I promise!)

Kathy 🙂