Sometimes you just need to get away

Hey guys,

So I had been on a good track of writing once a week but alas due to on thing and another I haven’t written in a few weeks. Today marks my 1 year anniversary of starting this blog. Where has all that time gone?

So, over the last few days there have been some pretty drastic changes to my life. I quit my job in the hotel where I worked. At long last. I loves the job I had but I began to despise the place where I had it. During my first week there,  two chefs  left along with two managers.  This immediately had alarm bells going off in my head and I remember saying it to my mum who encouraged me  to stick it out until I found something better. And I really did. On Monday, I start working in one of the biggest banks in Ireland for 10 weeks as a summer student. This is an amazing opportunity for me as I am studying Commerce so it is practical work experience in an industry that I might end up going into one day.

So due to getting this new job, I am also moving. I’m moving in with my Grandparents as they live near to where I will be working and I will be able to walk to and from work everyday. I haven’t spent a summer at home since I was 13 so the thought of the possibility of doing it this summer didn’t sit well with me.. at all.. especially with my Instagram feed being full of pictures of people on J1’s (In the USA on a student summer working visa) or on amazing trips to places like Thailand or Malaysia. As it is it’s still kinda depressing to be working for the summer but I will be surrounded by family who I am really looking forward to spending some quality time with.

Another big thing for my was passing my  theory test so I can FINALLY start learning how to drive 😀 In Ireland, you first need to do a test detailing the rules of the road and that kind of thing. You are given 40 questions out of a possible 900 (I think) and you need to get at least 35 right. You then need to do 12 driving lessons before you can attempt to do your driving test and be allowed drive by yourself. Basically its a money racket but alas I can’t do anything about it…

Some people may be wondering about the state of my love life after my last post. My answer is I don’t know what is happening. I went of to that going away party and I realized how much I was going to miss the guy who is moving to Dublin. I wanted to have a proper conversation with him but it wasn’t the time or the place to pour my heart out.. Add vodka to the mix and I would have ended up in floods of tears. What we did manage to talk about was him having a lot on his mind, me being one of those things. When I was going home, he kissed me and that was the last contact I’ve had with him. And I miss him.. A lot. Before I developed feelings for him, we were friends who spoke all day every day. There is a big difference between speaking all day everyday to having no contact at all and I miss my friend.

That being said, I had a lot on my mind so I took off for a few days. More like a week, When I quit my job in the hotel, I told myself that I would give myself 2 weeks off to just be able to catch up on missed sleep and have some time to myself before starting the new job. So last week, I went on an adventure 🙂 I went to visit two of my best friends who live in different parts of the country. I went to Monaghan first where I visited my friend Grace. Myself and Grace have been on many adventures together and I miss her when I don’t get to see her. When I went up, we took it easy and drank A LOT of wine… But sure when on holidays I might as well 😛Snapchat-2011600122

A few days later, I traveled back to Meath, back to my home town where I lived until I was 13. I stayed with another really good friend of mine there, Ciara. We have been friends since we began primary school. That was 16 years ago. It had been a long time since I had gotten the chance to spend proper time with her so we really enjoyed our few days. We went on an adventure into Dublin where Ciara introduced me to scrumdiddlys ice cream and an amazing cocktail bar in Rathmines called Copan, where all the cocktails are €5. It.was.awseome.

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So I hoped you enjoyed this post, I felt guilty for not writing but I had no laptop with me on my  travels and it was nice to disconnect for a while. 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Love, 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 ❤

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 ❤