Europe 2012

It is has yet again been months since my last blog – I really need to keep my word when I say I will keep it up!! Anyway, I did mention that I would post a blog of all my travels in Europe, that being Paris, Greece and Germany. I won’t go into complete detail as my blog would be much too long but a summary and some photos of my wonderful trip should do the trick. Enjoy guys!

PARIS: JULY 2012

I had spent an overall wonderful 4 days in Paris with my sister. I can’t say my introduction to Paris was very welcoming though – French people cursed at me and bumped into me because I was ‘getting in their way’ and I was nearly getting chased down the street by a French beggar simply because I shook my head indicating I had nothing for him. Not only that, but the streets and main city of Paris is really overrated and not what everyone imagines it to be. I felt afraid and unsafe and getting lost for an hour trying to find out hotel didn’t make things any easier. On the upside though, the tourist attractions were beautiful, especially the Eiffel Tower and Champ Elysees.

arc de triomphe

eiffel tower

cafe

GREECE: AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012 

Two weeks on the magnificent Greek Islands where there are clear waters, beautiful beaches and wonderful communities. Athens was an unsafe place to be but I’m glad my best friend and I had better impressions of Ios and Santorini. We both got really tanned and loved every minute of it! We both did a cliff jump which we at first were reluctant to do but we’re both glad we did it. We miss it so much and really want to go back again one day!

GERMANY: SEPTEMBER 2012

Germany is definitely one place in the world I fell in love with. I stayed with a pen pal of mine that I had met for the first time in the 9 years we had been writing to each other so it was a really exciting time for both of us. She showed me around the beautiful city she lives in called Potsdam and also took me around Berlin which I found to be a really clean city. 4 days wasn’t enough time to see it so next time I will have to make a longer trip!

I encourage everyone of you to travel, especially around Europe. There is much to see and you will have experiences that you will remember for life.

xxx

The key to living a simple life

1. Feel and be happy, whatever the situation.

2. Worry less! (Easier said than done, even for myself)

3. Don’t complain (Something I find a challange, especially being a female)

4. Put YOUR happiness first.

5. Take each day as it comes, have no expectations. Everything else is bonus.

6. Stop any negative thinking.

7. Be nice to others and you’ll be treated the way you want to be treated.

8. Forgive others, and yourself.

9. Don’t hold grudges.

10. LOVE life.

11. Be positive.

12. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re a good person.

13. Be confident in yourself.

14. Be open minded as much as you can because thoughts become things!

15. Make a negative situation a positive one, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

16. And most importantly, SMILE!

The universe will take care of the rest.

Don’t worry, be happy

Since I had a rough week last week having a hard time dealing with homesickness, I decided to post this photo up of me at a time I was really happy and calm, and also somewhere that is my favourite place to be – the beach! Starting to feel much better now thanks to the weather and my friends, especially having an awesome girlie day out today with Lisa.

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If anyone else is having a hard time, I have this photo up for you too to remind you all to treasure the good moments in your life and be as happy as you can be despite the bad times.

Take care, be strong, happy smiling and god bless!

Love Kathy
xxx

A blissful life

So things are once again looking up. As you know, it has been a slightly stressful week because of feeling homesick and feeling guilty about not taking the pub job but it’s safe to say that the stressful phase has passed like I knew it would. And I’m over the fact I rejected the pub job because I realised that it just wouldn’t be for me.

The weekend put me in such a good mood. On Friday I went to Torquay which is by such a beautiful sea front. I took some photos there. And I also fit in some shopping and managed to find myself a bargain!

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I bought this beautiful baby for only £4.40 (roughly 6 bucks) thanks to 20% off the original price AND a £10 off voucher. It’s in my favourite colour too 🙂 SCORE!

Work at Enigma tonight was so much fun like last weekend. The energy was amazing and I met some new friendly faces and it made me feel even more comfortable than I already was. I love my job 🙂

I also love spending time with my two little cousins who I absolutely adore. They keep me going by rushing around after them and playing with them. I love them so much.

Life can only get better and no words can really describe how immensely happy I am. I just feel so free and vibrant. I don’t mind if some people are bothered by it because I go on about it. Everyone deserves to be and feel happy. Why wouldn’t you want the world to know?

Self belief

I have been in England for just over a week and I have already been able to get two jobs: one at an inbound call centre only a 7 minute walk from home and one at a local nightclub called ‘Enigma’ as a bar person once a week every Saturday.

I’m so amazed that this has happened all so quickly. I feel like I have been here for longer than a week because I’ve settled in so well and adapted to things quite quickly. I really feel England wants me here. It’s all just working out so well for me. I’m so happy and loving life.

What inspired me to write this blog is the fact that the reason I have got to where I am now is because I believe in myself and I always have a positive attitude and keep an open mind. Of course being here is a new and different experience which has caused some nerves but it’s all about giving things a go and trying things out and seeing how far you get.

I’m so proud I have come so far in my life by having the opportunity to travel at such a young age. America was a great head start in travelling on my own. And now I’m in the UK! Life is just so great right now and I have already learned so much in this week since being in the UK. I have already had doors of opportunity in front of me that I am experiencing and I’m going to gain so much out of them.

Working at the bar will be a great way for me to meet different people and use my social skills that I’ve had my whole life. What I love about my personality the most is that I love talking to people, I’m friendly and very sociable. Now I can apply this to my job and make new friends!

I love that I’ve had the confidence and courage to get out there and experience the world and do different things. I’m never going to stop believing. Having faith is the key to a successful and happy life. I’m so excited for the year ahead!

True friends

Last night I had a farewell party with friends and family because I’m leaving for the UK tomorrow to live and work for a year.

The great thing about having these kind of parties like birthdays as well, is that they show who your true friends are and show the people who want to be there for you and see you. Friends I had not seen in a year or more showed up, one of them bringing me a gift that I did not even expect! And it was like nothing had changed and that no time had passed between us since we last saw each other. It was very sweet.

It wasn’t a huge crowd but I know the friends that did show up are the ones who are true to me and wanted to catch up with me before I leave. Some only stayed for half an hour and it was just so great to have them there for that time.

One of my friends who I only properly talked to at a birthday came to my party to see me and we never even hung out all that much prior and it meant so much to me she was there to spend time with me.

I got a few other going away presents which wasn’t necessary but so kind of my friends. I got a beautiful butterfly necklace, a travel wallet which will really come in handy and was what I needed, a compass which was a sentimental gift so I would always know what direction home is and I also got the ‘Eat Pray Love’ book, a travel journal and photo album. Today, one of my best friends called me to tell me she ordered flowers that were to be delivered at my place because she couldn’t make it to my farewell party last night. It was the sweetest thought ever and I was so touched by it. She went to so much trouble to organise that for me. Unfortunately the flowers have not been delivered today like they were meant to be which is a little disappointing from the deliverer’s end but I have hope they will somehow appear tomorrow.

Today and last night really made me see who my true friends are and how much I appreciate them. I think sometimes I do take having such good friends for granted but they really do mean a lot to me and I appreciate them very much. I’m so grateful and blessed to have them in my life because it’s really hard to find true friends these days.

I’m really going to miss them when I’m away…

To any of my friends who have read this blog, you know who you are and thank you so much for being in my life and for being the amazing, supportive, kind, caring and generous souls that you are. I love you all very much and you will always have a very special place in my heart.

Journey to self-discovery

There comes a point in your life where you don’t know who you are, where you want to be, what your long and short term goals are and the like. You’re at a stand still, not going forward nor backward. Just still, immobile and going nowhere. I believe this is very common in the adolescent years because it is a time you’re at the age where you’re still trying to find yourself and trying to find out who you really are and what you really want out of life. What a whole load of confusion!

Over the past 6 weeks or so I have only just figured out who I am and want I want in life. I also have short and long term goals that I never thought I would have created until now.

From previous blog posts, namely ‘I am number one’ and ‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional’ I talk about a break up I went through. And of course it is a very typical story where there are worse cases of that situation which is why I don’t like to play the victim role and I have stopped feeling sorry for myself. The point I’m trying to get at is, is that it was a time where I really lost myself  for awhile and I had nothing left. My whole identity had been stripped away from me. I was emotionally broken. When I was in that position I never felt like I could get out of it because I was constantly putting myself into that situation and making it worse on myself when I knew it wasn’t healthy for me. But you can’t help how you feel sometimes and those feelings are bound to happen. I knew I needed to get out of that vicious cycle though.

My main escape or way of healing and becoming myself again was to travel – getting away to see different places and different people. Just constantly being surrounded by something different every day. It was also good to break out of routine at home too.

This traveling I’ve done so far has already paid off! I am so happy and I absolutely love life. I am so grateful I have had the chance to have a lot of time to myself to figure out what I want out of life, who I am, what I deserve and where I want to be. It’s such a good feeling knowing you’ve reached that point and from there you know you can conquer anything. I wake up everyday appreciating my life and I’m excited for what is to come. I treat every day as an adventure and just take everything as it comes.

I’m a much better friend because I can freely give advice without having to focus so much on what my problems were. Rather than being so consumed and constantly relying on my friends to make things better, I now feel strong enough to be there for my friends completely. And they seem to take in my advice more now that they can see I’m focusing on them when they need me.

Today I caught up with a good friend of mine for lunch and we had a really great catch up. I was laughing and talking so strongly and happily. I kept telling myself that I couldn’t even remember the last time I felt this happy. I usually would see my friends as a distraction from my problems but now that I’m not consumed by them, nor do I care for them I can actually catch up with my friends without that need to see them because I’m stressed out. I am genuinely happy and just talk so freely about things. I looked in the mirror when I got home and just gave a massive smile to myself for how far I’ve come in 6 weeks. I have really grown.

I have found out so many things about myself and I have learned to love myself again and feel happy. Days aren’t a struggle any more, simple tasks aren’t an effort like they used to be. I just feel so free and happy within myself that I can’t imagine going back to the person I used to be. It’s really hard for me to be negative these days because I don’t like to be any more. It’s a waste of emotion that only brings me down and I don’t need that. I have finally learned that choosing to feel happy is the much better and healthier option.

I love the fact that I have been traveling to help me find myself again. It’s what I really needed. My good friend actually mentioned a valid point and told me ‘don’t associate the happiness with the place, but within yourself’ and that’s a great point because he was trying to say I shouldn’t just feel happy because I’m away, that’s just what I needed to get me there but once I come back home, I’ll still feel happy. That has not changed at all since being home so I’m glad I haven’t associated my happiness with being away. It’s great I’ve had a head start in traveling on my own and getting some time to myself before I go to the UK for a year where things will be a lot more challenging. But I’m up for the ride and I have already achieved so much through traveling already, just imagine what the UK will do for me. This journey to self-discovery still continues!

I know people who are in this situation where they don’t care about themselves and life in general so they just let every day pass by them like it’s meaningless. It makes me sad and frustrated that people neglect their needs and not care about anything in life. Taking care of your appearance isn’t an issue any more and you eat and drink whatever you please until your belly explodes! And you gain those few extra kilo’s making yourself look and feel physically unhealthy. Now that I’ve gone passed that stage, I help those who are in that situation and motivate them to get themselves out of it because anything is possible and there is no such thing as a hopeless situation (referring to The Secret once again). You can change your life to the way you want to live it. I know it’s a hard place to get out of which is why it takes some time and patience until you realise it’s not where you’re meant to be. For those of you who are feeling really low at the moment because you’re going through a really hard time in your life, please don’t give up hope because you will be happy again and there will be something you choose to take up in in your life that will make you realise who you are again and that life is too short to be miserable. We’re all allowed to feel down at times which is completely normal but you don’t need to constantly put yourself in that situation. Things may seem really hard at the time, but they do get better. You just need to take one step at a time. That’s all it takes.

Just believe in yourself. You can do this. If I got there then so can you!

 

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

I never thought I would be able to talk about a break up I went through without getting emotional but here I am, about to do so.

I was with a guy for three years and we broke up about a year and a half ago. I was very back and forth with him afterwards – talking, then not talking and so forth. I was taking so many steps backwards in to moving on but for anyone who has been in a long term relationship and have broken up, you would understand how hard it is to avoid that one person who you’ve shared so much with and who’s been in your life for a long time.

Those closest to me know how much I was affected by the break up and how much I let it ruin my life! And none of it was worth it.

Referring to my ‘I am number one’ blog, I mentioned how I would always try and please my ex boyfriend so he was happy and as a result, neglecting my needs, my health and my happiness. I did that for months and months, even though I knew it was for nothing and knew it was a waste of my time and effort and that it was a cost to my happiness.

It’s so strange how one person can affect your life so much and make you do extreme things and go to desperate measures. You become a different person, what I’d like to call, the worst version of yourself. I was never happy with my ex boyfriend in my life and even when I thought I was, it didn’t last very long. I knew that he was making me unhappy but I never kept away from him, as much as I knew I should have.

After a year and a half of almost hell, I can safely say that I have accepted that my relationship with my ex boyfriend is over and it’s time for me to move on, which I have already been doing this past month while being away.

All the times I was miserable and let my ex boyfriend consume my life, I never thought I could get through it and I never thought that I could get over him.
But this past month away has done wonders for my emotional and physical health. I laugh everyday, I’m always smiling, I’m a better friend, sister and daughter and I appreciate life so much more. I also run everyday, eat less and eat better and I’m feeling great!

Don’t get me wrong, break ups are hard and I went through a lot but I am so happy that I’m in the healing process and taking care of myself, doing things to make me happy and not worrying about what anyone else wants because I know that I’m important and deserve to feel and be happy.

I don’t feel guilty, regretful or sad about the break up or how things have turned out from then on because I know everything happens for a reason and not every relationship is meant to be. There is a lot worse out there and I’m
lucky I didn’t go through a relationship that lasted longer through to an engagement or marriage!

Despite the pain it did put me through, pain is more than likely to occur and exist which we have to accept but to suffer is a CHOICE. And I choose not to suffer over an experience that I am already starting to heal from and one in which I am becoming a much better and stronger person.

I can’t even remember the last time I felt this happy but I am very glad that I have reached this point. We always get there in the end. All it takes is time,
patience, acceptance and realisation that life does get better and that there is a bigger world beyond that one guy we thought we would be with for a life time. As one door closes, another one opens and I am so excited to experience this beautiful world and what challenges it brings me! Onward and upward!

My best friend

I have a sister who is 20 years old and only a year apart from me who I am extremely close to. Her name is Sarah and she is my best friend.

For those of you who have a sibling/s do you have a close bond too? I really don’t believe in sibling rivalry and I couldn’t imagine not being close to my own sister. Most of my friends have close bonds with their siblings which is really nice because at the end of the day, they are all you’ve got. Your siblings are your flesh and blood and are always going to be there for you no matter what.

I’ve been in America for a month now and I have never been away from my sister for this long and I really miss her because I usually see her everyday. I finally got in touch with her last night and we were on the phone for a good two hours. Hearing her voice and cracking up jokes like we do at home made me so happy and grateful that I am close to someone who is so amazing and who is apart of me.

Sarah and I share absolutely everything together. I trust her with my life and I would do absolutely anything for her. We get along so well and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There are people out there who aren’t close to their siblings for whatever reasons may be but I just can’t understand how people cannot be close to their siblings. To dislike like them, hate them. I couldn’t imagine feeling that way towards Sarah. She keeps me sane, she makes me laugh and most of all, she is THERE. Sisters are the best! And life without her would not be the same. It would be like being deaf and blind at the same time. She’s my life and I appreciate her so much. You’re the best Sarah! I LOVE YOU!

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Just laugh it off!

I’m pretty sure most of us have been through stressful times, whether minimal or extreme. And I’m pretty sure we have all been through a time where things are going really great for us and we’re really happy and some ‘one’ or some ‘people’ crap all over it and try and ruin it for us. When certain situations get us down we can change that mood in an instant! Since reading The Secret I have learned that you can have the choice to feel a certain way. YOU can choose the way you want to live your life and how you react to things. If you’re focusing on stressful situations and making yourself feel sad, then your going to constantly bring that negativity onto yourself. And if you want to feel happy it works the same way and you can change to that mood in an instant! I’m more than certain we would rather feel the latter. It is very true though. There is a lot of stress and hard times in this world but we can’t let it get to the point that we feel that there is no way out. We don’t have to feel sad about something if we don’t want to. Any situation, no matter how bad it may seem can be turned into a good one but it’s all up to YOU to turn it around.

I like to say that I’m more of a positive, open minded person these days but in the past when I’ve gone through terrible situations I have felt like it’s the end of the world, that there will be no solution and that the issue will never go away so I would keep focusing on it, bringing more misery into my life, taking things out on my loved ones and neglecting my needs. I know now that all of those feelings were unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, of course we’re all allowed to feel sad and feel like crap at times, no day is ever perfect and we can’t expect it to be but  we shouldn’t have to make ourselves feel that way all the time. If you want to feel happy, you can change that immediately! Put on some good music – I recommend anything you can dance to because it gets your energy up, it’s good exercise and I can guarantee it will make you feel good straight away 🙂 It’s one of the things I love to do when I don’t want to focus on something that will stress me out. Go on a walk, a run, read a book or even go to your favourite place and just relax and write in a journal. Do whatever you know will put that smile on your face. There is ALWAYS something that will make you feel better. You’ve just got to find it and use it and you will turn that frown upside down!

A great thing that I’ve taken out from The Secret is to write a list of  ‘Secret Shifters’ down – these are things that make you feel better, things that make you laugh and feel happy. I have things included such as the beach because it’s one of my favourite places to be and somewhere I feel really calm, I have jokes between friends and I written down, my sister, my dad, things I like etc. These are all things that make me feel good. Different things you have on your list will shift your mood at different times so if you find that one of them doesn’t work, then move on to another. For example, thinking about the beach might not change my mood on one particular day but if I look at a joke between me and my friends, that is the primary thing that will make me feel better on that day. So it all depends but there is always something in that list that will lift your mood right up! So I recommend you all write a Secret Shifters list and keep it with you everywhere you go or somewhere you know you’ll always look at it.

But the most important point of all to stressful situations and to anyone who tries to bring you down is to just LAUGH IT OFF. There is nothing better than laughing about something that makes you sad. If you can’t do anything else, just laugh 🙂 It’s the best medicine after all, it makes us feel GOOD and everything seems so much easier and less of a problem. Whatever is going on in your life just disappears because you’re not focusing on the bad points. When it comes to people who are trying to get in your way, piss you off and bring you down for no good reason, just think to yourself, they are only trying to put you down for something they are lacking in their own lives and to feel better about themselves. So there is no point in feeling sad about it. In the end, they’re the ones who look like fools. WHO CARES! Laugh everything off  and the world will become a better place I can guarantee it 🙂

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