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I'm spending all of 2012 learning and experiencing new things. This blog is my way of documenting it all, while keeping my family and friends back in the states in the loop. Here's to 2012. Check out my website- Kat Carney Photography

Sunday, January 29, 2012


We just got home from the Cirque du Soleil de España and it was unbelievable! To say I was impressed and blown away would be a grandísimo understatement. The sheer athleticism, focus, and bodily control was unreal. It was visually stunning (the lighting was so sick), artistic, and engaging. I loved it from the first moment to the last. I can't even describe how awesome it was, actually. What an experience. I want to go again and again.

Circus people (aka Carney's) are freaks, in the coolest way possible. I take pride in most likely being a descendant of Irish carnival workers. That would be such a unique life experience, to work on a traveling carnival.

A lot of things are happening this week. Pray for me if you pray, hope things go well for me if that's your thing, and if you don't do any of that or you just don't care then that's fine too. I'll keep you posted.

Valley from the mountain side.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I think I am starting to grasp speaking the language more and more. The other day someone told me I spoke Spanish well, and although I completely disagree it was nice to hear that I'm on the right track. I have a new Spanish friend named Yolanda and every morning we are getting together and working on our English and Spanish. She has to pass an intense English exam to graduate from the university and she speaks even less English than I do Spanish. It will certainly help speed up both of our understandings of either language.

People here ask me if I miss my friends, my boyfriend and all the comforts of home often. To be honest I do miss everyone, and sometimes I really miss the sense of security and familiarity I have at home. But there is uncertainty and a healthy amount of anxiety attached to every new learning experience I think. It is what it is, and you either deal with it or you don't. Not dealing with it has never really been an option I'd consider.

Tomorrow we are going to the what is the equivalent of Cirque du Soleil in España. On a completely different note, I don't like that when I have to write "ñ" on my computer I have to click "option- n, n" It's complicated. The Macs here have the an extra key.

Anyway, I hope everyone is well back in the states. I really do miss you all :)

Some more of the country side.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Forget Sunday Afternoons

I really enjoy going to the market here. The people are friendly and struggle through my awkward Spanish with me.

This is brilliant so I'm re-posting it here. He wrote it on my birthday last year.

The 3 symptoms of killing our dreams


The first symptom of the process of our killing our dreams is the lack of time. The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to fight the Good Fight.
The second symptom of the death of our dreams lies in our certainties. Because we don’t want to see life as a grand adventure, we begin to think of ourselves as wise and fair and correct in asking so little of life. We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day existence, and we hear the sound of lances breaking, we smell the dust and the sweat, and we see the great defeats and the fire in the eyes of the warriors. But we never see the delight, the immense delight in the hearts of those who are engaged in the battle. For them, neither victory nor defeat is important; what’s important is only that they are fighting the Good Fight.
And, finally, the third symptom of the passing of our dreams is peace. Life becomes a Sunday afternoon; we ask for nothing grand, and we cease to demand anything more than we are willing to give. In that state, we think of ourselves as being mature; we put aside the fantasies of our youth, and we seek personal and professional achievement. We are surprised when people our age say that they still want this or that out of life. But really, deep in our hearts, we know that what has happened is that we have renounced the battle for our dreams – we have refused to fight the Good Fight.
When we renounce our dreams and find peace, we go through a short period of tranquility. But the dead dreams begin to rot within us and to infect our entire being.
We become cruel to those around us, and then we begin to direct this cruelty against ourselves. That’s when illnesses and psychoses arise. What we sought to avoid in combat – disappointment and defeat – come upon us because of our cowardice.
And one day, the dead, spoiled dreams make it difficult to breathe, and we actually seek death. It’s death that frees us from our certainties, from our work, and from that terrible peace of our Sunday afternoons.
Juan and Pepe helping me out with some Denton (from the Mediterranean) at the market this afternoon.

Monday, January 23, 2012


The aroma of the citrus fruits here is unreal. I wish I could bottle it and send it home because it would totally blow your mind. I was picking oranges and lemons one afternoon and I noticed several hours later my hands still smelled like lemons, even after washing them.

This morning I made fresh squeezed lemonade. Tell me what is better than fresh squeezed lemonade? Yea, that's right...you can't think of very many things.  Life is good. Eli Young Band is really good. 

"So here I go, packing light to head down that road. And I know this life I'll lead will beat on my soul, but I'll still have my pride. And nothing but that bottom line."

It's truly the simple things in life that make me happy. Like fresh squeezed lemonade, and moving to Spain with only one suitcase.

There are so many things to look forward to. I hope you can say the same :)


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Road trip

How did I get so lucky?! My time in Espana has been nothing short of totally kick ass, and I've only been here two weeks. If the next few months are anything like the last couple weeks I will see endless amounts of incredible things.

This weekend we went on a mini road trip in the Valle de Ricote. Totally mind blowing is all I have to say. I want to go back on my own or with a friend when I can speak fluently so I can explore each little town we went through. The streets get so narrow you think your car might not fit and there is no way two cars could fit! Some of the back road "highways" are incredibly frightening to drive on with sheer cliffs on sides and narrow, bumpy roads. In other words, awesome to the max. What beautiful countryside and interesting people. I wanted to talk to everyone! I think small towns are the best way to experience any culture, whether in the United States or abroad. I love the city's too, but come on there is nothing like a Spanish mountain top town. Of course, everyone stares at me like I'm from another planet. Red hair will do that in places like Spain. I'm used to it now. Anyway, if I could go back and somehow photograph the people...that would be EPIC.

I also got to ride a horse, chill with a shetland pony, and hang out with some awesome Spanish people. Life is good.

One of the many awesome views from the weekend in the Valle de Ricote.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Training with a former Olympian?!

What?! YEA! Javier Sánchez is a Spanish sprinter who went to the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. I was able to train with him yesterday along with a group of other professional Spanish track athletes and a girl training for the Police Academy here in Spain. It was SO MUCH FUN. Javy (I don't know if that's how you spell his nickname, but that's how I'm going to spell it) was awesome. His English is very good and I was able to understand everything he told me. He still has such a love for the sport. It's incredible.

The other athletes were awesome as well. Clara, the girl training for the Police Academy, spoke very good English, even though she didn't think she did. But she was so nice and helped me get home on the Tranvia. She is my first Spanish friend! Aside from the family I live with of course.

Murcia is a very cool place. When I'm walking around the city, I very much feel like I am in one of the boroughs (think Brooklyn or Queens) of New York. There are people everywhere, buses, the Tranvia, shops, bars, and eateries etc...  Wednesday night I was walking home from a bar in the City Centre at 12:30 and there were still people everywhere. Even when I cut off a main road into my neighborhood area I still felt safe and there were still people walking around.

Anyway, I was able to hang out with Liz (an American friend here) on Wednesday and she is an awesome person. She has been in Spain for a total of about a year and a half now and she loves it. We watched the Real Madrid vs. Barce game at a bar with a group of other Americans, although I wasn't able to meet very many of them because the place was so packed it was hard to move around. Barce won 2-1.

I am learning and understanding Spanish more and more everyday. It's good that I can see a steady progression of my knowledge of the language, but I still really can't wait to start the class!

Monastery on the mountainside.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I'm so tired I can barely think, but I have Real madrid vs Barcelona futbol to look forward to tomorrow. No, I'm not going to the game but I am watching from the pub with new friends. Should be interesting. Training with a Spanish former Olympian sprinter on Thursday. Should also be interesting. Hasta mañana.

City Center

Monday, January 16, 2012

Two words

Working out. Meeting people. Making friends. Learning Spanish. Having Fun. Seeing things. Aww yea!

Mar Menor

Saturday, January 14, 2012


It's really weird to think sometimes about where you are in life and particularly the moment you are in. When I was in Chanute, at first I thought time couldn't go by any slower. Then, the last year and especially the last month before I left, time was just flying by. Before I knew it I was in New York and Connecticut. And when I was with Craig everyday for five days I thought time couldn't go by any faster. Every moment was precious, especially considering I might not see him for another year or so.

Now, in Spain, time has a weird way of going fast and slow all at the same time. I stagger between points of complete disbelief that I am here and total immersion in my situation. I guess the best I can do is keep stepping forward. It has always been important to me to put myself out of my comfort zone. How do you know you are truly living otherwise? I certainly don't want a life where everything is familiar and comfortable all the time. Not to say that isn't nice occasionally, and perhaps often later in my life.

It is safe to say I am out of my comfort zone now, which is scary and exciting.  I'm currently watching That 70's Show in Spanish...haha! Dubbed over t.v. is strange, but you get used to it after a while.

I met the coaches for Voley Murcia and they said I can train with them any time. I watched their practice and they are a very good team. I also went and watched the second division team because I thought they might be more appropriate for me to start out with after not playing for 2 months. I spoke with their coach too, but she had a different reaction than the division I coach. She said they already have 14 players and she didn't want me to take any of the girls' spots (Their level is lower than the other team and I could definitely play for them). I said I simply wanted to practice so I can be prepared for August, but she still seemed apprehensive. I don't know what I will do. If I practice with the first division team the worst that could happen is I could suck and they ask me not to come back. So we will see. I still need to figure out how to get to the gym on my own!

Inma and Jose want me to drive here, but I don't know if I'm ready for that yet. They drive like crazy people! The lines on the road apparently aren't too important.

I met an American girl who works at the school the kids go to, and I was really happy about that. It was good to speak English if only for a few minutes. She said she knows a lot of English speaking people here and we can get together when we need to feel at home. Friends are good. I'm totally pro-friends, English speaking or otherwise.

I've seen the sunset from the mountain side overlooking Murcia two nights now. So beautiful. All I want out of life is to do everything I have ever wanted to do. Too much? I think not :)

Catedral de Murcia

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


So living in a country where I don't speak the language is a very interesting situation. I am often confused and sometimes frustrated because even if I can understand what someone is saying to me I can't respond. Or I know half of how to respond, but I can't complete my thought.

There are tons of new things: food, customs, greetings, and social situations. All of that is awesome and I REALLY can not wait to start my Spanish class so maybe I can meet some people and have some sort of social life.

It's hard in these situations not to want everything to happen at once, because of course I do. I want to have friends, speak Spanish, play for the volleyball team, and know how to get around on my own. But for now I will take one step at a time and try to enjoy the learning experience as much as possible.

You don't see this in the states. Jamon is basically a salted mountain pigs leg. And there is citrus fruit all over the place here!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Okay I am absolutely terrible at writing in this everyday. The last couple weeks have been extremely awesome and also very overwhelming. I live in Spain now, and I'm pretty pumped about it.

To briefly recap, I was in New York and Connecticut for the last two weeks and it was one of the best trips ever. It was amazing to see all my good friends and it certainly didn't hurt to see my incredible boyfriend :)

This year is about to explode.

Today I walked around the city center of Murcia with Inma and attempted to understand everything she was trying to tell me in Spanish. I think the first couple weeks I am here might be confusing and overwhelming because communicating is very difficult. But I will enroll for a Spanish class tomorrow although it doesn't begin until the end of February.

None of the communication difficulties worry me though because of what I get to feast my eyes on. The city is gorgeous and incredible and more than I ever thought it would be. I forgot my camera today (I suck) but there will be photos soon. Murcia (pronouced "Murrrrr(rolling)theeea") is in a valley so it is surrounded by mountains AND we are merely 14 minutes from the ocean.

They told me today that in the summer they move up to Santiago, which is on the Atlantic coast and stay in a house the is only feet away from the ocean. Also, Inma said she will take me to see where Voley Murcia plays and hopefully I can meet some of the girls and practice with them when my knees heal.

This year is about to fly by and it is about to be EPIC!!!!

Me encanta Espana y me encanta voleibol

Happiness :)