Oh, that language of love…

Today I was able to get one more document completed and ready for the obtainment of this visa. My cover letter to the consul general is done!

Every time I read French, have a lesson, or simply listen to French music, I try to pick up something new and remember what I have learned. Writing this cover letter was a nice little assignment for me and I learned a lot about the language. And even though I am learning a lot, I am still terrified that I’ll never speak this language! The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know and that learning French is not as simple as translating word for word. French writing has a style, as does English writing. Although I would love to directly translate, “I would like to obtain a 2e Visa to France and I would appreciate being considered as an eligible candidate”, and sentence like this can be directly translated while making sense, it just won’t be very French. We anglophones have developed expressions and etiquette in our language over a many number of years and so have the French, and that makes these languages very different from one another. I am not saying that my learning a ton of vocabulary plus different ways to structure sentences and many different verb tenses is all for waste, because they do say that you cannot build a house from the top floor down but you must always start with the foundation. So I am currently pouring the cement into a gigantic French language vortex I have dug, and starting to understand this language of love more and more. I can see that what I am learning now (these awesome building blocks!) will enable me to hear people out and speak in sentences that others will definitely understand (although they may not be correct), so I can at least communicate with my future neighbours. I can also see that the real learning, the really juicy, building the home part of  learning this language, will only happen while I am in France, learning the French style and being immersed in it everyday.

Am I scared? Maybe a little. At this same time, this is kind of a fun challenge and even writing about this has me excited for the moment I step off the plane and realize that its all sink or swim…

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Amazing New Developments!

I’m starting to get very excited about this trip! I’m seeing signs of France all around me. I walk down the street and think of France and Carla Bruni comes on the shuffle of my Ipod. Or I browse the bookstores and books of Paris and France stand out on the shelves immediately.

My boyfriend has begun to tell me of French history and show me French monuments online. He tells of French style bakeries and feeds me delicious food from France (like duck neck!!!). Small french conversations are also occurring between us! Ex: “Je fais dejeuner” I’m making lunch.

Things are looking up. The money I’m saving is starting to look promising and the language is really, really improving. And as far as the documents go:

  • I found personal liability insurance: I do not own a home or car and therefore I could not extend this type of coverage to include personal liability (as most people can do). Instead, I simply need to purchase tenant’s insurance (approx. $250/year) and I will be covered!
  • I am covered and have a document for provincial health insurance: I went to Service Ontario, told them my situation and received my document all in about 40 minutes (35 minutes of waiting).
  • Cover letter to the consulate general has been written in French and just needs to be corrected by French bf.

Pictures are still to come. I also realized that I will need to print the application on long sheets of paper…

I’m so close I can already taste the baguette!

 

And let the miracles begin…

Something amazing happened! In my last post I wrote about my little financial obstacle that just happened. Well, the solution has been found.

Yesterday morning I decided that instead of waiting around feeling sorry for myself, I needed to do something. I would get a second job. Yes it would be hard, yes I may not really enjoy it (although that would be a choice depending on the attitude I take), but yes I needed one and I would do it!

I live in a small village incorporated into a larger town. The boutique I work at is in this village and so are many other little stores, shops, restaurants and bars. The owner of the clothing store I work in is head of the council for this town so I told him when I came into work, “I need a second job.” I asked him if he knew anyone in town who he could recommend me too and the response I received was far greater than anything I could have asked for! He said he didn’t want to share me and that he will help me get this extra money I need, by the date I need it, in exchange for some extra work and helping out whenever its needed! And of course I agreed that this is an awesome option!

Hopefully there will be more good news to come soon!

Obstacles

I find it interesting that as soon as soon as I have “the plan” laid out and ready to execute, monumental obstacles come into my path and try to destroy my efforts. A huge obstacle has come into my way and it has me thinking.

Yesterday was my birthday! (YAY!) I woke up and made the decision that it would be a great day, I was going to do only what I wanted to do and take it easy. The day definitely started out that way until my mother called to wish me happy birthday. After wishing me happy birthday she proceeded to tell me that her and my stepfather have decided that they will not be paying for me to go to my sister’s wedding in Alaska, as they had promised months earlier. Her main reasoning is that I always get what I want, and if that is the case and I am going to continue to live my life the way I want to, then I should pay my own way as she says that, “I am deceiving and she thought I was poor and she was only paying because of that reason.” Sigh…Who knew that I was being deceiving in her eyes? (note: not me). I live my life to inspire, to follow my passion and it just so happens that besides food my other love is traveling, so I decided to take a trip this December. I did not realize that by taking this trip, my family would judge me as selfish and assume I must be rich.

Enough of this situation though. I cannot sink to that low-level and judge her back. Bottom line, I am expected now to pay my way to Alaska and I yet I am trying so hard to save for France.

Obstacles. They come in our way as a function of life to try to make us give up. That is their only function. The bigger the goal, the larger the obstacles. I think that is some kind of general rule for life but I’m not going to guarantee that. I for sure know that the other function of an obstacle is to overcome it, possibly deepening my faith in myself and life and also becoming stronger and more courageous in the process. Without the obstacle, how will I truly know what I am capable of achieving?

I will go to France and I have no doubt about it. I am also sure I will attend my sister’s wedding in Alaska. How? This cannot be answered just yet…

I’m simply taking it step by step

I find it so interesting that as soon as I am slightly stuck and I am not sure what my next step should be, it simply appears, BIG, and bright so that I could not possibly miss it!

Some of these steps include: Making a goal/decision to go, I then knew to look online for a Visa, then I started to save up money for the visa, I started researching how to get the documents, started to obtain the necessary documents, etc…

I’m finding now, that the steps that are presenting to me are more creative and slightly more challenging than what I needed to do at the very beginning of this process. Just last week I obtained the document from my provincial health to state that I will be covered for the duration of my trip. That step was obvious. I also need to obtain some personal liability insurance. I had no idea what this was and my internet searches were leading nowhere. This is not the same as travel health insurance. I heard from another blog, that in order to obtain this I would need to consult my insurance broker (which I do not have). Interestingly I spoke to someone about this and they gave me a contact name and phone number. And although I’m not sure if that will lead somewhere, it is a step. It might not lead me exactly where I want to go, but if not, I’m sure it will lead me to the next step, and with a little faith, this insurance will be in my hands asap.

Now, the financial situation is getting more urgent and I know that I have to take some action in the arena because if I don’t, and just expect the world to provide me with these funds without giving something first, than I jeopardize my opportunity to go. Using wisdom in this adventure is extremely important. So again while speaking to someone about this topic they made a brilliant suggestion: Applying for positions in my area for events that are coming up or where a company needs extra help for 1 or two days and I end up with some extra money because of it, with little stress on my current schedule. Even just finding something for one evening a week would help. She suggested looking in the local paper. How easy! And here again is another step.

The main point here is that I cannot just sit back and expect this all to come together. This is a goal and a challenge. I need to take action and although it may be uncomfortable or scary to take these steps, the end reward will be so worth it. And in taking these steps I am growing and learning and feeling way more fulfilled than simply following the same daily routine!

 

Food is my passion!

And I don’t mean just eating it although eating it does give me a feeling of satisfaction that few other things can match. But I mean cooking! And learning about food and trying new things and giving people  pleasure from my food! I believe I mentioned this in me “About Me” section of this blog.

Right now I am at work. I have time to blog at work and this is just one reason why I love my job! In order to push this boredom out of the way I have decided to research cooking schools in France. When I get there my first plan is definitely not going to be searching out all the cooking schools and immediately registering. I will have to be smart and find a job first to actually be able to stay for the entire year. I would love to have a job where I could be mentored by a French chef or baker who is completely passionate, who has wanted nothing more than to teach a young foreigner his trade in order to pass down his legacy and widen it to other countries! But that little dream of mine is no guarantee and my heart will not break if I’m immediately unable to find it. All things in life lead somewhere great so I know however I begin my adventure over seas, with a little faith and some patience, I’m sure I’ll reach my ultimate goal of learning this language and cuisine!

But maybe, at a later date, I’ll want to attend cooking school. So my curiosity has lead me to this research:

Le Cordon Bleu – MY DREAM SCHOOL!!! Why oh why does everything great cost so much money? I’m sure that an investment into this school will pay off 1 million fold but how could I get there in the first place?

A lot of these school are simply for travelers looking to fill their leisure days. This is NOT what I am looking for. I’m looking for accreditation. I’m looking for a career! (Not necessarily stating that this WILL be my career).

Here is another one:

Relais & Chateau – But again, it doesn’t look like they have a full program.

Hmmmm, maybe I’ll find more leads when I’m there. But Le Cordon Bleu!!! I wanna go!!!!

Creative Ways To Make Money

As I have mentioned before, in order to be eligible for this visa I need $3000 in my bank account plus another $1000 for proof that I can pay for a flight and another $800 for trip medical insurance. In mid January I began with a bank account of $0 and now I have $1600 bringing me to still need $3200!!! By mid-June!!! These task seems impossible to me but I also believe that nothing is impossible and I have proven that nothing is impossible on a few different occasions in the past, so why not now? Although freaking out may seem like an effective solution to this little situation I have, an even more effective solution would be to brainstorm extra ways to make this cash.

-I have my regular income. I started budgeting my weekly expenses (although sometimes its extremely tough staying in budget!) and as much of the pay goes towards savings. I do not recommend this but I even cut down on grocery shopping big time. Thankfully I have an extremely tolerant Aunt I am currently living with 🙂

-This blog. I created this blog as a creative outlet AND as a way to potentially make extra cash and I am not really trying to hide that fact in any way. If you like it, please donate!!

-I am trying to sell my drumset. Bottom line, my drumset is worth a lot of money!! This would help out the savings BIG TIME if I could sell it. And I am not just passively trying to sell this baby, I am literally sourcing out many different people and places to advertise and hopefully one of these avenues leads somewhere! To check out the drum set just click HERE.

-I am entering random contests. If I see a contest where I can win money, I am entering it. A Toronto radio station, 102.1 the edge is giving away $1000 A DAY, EVERYDAY, for the month of March. All I have to do is be caller 102 if I here their “artist of the day” play for the first time that day. I have yet to win, but I’m not giving up. I have had to call in at work and I get my customers pumped about it too! We all end up calling in and making a pack to split the money if we are ever caller 102 🙂

-The amazing Canadian government! It’s that time of year again where we Canadians file our income taxes! For young folk like me, you know what this means!!! TAX REFUND! YAY! Free money just by filing our taxes. If you don’t do this, I highly recommend that you do!

So far, that is all I’ve got as far as money-making ideas go. One of my friends suggested selling my drums and offering lessons with them! I say, Brilliant idea!