I was given a gift…

Bonjour mes amies! Long post today (bear with me).

Mon voyage is just around the corner and I am beginning to taste it! I have booked the appointment with the French consulate for June 15th, exactly 3 months before I want to leave. The earliest you can book an appointment is three months before the leave date, and as I want to leave September 15th I am taking no chances! I have heard rumors (around the internet) that the consulate only gives out an allotted number of 2E Visas for the year. I emailed them and asked them if they would still have some in July. Their response was, “Our records show we will still have visas in July although we cannot guarantee this.” I took that as book as early as possible. My sister’s wedding is on the last week of August on a cruise in Alaska!!!! So therefore the 15th of September seems like the earliest possible date.

Money has been the largest stress in obtaining this visa. As I have mentioned before, I am working at a clothing store, so my wage is not very large. I have been on an incredibly strict budget since February and have been saving most of what I make since then. I pay the bills I need to pay and also take French lessons once a week. Groceries and transportation are basically the only things I can buy on this budget. So, as you can imagine, I have been a little stressed over the past few months.

“Why are you doing this?” You may ask. “Is it so important that you are giving up your lifestyle just to go on this trip?”, “Can’t you postpone the trip so saving won’t be as stressful?”

I was goal-less you see. I truly believe that a huge component of human happiness lies in accomplishing goals. In late December I realized that the school program I was attending was not aligned with my core values or beliefs. I simply did not want to invest in a career I did not want to pursue. In January I was goal-less. I have been mentioning wanting to move to France for years now but always felt it wasn’t the right time. Well, the right time knocked on my door in late January.

Perfect timing looks like this: No school, stuck in dead-end (low wage) job, dream of going to France, itching for a mission, French boyfriend, sister being married off, best-friend breaking up with me, other best friend moving out of country, other best friend having a new relationship, my aunt’s boyfriend moving into our already cramped apartment…

I told you…Its perfect timing! As for choosing September, like I mentioned before, these visas run out (and who really wants to be apart from their love for too long!)

So I have cut back and saved everything I could have saved. Recently I truly began to appreciate this new lifestyle. I felt like I have been practicing for the way I may need to live in France. I stopped spending every paycheck on things I don’t need, books I don’t read, food that sits in the fridge and goes bad, and all non-essentials. I have been visiting the library, savouring my French lessons and spending quality time with friends. The money was accumulating and I was constantly hoping for an unexpected source of income to relieve that burden. I knew that even if I were to get an unexpected source of income I would still continue saving (because it feels so good!).

The other day I decided to finally  tell my aunt (whom I live with) that I will be moving to France in September. I told her the details, the amount of money I needed and the excitement I have. She left me for a few moments and returned with the remainder of the money I will need to obtain the visa!!

Isn’t that just wonderful?! I was hoping so much from the bottom of my heart that something would happen with the financial situation and lo and behold it shows up! I thanked my aunt a gazillion times (and cried in joy). This weekend my friends and I celebrated this success!

I will continue to save for the rest of my time here in Canada, as this saving is making me realize how much MORE fun I can have in France with small little sacrifices here and there. I have one more leg of this visa journey being the actual appointment and (cross my fingers, knock-on-wood, etc.) the APPROVAL of the visa! But all in all I am sure France will be seeing me shortly.

Until next time…

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Bon Appétit…What is the chance?

So many words to write, so many French lessons to post and only so many lines a reader is willing to read…(sigh)

The most magnificent thing happened last night! I was catching up with my best friend after not seeing her for three weeks (are boyfriends are just so juicy to hang out with). Because of the demands of work and school plus each having our own loving relationship (mine with a French man!) we agreed to see each other at least once a month with no guilt if we cannot get together at another time.

We caught dinner, chatted it up and then made our way to Chapters bookstore. We walk in the door and right on their front table was an entire display devoted to France. My curiosity was indulged! And this is not the best part…We make our way to the cookbook section and a French cookbook from a fellow french blogger was right there on the shelf (and I had only just seen it online hours before). Then, a French song begins to play as we decide to leave because we didn’t want to spend money. We walk by the “Under $5” table and right there, in front of my very eyes was a book entitled “Bon Appétit“!!!

“Hmmm, what could this be about?” I wondered. I read the inside panel synopsis. This book is about a young twenty-something year old taking a year in France to get a job at a bakery! Sound familiar? What is the chance? Really, what is the chance? (And for less than a price of a starbucks coffee)

I am literally 5 pages in, my mouth is already drooling and I am the most excited, motivated,  and inspired that I have been in weeks!!!

What is the chance? Come on…

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!