I am moving to France: The reality is setting in.

When I was in “obtaining visa” mode obtaining the visa is all I though about. I needed to obtain the visa, so as a result my thoughts were not as much on moving to France but on  collecting documents, saving money and learning French. Although I am still focusing on saving money and especially learning French, now that I have this work visa my thoughts have been changing.

Slowly, very slowly actually, the reality is setting in. The initial excitement came when I made the decision, but back then it was still a dream. Now it is not a dream and it is the reality and I am feeling a more dulled version of that excitement. Holy Moly! I really want to go do not get me wrong, it is just that sometimes I am a nervous freakazoid and the reality of the fear that I need to overcome in the next few months is what is causing that dulling effect.

These fears include:

  • The fear of flying
  • The fear of not having enough money
  • The fear of failing while I am there
  • The fear of not being accepted

Basically, when I review this list, these are basic fears a lot of human beings have to deal with.

What makes this situation a little perverse is that I am excited at the same time. And not just excited to go to France, but excited to overcome these fears before I go! I am excited because I am afraid. If you ever watch “How I Met Your Mother” you will know that the infamous character Barney likes to use the phrase “Challenge Accepted!” whenever someone makes a mere mention of a possibly impossible feat. When I look at that list above, I take on that same attitude: Challenge Accepted!

The only action plan so far is to chant and to avoid or brush off any comments suggesting I will fail, or any TV shoes (les emissions) that deal with crashing airplanes (When discover channel’s “Mayday” is on sometimes it seduces me in, but I will stay strong).

I am moving to France! Exciting!!!

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Liability Insurance

Ok, so I have hit another obstacle. I do not own a car or a house and therefore I do not have an insurance broker. What does this mean? I am finding it extremely difficult to find liability insurance.

Here is the liability insurance journey so far:

  • I researched where to find this type of insurance and found out that one could obtain it from the same insurance broker that you have with a car or home
  • As I do not have a car or house, I decided to ask around
  • I had a lead: Tenant’s insurance with liability. I had heard that this would probably be my only option
  • I called up a well recommended insurance company and told them the situation. They told me it would probably be no problem and to call them back when I was ready to obtain it.
  • With my appointment one month away, I decided to get this insurance set up. I called the insurance company. The gentleman asked me to give him a week to do some research and he would get back to me.
  • A week and a half went by and I heard nothing, so I called him and had to leave a message.
  • I received a message in my inbox saying that he could not provide me this insurance and as far as his research went (which sounded pretty far), no one else was willing to provide me with this insurance either.

And now here I am…

The application gives you the option of signing an affidavit stating that I will obtain liability insurance upon arrival in France. The insurance broker did recommend I do this. My only worry about this is that I would have absolutely no idea how or where to get the insurance in France. What if I ran into the same problem that I have run into here? I will email the consulate asap and tell you how it goes. Even thinking about this gets my tummy flipping a little with nervousness.

The other option is to get my aunt to call her insurance company and add me into her plan with liability (I live with my aunt). I will do this asap as well.

I hope I will shortly have this problem sorted out.

If you know anything about this topic, or have been through the same situation, please let me know!

Thanks!

The Plane Ticket

I am finally writing again after a very long (busy) break.

The bridal shower that I have been going on about is coming up in just a few short days and I am procrastinating everything until the last possible second. Downfall: The longer I procrastinate the more time I spend worrying about the shower, so I end up wasting time just thinking! Tomorrow, I have a day off of work, so I will powerhouse through the shower “to-do” list.

Also, I BOUGHT MY PLANE TICKET!!!! YAY!!! I think that is so awesome. I will give you the details in a second, but first let me rejoice!

I am so excited! Another huge step (and deficit in my bank account) and I am that much closer to being in France. I will arrive in France on the 16th of this coming September at 8:30 am! Wooooohooooo! The ticket even tells me the type of airplane I will be flying in, a 77W (the ones with a trillion seats)(ignore the exaggeration). I looked this aircraft up on Wikipedia to see how safe it would be. I know, I know, that may seem ridiculous. This is all necessary in getting over the fear, I need to know what I am getting myself into, prep myself, face it square in the face. But later posts in this topic. There were a few incidents with the craft but since the time of these incidents, corrections and improvements have been made. Good to know!

The Price

Total cost of plane ticket: $1389.92. Way more than I expected. (This is from Toronto-Paris with a stay of longer than 6 months). Just a note: The embassy will ask you for the plane ticket OR $1000 (from the Toronto region) or $1500 (from the Vancouver region). This is clearly NOT accurate! My plane ticket was $400 more than I had expected based on their estimation and I am booking way ahead of time. Generally, plane tickets get more expensive the closer you get to the date (unless you fly last-minute which may not be the brightest idea in obtaining a visa).

On being prepared for the consulate appointment

Based on what I have heard, and read, and researched, when you book your appointment with the consulate, you must be completely prepared. I would rather go to the consulate with a plane ticket in hand rather than the proof of the funds. I want to show them that I am ready and I do not want to take the risk of being rejected.

Buying a ticket for a date over a year in the future

Just a note when wanting to travel for the year: The consulate asks you for a return flight ticket. Air Canada and I am assuming many other airlines, do not have the schedules for the year ahead. So how does one book a return flight ticket? This was my initial excuse when wanting to provide the proof of funds rather than the actual ticket to the consulate. Well, call the airline, tell them your plan. Air Canada does not even give out open return date tickets so I let them know that I wanted a ticket but I needed to return on August 30, 2012. The rep on the phone booked me for the last possible date she could book me and wrote a note on the ticket to say my actual return date is Aug 30, 2012 and that when flights become available for that date, I can change it, free of charge! There, a great solution!

I printed the ticket out and had them send it to me by mail!

Plane ticket…Check!

Just a note on the supplementary travel health insurance

Five minutes after I purchased the plane ticket, I called Blue Cross and asked them for some travel health insurance for the year. You must call them if your travels are for a long period of time, and you must let them know that you have an extension with the provincial health insurance (which I received a month ago).

Cost of the supplementary health insurance: $701.

What an expensive day. Oh, but I am so excited!

Welcome back (from Easter)

Hi everyone! I hope you had as awesome of an Easter as I had.

I finally received my copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child (volume 1). And a review will be coming shortly. If you remember, the movie  “Julie and Julia” was based on a young woman making every single recipe from this book and blogging from it. I quickly browsed through the book last night and I am eager to get started on these recipes!

FL: être later today…

Stay tooned today for another French language lesson on the verb être (to be). This verb is extremely important and heavily used in French (as well as all languages).

Another Great Blog…

I have also found an awesome blog here on wordpress that has many posts related to French things. There are a lot of videos to check out I now have a long list of French movies to watch because of the info provided.

The blog is called French Stage and here is the link:  http://frenchstage.wordpress.com/

Until later mes amis!

2E (working holiday) Visa Update…

I am almost completely prepared for my appointment with the consulate in Toronto. (Note: To access the consulates website, just click the link on the right side of the site). Of course I still have some major uncertainties though.

I am a very lucky person so I cannot imagine anything going wrong but as someone told me once, luck is simply when preparedness meets timing. There are certainly factors that I cannot control. I cannot control who I have the appointment with or the mood that person is in, and I cannot control how many 2E Visas they have already given out or are still willing to give out. So, besides these two factors, I will dot my I’s and cross my T’s, over and over and over and over and over again…you know, just to make sure. I will leave my house super early so as not to be late, I will bring extra documents and their photocopies just in case, I will learn French sentences that may be useful for the appointment.

So with that said here is the complete update on the documents and requirements:

  • I have enough money. I am continuing to save though because I am assuming that the more money I have saved, the more likely it is that they will approve me. Just because I have the minimum requirement does not mean that my work in this department is done. I will go to the bank just a few days before my appointment to get the letter signed that I have enough money. The later I get that letter, the more money will show up on it.
  • I booked my appointment with the consulate in Toronto. I can not urge you enough to book your appointment well in advance, as there are no immediate openings for appointments. I booked my appointment for June already! I also booked a second appointment one week later just in case everything doesn’t go well the first time around. If I obtain the visa I will cancel the second appointment (It must be cancelled or it can affect your visa!). Just a note: Some provinces do not allow appointments for the attainment of a 2E Visa. In these provinces, you must send it in by mail.
  • My three passport size, colour photos are taken. Please be sure to follow the specific requirement. They have to be professionally taken and I suggest you go to the highest end place possible. The cheaper you pay, the higher the rejection rate of the photos. It cost me about $30 for the three photos.
  • My cover letter is written in French but I will tweak it one more time. I have to be thorough in what I tell them. I will give them a little more detail about my plans, just to be sure.
  • I will purchase my return flight ticket (with an open return date). I suggest you purchase the ticket instead of having proof of the funds.
  • I have the provincial health insurance covering me for my trip. And I will buy travel health insurance asap.
  • I will book an appointment with the insurance company, obtain tenant’s insurance and get the coverage for the personal liability.
  • Other than this, I just need to photocopy everything.

On top of these basic requirements, I will bring and photocopy my birth certificate, give them the information of my boyfriend in France, and show them a copy of my resume and cover letter (both in French, of course).

Attention to detail seems to be the key here!

Getting myself out there…I need funding!

Well hello again…

Today I have been exploring ways to get my blog out there. I am realizing the key to this is to actually get out there myself. Meaning, visiting other people’s related blogs and checking out other websites. I connected with a few other bloggers. I could simply tell them, “Hey, I am going to France, check out my blog!” But NO! This is not what I want. I think the key is to build a genuine connection with others. Just as I am trying to get my message out there, what is their message? How can I connect with them?

I left comments on other bloggers related blogs and “liked” a few more blogs. And by doing this, I ran into some very helpful information that I can use in my travels. I found links to outside websites as well as great french hot spots and such!

I have also connected with:
living in France

On this website I can really get all of my information out that can help other people in the same situation as me!

I  LOVE CONNECTIONS!

Also, as a reminder, I am writing to raise funding for my trip. I would love to obtain this Visa and start writing about how life is in France! If this blog has intrigued you or been helpful in any way, please donate!

Short break to re-group, but I’m back!

I took a short break from blogging but now I am back to purge my thoughts and ideas once again.

Everything has been moving very quickly lately and I am learning to adapt to this new pace. I realize that as I get closer, certain, important tasks will become more urgent (e.g. selling some some of my things before I go, becoming fluent in the French language, organizing trip stuff…). My sister’s bridal shower is coming up shortly which will be hosted by moi and that has me a little tangles in the mind as well. My only strategy is to do one thing at a time and hopefully I will finish all the necessary to-dos.

To do:

-Bridal Shower: Write out final food list and grocery list, delegate food list, make an “advice book” for guests to fill out, put together a PP presentation. The dress has been purchased and the invitations all sent so I’m practically ready for it… right?

-Learning French: Watch French television (thank-you Canadian TV!), continue reading (I have been completely slacking), correct my writing assignment, test my vocab, fill out my verb book

-2E Visa: Get my pictures re-taken because I need three and I only purchased 2, finish obtaining the funds (includes selling drums, guitar and TV), buy my insurance

Now that I have written all these tasks out, they seem a lot more manageable for some reason!

Oh yeah! And one more big task: FILE MY FREAKING TAXES!!!!!

Until next time…