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…