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The posts are in reverse chronological order, and are pegged by topic on the links to the left. For more of an introduction, please see the About this site page listed above.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

I'm Moving to France!

Hello everyone, and welcome to Embrace Space! I have exciting news, which I'm sure you've already guessed, and I want to tell you about this amazing opportunity and change in my life.

I have been waiting to share this news until I had my passport, with my French visa, in my hands, and it has finally come in!

As many of you probably know, I have been trying to move to France for some time. I had an amazing year there during my Masters studies at the International Space University, in Strasbourg, and after meeting a very special someone, I have been trying my hardest to get back.

But it has not been easy. Not at all. It has taken me over two years to return and I have met many obstacles along the way. Now that I've gotten through them, I find them slightly amusing.

First, there was the lack of money, the lack of a career. You may recall my struggle as outlined in my Staying Positive post. Then, I got a job, but didn't get the visa. Finally, after a long search, I am happy to say that I'm working, in my field, and I quite enjoy it!

As soon as I was hired, I began the process of applying for my new visa. It took me weeks to get everything together. Me. The ambitious achiever that I am, it still took almost a month to get all the paperwork in order. 

Printing, filling out, scanning, and re-sizing forms, getting specifically-sized photographs, going to three different police stations until I found one that did criminal background checks, all this and more until the day of the application.

Then I waited for a few weeks, only to find out that the visa for which I had applied, now was available only for entrepreneurs. Unless I was willing to start a business, incorporate myself, and/or draft a business plan, I was out of luck.

I needed to talk with someone at the consulate, but they do nothing over the phone. Seriously. If you call the office, the voicemail asks if you wish to speak about visas. When you indicate that you do, the recorded message reminds you that nothing is done over the phone, and the call is dropped. Even when I was given the extension of one of the consulate officers, I had to convince the receptionist that I indeed was invited to call in. 

Eventually, I spoke with an extremely friendly and helpful officer and she walked me through everything that I needed to do.

Then, I had to explain to the consulate my strange situation of being a Canadian citizen, working with an American company, wanting to live in France. That was a fun back and forth.

Finally, I am very happy to say that, at long last, I have my visa and I'm moving to France!

I have a 1-year, renewable, visitor's visa. My flight is booked, and I will be leaving on the 30th of May. While I've been sorting out these details, I've also been organizing my things back home, visiting with friends and family, went to Ottawa's Comic Con with my Mom and sister and friends, and I've continued working on a big report coming up with NSR. 

For all those in the Ottawa Valley I could not see, I am sorry. I did the best I could while I was home but I only had a short amount of time to pack, work, and fit in some social time. I will see you all in later visits back home.

It has been a busy time, but I'm glad it is finally here. Juliette and I have been in a relationship for two years and, in that time, we've spent less than 6 months in the same place at the same time. We have developed an amazing relationship, the distance forcing us to better hone our communication skills, our patience, and our understanding. But we are ready to live together. 

I am ready to start this new chapter in my life. I am young, and my career has just started. I want to see more of the world, and I want to expand my horizons. My dreams are ambitious, but I am always working to make them achievable. 

The last year has been difficult for me. Looking for work, struggling to pay debts, I have had the amazing fortune of having extremely generous friends and family who have supported me. But, no matter how wonderful their hospitality is, it always feels better to live in your own home. 

I am really excited about living with Juliette, making a place to match our unique style, able to establish our own routines. Once we are settled, I look forward to pushing ahead in many avenues in life. Working on more exciting projects with NSR, attending conferences and networking, improving my health and fitness via long walks along the canal, bike rides, and maybe finally go rock climbing in Strasbourg! 

So, when next I post here, it'll be from France! 

Merci de votre attention!

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