France Checklist

My mother and me exploring the Washington beaches, once upon a time ago.
My mother and me exploring the Washington beaches, once upon a time ago.

I can’t believe it’s been a week since I’ve posted on here! Life has been crazy hectic, per usual. But I think the real culprit is me having my head up in the clouds too much. So, since my mind has decided to ground itself for this slice of the evening, I’ve decided to catch you all up on what’s happened this week.

Medical Certificate

This week I went and had my “I’m not dying or trying to carry the plague to your country” checkup, which is required before you can apply for your French Visa. I’m happy to say the diagnosis was that I’m normal – physically, anyway.

Awaiting DIRECCTE Approval:

All of my paperwork is officially in! Now, all I have is to do is wait for the DIRECCTE (the local government in the French city I’ll be living in) to approve it and I’ll be ready to apply for my Visa. I’m so excited, and I can’t believe how much work it’s been to get to this point. Here’s to working your butt off just to be able to APPLY to live in France.

SIFF: French movies

Chinese puzzle

The Seattle International Film Festival is happening right now – my favorite time of the year! I saw this film last weekend with two of my friends and we absolutely loved it! It was witty, well written and the actors were phenomenal. There was one part of the movie when everyone in the theater was laughing so hard you couldn’t even hear anything on the screen. Definitely one of the best movies I’ve seen this year – a must see.

Mood Indigo

This film I’m going to go see next week and I can’t wait. Not only are Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris some of my favorites, I love the overall whimsy of this storytelling style. I can’t wait!

Official Acceptance Letter

Last week I got accepted into The University of Orleans and this week I got my official acceptance letter, which was so exciting! I can’t believe I’m going back to college. I know it’s going to be a challenge but (if I’m totally honest) I’m so excited to be a student, again!

Anthony Bourdoin: Parts Unknown

BourdainCNN

This series has been my absolute favorite this past week. It’s produced by CNN and is as much a series about culture and global perspective as it is about food. I’ve loved watching it and getting whisked away to different parts of the globe. My favorite episode is about Quebec, mainly because that’s where my French obsession began when I was there for my 9th birthday. Two seasons are on Netflix now, so if you have access I would highly recommend watching a couple of episodes. My only warning is: Have a healthy snack nearby, because you’re going to want to eat your entire kitchen after each episode.

Belle et Le Bete

I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE. And, weirdly enough, it has nothing really to do with the movie itself. I’m just so excited to see the cinematography, costumes and sets that I’m about ready to cry. Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But I AM really excited.

Checklist for France!

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Glasgow, Scotland

This week, for some reason, it’s been really tough for me to feel like I’m accomplishing anything. Although I’ve been plugging away for months to get everything for France pulled together, it’s still hard to envision my work paying off, since that won’t be for a few months.

With that being said, here are some of the things I’ve finished up lately/I’m working on to get ready for France!

1. Doctor’s appointment: There are several steps in the process of applying for a French Visa. I had no idea how complicated this process would be, but I’m slowly finding out that you have to really WANT to go to France in order to move there. There are a million hoops to jump through before you can even think about applying.

One of these necessary steps is getting a  doctor’s note (aka Medical Evaluation) that states that you aren’t dying. This visit also has to be within three months of you leaving for France so it wasn’t until this week that I was finally able to make the appointment! Yay!

2.  Birth Certificate: Somehow I lost my birth certificate. I have no idea where it is and I need an official one to copy before I move, sooooo I ordered a new one this week. It’s surprisingly easy to get.

3. DuoLingo-ing the world: I know that’s not a word, but it is now. Every day I spend about 1 hour(ish) on Duolingo practicing my French. I used to dream of the day when I’d be at more than 20% word knowledge, and then I looked at my screen yesterday! I’m satisfied.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.29.44 AM 4. I’ve been kind of obsessed with French Romantic Comedies lately. They’re just so much better. If you haven’t watched any I highly suggest these:

5. French Magazines are my new favorite thing to read! I can’ t seem to get a copy of a French Vogue, but I’ve been going through French Elle and Marie France

Claryssa-For-Marie-France-Magazine-France-May-2014_01_1

ELLE-France-28-Mars-2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. I finally started to actually go through my belongings and get rid of stuff: I’m trying to get rid of probably somewhere around 60ish% of my belongings so I’ll only be keeping essentials here in storage (20%) and taking the other 20% with me to France. Numbers, numbers, numbers.

7. I’m loaning out my fish to my little sister while I’m gone: My two goldfish, Octavius and Pyro, have been with me for about 5 years, now. But, since I can’t take them with me, they’re going to go live with my little sister until further notice. She better not kill them like she killed my bamboo I had her “take care of” last time I moved.

8. Dentist: Because I don’t know what the situation will be in France, I went to the dentist this week to get my mouth at 100% before leaving. Four shots of anesthetic later, and we’re good.

9. College application: I sent in my college application last weekend so I’m waiting to hear back from them! Hopefully I’ll be able to take classes there over the next year. I really hope I get in, but who knows?? Fingers crossed!

10. Growing out my f^$&^@! hair: Anyone who knows about curly hair knows that it is a beast that doesn’t want to be tamed. Anyone who has tried to regrow out a mowhawk knows it’s just awkward. Add the two together, and you have a recipe for disaster. Which is pretty much where I’m at right now. I almost get my hair re-shaved pretty much every day. But luckily, I have a hefty dose of Irish/Scottish stubbornness in my blood and if I said I’m growing it out – I’m damn well going to.

11. I bought a tablet! With layovers etc. I’m going to be traveling for like 30 hours when I go to France, so I bought a tablet so I can take it with me, to read/watch movies, when I travel. It’s coming in the mail today, hopefully, so I’m super excited!

12. I’m emailing a church in France to try to get connected with one near where I’m living.   Being able to keep connected with people who share my faith is so important to me, and I’m really hoping that I can connect with some fun people in France. One of my way too awesome friends was in Paris, and he found some people to connect me with at the Hillsong plant in Paris. I’m excited to see what connections I can make 🙂 (This had been high on my list, so I’m so glad to have some kind of lead finally)

And that’s “all” for now! Ah! Only 3 months!

Also, one of my friends left yesterday for his Au Pair-ship in Australia. Check out his awesomeness on his blog! 

Checklist Until Takeoff

Flying over my beautiful Washington Mountains on my way to California
Flying over my beautiful Washington Mountains on my way to California

Getting ready to move halfway across the world is a process. In a perfect world, I would be able to pack up everything tomorrow and be ready to go, but that’s just not a reality. So, there are some basics that I’ve started putting together in order to get ready for my big move. This will be an ongoing list, but here’s where I’m at so far:

1. Phone upgrade: I haven’t upgraded my phone in a while, so when I went to the UK I wasn’t able to communicate with my family while I was gone ( iPhone 4 doesn’t have a slot for a simcard). Well, glory, glory hallelujah because I upgraded my phone and now will have communication via cell phone while I’m gone (INSTAGRAM!)!

2. Bilingual bible: As a Christian, the Bible is a pretty important book to me. And I love to read. So, it was pretty high on my list for me to get a bible that I would be able to start using now, and be able to take with me when I went to France. Obviously, I could have stuck with an English translation, but I think it’s the most beautiful thing in the world to see both of my favorite languages side by side.

3. Dentist: This one is kind of weird, but really important nonetheless. I have no idea what my insurance/medical situation will be once I actually get to where I’m moving (and I won’t have my dentist whom I LOVE), so it’s really important for me to get everything in tip-top shape in case I don’t have access to one while I’m living there (or at least, at the beginning).

4. Postcards: Communication with my Au Pair family is so incredibly important to me. I really want to be able to build relationships even right now so that I’ll be able to make my transition that much smoother when I get there. My French family and I email fairly regularly, and this week I got a postcard which made me so incredibly excited! I love snail mail more than anything, so it was so fun to get it from Switzerland, where they were staying.

5. Getting rid of stuff: Even though I’m not leaving for a while, I’ve already started to go through my things and start donating/getting rid of things. I am going to be getting a storage unit (which is another “to do” on my list) but it’s still really important for me to get rid of all the random junk I own prior to that. Goodwill here I come!

6. Guitar lessons: I don’t play any instruments as of now, since I mostly focused on vocal stuff while I was growing up, but I’m moving to an EXTREMELY musical family. As such, it’s important for me to be able to contribute, and I’ve had a guitar sitting around for a bit, so I’ve been taking guitar lessons. I’m no Jimmy Hendrix, yet, but I am learning and I love it.

7. French lessons: Every week I get extremely embarrassed as I attempt to speak French in front of my French tutor. It’s hard work and sometimes SO FRUSTRATING, but I know that putting in the work now will be so worth it once I’m there. I just wish I could fast forward 3 months so I could see some real progress happening. Ha.

8. Drivers License: My license is going to expire while I’m over in France, so it’s on my “To Do” list to get it renewed and all set up so I don’t have to worry about being able to drive while I’m there, or when I get back.

I used to live footsteps away from the beach. (Newport Beach, California)
I used to live footsteps away from the beach. (Newport Beach, California)