Oh yeah, the big move is coming up as I will be leaving the Parisian life for a new experience in Canada after I got randomly picked for a WHV ! In less than a month, I’ll be starting this beautiful adventure in Montréal (*pronounced with a super cute French accent pleeease*)… but in the meantime, the countdown has started and I have quite a few things to take care of before going away. But what exactly is on that to-do-list that you might also need ?
1- Spend quite the time on various forums and Facebook groups
When you know that so many French and Belgian people made the same choice to leave everything behind to try this Canadian experience, it’s normal to want to get a bit closer to them, to try to understand what they have in mind. And what is better than the wonderful invention that is the Internet for this purpose ? Well of course, you see about everything : some roadtrip or game-night propositions (yay), acronyms and new expressions here and there (PEQ, RP, tour du poteau, statut implicite – I hardly know what it means in French so it won’t be a surprise for you to learn that I wouldn’t know how to translate it…), some mutual assistance and shared tips (to look for a bank, a doctor, a tent or a carpool) but also less pleasant stories about complicated immigration crossing (I might kill 2-3 forests to print all available papers, just to be sure). It might freak some of you out and make you wonder about some things…but it also makes you want to be over there and live all this !
2- Store your whole life in 2 suitcases and 46kg
I definitely wouldn’t be the one to call for help on this topic… every night I’m looking around my flat wondering what I’m going to do with all this stuff ! Who would have thought that you can actually gather quite the amount of things in only a year in 30-ish square meters ?! So I’m reduced to building “yes”, “maybe” and “no” piles ; keeping the Leboncoin (equivalent of Craigslist) app close to sell my furniture (see point #3). I’m there for now ! I have the suitcases, but still no idea of what I’m going to fill them with, to be continued.
3- Play shop on Leboncoin / Craigslist
Take a 30-square-feet flat. And then two 23kg suitcases. Are you starting to see the problem ? Like I was just mentioning it, I’m always on the Leboncoin app ! As I’m tidying everything, I put my posts up. Living in a big city like Paris is definitely an advantage ; the demand is high. And to be honest eveeerything is “salable”, even the most unlikely stuff. People are coming all the way up for a 5€-light garland; I even managed to sell all my traveling books (I’m actually glad to know they’ll have a second life and travel again to places I’ve visited). I mostly want to get rid of the big furniture ; but it’s going away quite fast, as everything is in good condition (I only stayed for about a year here) ! It’s actually quite the business and very time consuming to take nice pictures, write a good description, set the price, etc. Maybe I should change jobs !
4- Visit France during your farewell tour
The “visiting” part is quite enjoyable ; we might even talk about a European tour in my case because I also went to Belgium (for Rock Werchter with old colleagues) and to Switzerland (for a weekend in Geneva with my best friends) ! But when the goodbyes come up… Actually, I think that my friends and I simply chose a very basic option : total denial. We spend the weekend together, say “bye” like we were about to each other again the following week and only then we shed a tear separately, sending each other moving messages to explain how much we’re going to miss each other ! And it’s not even close to be over, the worst is still about to come in the next few weeks, it is going to become more and more concrete…
5- Dream about your new life
Thinking about how to set up your room in a flat that you’ve never visited before ? Wandering around the streets of Montréal on Google street view ? Check out 800€-flights to France to spend 3 days with your family for Christmas ? Promise each group of friends that you’ll meet in crazy places (it’s halfway says Google) ? Loose two toes imagining the Canadian winter that will settle in a few months ? Picturing yourself hiking in the woods and… end up face to face with a bear ? I won’t tell you which ones are actually accurate in my case ! But at the same time, wouldn’t it be sad not to be happy and look forward to starting this new life ? Let’s hope it will go on in the long run !
Anyway, I am moving across the Atlantic ocean.
Fasten your seatbelt, imminent departure !