It just takes one step, just one step, to begin an adventure you never thought possible.
After years of excuses and roadblocks, I have finally let go of all my inhibitions and decided on my move to Lyon, France. I have always wanted to learn the language and live in France, and now I am going to do it. Applications have been sent, visa appointments must be made, and processing fees are about to eat up my bank account 😉 But I have never been more excited for my future!
Last year, I spent a month in France and my first stop was Lyon. I chose the city on a whim, and was so glad I allowed spontaneity to lead the journey. Lyon is a beautiful city, the second largest after Paris and it is the gastronomic capital of the WORLD. It had all the culture, city life, art, and je ne c’est qois of Paris, without the hectic overload of people, streets and subways reminiscent of NYC, and overpriced tartlets. It is the perfect city for those who love the city life and the tranquility of the small town.
For those of you who are intrigued with the idea of studying abroad, I offer some advice; do your research!! Every country has different rules and procedures, but overall, the process takes time. Whether it is studying abroad for two weeks, enrolling in a degree program, or a language school ( like me!), certain steps have to be taken, BEFORE you enter the new country. These steps can take several weeks to a few months to get through, depending on your citizenship and the country you want to enter. My visa application for france will take 4 to 8 weeks to be processed, and that is after applying to the school and paying the appropriate fees. The paperwork is very specific and requires a close eye! If you miss one thing, you could be set back another 2-3 weeks.
I have never been one to “Read before you sign”, and lessons have been learned. 🙂
If you have questions on visa appointments or how to choose a program/school in a country you may have not ever even been to, let me know! After years of researching, I have built quite a little database of facts and could certainly point you in the right direction.
Update: I actually wrote this entry September of 2013. I never ended up posting it because I never ended up going to Lyon this year. I didn’t set my visa appointment. I never paid an application fee. I let an ounce of doubt trickle in and it consumed me.
I decided to publish it though because it reminds me of how I felt back then, and that was amazing. My life priorities have changed a bit and now a trip like that isn’t exactly right for me, right now. I suppose this is a learning lesson for me. You can want something with every ounce in your being, but if you don’t take the first initial plunge, all the research and day dreaming won’t get you anywhere. You have to jump.