More things are falling into place… 2017 has been feeling like a jigsaw with the edge pieces all present and the middle part missing the centre-most pieces.
My host in Amsterdam emailed today with a bunch of information that will help me hit the ground running there, just as my host here did. I cannot wait to meet my new charges! My hosts are vegans and while they have told me that I can cook anything in their kitchen, I wouldn’t dream of it. So that will be an interesting challenge since I do still have many meatless days, but I never was able to manage to learn to cook without dairy (I lasted about 45 hours as a vegan!). I suspect work is going to be really slow over the holidays, so I’m researching free or very inexpensive things to do over that period to fill my time and make the most of it.
Next, I get special deals on booking.com and was able to rent a whole studio apartment just outside of Manchester for just under 50CAD per night when the normal rate was almost twice that! It’s a newish place, but reviews look okay. I might be stuck taking a cab from the airport, but the distance is less than 10KM, so it shouldn’t be that expensive. Getting into Manchester will be cheap.
The next big piece of news is that I am definitely going to housesit for my parents for about three weeks and will be in Quebec for about a month total. I got an insane deal on a flight that has me landing in Montreal on March 15th. I am going to set foot in Iceland and get a glimpse of it, if only from the airport. 🙂
So now, I have to fill March 1st to the 15th. The obvious thing is to find a sit in or about London. There’s nothing posted for those dates yet, but I’ll keep checking back. It would be amazing to bookend this adventure with another stay in London, especially if I can stay in a different part of the city. I had hoped to find my way back to Scotland, but the airfares wouldn’t cooperate.
The next things to figure out are getting my residente temporal visa and getting myself to Mérida for about the 15th of May.
I have reviewed the visa requirements am quite confident that I won’t have any issues since I can present investment statements, which are well over the amount needed, rather than a convoluted package showing my income, which only averages the amount needed. Also, I contacted an immigration lawyer in Mérida who told me that I do not have to go to my “home” consulate, which is in Calgary. This means that I can attempt my request at the consulate in Montreal. If I have trouble with them (their reviews are appalling), I can try the embassy in Ottawa or even the consulate in Toronto. If I can get the visa while I’m in Montreal it will save me considerable expense and time.
Next, the inevitable question is do I have to go home to Haven before heading to Mérida? Why not take advantage of cheap flights from Montreal to Cancún and then just start from scratch in Mérida? I can’t say the thought didn’t cross my mind, but I want to go home to say a proper goodbye and to make sure there are no loose ends there. If I save the expense of going to Calgary, then I am going to drive, but will not take a trailer. So whatever I can squeeze into the truck, pretty much whatever I brought to Maz, is what’s coming with me. But I do have that roof frame and and am thinking of making use of exterior space for non-valuable/sentimental items. To be discussed with Charles and Caroline. 🙂
The residente temporal visa is a one-year commitment to being in Mexico, with the option to renew for up to another three years. So I am not going to be burning any Canadian bridges at this time, but I do feel committed to 18 months at least (five-month sit, plus a one-year lease).
I have a lot of expenses between now and May 15th (I’ll likely have $1,000 just in fuel costs to get to Mérida, never mind hotels!), but once I get there, expenses will drop significantly and I’ll be able to easily save up my housekeeping setup costs. I still can’t believe how long it took me to accept this housesitting offer!
I feel like I’m in a better version of the spring of 2013, clearly moving towards an ending, but without the fear of what the new beginning will be. I just need to remember to continue savouring the now and to make each step of my journey to Mexico count. I must never lose sight that the journey is often more important than the arrival.