I had the delight of visiting Marseille in the south of France in mid-October and its vibrant, boisterous, heady energy is giving Amsterdam serious competition as my favourite city. I will begin by letting Marseille speak for itself in photos:
Tomorrow is the last day of 2014 and then it is a New Year.
This past year has been quite full: two amazing trips to the Italian Riviera and the south of France, a brand new great-nephew (a first!) in Canada and the completion of four years here in the U.K.
2015 is a turning point. My visa expires in September so I need to get online and start filling out applications, either for permission to extend my visa another 5 years or permission to become a UK citizen. I keep going back and forth in my mind as to which I want to do.
I don’t necessarily want to stay here forever and think a few more years would scratch that travel itch. Yet, if I became a UK citizen I would also become a member of the European Union and could therefore work and live anywhere in Europe (ie – somewhere warm and sunny). It costs twice as much to apply to become a citizen as for a visa extension, and I don’t get any of those funds back, regardless of the Home Office’s decision.
I think I would not have difficulty getting permission for an extension, but given the current negative political climate in the UK regarding immigration, am more uncertain about my chances of getting citizenship. I guess it’s a leap of faith. A small growing voice is nudging me to take the real risk and apply for citizenship because of the possibilities it would present. I can always return home at any time, yet would I regret it if I didn’t go for the big prize? And if I’m not allowed citizenship, can I then appeal to stay on for the five-year visa extension? Probably so, but at the additional cost, I suppose: questions I need to start addressing.
I’m afraid I’m not feeling passionate and adventurous about either decision, yet don’t feel as if it’s quite time to return to Canada, feeling equally uncertain as to what I would do when I returned there, though more ready to face that if need be.
My job here as a hotel room attendant is just draining. After four years I would hope to operate from a position of physical strength, but while I am physically in good shape, I am also physically wearing out. The joints and muscles don’t recover as they should. I’m in need of some inspiration!
That’s what I need: inspiration! some passion! that leap! simply because I find myself tired at this end of the year, doesn’t mean I should fail to see the brass ring. Maybe, finally getting my posts up on my October trip to Marseille will light the fire I need.
So, 2014 has been rich and full, maybe overflowing, leaving me a little worn out. 2015 beckons with uncertainty and will place me in a brand-new resolution of place and living. I am fortunate and blessed to have opportunity and choices.
So, here’s to raising a glass to 2014 and all that it has held and here’s to raising a glass to 2015 as it prepares to take its place centre stage.