It’s been 5 years since I landed in Winnipeg, a Sunday evening in April. These last 5 years have passed extremely quickly, pandemic or not, and despite the generally positive results, I had a hard time sitting down at my keyboard this week to put words onto this 5 year anniversary.
However, I like to reflect so let’s talk a little about these last five years and discuss what may happen in the future too. On top of this article, I filmed a FAQ for Youtube if you understand French!
So in order not to repeat the same thing on Youtube and on the blog, here I will divide my thoughts about these 5 years in Winnipeg simply: successes and failures.
Successes during those 5 years in Winnipeg
The Immigration Process
I’m really proud of my immigration journey, because everything went almost smoothly and within a relatively reasonable time frame. Two years of Working Holiday Visa, two weeks of implicit status, 5 months of bridge – open working permit and I got my Canadian permanent residency after 23 months of procedures. I submitted my citizenship application as soon as I became eligible, in October of last year. Then it will be over.
When I decided to stop being a French teacher, I didn’t know what I was going to do. But in the end, it’s good to have made this choice in this country, where diplomas matter less than skills. I don’t regret not going in to teach in the Manitoba school system, I’m better off in the private company where I am now.
I had been chosen to represent Manitoba at the Youth Mobilization of the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques in 2019, I wrote the blog of the Saint-Boniface Tourism Office for two years, I was approached without applying to write for Webouest, it’s really nice to be paid for your words, to see your name written in black and white on other websites.
It was also cool to do my first sponsored video on Youtube with only 250 subscribers. All that has changed a lot in 5 years, I’m happy that French content is starting to have a real place.
Failures during these 5 years in Winnipeg
I’ve been in Winnipeg for 5 years and still don’t have a driver’s license, for good and bad reasons. I’m really starting to think that I’ll never pass it, which frustrates me a lot for the lack of freedom it brings.
Lack of Confidence
If I had dared… Often, I reflect on all the opportunities I have missed out of fear, lack of self-confidence or impostor syndrome. For example, there is this series of popular hiking books, Hiking Manitoba. I contemplated for months contacting the author to collaborate for a version in French. Eventually someone else did it and a translated version came out.
I’m hesitant to put social life in the failures of those 5 years in Winnipeg, because it’s very contextual (I explain everything in the Youtube video – the turnover, people who don’t stay, the change that has taken place in my way of starting friendships) but we can add the loss of relations in France also here.
I have been saying for five years that we will not leave Winnipeg until I have my Canadian citizenship, to respect the immigration program by which I had my permanent residence. The initial plan was to go on a long round the world trip and decide where we were going to live next when coming back to Canada. Obviously, the idea of traveling is a bit on hold and moving aimlessly, without some work lined up, would not be smart given the current conjecture. Everything is possible and at the same time everything is difficult. We will see !
Otherwise, in the meantime, I will try to continue what I do on a daily basis but better, rediscover a little Winnipeg, visit the places in Manitoba where I have not been (like seeing the polar bears in Churchill) and continue to create content.
Thank you for your loyalty throughout these years! We can open the bets: where will I be for the anniversary of my 10 years in Canada?