Chronicles of one girl's journey to London - from conception to eventual migration.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I love New York - always have, always will. Before Europe became my home destination, it was New York City. The big teen dream was to move to NYC and land a job with a fashion magazine. I wanted to be Anna Wintour with a soul. As I got older, the fashion world lost its luster; too-thin models, back-breaking work and sleep-depriving hours made me work towards a job that wouldn't be my life. It was a job to sustain the life I wanted to love. And this leads to more time for friends and love in my life.
Which brings us to this past weekend! Sara, Naz and I went to NYC to see my (our) beloved Sam. While she lives in Long Island, we spent the entire weekend in the city. Sara has never been so this was a treat. I love sight-seeing in any city, no matter how many times i have seen the place. Because even when the buildings remain static, the wave of people enjoying the view changes constantly. It's the people I love to see. And the city certainly doesn't lack people. New York has them in droves! It is, after all, the city that never sleeps, the empire state, the Big Apple (I've always said it, Americans know how to market their country!).
We had one of the best weekends we have ever had together. I don't remember one moment where I didn't laugh and I actually came home with sore abs (also partly due to what Sara and I experienced as Hangover Saturday).

It made me think . . . once I am finished with London, perhaps my return to North America won't be to Toronto. I want to try and head to New York again.

And just for Naz I have to mention the most perfect man in the East Village. The man was a walking magazine cover! Delicious.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Christmas is approaching and in typical calm-before-the-storm fashion, life in general has been quiet.
There is little to no news on the London front, except that we have had to move our deadline forward to April 20, 2010. Exciting as that is, we now have exactly 5 months to untangle ourselves from our lives in Toronto. In theory, that's enough time. Practically, that feels like a minute. Between full-time work, full-time friends and full-time napping habits (the latter of which we are most dedicated to) sometimes it feels like we won't get anything done!
Most pressing on my mind is my car. My beautiful electric blue Mazda 3 - lovingly named Lulu LeBleu by myself and Jessica - has to go.
Then, there's Bella . . . no, not the vampire lover girl. Please.

This gorgeous little chunker! Oh yes, she's coming with us. So now not only do we have to think of a home for ourselves, we have to make sure that she is comfortable too.
So, there is lots to think about and lots to do! But that is what we're good at; getting through the tough times and making life happen is our forte!

And now that we have this blog and the journey is here for anyone to see, we will not want to let it go to waste. O the shame of this falling through would be too much to bear! :D

On a totally unrelated note, I watched Away We Go last night (with Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski). Watch it. It's hilarious and sweet and makes you feel good!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


There's a really easy (read:illegal) way for Misha and I to get into the UK to live there. We can simply fly there, stay put and hope that someone will feed, clothe and shelter us (Sanam, I'm looking at you).
OR we can do it the way they would prefer. We will get a visa that will allow us feed, clothe and shelter ourselves. And, most importantly, that will let us WORK for all this - a concept I detest because it gets in the way of my social life, but that's a rant for another post on another blog.

Misha did the research because, well, that's her job in this whole thing. We are going to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme, or Tier 5, visa. It allows us to reside, work and play in the UK for up to 2 years with all the in and out privileges we can handle. So that means, yes, Europe is getting hit hard with 2/3 of the Shaal girls.

The visa is based on a points system. Points for being Canadian (I know), points for being between 18-31 and points for having at least £1600 (just under $3000 CAD) in your bank account one month before departure. If you rack up all your points, apply away!

Applications can be downloaded from this website and must be taken to your local British embassy. Ours is somewhere in Toronto . . . So we take the visa application, proof that we're Canadians and have the money and send it off. Oh, and they want our fingerprints (governments, eh?) and then they'll let us know if everything works out and away we go.

So the visa process seems pretty simple and straightforward, but then, don't they all at first? We should know better by now that government procedures are rarely simple and almost never straightforward. Wish us luck! We want to be in or on our way to London by May 7th, 2010.