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Who Am I?

About Me

Wel­come to Cor­rer Es Mi Des­tino! I hope you will enjoy read­ing the sto­ries and fol­low­ing our adven­tures in Canada and abroad. Grab your­self a cup of tea or a cof­fee and let me intro­duce myself. I promise I’ll keep it short and sweet.

I’m Juli­ette. You can call me “Zhu”—that’s my Chi­nese name (this 珠, not that 猪—that means “pig”, mine is “pearl”!). Yes, I am aware of the fact that I am not even remotely Chi­nese. I do speak Man­darin though, but it’s a long story.

I was born and raised in Nantes, France. At the age of 16, I trav­eled solo to China and I caught a bad case of wan­der­lust. After grad­u­at­ing from high school, I spent a few years back­pack­ing the world, first as a solo trav­eler and then with Feng, my travel partner/husband.

Even­tu­ally, I some­how ended up in Canada in 2004. I have been liv­ing in Canada’s national cap­i­tal, Ottawa, ever since. I was granted per­ma­nent res­i­dent sta­tus in 2005 (my appli­ca­tion was processed in only five months!) and I became a Cana­dian cit­i­zen on July 3, 2009. I have dual cit­i­zen­ship, French and Cana­dian. You can read my full immi­gra­tion story here.

Immi­grat­ing to Canada and embrac­ing life in the “new world” has been a great adven­ture. As a clue­less twenty-something who didn’t speak Eng­lish and had a lot of mis­con­cep­tions about North Amer­ica, I did expe­ri­ence a cer­tain level of cul­ture shock, which prompted me to start this web­site. Note that I still don’t get how Cana­di­ans can walk around wear­ing shorts and t-shirts when it’s barely above 0ºC. But hey, I adapted! I even know which hockey team to cheer for now—hint, not the Leafs.

From 2005 to 2009, I worked as a French as sec­ond lan­guage teacher—I have always found it ironic I ended up teach­ing French after learn­ing Chi­nese for 12 years. In 2009, I started work­ing as a free­lance English-to-French trans­la­tor as well as a bilin­gual copy­writer, edi­tor and proof­reader. I’m a self-described “word nerd” and I love my job (except on Mon­day mornings—same for you, right?).

On my spare time, I’m also a trav­eler and a pho­tog­ra­pher, with an inter­est in street and travel photography.

Oh, and I am a mother too! Mark Floyd, our Canadian-Chinese-French son, was born on Octo­ber 12, 2012. Now that I have finally fully adopted my new coun­try, I am adapt­ing to being a mother. Life is fun and busy, I am telling you.

I chose to set­tle in Canada because I love this mul­ti­cul­tural coun­try and because I wanted to belong somewhere—I’ve never felt French enough in France. Yet, even after being adopted by Canada and embrac­ing moth­er­hood, I still need to travel. Was I made to set­tle some­where? Part of me enjoys life at “home” but deep down, I just want to pack my stuff and explore other con­ti­nents, sleep in long dis­tance buses and hos­tels and wake up in a new city every day.

We are bohemian, we are trav­el­ers. A mul­ti­cul­tural fam­ily always on the go.

Yeah, well, I am not the eas­i­est per­son to live with. I know.

Cor­rer es mi des­tino… isn’t it?

Zhu (珠)



  1. I’m so glad I found your blog through a google search about tra­di­tions in North Amer­ica! It looks like you and I have switched places — I’m cur­rently resid­ing in France and you are in my home coun­try! I’m sure we will have a lovely time swap­ping sto­ries. So while you write about your cul­ture shock in Canada, I’m going to have a blast writ­ing mine in France! Love to exchange sto­ries! : D

  2. Very nice to have dis­cov­ered your blog though a com­ment you made on Alex’s Mem­og­ra­pher site, Zhu. What an inter­est­ing back­ground you have! All the best from Santiago.

  3. hi Zhu!

    I’m doing a lot of research about this migrat­ing to canada thing..and I wanted to let you know that I really like your blogs here, very help­ful and infor­ma­tive and I love read­ing them..I might leave a com­ment again in the future with addi­tional ques­tions in it once I start the actual process of applying..but in the mean­time, I just want to share my story and would like to know your take on it..I hope it won’t bore you..I’ll try not to..

    My name is Jill, I’m a Fil­ipino, sin­gle, gay, col­lege under­grad and is almost in my 30s… the only work I’ve ever been to is behind the phone.. cus­tomer ser­vice in front of a computer(outsourced call cen­ter or con­tact cen­ter what­ever you wanna call it) for almost 8 yrs now.. Im not sure yet if this field is rec­og­nized under the skilled worker cat­e­gory but I will def­i­nitely research on it.. oh wait, would you know if it is?

    Any­way, I’ve been think­ing more and more recently about migrat­ing to another coun­try (gay-friendly coun­try) because of my age and my being gay. Not that my coun­try com­pletely isn’t, its just still has a very very loooonggg way to go before I or my peo­ple get to marry here.. unlike in Canada or US, LGBT is very much cel­e­brated.. and I really don’t want to grow old with­out being able to live or at least chase my dream of pos­si­bly get­ting mar­ried or hav­ing a fam­ily that will be rec­og­nized legally..

    Now just the other day, an aunt of mine who lives in the US sent me an email out of nowhere ask­ing if I wanna move out of the country…so I was like not breath­ing for a few sec­onds coz I couldn’t believe my eyes.. she offered to help me finan­cially if I truly wanna move out… she said that she thought about peti­tion­ing me in the US but its gonna take about 25 yrs before I even get there and she’ll be dead by then.. so she sug­gested Canada! and so here I am, doing my ‘research’ online… try­ing to find every bit of infor­ma­tion I can before I offi­cially start to apply… I’ve been going over dif­fer­ent web­sites until I came across your blog.. so there, thank you thank you for shar­ing your knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence! I will keep read­ing while I plan this thing out and hope you have a great day! God bless! =)

    • Hi there!

      I can under­stand your point and why you are explor­ing options to live abroad. Canada is pretty gay-friendly and I know many gay cou­ples who moved from the US or other coun­tries to Canada, where they feel more free.

      The immi­gra­tion sys­tem is pretty straight­for­ward: if you qual­ify, you are pretty much guar­an­teed per­ma­nent res­i­dence sta­tus. Now the key is to qual­ify… the most com­mon immi­gra­tion cat­e­gory is the skilled worker one. I don’t know if your work expe­ri­ence will qual­ify you but you can take the test online for free. The best place to do research is the government’s web­site, http://www.cic.gc.ca.

      Good luck!

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