Who Am I?

Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, 2018

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. Most days, I need coffee.

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)