Maybe Just a Few More Months…

Have I told you our plans? For the last several months, we have been thinking about what’s next for our family. After approximately 1 million discussions, we decided that if possible, we’d really like to extend our time here through the school year. The kids’ French is rapidly improving, and we’d love to give them another 6 months to work on it. Plus, we’re toying with the idea of buying and restoring a tiny cottage here in the countryside. So instead of returning to the U.S. on February 1st, which was our original plan, we’re making plans to return on July 1st.

In fact, this morning, Ben Blair is at the local government office where they handle visas. We currently have visitor visas that allow us to remain in France for 1-year. They expire at the end of this month. So we are in the process of trying to extend them. Extending them basically mean reapplying — a process very similar to the original application, minus the trip to Los Angeles.

We’re really excited about the revised plan. At some point, we realized just how much prep was required to get our stuff into storage, pack our bags, find a place to stay, register the kids for school and move here. I suppose it makes sense to extend our stay, and make the most of all that prep work. I remember many readers guessing we would feel that way — that 1 year wasn’t enough. And they were right! (Design Mom Readers always know best. : )

Wish us luck on the reapplication! I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how it all goes.

P.S. — I’m in love with this adorable new site called Lately Lily. It will make you want to discover new places with your kids!

72 thoughts on “Maybe Just a Few More Months…”

  1. Gosh, that Lately, Lily site is amazing!!! So cute and really, it makes you wanna go.
    Good luck with staying in France for a while longer. I’m eager to see your next family adventure, but I’ll give you another half year. ;)

  2. I for one am glad you are staying. My reason is so selfish. I just love reading about your adventures in France and your trips to other surrounding countries. I hope all goes well with the visa extension.

  3. Yay! I understand completely where you are coming from. We were only supposed to live in England for 1 year as well, but we ended up extending for longer as well. It’s too great of an opportunity to pass up. I also vote for you buying a cottage in France and fixing it up. You know, if my vote counts as part of your family decisions :-)

  4. Oh hearts of joy!!! Thrilled you are staying on – so enjoying your trip!!! And my word … I just love Latley LILY!!! Everything is just so darling!!! Everything … clicking and dashing about as I type!!! Hope you all have a fun weekend!!!

  5. i KNEW it! no one ever wants to leave france! :) congrats on the decision you’re going to love the remaining time and when it does come time to leave, you’ll do so with a light heart knowing you got all you could out of the experience!

  6. I’ve lived on four continents in the last ten years and I always think you need to start with committing to two years, one to make a first impression and then one to confirm or change that opinion, after that you can make a decision.

  7. Hope all goes well. I think it’s great your staying a little longer, the first few months you guys were probably so getting used to things that you need this extra time to actually ‘live’ – plus taking kids out of school during the school year is probably not that easy on them? You’ll be missing your sister though – right?

  8. Wishing you all the best with the reapplication! I’m terribly jealous. I want to move to Berlin, but I don’t know if my husband could hack it with little to no German.

    1. It’s amazing how quickly a person learns to function in a second language. Plus, many Germans speak English. Go for it!! ;)

  9. How exciting! I’m assuming that you would stay in your present location during the additional time?……

    Perhaps we’ll see another episode of House Hunters International featuring the Blair family search for the perfect cottage?….

    Whatever the journey involves, I look forward to reading about it here, and I’m wishing you and yours all the very best in what is shaping up to be another fascinating year!

  10. Yay! I think that makes so much sense. I had wondered about the logistics of moving in the middle of another school year – and why leave France so soon?

    Best of luck with the reapplication and enjoy your extended stay! So excited to hear about your cottage renovation plans. :)

  11. I am so excited for you . . . and for me; I get to read more of the Blair family adventures.

    Wishing you much luck in the reapplication!

  12. That’s crazy that you’ve almost been there for a year! I first started reading your blog when you were making preparations. Time sure does fly! Good luck!

  13. Bonne Chance with the re-application. I have heard mixed stories from people, some got them some didn’t. But very happy you’ll be staying until July, at least.

  14. So great to read about your French experiences…great to want to stay longer…we had the same conversations when we came over…1 year or 2?? It’s still our discussion…but like you, my families adjustment is going well – so it would be nice to be here a bit longer…Best of luck to you with the VISA process..very stressful at best!

  15. All the best with your reapplication! I love reading the posts about French life, cluture, and food! By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask-what kind of foods do kids eat after school or for snacks or are snacks not really a part of the eating habits? Just curious….Thanks for your time. Jen in BC, Canada

  16. I am so glad you are staying because I love reading about your adventures! Plus, it helps me to vicariously enjoy having a family of 8!

  17. well of course you have to stay longer. it doesn’t seem possible that you’ve been there almost a year — it has flown by! (at least for me!) :)

  18. So excited to hear your planning on staying in France for a bit longer… I love following your adventures! Good luck with your visas!

    A big thank you for featuring our website on your blog! We love that you love it!

  19. Good luck! Do not leave until your family visits Austria…the most picturesque country in the world. The Sound of Music doesn’t do it justice and the pastries are divine.

  20. My husband is very familiar with the visa application office as well. I hope you get your extension! I know it can be a total pain to deal with the visa application process, though Denmark is a breeze after what we went through in Morocco! In the end, though, it is always worth it! Hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend!

  21. Oh, I’m selfish, too! I love reading about the American family of eight living in France. Such a great story. Why just until the end of the school year? Why not longer? Both of your incomes come from outside of France so you’re not taking anyone’s job, right? And I’m sure they’ll allow you to pay taxes

  22. denise (guymon) hoogland

    Hey Gabi, I was on facebook and my friend Micah who is the creator of Lately Lily was saying he made your site. It is such a small world. Micah is extremely talented as you can see. He used to work for us as our graphic designer at our scrapbooking company. Anyway just thought I would share that. Your site is AMAZING by the way! Just wanted to say HI!!

  23. I thought that was what you were going to do since you didn’t seem to mention any plans of packing to go home. Did you sister and husbands applications get extended. I know they wanted to stay longer too. I hope it all works out!

  24. I love that you are staying. It is hard to move children in the middle of the school year.

    I just found your blog via SouleMama a month or so ago and I just love your blog. I try to limit myself to 3 blogs so you in my top three. :) If not I just spend too much time on the computer.

    What a lovely family you have and what adventures you have been on. LOVE IT! :)

  25. Good luck with your visa extension! I love reading about your adventures. We were supposed to stay in England for one year and ending up living there for four. I would love to move to France for awhile!

  26. It’s a joy to see fellow Americans enjoying their lives abroad. Your family “wears” France well and are a great example for those nervous to follow… THANKS for the international posts; I’m stoked they’ll be continuing (all fingers crossed on the Visa process)!

  27. Pamela Balabuszko-Reay

    All the best on the reapplication.

    It is odd to mark time with someone else’s life. How can it already be a year?

    You have made me realize that it could be possible for my family to have such an adventure. Thank you for the constant inspiration. I have wished I could be a fly on the wall. Every post brings me that opportunity. Thanks.

    You’ll land just where you need to be!

  28. It is SO great that you are extending your stay! It makes a lot of sense to finish out the school year and give yourselves time over the summer to move back and take care of all of the logistical details involved…plus, more time for European adventures!

    Good luck with the visa extension applications; hope all goes smoothly and quickly!

  29. Good Luck with the visas! I do hope you get to stay. It’s such a marvelous thing you’ve done…why cut it short! But of course I would say so, I took a one month vacation to Greece nine months ago and I’m still here :)

    Bon Chance!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top