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. YAY! SO glad that you are staying – what an incredible experience for your family. And for all of us to live vicariously through you!

  2. Good luck!!!!!!! 1 year is definitely not enough! I remember hating leaving Japan after 1 year as I just felt like I got the hang of it all. Alas working holiday visas don’t allow extensions :/
    Since you’re on a visitor visa it may be the case that you can stay even while the application is being processed, which can take months. At least that’s the case here in Canada

  3. I lived in southern Africa for two years and kick myself for not staying longer. Life’s short so another 6 months or a year is nothing. Don’t be in a hurry to return! And don’t be surprised if the adjustment to home is more of a challenge than the adjustment to France!

  4. I second Sandra’s thoughts in the previous comment. I lived for 5 years in Austria, and that still wasn’t enough. And, the adjustment coming back home is difficult. At least for me it was. Hopefully yours is less so.

  5. I cannot imagine why you would not stay in France if it is possible…forever. If I had the opportunity, I would up and out in a heartbeat. My husband and I talk about this all the time. Unfortunately my job is rather specified and located here in NYC. Once I retire, though…we are so out of here, and over there! We do enjoy our summers in France in the meantime, and it is so hard to leave.

  6. Yippee! {Ou bien, comme disent les français… “youpi”!!!} I’m thrilled to hear that you are staying for a while longer. I think it’s a fantastic idea. I’ve lived in quite a few different countries & I agree 100% with some of your readers’ comments above. One year is what it takes to get settled when you live abroad. To feel comfortable. To wake up in the morning & feel at home. To go to the supermarket & actually be able to find what you’re looking for! So if you stay another half-a-year, it will really allow you to take advantage of this time in France. And it will allow me to continue enjoying your blog & your adventures which are taking place {more-or-less} down the road. Je suis trop contente !!

    So… bon week-end, bon courage pour l’extension des visas {although there are many many many things I love about living in France, the bureaucracy is definitely NOT on that list, as you know!} & gros bisous d’Annecy !

  7. Well if you do >> “we’re toying with the idea of buying and restoring a tiny cottage here in the countryside. ” I for one can’t wait to see it. Even the word ‘cottage’ evokes fun!

    What an opportunity for the kids living in France!

    dee :)

  8. How nice for you Gabrielle! And what a great opportunity for the kids as well. Getting to spend another gorgeous Spring in the countryside while you are adjusted to life in France (and in French LOL) must be nice, too. Hope you enjoy your extended experience!

  9. Good luck with the visas! Like so many other readers, I’ve really enjoyed the vicarious experience – and regularly suggest to my husband that we try it someday, preferably soon!

  10. Extend, extend, extend!!! I think it’s a fabulous decision! In fact, I think you should go for another year. How often do you get to live in another country? And besides, we all need to live vicariously through you!!

  11. Extending your stay is a wonderful idea. Going overseas is a bit like going out to play in the snow. All the prep work of getting little one’s fingers and toes covered can take longer than the time spent playing in the snow. That’s always a bit of a disappointment.

    So make the prep work pay off and stay longer!!

  12. So glad you are doing this! I wanted to suggest you do so ages ago but I didn’t want to be a yenta. :) I’m also not ready for your adventure to end!

  13. I so enjoy reading your pieces, and I get dreamy seeing the pictures of La Cressonnière. I have spent a little time in France where my best friend has a “La Colline”, not as big of a house as yours but so similar in feel and beauty. Good Luck with that extended visa, you should totally stay on till next summer.

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