Departure in 7 Days

Since I’m leaving in exactly one week, I was very happy to get my passport back over the weekend…. with a year long visa inside!  It’s such a relief to finally have it in my hands and not have to worry about that small detail.  Now I need to see about getting an Illinois driver’s license, even though I’m not a resident, so that I can exchange it for a French one.  France and Missouri don’t have an exchange deal, so if I can’t procure an Illinois license I’ll have to go to auto-école over there.  I am going to be positive and believe that luck will be on my side at the DMV, what do you think?

It’s worth noting that I’m the only one leaving in 7 days, and that’s because I have a job that will begin on June 25 in Montpellier.  My husband and kids will follow on July 3, and the container won’t leave St. Louis until June 21.

We’re still not sure about the apartment in Béziers.  My sister-in-law has been so sweet, going around to lots of different apartments to check them out for us.  She says that the problem with the first one she saw (the one from my previous post) is that a few of the rooms are really ugly, meaning that they are in desperate need of repainting.  The other bad thing is that it’s huge and it will cost a fortune to heat it in the winter.  I did find out that it has 13 foot ceilings and it’s 167 square meters (1800 square feet)!  I really love the idea of having that much space.  I’d be so happy to have both an office and a guest bedroom.  I keep going back to the fact that it’s in a good neighborhood and there are no agency fees or deposits to pay.  Also, they just went down on the rent by 100 €.    Anyway, I’ll be able to go and visit it myself next week to see what I think.


13 thoughts on “Departure in 7 Days”

  1. You are wise to get the required driving license before departing. After watching what a friend went through, I am so grateful. They don’t accept California licenses either. Fortunately, I have relatives in Kansas which is an accepted state. I went to visit my great-aunt and the rest, as they say, is history! It saved me a fortune and a lot of stress.

    1. I have been reading a lot about it online, from other people who have been through the same thing. Today I felt like an idiot b/c I drove 30 minutes to go and take the test, and go figure, they are closed on Mondays 🙂 I’ll try again though!!

  2. How exciting for you! I started reading a book last night – Retiring without borders. They mention Langueduc as a popular expat place.

    The apartment sounds great. I hope it works out for you. Keep those posts coming as we all want to live your dream along with you.

    1. I think the Languedoc is a great retirement place for the value you get when thinking about quality of life. Anyway, I’m still rooting for the apartment I talked about a few posts ago. Even though it is big and heating will be an issue in the winter, and the fact that it needs to be repainted, it looks very charming to me. I’ll try to keep up with the posts over the next few weeks 🙂

  3. Great news on the passport front! And for the apartment, perhaps you could use the saved 100 euros in rent and have a painting party and supply refreshments! The space does sound lovely otherwise…

    1. Hey, now there’s a great idea! There’s a great pizza place right down the street. We could totally have a painting party. We did that here when we were getting our house ready to put on the market. I agree about the space b/c our house wasn’t even that big 🙂 I do wish it had more than one bathroom though. Still, nothing has been decided just yet.

  4. Good luck with the move. I do remember the feeling of finally getting the long stay visa just a few days before we were due to empty our house. We had to have a few backup plans in case we were to be homeless for a few days or weeks but finally it came in the nick of time and everything went well from there.

    1. Isn’t it funny how things just seem to work out right at the last minute sometimes? It’s a test of patience, for sure 🙂 Speaking of emptying houses, that’s what we’re in the process of doing right now… the container will be here Friday!

  5. As I recall, you CAN drive on your American license for a year (just have to have a translated copy with you– although I didn’t and I never had a problem). If you don’t have insurance still in the US, you will have to buy some there, but it is pretty easy. Try to take a few years of records with you from your current insurance to pass on so they know your history & it is easier to get a good rate. You can get an International Permit from AAA, only $15, and ask for it in French. I think this should cover the translation need for the American license. Make sure you carry some of the papers for filling out an accident report (I think your insurance will give them to you). I had a little fender bender after about 3 months living in France– I was distraught, but they invited us to their house, we had appero, and made some new friends! Have a great time!

    1. Thanks for the reminder to get a few years of driving records from our insurance company here in the US, I’m going to add that to the list of things to do between now and Monday 🙂 I love that story about your fender bender. I heard that you can use your American license or an international AAA one for a year but then you have to get a French one. Do you know anything about that? If I can manage to get one from one of the 15 or so accepted states, I can just exchange it for a French one with not too much of a hassle. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for the tips! I’ll take more, if you have any 🙂 Are you in France now?

  6. Well, I say go for the first apartment. You can close off the rooms you don’t use in the winter and like I said put a bunch of candles (in glass jars) in the fireplaces that are non-functional. I think that is the one for you! Good luck with the driver’s license!

    1. I agree with you 100%. I love the candle idea. None of the other apartments have the same charm. I just love all of that space, those doors , windows, balconies, guest bedroom :))

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