18 November 2016

Decision Day + 8

Decision Day + 8

It's been 8 days since we decided to move to France - 8 days and a lot of things done!

One sleepless night of research hinted at a plan, and days of follow-through refined it:
  • go through the French consulate in San Francisco; check the long-term visa requirements, and get an appointment
  • create a timeline (mid-November to end of January), with important tasks to complete
  • list risks and mitigations: biggest risk is if my visa is delayed or denied
  • start on the application; meet with our local honorary consulate for advice (whew! that helped a *lot!*) This significantly lowered the main risk, and led us to set our plan more concretely. 
  • make a list of possible / probable additional documents
  • discuss plans with family (yay! everyone is going to help!)
  • settle on a "move" date; arrange a month in a vacation rental, and get the full address
  • buy air tickets, arrange a rental car and first night hotel. Buying tickets early meant we got a good flight for less; if we are delayed, it will cost more - but the consulate visit made this a low risk (of course, it could still happen - fingers crossed not)
  • get travel (health) insurance , including the first 3 months in France; note that it is extendable
  • order marriage certificate
  • test packed the car. We will drive with: 2 people (that would be us), 4 large suitcases (take to France), 2 footlockers (store in California), a cooler, and a few miscellaneous items (whatever else fits, hah!)

Whew! What could possibly be left?!? Well...

Early December:
  • visa appointment in San Francisco; see what else they want. Perhaps a letter of good conduct from the police. I called them; they need an official request from the consulate to do this.
  • get a better idea of whether my visa will go through or be delayed (more fingers crossed)
  • start getting rid of things: sell, donate, toss
Late December:
  • final medical appointments, get any prescriptions we need to last us till we find a doctor in France
  • finalize packing
  • drive to California
Early January:
  • visit family
  • wait for visa; supply any missing documents (low risk of delay)
  • sell car
Late January:
  • fly to Atlanta, drive to Florida; visit family
  • fly to France:
    • get rental car; make sure all 4 suitcases fit (low risk)
    • stay first night in Toulouse
    • drive to our apartment (near Montpellier, on the Mediterranean), check in!
  • start integrating :-) 

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