Oh my goodness. We’re really doing it. We found a house and sent off our contract and security deposit last night.
So. It’s now officially official.
WE’RE MOVING TO FRANCE!
Next up: shopping for plane tickets. We’re aiming to move on February 1st. Which is just 6 short weeks away.
I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.
I’ve been talking about the possibility of this move for months and curious readers have sent in lots of smart questions about the whole adventure. I’ll answer some below.
1) Why are you doing this?
Mostly, it’s because we can. My husband and I both work at home and the kids aren’t in high school yet. We’ve always talked about doing something like this and realized if we didn’t make it happen soon, it wouldn’t happen at all. We hope an experience like this will be very formative for our family and will help our children have more world-minded viewpoints. We are planning to go for a year, but would definitely consider extending our time there if it makes sense.
2) Do you speak French?
Un peu. I studied French in high school and for 2 semesters in college, but I can only remember a few words and phrases. I better get working!
3) Will you keep blogging while you’re there?
For sure. I’m pretty much addicted. Plus it’s my job. I’ll be reporting on all our adventures in case you’re curious to see what a year abroad for a family with young children is like.
4) How did you decide where to live?
Good question. After lots of research, we narrowed our country choice to France. I wasn’t interested in living in Paris (families of 8 don’t always make good city neighbors), but I wanted access to the city. So we looked for towns within 1 or 2 hours of Paris with a direct train. Then it came down to finding an actual house. We wanted something that would fit our large family, was furnished and was in our price range. The house we found (it’s in the countryside of the Normandy region) is amazing! I’ll tell you all about it in a separate post.
5) What about your husband’s job?
His job will remain exactly the same. He works for K12.com as the Director of Foreign Language Curriculum. K12 is based in Washington D.C., but because their offerings are online, Ben Blair can work from anywhere.
6) What are you doing for school for your kids?
K12 is an easy choice for us because of Ben Blair’s work. But we’re determined to help our kids master French as soon as possible, so we’re also looking into the local schools or hiring a tutor. I’ll keep you updated as things develop.
7) What about practical things like selling your house? Getting a car while you’re there? Renter’s insurance and health insurance? Your kids yearly doctor visits?
Some of these things are easy. For example, we rent our house here in Denver and our contract is month-to-month so we can leave at any time. Simple. Other things are more complicated. But we’re working through the challenges one by one. Whenever I have a good tip, I’ll let you know. In fact, I’m considering writing a weekly post where I can discuss some of these practical things. Is that a feature you would like?
8) Are you scared?
Terrified. I keep remembering when Ben Blair and I lived in Greece. Those first few months were so challenging! But ultimately, being there was wonderful for us as a couple and influenced our marriage and our lives in hugely positive ways. I hope (and suspect) the same will be true for our year in France.
Watercolor of Dinan, France by Wayne Roberts