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Why did I choose France?

I grew up in Kansas.

Kansas is affectionately known as “flyover country”. Translation: “There’s nothing there”. While this may not be entirely accurate, I can tell you that Kansas lacks in anything more than a couple of hundred years old.

Food. Can you name a food that Kansas is known for? Me neither. Except for barbeque - which is the best anywhere in the world, in my non-biased opinion. But that’s about it. Nothing else there compares to what you can find in France.

Medieval towns. Check. Roman ruins. Check. Baguettes. Check. Cheese. Check. Wine. Check.

Plus with high-speed trains and cheap flights it’s all so easy to see.

After 4 years of living in France, I don't care that I’m not in Kansas anymore.

I'm Here! I finally made it to Paris. Part 3

Step 9 – Lady of Leisure in Limbo Land

After the whirlwind of the first 3 weeks in February, which included: A trip to the French Consulate in Chicago. Pricing, packing and hauling stuff to Sharon and David’s for the sale.  And trying to figure out what will fit in a pickup truck and a Mini Cooper I get to relax – sort of.

And I couldn’t have made it without help from my former employee Samantha and her husband Tim. They were a huge help with hauling stuff down the stairs for me. I hated being handicapped – but the stairs and my tendonitis did not go together well.

Moving day was a bit touch and go as we had an ice storm the night before – and my brother had a 250 mile drive to make. But he’s a trooper and made the trip with no problems. He’s also a master at packing vehicles and he managed to fit everything in. We made a quick stop for lunch at favorite Mexican restaurant – La Vellansana and then headed to KC. I also make a stop to drop off my cable equipment on the way out of town. Thank you Charter Cable for being open on Saturdays.  It seems like it was all meant to be.

I’m in KC for a few weeks but I still have a lot to do before I leave for Paris. I can now get together with friends and spend time with my sister. We also have a trip to San Francisco planned to visit my Uncle Wally – who just turned 97. But, I have to take care of business first.

Surprisingly, Kansas is one of 14 states that are reciprocal with France for Driver’s Licenses. Since my plan is to stay in France at least 2 years – and hopefully longer, having a French Driver’s License might be a good idea. As soon as I’m able to establish my residence in Kansas I head to the license bureau and can now scratch that item off of my list.

One of the hardest things to do is sell my car. I love my Mini Cooper. I’ve toyed with the idea of keeping it, but that makes no sense. I’ve always had a car. It’s strange to think about being carless.

The other surprising thing is that I’m still filling bags with stuff to take to Goodwill. But if I don’t love it and it’s not going to Paris then it needs a new home.

During this time I’m thinking about which foods from the U.S. that I might miss. I decide that it’s Barbeque and Mexican food and make plans to have lots of each before I leave.

My time in KC flies by and it’s April 1st before I know it. Janet and I are off for a week in the San Francisco area. When we get home I’ll only have a week before I leave. I don’t think that it’s completely sunk in yet that I’m actually moving to Paris.

Step 10 – Adventures in Packing

Being a huge advocate of packing light, and a cheapskate too I’m determined to head to Paris with just 3 pieces of luggage. One checked bag – 50 lbs. max weight, one 22” carry-on roller bag and a tote bag. Having an extra bag not only costs $100, it would mean that I would have to haul it around too, so that's not happening. 

I spend weeks packing in my head, and it all seems very doable. But no, it’s really hard. I end up leaving things behind that might have been nice to have. Editing my wardrobe is a challenge, but then again how many black tops does a person need? And I have to remind myself that they do sell clothes in Paris. I probably packed too many shoes – but that’s normal for me. 

Step 11 – Move to Paris

I can hardly wait! On the day before my flight I'm so excited to check in online. But there's a problem - Delta won't let me check in online. I’m assuming that it’s due to my one-way ticket and their need to verify that I have permission to stay in France. I sweat this a little bit, but don't lose any sleep. Disappointing. 

Leaving is harder than I expected it to be. I shed some tears when I had coffee with my friends Cathy and Kim the day before. And I cried when Janet dropped me off at the airport. I really am moving to Paris!

Yay! At the airport my big bag weighs in at 49 lbs. – the same as at home. I'm relieved. I was worried about having to re-pack at the counter, but I'm good to go. I have TSA pre-check too, so I get to go through the expedited security line - again. I had it for Chicago and San Francisco too. More good karma. 

That’s it. I’m on my way to Paris - something that I’ve dreamed of for many years.

Now the fun begins! I'm looking forward to my new life in Paris. 


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