It has been a roller-coaster 48 hours. First, the elementary school with which we had a Skype interview at 5am EST accepted our girls! We didn’t think that the interview went so well because at the end of the interview, they suddenly weren’t sure if they had 2 spots available. This school was our first choice, because we really liked the person that interviewed us, and although it is bilingual, most of the classes are in French only.
Next, LODGIS (the real estate agency we are using) confirmed that the apartment we wanted was available! We had read that finding an apartment in Paris was difficult, and until now it had been quite a frustrating experience. The agency had requested copies of our passports, paychecks, tax returns, and more. Before sending all of this sensitive information I read plenty of reviews about the agency and they all sounded good, so we proceeded. Although the apartment is a little more expensive than what we had budgeted, it is within five minutes walking distance from the girls’ new school.
Last, the girls’ current school informed us that they weren’t going to make us pay the penalty for taking the girls out of school early. What a relief! They didn’t have to do that and we really appreciated their kind gesture since our kids have been there for 5 years.
The only problem is that the apartment isn’t available until October 14th. So now what do we do? We have tickets to leave on October 1st, should we change them? On one hand, the girls would miss 2 weeks of school in Paris if we were to go later. I feel like the sooner we get there the better, so they don’t get too far left behind. On the other hand, we would have to rent an AirBnB from the 2nd to the 14th, when our apartment becomes available. That’s a pretty major expense.
Not to mention… we don’t exactly travel light. Sina’s passion for fashion means that we will be taking full advantage of our elite status on United which allows us to take 3 bags per person and up to 70 lbs each bag! This factor must always be taken into consideration in our travel plans. Leaving on the 1st means getting all 12 bags to another apartment somewhere just outside the city (there is nothing available within our price range in the city center), and then moving all 12 bags to the apartment again once it becomes available.
Traveling with 12 large bags can also put a crimp in our summer plans. What if we plan to spend July and August in Italy or Greece? We certainly can’t take the bags with us. Maybe we will have to find a storage unit in Paris and come back for them before returning to the US in August. Most people would think we’re insane for traveling with so many bags but it is a burden we have accepted as part of our lives. We absolutely love dressing up as a family, and so traveling with 12 bags it is.
I wonder what the future holds for us after this year. It was a struggle to come back to Charlottesville after spending three months in Spain this summer. Imagine how we will feel coming back after a year in Paris! It gives us a bit of an uneasy feeling that we have a house in Charlottesville with our menagerie of pets that we love so much, and that we really don’t know where we will want to be as of August 2019. Hopefully we will have some kind of epiphany before then and the future will become clear.
For the moment, we have decided to change our ticket to leave Saturday October 13th. Even though the school in Paris will be less expensive than our school in Charlottesville, we will be spending significantly more money over the next year, so we need to save wherever possible. Spending thousands of dollars to go 2 weeks earlier just doesn’t make sense. So we have one more month to go to get our lives in order before we head to Paris. Today I spent the morning running around from store to store, stocking up on a year of cat food (for our 6 cats) tick and flea medicine, air conditioning filters, batteries, light bulbs, and other supplies so that the house-sitters can easily take care of the house while we are gone.
It’s amazing. 2 weeks ago we had no idea we were going anywhere. Now we have 4 tickets to Paris, a school, an apartment and house-sitters, and we can’t wait to get there!