Thursday, November 17, 2011

The move encore and feeling like an SDF

As planned, we are still in the process of moving.  I think this must be the longest, most drawn out move ever!  I'm starting to feel like it will never end!

We are still at Lionel's parents' house in the south.  Tomorrow we leave to head to Bordeaux where we will be staying the night and visiting with his grandfather in his nursing home.  Then on Saturday morning we are heading to Carcassonne.  We are going to spend the afternoon visiting Carcassonne (because it's a city I have always wanted to visit and never been to and it's mostly on our way) and then stay the night in Carcassonne intra muros.  Sunday morning we are getting up bright and early to drive the rest of the way to Barcelona to catch our cruise which leaves Sunday late afternoon. 

I'm a little sad that I won't have any time to visit Barcelona, as I have never been, but oh well.  I'm happy to see Carcassonne and that's where Lionel's parents wanted us to stop to break up the drive some, and since they are the ones who are driving, I can't really complain.  They will be staying an extra few days in Barcelona because they've never been either, and we will be heading off on our cruise to visit Alicante, Spain; Malaga, Spain; Funchal, Madeira; and Tenerife, Canary Islands before spending 8 days relaxing while we cross the Atlantic.

Once we arrive in Ft. Lauderdale we have a friend of mine, Amy, who is coming to pick us up and we are spending a few days with her before heading up to my parents' house in Ohio, where we will be staying until we find real, full-time employment and can get a place of our own.

I hope we will be able to find decent jobs quickly (though I'm really freaking out about this because of the unemployment rates and the crisis and everything) because I really want to be able to get out of my parents' house as soon as possible (no offense mom and dad!) and get our own place.  For the moment, even though we haven't at any point been without a roof over our heads, I'm feeling kind of homeless.  And I guess I technically am an SDF (sans domicile fixe or homeless person) because I don't have a permanent (or even semi permanent) home.  While we have a place to sleep and a roof now, and we will in the US, I won't feel stable or like this move is really over until we have our own place.  Someplace where we can unpack ALL of our things (instead of just what we need to get by) and do things how we want, when we want.  I'm sick of living out of suitcases and having to eat what people tell me to eat (even if it's good and I can't really complain) and always having to be considerate and keep my little bit of mess controlled and of not really having a space that is mine.  Unfortunately, and I'm not trying to be pessimistic, I fear that we won't have our own place for another couple of months which really makes this feel like the move that never ends!

I really can't believe we are leaving France in a few days.  So far everything has gone more or less according to plans, with a only few little snags along the way.  The only remaining issue is transferring our money to my American bank account, but hopefully (and I'm really crossing my fingers on this one because I don't want get to the US and discover that our money has disappeared somewhere in cyberspace!) we have figured that one out and the money will transfer while we are on the boat.  Luckily with all the people who came to visit and the increased luggage allowance of the cruise, we are able to get all of our things back to the US without having to pay to ship a single box!  It only took 12 suitcases (I know, it seems insane, but I had a lot of things I had brought from the US over the past few years thinking I would be in France for much longer than this) and 7 different people (us included) to get it all back across the Atlantic!

I must admit that I'm getting more and more stressed about this move.  It's kind of funny because when I decided to move to France, I wasn't stressed about it at all, I was just excited.  But now I am very stressed and I shouldn't be because I'm going back to my country, to all the things I know, to my family, to my friends, to everything that used to be so familiar.  But now it is freaking me out and I keep asking myself if we made the right decision.  We were starting to establish ourselves here.  We had a decent apartment (even if we didn't want to stay in Paris much longer), jobs (even if we didn't particularly like them), a whole apartment full of furniture (that we finally managed to sell) and we were creating a life together.  And now we are back to having next to nothing (except each other and a furball waiting for us in the US) and starting all over from scratch.  We have to look for jobs, which I hate more than anything in this world, buy cars, get an apartment, get some furniture, find cell phones (which are very expensive in the US!), open bank accounts for Lionel, get a drivers license for Lionel, find health insurance (damn the US for that one!) and probably a million other things I'm not even thinking of at the moment because it stresses me out too much and really makes me wonder what we are thinking.

But I guess it doesn't matter now.  I can have all the doubts I want, but we are still going to move, especially now that we have gotten rid of everything we have here in France.  So I guess all I can do is look forward and start this new adventure in the US.  After all (and is it a bad sign that Lionel and I are already telling ourselves this?) we can always come back to France if we want, though we are giving the US at least 2 years before making that possibly very expensive decision!


  1. Change (especially big change) is always hard and scary. But you'll get through it and will probably be very happy you made the decision to do so. Even with the economy and living out of suitcases and all that, there will be something about coming home that will make it all worthwhile. Good luck with everything and let me know your address when you get back state side!

  2. Hello Michele,
    I found you as I was googling Villejuif trying to figure out if it would be a safe place for my Fiancee and I to move in Paris. Then I noticed an Auburn shirt. I went to Auburn too. I don't speak French (yet) and my Fiancee is English. I lived in England for about 5 years and this is my fouth move across the pond (I moved back to the USA, then England a second time and now France) France is daunting and expensive, but I am looking forward to it. Moving back to the US was pretty good, but then I had a job which provided insurance! Any pointers on nice neighborhoods south of Paris are much appreciated!