Getting prepared

There’s an online forum that I look at each morning (one of our Favorite Links in the right column) where expats living in or moving to France can pose questions and share their experiences. One of the threads that caught my eye is entitled “Why France? And why not…” which the moderator had hoped would generate a discussion about why people would want to move to this country in particular rather than elsewhere in western Europe, for example, or even just change locations within their homeland. That latter point, she notes, would avoid any dealings with immigration and keep you in familiar surroundings (food, language, culture, friends) that could be especially important for retirees. Since it’s a forum for people who already live in France or are seriously considering moving here, it didn’t surprise me that the conversation went somewhat off-topic pretty quickly. Instead of addressing what other countries did or did not offer, most people wanted to talk about what drew them here and especially explain how they might have better prepared themselves for the leap. 

Continue reading “Getting prepared”

Before you go

Social Security website brochure

We’ve recently added some more information on our page called “Are You Serious?” that you can access from the tab above. That’s where we’ve assembled an outline of the basic steps we took in preparation for the move and then what we did upon arrival here. With at least a year’s worth of planning before we made the big move to France, we thought that we had everything covered. Actually we did, as far as taking care of our situation at the time but then some things changed and we had to adapt. Opening a bank account at the branch at the end of our street proved much easier than we anticipated compared with what we’d read about the experience of others. Getting money transferred into that new account from our US bank and Social Security benefits direct deposited there too, well, not so easy. Continue reading “Before you go”

USDA Grade A certified

USDA shield
Grade A shield from the USDA website

This morning we had to have Heather at the vet for a 9:10 appointment. That was not a problem when we first made the appointment and lived 5 minutes from the office but since we’re in a hotel over an hour away we didn’t look forward to making the trek during rush hour traffic. As with all other aspects of this move, not to worry. Continue reading “USDA Grade A certified”

Leave a light on; it’s closin’ time

Heather on pier
Heather on the pier

Our Florida vacation is over so it’s time to return to Atlanta for a last visit to Heather’s vet and then all 3 of us can be off to France. For a final look back we all took a walk out to the end of the pier that you see in the featured photo above. Thanks, Cheryl & Pete, for taking such good care of Heather while we were on the road. There’s a Key West tribute to each of you at the bottom of this post. Continue reading “Leave a light on; it’s closin’ time”

Manatees and mermaids

Homosassa springs
Homosassa Springs State Park, Florida

While driving through the Everglades we saw numerous roadside warning signs about crossings of alligators, bears, cougars, panthers, and school children. One segment of the road even has a Roadside Animal Detection System that identifies wildlife approaching the highway and warns drivers with flashing lights of their presence. What we didn’t see, however, were signs for those iconic Florida mammals: manatees…or mermaids, come to think of it. Continue reading “Manatees and mermaids”