I Love questions! I get them all the time when I share our plans, people are understandably curious and I’m always happy to talk about our trip. I’m putting these here for those who may not quite have all the info they want.
Why so long, why not visit for two weeks?
We aren’t going for the purposes of sight seeing, this isn’t a vacation. The purpose of this trip is to immerse ourselves in another culture, and if we could figure out a way to go longer, I would.
Why are you leaving your husband behind?
This is a common question and although it is an easy answer, it evokes a lot of emotion for me, because I’m honestly terrified of living without him. My Husband is staying behind for a few reasons. First of all, this trip would quadruple in price if we added in 6 months of lost income, a lot of sacrifices have been and are being made in order to make this trip possible, and him staying and working has been a part of the plan since it’s initial idea stage. He doesn’t come along to everything we do, he isn’t present at most field trips, he doesn’t make it to every parent-teacher conference, he misses school council meetings and he will be absent for the majority of this trip, it is what it is.
Why France? Why Aix?
This is an easy answer for me, I actually didn’t pick it at all! Last year a friend of mine starting talking about her idea to take her kids to France, I thought it was such a great idea that I decided to steal it right out from underneath her. She had a few basics already decided upon, and location was one of them.
Aren’t you afraid your kids are too young to appreciate the experience?
No, not at all. Kaleb was 3 on his first international trip and he learned a lot, kids are never too young for a new experience.
Isn’t that going to be expensive?
Yes, indeed it will. I’ve said from the beginning that we wouldn’t go if it meant we had to live an extreme lifestyle, and we didn’t stop buying soap, we didn’t sell our house to make this work but we have and continue to make sacrifices in order to make our trip happen. Rent and travel costs make up the majority of the cost of the trip, cost of living won’t be an extreme adjustment, I’ll just be paying for food, cellphone, Internet etc. in a different place.
How will you get around?
Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.
Planes will take us to Marseille, trains or cars will take us to Aix, our feet will show us the world! We will rely heavily on walking and local buses and trains, maybe buy a few used bikes, maybe rent a car on a long weekend. A good location and a great pair of shoes will be super important, I imagine.
Where will you live?
The idea is to rent a furnished apartment, hopefully one very close to our friends who will be there at the same time. It will be….interesting to put that amount of trust into a real estate agent.
Update : The agent thing didn’t work out at all, despite my best efforts. However, We’ve found a great apartment with two bedrooms (One queen, two singles) just a few blocks away from our travelling companions and not a large distance from (hopefully) great public school.
Will you work? What will you do all day while your kids are at school?
I will not work. It would be a much more difficult process to obtain a working visa with dependants, it is much easier for me to promise I won’t work and prove I won’t go broke, no babysitting, no English tutoring, nada. As for what I will do all day, well I’m already a stay at home mom, so that won’t change too much, aside from figuring out how to do everything in a new language and without clothes dryers, and no back yard.
So, you speak French?
I’m working on it.