Thursday, May 19, 2011

OMG We Need Visas!

I have not wanted to jinx this major development, but I think I’m finally safe saying that we’ve sold the house. After having the house on the market for 14 months and making sure we left it in show-able condition EVERY SINGLE DAY, we have a signed contract and a closing date of June 30. OMG. So now the real fun begins. Packing, sorting, gathering documents, figuring out where we’ll live for the summer, moving all our financial accounting online, getting visas! It didn't even occur to me until about a month ago that we would need visas to stay in Europe for a year. I figured that since we won't be in any one country for more than 3 months at a time, our gold-standard US passports would get us anywhere we wanted to go. Wrong! A quick Internet scan brought up dozens of sites and posts about a "Schengen Visa. "A what? Sounds like a bad line from The Producers. But the Schengen variety of visa lets you stay in a group of European countries that roughly mirrors the EU for up to 3 months. You then have to leave for at least 90 days and then you can come back in for another 3-month period. Well, that won't work unless we plan a couple stints in Africa or the Middle East. The closest we'll come to that is a week or so in Morocco -- and that'll be plenty exotic for this particular trip. More research required. It's likely we'll end up having to go to the French Embassy for long-term stay visas. The prospect of cutting through the infamous French red tape is not a pleasant one, but we'd better get used to it.


  1. Congrats on selling the house! I couldn't imagine putting our house on the market right now.

    Good luck with your visa research.

  2. Such a beautiful millstone in a very desirable area had to sell eventually even in this market and economy. That one time I was at your place left such an impression. I adored your home and its furnishings and decorations. You have terrific taste and great organization.

    Are you sad to not have your home anymore or just mostly relieved to not have that millstone? For me, I'd be torn between the two desires: the comfort of home vs the freedom and adventure of travel.