Chapter 2: The Move

Living the Dream

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I’m here! In just two months I’ve transitioned from a starry-eyed optimist to a legal resident of France.

I can hardly believe it myself.

It took the efforts of my amazing friends in the US and in France to make it happen. I will honor your privacy and not call you out by name, however, you know who you are. I am forever grateful for your time, your sweat and muscle, and for your love and encouragement. Truly, I am the luckiest person in the world because of the friends and family that surround me.

The journey

So… the move started immediately after I returned from France in July.

Cleaning out
First was the sorting out of a lifelong collection of “stuff.” Then, an estate sale and a clothing sale which were held over two weekends. (Of course I would choose July to make this move. It’s the second hottest month of the year in the Low Country of South Carolina.)

The Visa
In between, the preparation and paperwork for a long-stay visa and a visit to the French consulate in Atlanta were necessary to keep things rolling along and legal.


Empty house
By mid-August (THE hottest month in the Low Country) my son and friends helped me move everything out of the house in Beaufort. A bit of my most precious belongings went to a small, climate-controlled warehouse space, some to my friends’ homes for safe keeping, some to consignment stores in Beaufort, and lots to my son to sell on eBay.


By the time I left Beaufort to say my final goodbyes to sons in Alabama and Atlanta, I was down to ONLY a carful of stuff.


Oh…I should say a “rental car” full of stuff. Along the way I was in a wreck and my old, faithful Acura was declared a total lost. Actually, it was great luck. I needed to dump it anyway before my departure to France.


Deep cleaning
With the expert help of my daughter-in-law, who actually throws out refrigerator items according to the expiration dates, I condensed a carful of stuff to one large suitcase, one carry-on suitcase, and a backpack.

OK, I must confess. My son is shipping two more 18″x18″x16″ boxes to Uzes.

Saying goodbye
After two months of exhausting work, after imposing on almost everyone I know, after eating every Southern fried food item I could stuff into my mouth, and after a memorable farewell party with friends, I was on my way to my new life in France.

Mooching a place to stay in Beaufort
View of the marsh from my friend’s house


Fried green tomatoes and fried chicken
Whistlestop Cafe in Birmingham, Alabama, made famous by Fannie Flag’s book and movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes”


Landing in France
This trip I took the route to France through Atlanta, to Toronto, to Paris, to Marseilles. Originally, I planned to take a train from Paris to Nimes. However, as luck would have it, a train strike on the day I was to land in Paris was announced in time for me to change my plans. Instead of the train, I flew from Paris to Marseilles.

I’m not certain I would recommend this route because there is a six hour layover in Toronto. However, it did give me time to take a shuttle to the nearby Sheraton for a manicure, pedicure, and a decent meal before the long flight to Paris.

Charles deGualle Airport


Almost home
On Tuesday, September 10, I arrived in Marseilles, France. My dear friend, Nandeen, picked me up at the airport and drove me two hours to her home in Nimes. In three days we have talked, laughed and hussled through one task after another to make all the final arrangements for my move to Uzes.

My move-in goal is Tuesday, September 27.

Stay tuned to find out “How to move into a new apartment in France in just 7 days.”
Learn how to navigate your way through the following activities that are required to take an empty apartment and turn it into a livable home.
French bank account
credit cards
basic household items



10 replies »

  1. I am finally getting a chance to catch up on the “back issues” of Barefoot Blogger. I cannot wait to come and see this beautiful place and meet Nandeen and your other friends. I am looking forward to your showing me how to hang out like a local : ) Miss you!


    • I visited Marseilles on business one day and this time only to the airport. I hope to return some day. Not going to ask why you got to know the police!


  2. Bonne chance mon ami! What a great adventure! I know you’ll love it and will take advantage of all opportunities to travel to other great places. Enjoy! xo


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