There are a lot of unglamorous aspects to moving abroad, including the 60+ pages we had to print, fill out, and get notarized over the past month. Almost nothing is electronic and the French government wants original copies of everything (which meant tearing my hair out sending my birth certificate back and forth to be stamped, verified, and verified again.) Luckily Microsoft assigns us agents who made sure we had everything we needed for our appointment at the French Consulate in San Francisco. Our long-stay visas were finally approved this week! Now onto other adult things such as setting up our bank accounts, applying for social security, getting internet/cellular services… did I mention we haven’t even packed yet?
After our trip to the consulate, Ty flew back to see his family on the East Coast while I stayed in the Bay Area for the holidays. It was nice saying my final goodbyes to friends and family back home. “Home” is a word I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I’m sort of in a state of limbo, with parts of me scattered among Alameda, Seattle, and soon Paris. Each city makes up so much of the person I am. I can’t pick just one. The Bay Area will always hold fond memories of family and childhood; Seattle will remind me of gaining my independence and starting my career; Paris symbolizes hope, the beauty of life, and excitement for our future.
Stepping outside of my California bubble made me aware of how big the world is. Sometimes I fear that one city will never be enough and I’ll always be restless for the thrill of making another place my own. Tyler told me we could just be “citizens of the world”… I kind of like the sound of that.