The journey to receive a Long Term Stay Visa for a year in Italy, finding a place to live, shutting down my life in the US, deciding what to ship for a full year, getting my beloved dog's pet passport paperwork and finally the travel to get here ..... What a journey!!
Jake and I are in Paris for 3 nights before our flight to Rome. With all the issues with international flights into Rome I decided to fly nonstop from DFW to CDG and enjoy a few nights in my (so far) favorite city. The journey was so easy. Partly because I truly splurged.
This is a Life Sabbatical following many stressful events in my life over the past 5 years. I sold my house. Sold most of my furnishings. My car. I am taking a lump sum of cash to fund this year. I'm not going frugal. I'm making decisions based on a list of dreams. There have been travel dreams in my head for as long as I remember.
Jake and I are staying at the Four Seasons in Paris. I was more nervous about navigating CDG with my dog, carry on and three over stuffed suitcases than any other part of this journey. Who knew how the Four Seasons could cut through it all? There was an agent to greet me as soon as I entered the terminal. She took my carry on bags and handed me a chilled bottle of Evian and asked me to follow her. She held up her badge and walked me straight to the front of Immigration. I presented my passport, he checked my visa, stamped my passport and welcomed me. And Jake. At baggage claim she whisked my bags into a cart, waved her badge and took us straight to a customs agent who asked to see my paperwork for Jake. After a quick review of each page he stamped the last page and gave Jake a good head/ear rubbing before bidding us farewell.
I had arranged for a car and driver and the Four Seasons agent called while we were in Customs. He had the car at the curb and whisked the bags into the trunk.
Since we landed at 0730 the rush hour traffic was horrendous. He asked me if he could take a route that avoided the highway. I've never enjoyed a ride into Paris so much!!! He took us through parks and explained the Louis Vuiton Foundation before pointing it's extraordinary architecture out. We continued through tree lines boulevards and he stopped so Jake could take a walk and "do his business" after a ten hour flight and 3 hours before/after.
Upon arrival at the hotel there was an assistant manager waiting at the curb to greet us. With a dog cookie for Jake and a Mimosa for me.
This hotel has been on my "ultimate dream list" for over 30 years. I can only say it has far exceeded my wildest dreams.
We were upgraded to a gorgeous suite. Spans half the entire floor with wraparound balconies. A dog bed and bowls awaited Jake. Bowls of flowers, a basket of pastries and juices for me and a bottle of champagne iced and ready.
I realize most on this site do not splurge at this level. I would just say that there are once in a lifetime moments. My arrival for my year in Italy could not have been more extraordinary and special.
Jake and I fly to Rome on Monday and will be greeted by our landlord's son who will deliver us to our new home in Orvieto!!!
My blog is coming soon!!
For anyone who dreams of living in Italy for a year and seeing all of Europe - it is possible!! On any budget!!! Just do your homework to be granted the long term stay visa. Not an easy thing to accomplish unless you have every aspect in order.
Will be back with my blog address soon.
I cannot thank you all for your help in getting me here!
Roberto - you have been amazing!! As have many others!
I now know so much about the logistics for an American to live a fantastic dream! Did you know of the WWII loophole for lease/buy back of French Peugout autos? Amazing deal!!
Back soon after I arrive in Orvieto and complete the steps for being a residenzia!!!!