Needless Worry

If I could harness my imagination for all the possible things that could go wrong and turn it into something constructive I could write fiction and probably make a mint.

I’m not typically prone to worry but I had so much riding on this that my mind went into overdrive.  Did I have all the paperwork (even though I’d triple checked), was the fact that I was renting, instead of staying at my home address that I’d given, going to be a problem, would I get from one appointment to the other on time, did I get on the wrong train (my ticket had no seat assignment but the train required reservations – but then it’s a small station with only one train in that direction at that time – worry defies logic) … ???

Since I’m an American I require a Visa de Long Séjour, a long stay visa, to stay in France more than three consecutive months.  The visa process is twofold: first I had to complete paperwork in the US providing documentation of identity, proof of health insurance, proof I had a place to live, and proof of financial means during my entire stay; then I had to notify the French authorities of my arrival and later provide further paperwork and pass a physical in France.

Completing my long stay visa was critical to all the plans I’d made.  I had not only given up my apartment but I had sold or donated all my furniture and most of my household goods and sold my car.  So I was fully committed to staying in France for at least a year.

All my worries were pointless (as worry tends to be).  I didn’t over sleep, the taxi was on time and so was the train.

Due to the train schedule I knew I had to wait in Limoges a while before my doctor’s appointment so I decided to wait at the clinique.  I checked in and told them I was very early (1 hour) but that wasn’t a problem and the doctor saw me a half hour early.

When they called me I was directed to a dressing room.  I understood that I needed to undress but I didn’t understand the rest of what he said.  I didn’t see an exam gown so I waited for someone to bring one.  The doctor opened to back door to the dressing room, gave me an odd look and said in English “Take off your cloth; include the bra.”  In France you don’t use a gown.  You just take off your upper clothes and walk up to the machine for the x-ray.  It’s just you the doctor & the x-ray machine in a private room.  No false modesty here.

The OFII (immigration office) is across town from the clinique and I had worried about getting there on time after my exam.  When I walked out of the clinique I found an available taxi and headed for the office.  (I had previously been worried about having to call a cab and wait for its arrival.)  I made it in plenty of time and everything went smoothly with the paperwork.

I can’t tell you what a relief it was to get the second stamp in my passport!

So now I’m legal until next June.  To stay another year I will need to start processing the paperwork here in April.  Hopefully by that time I will have several things taken care of with my house and have a better handle on things in general – including my imagination.


About Joie du Voyage - Joy of the Journey

I'm following my long term dream of retiring in France. I arrived in France June 2015 and moved into my new house on New Year’s Eve. I’m experiencing challenges with ongoing renovations but it hasn’t dampened my spirit. Now I’m settling into life here, joining in the local community, enjoying visits from family and friends, and exploring other areas of France. * My personal motto: Don’t take life too seriously - or eternity too lightly. *
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One Response to Needless Worry

  1. jerryday says:

    What an adventure. Glad to hear you’ll be there for a while. Things will come together, just like it did for your long stay visa.



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