“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” -Marilyn Monroe
It feels a bit strange at the moment to look back and think how different our plans were only a few months ago.
Not that we have really had set plans at any point in time I suppose. We have thought and debated and changed our minds and gone in circles about what to do this year, its about enough to drive a person crazy! But, we'd had the goal in mind to live somewhere were we could try to immerse a bit more, put the kids in school, and learn the language.
But, these really annoying visa rules don't help, they actually really complicate things!
Anyway, we showed up at the Prague Police/Immigration office, on a very snowy cold day after a long trip. We met our friendly helper, who supposedly had everything in order so they would grant us more time. But, no such luck. Now they were telling us we had to show a 1 year lease in Prague if we wanted more time. Well, we weren't going to do that and were feeling slightly annoyed that our helper didn't know this! So, here we were with a visa about to expire. Actually the worst part about this at the moment was that we had a car registration that was about to expire and guess what? You have to have a visa to register a car in Czech. A new rule, perfect!
It was feeling like nothing was quite going as planned. We were feeling a bit fed up with it...
What's the big deal, you might wonder? Well, we'd planned to keep more of a home base because moving a bunch of stuff all of the time is a pain in the you know what. It was nice traveling and having a place to come home to in Prague. We chose Italy so we could be central in Europe and keep this up. Unfortunately this didn't seem possible now...
So what can we do? Well, we could spend the rest of our time already planned at the house in Italy, but then have to leave the Schengen Zone (a zone of countries including Italy, France, Czach Rep. Germany, Belgium and Spain. We could have started over again and applied somewhere else like Spain or France which we'd been considering, but it was just feeling like so much work and expense, and we were tired of it.
Closest options to leave the zone are Croatia or England. If we stay out for a few months we get a few more months back in the zone and repeat. Doesn't sound so bad, but its just the logistics, and the stuff. We now have to somehow fit all of our stuff in our car or pay to store it or make multiple trips places.
Funny though, once we got our heads around the idea of getting rid of a good portion of our stuff and traveling more, it started to feel really good! We were now excited to lighten the load and live a little freer.
Our tentative plan for the coming year now is... Italy till the end of April, Croatia in May/June, maybe stop in Greece, then head back through Austria, Slovenia, Germany, Belgium and on to England for a few months to reset our time again. Then head south through France and Spain before the winter. We'll then need to visit Morocco to reset the visa again to return to Spain. From there, who knows!