If you read this post back in November you would know that we were due to be boarding a plane to Paris in four days. Unfortunately there were delays with our visas, lost paperwork and our departure is now booked for 20 February. It could be a blessing in disguise given that the bathroom/kitchen renovation has also blown out well beyond schedule.
Anyway, the next five weeks is likely to pass really quickly with everything we have going on at the moment, so I decided I had better start getting organised for our departure.
I've already started packing, but having had no previous experience living overseas, I have no idea how much stuff I should be taking for twelve months. I just know that when we land it will be Winter in Europe and it will be freezing, so I have bought thermals, a down jacket and waterproof boots.
But let's start with something easy: books. Aside from my French language books, I will be packing the following travel guides.
We have the usual Lonely Planet 'France' guide with a pull-out map of Paris which I'm sure will come in handy, but we also have the less usual Lonely Planet 'Not-For-Parents' guide to Paris which was a Christmas present from a friend.
Of course I have a couple of shopping guides: 'Chic Shopping Paris' and 'Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange'; and lastly, the ultimate luxury travel guide, Louis Vuitton's 'Paris' City Guide.
Yes, I am aware that half the weight in my suitcase will be books, but it's important to be prepared. I might take the Lonely Planet 'France' guide on the plane to distract me from the fact that I hate flying overnight and can't sleep on a plane and remind me that there is a very good reason for why I am putting myself through the torture of 22 hours of flying time.