Sadly apocryphal, the great Liverpool footballer Ian Rush’s famous quote that he couldn’t settle in Italy because “it was like living in a foreign country” is a familiar sentiment for us expats at one time or another.
Rush spent just one season in Turin playing for Juventus before returning to Liverpool. In a later interview, he admitted to feeling homesick at times, but also said “it is one of the best things I’ve done in my life.” And so should your decision to move to Luxembourg.
But, whether we arrive to live and work here for the long haul or just to fulfil a short-term contract, we can all relate to Rush’s feeling of being lost when he didn’t have “someone to hold his hand the whole time.”
Of course, the whole point of Delano’s Expat Guide is to help you stand on your own two feet so that you don’t need any hand-holding. Navigating Luxembourg when you first arrive can be tricky and with three official languages seemingly being thrown at you randomly, it can even be overawing. Ideally, with the help of this guide, you should soon feel perfectly comfortable dealing with daily life, your career, the education systems and the idiosyncrasies of local bureaucracy.
However, as the use of the English language becomes more and more common, it is all too easy to live in an expat bubble in Luxembourg. You can go through life exclusively befriending other expats from your work environment, sports or social clubs, or the parents of your children’s friends at the international schools. And you can keep your interaction with the local community to a minimum nod and thank you in the supermarket, bank or pharmacy.
Make an effort to expand your horizons, however, and you open up a whole world of possibilities. You might even become integrated enough to be on first name terms with your neighbours, personally know the mayor of your commune and cheer on your kids playing for the local sports team.
Befriend a few Luxembourgers and you could discover real insider tips on where to find some exquisite and charming local restaurants or where to find really good bottles of Moselle wine. You will learn some pretty useful life hacks and have a strong and reliable local support network to help out with anything from housesitting to looking after the kids in an emergency. Go so far as to learn Luxembourgish (maybe even take up nationality) and you will not only find that doors open more easily, but you will have the thrill of belonging to quite an exclusive club in global terms.
Delano’s Expat Guide is here to help you feel at home in the grand duchy, but whether you will ever call Luxembourg home depends on you.