I have been in Luxembourg for about 4 weeks now. It is said that every girl must experience living abroad at least once in her life, and now, here I am.
Why Luxembourg? I will explain another time.
For now, here are a few things that I have learned since arriving:
- •A lot of people think that Luxembourg is in Germany. Poor Luxembourg lives in the shadows of its larger siblings.
- •I can’t even work at a grocery store here with a degree. Every cashier speaks almost five different languages including
Spanish, French, German, English, Portuguese, Dutch, and Luxembourgian.
- • As an American, I feel so deprived of the language and cultural education I received in school growing up. On the other hand, Luxembourg natives are endowed with at least 3 different languages in school, but many feel deprived of other subjects once they reach college. The grass is always greener on the other side.
- •It is illegal for Luxembourg shops to be open on Sundays, except for grocery stores (which are open until 12). Shopping malls are closed and all offices are closed. Most restaurants and cafes are open. If you want to go shopping you have to go 20 minutes to France, Belgium or Germany. This means your choices are to rest and do nothing or travel, not bad choices.
• Luxembourg is incredibly culturally diverse, almost more than any other country in the world. There are people from 15 different countries, not in the EU, in my French class and I am the only American. It’s refreshing.
• The cost of living is incredibly similar to California. This is because the city has a housing deficit, so it resembles San Francisco in some ways, making me feel like home. On the other hand, the minimum wage is 2.000 Euros per month.
• There are totally good places to have American food just as modern, happening and delicious as those I see in SF or New York City.
• The grocery stores and produce are amazingly luscious compared to the US. Think Whole Foods at Safeway prices, and even cheaper. I’m always in awe.
• Unlimited choices of great Belgian beer and Rosé at very cheap prices.
Luxembourg also has their own brewed beer called Diekirch.
• There are really fun and eclectic places to go out, it isn’t boring. Some of my favorites include a live theater restaurant, an American burger place called Brooklyn where a polish guy sings amazing folk Americana music, and café where you make your own spiked hot chocolate. Not that bad for a country whose population is half of San Francisco.
• It’s easy to feel sad, especially if you move here in the middle of winter and the sun hides 80% of the time. I totally underestimated the emotions I would feel relocating my life and leaving so much behind to start new and fresh. The thing I have learned is not to be so hard on myself and to keep going out and meeting new people. Travel. Workout. Enjoy the opportunity that I have. I asked for it, I got what I wanted, now it is time to embrace my gift. Many people will never get the chance.