So…is Luxembourg in Germany? and other questions about expat life

Almost two years ago, my husband arrived home with news: “They’re closing the Business and Research Center here and they’ve asked me to go to Europe.” Because we like to eat, because we like to pay our bills, because we like to live together (considering our 32-year deliriously happy marriage), because my husband has worked so hard, we moved to Europe a month ago. We live in Luxembourg, not in Germany or Belgium. This sweet small country, a bit smaller than Rhode Island, with a population smaller than the Greater Rochester area of NY which we called “home,” is beautiful, with hills and greenery and rivers–and CASTLES!! The language is Luxembourgish, or French or German, and, contrary to popular belief, not everyone speaks English! So Mark and I live in our little apartment in Luxembourg City, within walking distance to City Centre, a grocery store, brasseries, and boutiques, trying to navigate the differences, yet tickled to see any similarities in people and culture.

In the midst of this adventure in a foreign country, we miss our children desperately. Yes, they are adults and intelligent and more than capable, but as my husband works long hours and travels long distances, I yearn for the conversations and shared meals and sneaking twenty-dollar bills into their hands. FaceTime is amazing, but I can’t touch or smell the newly bathed head of my grandson. I’m so grateful for encouragement from my friends “back home,” who would run to help our college-aged kids in a heartbeat, who keep me laughing with silly texts, who remind me I have a mission here just as much, if not more, than in the United States. My husband’s  and my dear sisters don’t forget us, and my smart and witty octogenarian mother surprises me with video calls through Facebook! What a treasure!

Our family slogan, in the midst of frustration and (outright) complaining about the tasks or life in front of us, has been to say  “But the good thing is…” So here, the good thing is my husband has a job he loves. We have a comfortable place to live. We are learning, learning, learning so much. We’ve met some very kind people. We can laugh at ourselves (which is so important when you buy a 200 Euro fish dinner–more on that another time!). We have each other–whether near or across the ocean–we have each other. Yep, that’s the good thing.




25 thoughts on “So…is Luxembourg in Germany? and other questions about expat life

  1. Thanks for the very entertaining morning read! My palms sweat just a little, mentally putting myself in your shoes, but I also have quite a lot of “wow” too! I will very much enjoy keeping up with you on your journey through your very visual and witty writing style!


  2. Diana, I can so clearly hear your voice through your writing. This is a wonderful idea to blog, and I will be an avid reader and fan. Stay positive, dear one! ❤


  3. I look forward to reading of your Luxembourgian adventures. Your humor has always been an interesting treat. On the surface, I am so jealous of you both. The thrill of an advancing career in a new and challenging environment. International travel to a new home base of operations where the history, culture and surroundings are so rich and interesting. Seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. But looking at all the family and friend on the other side of the world, I can see the trap. But the good news is…you will always have 200 euro fish dinners.


  4. Diana! I am going to love hearing about your adventures! How wonderful that you and Mark are able to embark on this wonderful journey! I’ll bet you are missing your family terribly….I know I would! You are an excellent writer and I so look forward to hearing from you! I am sorry that we didn’t really get to connect the last time we came to Parkersburg to the reunion but I really enjoyed singing with Mark in our pick up “family barbershop quartet!” Take care and have a great week!

    Kelly Mazzoni


  5. Diana (& Mark), love your thoughts about being expats! (Does that mean you used to be Pats?) It’s obvious that you have a huge support system with many prayers being prayed for you. Enjoy every minute that you can!


  6. Love this mom! You’ve always been such a great writer- now we know why God gave you such a gift! It’s so nice to read this, makes me feel closer to you. Post pictures and share your experiences! Love you always.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. DIana,
    I loved reading this and can’t wait for the next one. You and Mark are in our thoughts, prayers and conversations, often wondering what you are doing today! Love and miss you, Mary and Scott

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dear Diana, What a great idea blogging your experience is. I loved this first post. Keep them coming! You are in my prayers always as I know exactly what you’re going through. There will be many opportunities for laughter as you learn to navigate your new home. I pray they far exceed the frustrating moments. And I hope you, like I did, cry when it’s time to move back home just like you cried when you left home. Love you. 💗

    Liked by 2 people

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