Rute: Expat Mum In Luxembourg
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Luxembourg, etc.
I'm Rute Vendeirinho and I'm Portuguese. Last November, 2012, I moved from Lisbon to Luxembourg to join my husband, along with my 3 year old boy and my little baby girl.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I always loved to write and blogging has been in my goal list for a long time. During my pregnancy (2012), I was forced to rest for a few months, so I realized: why not starting my personal blog now? The main issue by then was to choose the main theme... I love to write about so many things: family, kids, motherhood, culinary, travelling...
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I believe that one of my favorite blog entries is 'Going out with kids'.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Luxembourg differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Both countries belong to Europe, so there are a lot of similarities between Portugal and Luxembourg. At the same time, there are a few details that make a huge difference, making the adaptation just a little harder. For example: I was so used to have sun and warm weather throughout the year. And sea... Every time you miss the sea in Lisbon, you just go out for a walk by the Tejo river, or take the car and drive a few kilometers to the beach. Finally, the mixed cultures you can find here. I wasn't used to that, but I totally love it as you learn so much about people.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Luxembourg? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I had a few months to prepare myself, but of course it's almost impossible to predict everything. Anyway, I believe it was the right decision for us as a family, I'm very happy with it and I'm sure I would do the same way once again.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
A while ago, I asked a Nordic friend for family friendly restaurants, with play area, where I could have an early dinner with my kids. Suddenly, her friendly expression just disappeared and I got literally this answer: 'Children are supposed to be at home! If you want to go out, you should leave your kids at home!’. My feelings were a little mixed up by that moment, but then I just realized that this is a perfect example of the culture shock you have to get used to. Most Latin people go everywhere with children, we are always celebrating life in family, even at night sometimes. We are simply used to it! :)
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Luxembourg?
- Firstly, sign a job contract before moving. It's amazing how many families arrive everyday believing that's easy to get a new job once they're here.
- Then, even if you are shy, join the local communities to get to know new people and get an easier integration. Web communities like InterNations help a lot in this process (I did it myself and I still do).
- There are also the British Ladies Club and American Women’s Cub (among others) that are excellent groups to socialize with people who have the same interests as you.
How is the expat community in Luxembourg? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I've found the expat community simply great. Most people here are willing to know you if you show some interest on getting to know them as well. After all, we are all in the same situation, right?
How would you summarize your expat life in Luxembourg in a single, catchy sentence?
Great family life, with great new friends from all over the world.