Thursday, October 6, 2022

Summer Move to Luxembourg

 I don't write about my job much, mainly because I prefer to concentrate on my writing. But my career as a diplomat is soon coming to a close, as I intend to retire after one more year, thus allowing me to focus full-time on being a novelist. Since 1993 when I first moved overseas to work at the American Embassy in Moscow, I have been moving every 2-4 years to different countries. It has been exciting, but the process of constantly moving also wears on a person after many years of doing it. So this year, after moving from Rome to Luxembourg, I decided I've done enough with the Foreign Service, and now it is time to try to simply be a writer.

My wife and I left Rome in mid-July and had to do what is called 'Home Leave' in the United States. It's a requirement for US diplomats, so that we don't lose touch too badly with our home country. Home Leave typically lasts about a month and a half. Since our two sons were in Wisconsin, but I was also trying to figure out places that might be interesting for my retirement, we settled on St Louis as the place to stay. It was close enough to Wisconsin for us to easily drive up to visit our sons, but it allowed us to check out whether or not we would like St Louis. This city has the most famous chess club in America, which was a big consideration for me, as I'm passionate about playing serious tournament chess. The photo below is me at the World Chess Hall of Fame, across the street from the famous St Louis Chess Club. 

We were surprised at how much we liked St Louis. I don't think we'd have had such a great experience, except that we lucked out and happened to stay near the fabulous Tower Grove Park. There is a reason this is the one US city park to be designated as a National Historic Landmark. It is easily the nicest park I have seen, and the idea of living nearby (there is also a botanical garden adjacent to it) and getting to walk there every day is highly appealing. There is no guarantee we will settle on St Louis as the place for us to retire, but I'm definitely checking out houses in the park area.

In late August, we arrived in my final overseas diplomatic posting of Luxembourg. It's a nice way to cap my career. It's one of the wealthiest and safest countries in the world. I absolutely love that it has such a brilliant public transportation system, and it is completely free.

The first weekend, a new colleague from work drove my wife and me to see the ancient Bourscheid Castle in northern Luxembourg.  It was a great way to start life in a new country.

Our apartment is very near the center of the small city. The photo below was taken just a short walk away, and it highlights how gorgeous the city is. It is built over multiple levels and everywhere you look there are ruins of old castle walls. You can click the photos to get a better look at them.

My wife and I are definitely happy to get to spend our final year overseas in such a lovely place!

1 comment:

  1. That would be a fantastic place to live. Reminds me of Edinburgh - you can see the castle from everywhere.
    Glad you have a place to return to in the states.