Meet the expats: Gabriel Valz-Gen
Originally from Lima, Peru, Gabriel Valz-Gen worked in Madrid before moving to Luxembourg nine years ago, where the 38-year-old has since started a family.
What brought you to Luxembourg?
Life. If you had asked me nine years ago “would you relocate to Luxembourg?”, I would probably have answered: not really. But the opportunity came. I used to work at KPMG in Madrid and I had the opportunity to come to Luxembourg and I did not hesitate. You are now probably thinking what a change! If you imagine that at the time Clausen did not exist, it was really a change but it was a good decision and I have never regretted it.
What helped you get settled in Luxembourg?
I can think of two words to answer this question: Diversity and Family. I have met many people with different nationalities and cultures in Luxembourg. This is for me one of the most interesting experiences of living here and the good thing is that you do not necessarily feel like a foreigner (at least it was my case). While being in Luxembourg I also met my wife. Now we have a small family and are planning to stay around for a while.
What do you like most about Luxembourg?
It is interesting but I really feel that Luxembourg is my home. Among the various things I like from Luxembourg, quality of life is on the top of my list. Luxembourg is safe, there are many parks and playgrounds for kids, cultural activities, plenty of options to do sport and very good food. When it is hot and sunny (I would not mind if it were more often) Luxembourg can really be a paradise.
If you could change one thing about Luxembourg, what would it be?
The first thing that comes to my mind is “not much” but then if I think further there might be one thing I would change: housing prices. For people settling in Luxembourg it is sometimes difficult to find a place at a correct price. If the plan is to buy a property then it gets even more complicated. This is a well known issue in Luxembourg so hopefully is something that will change in the future.
What tips would you give new arrivals?
I would say you need to be patient. Patient because at the end it will happen – there will be nice sunny days, you will find a nice place to rent or buy, you will find a place in the Crèche or Maison Relais for your kids, you will meet nice and interesting people, you will find the food you like to eat and you are looking for, you will find your favorite restaurant, you will find your sport association and even a beach. Luxembourg is evolving and has a big appetite for new things, so there are always surprises. One of these days you might even find a Peruvian restaurant in Luxembourg…