That's one hell of a background and you're certainly not one to fit stereotypes. You've spent a good deal of time in many countries that top my wish list for wanting to return to spend a significant amount of more time in. Some questions just to satisfy my curiosity if you wouldn't mind?
How's your experience with Dutch (language, country, culture) nowadays? Did you enjoy your long-term stay in SW France? We spent a month in Costa Rica going back a good number of years. Do you ever come across French or Dutch speakers there? Is English spreading significantly? Is crime a problem outside of the capital? I feel like Luxembourg couldn't be any more different than CR. Are you learning Luxembourgeois? I guess I'd love to hear more.... maybe it's time for a log... hint hint
Yes, I'm asking too many qns, I know!
I'll try to answer most..
If you want to live
in another country, you need a desirable profession. Many countries, including Australia have weird ideas about protecting their own. Which means that you can be the perfect person where nobody else can or wants to do it, but the rule says your qualification is inferior.
Let me explain.
A friend of mine worked for 25 years, (15 of them as the head surgeon), as a heart surgeon in the neonatal department of the biggest hospital in Rome. Her qualification is spotless and superior. She speaks Spanish and French very well, decent English and of course Italian.
She immediately received a job offer from the nearest hospital, where they already had lost babies due to distance to the nearest qualified surgeon. Guess what, they fought for 3 years to get her recognized. Nope. She works in Morocco now, for 3x the salary.
Prepare to work in "inferior" positions or ignore the rules.
Yes I liked France, apart from the infuriating bureaucracy.
Yes, many Ticos speak US English for dumb tourists. After all, it is the biggest "industry". Costa Rica has also many gringo ghettos for lazy rich immigrants who refuse to learn Spanish. Those immediately get long term visas.
Yes, I still speak dutch, but I often need to think hard; and I used more here in 12 months than in the 30 years before. In CR and Aquitaine once each I think.
French was definitely far more useful in CR, there are many Quebecois immigrants and a few Belgians. The former are very polite, unlike many US immigrants and thankful for a good repair.
Crime problems? Inside the capital, sure. Burglaries are quite common.
Letzeburgish: Everybody seems to have a different grammar which is extremely confusing for kids. Teachers speak
it, but all books except maths are in German. Your chances to pick it up as a foreigner are grim. There are also hardly any courses.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxembourgish
says that there are 285,000 native speakers.
There are 80,000 Portuguese speakers in Luxembourg and there are 240 million worldwide.
I speak fluent French and German and half decent Portuguese. Hence, during my time here I aim to improve my Portuguese to well, pretty flawless. Or so that it will be hard to find faults in my texts. The small commune of Troisvierges has about 40% Portuguese speakers so I find it easier to adapt to them.