Regret moving to Portland Oregon

Bridges all over the world Leni Keck-Escalada is a globetrotter, as it is in the book

Leni (Helene) Keck-Escalada actually wanted to become a teacher. That is why she studied French and mathematics for teaching in Tübingen, passed the state examination and could have made a career in the profession she had dreamed of as a small child. Would have . . .

Indeed, the market for vacancies for educators at the end of the 1980s, when the native Sontheimer graduated, was anything but rosy. “Unfortunately there were hardly any jobs for teachers at the time,” remembers Keck, who, in retrospect, does not regret the development at that time. "Because, in my opinion, it was actually the best decision to retrain as an application IT specialist." Keck ended up at the global Daimler-Benz group in Stuttgart - a step that would have a decisive impact on her future life.

Leni Keck, who grew up in Brenz and spent her school days in Giengen, has always been very fond of traveling - and so she was drawn out into the world at an early age. Her favorite destination was once France, and she has been drawn there several times. But then she first accepted an invitation to Portland in the US state of Oregon - and during these four weeks of vacation she discovered her love for the United States. “In 1997 I moved to Portland because Daimler wanted to set up a truck project there.” Initially, it was only a move in installments, Keck kept her apartment in Stuttgart for the time being. After a year, Daimler moved the project to São Paulo, Brazil - and the globetrotter, who loves to travel, went with them. "But this time with a container and my belongings."

Before that, Leni Keck had taken another decisive step in her life: she had started dancing tango in Stuttgart - her second passion besides traveling. In Portland she had continued with the "Tango Argentino" and thereby also made various friendships. But it didn't stop there: By moving from North to South America, she came a little closer to her dream of taking a tango course in Buenos Aires one day. And as fate would have it, it was not only possible for her, there she also met her future husband Alex Escalada, a typical “gaucho”, dance teacher and, like her, a world traveler. “We got married only six months after our first meeting. It was real, great love, ”says Keck. The wedding took place in Buenos Aires, the church wedding was held in 1999 in Ulm Minster. “That was important to me.” And a short time later the two left the South American continent and settled again in Stuttgart.

But unlike in earlier times, Leni Keck no longer liked the old homeland. After only one year, she was once again attracted to adventure and moved back to the west coast of the USA. She found a job as a project manager at Siemens, from Seattle she looked after many of the group's customers and successfully organized countless projects. A return to Germany seemed a long way off for her at the time.

In the end, private reasons tipped the balance to move closer to the old home again. Six years ago Leni Keck moved to Zurich, Switzerland, “because I wanted to be closer to home and with my family”. Switzerland is a multicultural and international country - and her current position as project manager still enables her to get around world history. "Germany, England, USA, Chrina: It remains exciting and I am never bored," says Keck. But she also enjoys being at home with her family and friends within three to four hours

What the future brings? Leni Keck doesn't know that very well herself. “But I am still drawn out into the world.” One thing is certain: Switzerland will not have been the last center of her life.

Participants wanted for bridges all over the world

Also this year, emigrants as well as district residents staying abroad for a short time have the opportunity to send their own greetings to their homeland in the Christmas edition of the Heidenheimer Zeitung.

And it's very easy: send a short email to the editor in charge, Mathias Ostertag ([email protected]) and the readers of the Christmas HZ can look forward to many exciting articles from all parts of the world.