Thursday, July 10, 2014

RLS: Restless Life Syndrome

I've continued my explorations across the world (although I'm really just getting started), so if you enjoyed my chronicles of Copenhagen, my new, all-encompassing web address can be found here.
Facebook works too.

Photos, articles, travels, and opinions will be kept together on this less specific blog.
P.S. I'm currently living in Chicago for a bit :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

On to the next one...

Now that I'm back home living in the United States and no longer enjoying European galavanting, there isn't much to blog about! However, I was offered a last minute summer opportunity working with salmon aquaculture in Alaska! Naturally I couldn't pass that up, so it is my new adventure.  If you'd like to follow along, you can do so here: Beach Babe in Alaska
Enjoy! :]

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hej Hej, Copenhagen

This morning I left my Copenhagen home, otherwise known as the swag pad, and all the people in it that I love.  I’m currently sitting in the Zurich airport killing hours before my flight to Miami, and Denmark is already a past memory.  It’s so strange that in a single day so much can change and an entire chapter of my life is simply closed.  While I am sad about leaving the city that's become home and the people that have become family, I am also someone who looks forward to the unknown future, and there are good things coming my way that I have to get excited about.  I’ll be back in tropical paradise for the summer, living at home and working with my environmental passion in the conservation of Florida.  There is one thing I’m worried about, though, and that’s being bored! After a semester of world travel and 11 roomies there was never a dull moment, and going home will either be a nice break or an uncomfortable loneliness…I’ll have to wait and see.  This reminds me that people have been saying we’ll face reverse culture shock when returning to the states, and I can absolutely see that happening.  There are so many things I’ll miss about Copenhagen that just aren't found in the States, primarily:
  • Easy, clean, fast, public transportation
  • Hygge!
  • Pastries
  • CafĂ© culture
  • My favorite ‘sandwich kiks’ cookies (of which I brought a box home)
  • Walking evvveryywhere
  • Casual professor relationships
  • Biking culture and infrastructure
  • Shawarma! (our favorite late-night food: falafel or chicken pitas)
  • Taking the metro to go party
  • Travel—easy travel
  • Beautiful Danes!
  • Sunny days in the park or by Nyhavn
  • The ‘I’m abroad’ mentality/rationale

There are also things I won’t miss, especially:
  • CIGARETTES—everyone in Denmark smokes…which means you breathe it in all day long
  • Lack of nature
  • Expensive prices for everything (remember that $10 beer I told you about…)
  • Limited selections at the grocery store
  • Bread and cheese for breakfast
    • and stinky cheese!
  • The unbearable mess made by 12 people in 1 apartment
All good things must come to an end, and I can definitely feel it's time.  I've learned all I can learn, about sustainability, travel, and myself; and now it's time to take that home and do what I can with what I've got.  Hopefully I'll make it back to Copenhagen some day, ideally for the summer Roskilde music festival, and try navigating my old routes, reliving my days as a resident. Until then, vi ses Danmark!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Uniquely Danish

Throughout the semester I've captured a few of the many things that are so Danish. Of course I found them much more noticeable back in January when I was in the country for the first time and didn't consider myself a Copenhagen resident.  Nevertheless, here are some things you won't see in the U.S. that I've gotten used to in Denmark.  

liver paste...
a 'traditional' Danish meal: potatoes, root veggies, and pork.

this is an extremely common sight:
blankets on outdoor tables,
regardless of the temperature!
delicious Danish holiday dessert!
curried herring..
pickled herring... 
equivalent of Where's Waldo
street lights for pedestrians!

big or little flush; so smart!
vacuum packed fish at the supermarket...

Danish honey = delicious! also strangely opaque

[stinky] cheese is a Danish specialty!

Danish dessert of berries and whipped cream
that is the ultimate tourist test because of its
pronunciation : 'rood-grood-med-floood'
Danish design is known are some
fun spinning Danish chairs!

not sure if this is exactly Danish...but "Fish Kiss" salon is right on my street, and it's where people allow fish to clean their feet! O.o

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fun in the Sun

Just how I like it.  This past week has been absolutely marvelous with all the spring happenings going on in the city, magnificent weather, and end of semester activities.  My last post about the first of May was only the beginning… Thursday afternoon my housemates (the girls) finally ate at the cafe right beneath our apartment, the one we've been staring at every day when walking to class and peering inside to look at the delicious food.  We went for brunch and it was everything we could have imagined, a quintessentially Danish spread.  In the evening I had a blogger dinner and enjoyed spending time with all the other fantastic writers of the semester over an impressive dinner and a drink voted ‘beer of the century.’ 

so cute, right!? glad we finally made it to our neighbors the cafe
"beer of the century"...the blonde ale

On Friday I was finished with classes at 1pm, just when the weather starts to get warm for the day.  Some housemates and I did some perfectly Danish activities that had been on our Copenhagen bucket list, including climbing the golden spiral staircase on top of the Church of Our Savior, and wandering Nyhavn on a gloriously sunny day with waffle ice cream cone in hand.  After hanging by the water for a few hours we decided to change sceneries, picked up some delicious apple cider Somersby’s at Netto, and took a blanket to the park beside Rosenborg Palace.  I really love the park culture here in Copenhagen as it isn’t something I’m used to, but is the perfect way to get outdoors in the middle of a city. 

this is what we climbed!
at the top

wonderful view of the city

typical sunny day at Nyhavn
doesn't get better than this!

 To finish off the day, the girls in my house took a trip to the upscale part of town called Frederiksberg, where we saw a U2 cover band.  One of the immersion opportunities offered by DIS is a visiting family, whereby a Danish family and student are connected to do fun things all semester long.  It so happens that my friend’s visiting dad is a drummer and invited her plus her friends (me!) along to his band’s gig, hence the Friday night excursion.  It was really fun and a nice change of pace from the club scene in city center, although we were definitely out of place in the wealthy and gay part of town, neither of which applied to us!

Bakken amusement park

Saturday morning a housemate and I woke up to more sunshine and warm weather, a perfect day for our planned DIS day trip to Bakken Amusement Park.  This old park has many more rides than I expected, and some intense ones too! We had fun reliving childhood with candy apples and ice cream cones in between roller coasters, then suffered the old person ailments of queasiness and headaches.  To continue the fun, DIS hosted a picnic next to the beach on Sunday with tons of yummy food (Danish hotdogs are delicious) and field day games like 3-legged races and the limbo.  Highlights include watching my 6-foot tall roommate do the limbo beside a little girl half his height and my other roommate 
play soccer with some Danish kids.  
DIS picnic: limbo when you're 6ft tall...

Now that it’s Monday I’m back to classes—oh wait, only kind of.  My Danish Language and Culture class took a field trip to the Botanical Gardens instead of sitting inside on this beautiful day for our last class.  When discussing favorite parts of our semester I couldn’t help but shout out “today!”  Sunshine in the middle of a blooming park in Copenhagen is truly unbeatable.  It’s difficult to focus on final papers and projects when the weather is finally so magnificent…I have a feeling there will be more sunbathing than studying in my future. But oh well, when abroad!

gorgeous gardens right in the middle of the city, who knew!

Friday, May 3, 2013

May Day!

The first of May is a big deal in Denmark. Traditionally, the holiday commemorates a riot in Chicago back in the 1900s where workers were upset with their hours, and is now recognized in many different countries (strangely enough, not in the US).  So, to celebrate, EVERYONE in Copenhagen goes to a park, called Faelledparken, and enjoys the sunshine and music and festival vibes.  All semester I had been told how wonderful this holiday is, but all the descriptions I heard did not prepare me for the sea of people I joined on Wednesday.  There's no typical reason for the gathering, like there is for a concert or art festival or's just a bunch of people hanging out in the same park. And it was so fun!  I was concerned it wouldn't be warm enough based on the unfortunate weather patterns Copenhagen's experienced. But Denmark came through and the glorious sun shone!

early in the day when you could still see the grass

yes, people bring shopping carts of food and beer

some of the group!