Well, my stay in Copenhagen has flown by faster than I thought possible. It feels like just yesterday I had gotten on the plane for my first overseas flight, and now here I am back in my bedroom in the United States.
And boy, do I already miss everything.
One of the biggest things I already miss about Denmark is all the wonderful cafes and bakeries. The coffee and pastries in Denmark are so delicious, and I think their association with Danish hygge is why they’re always so high quality. Wednesday cinnamon rolls at Sankt Peder bakery near DIS is something I’ll definitely miss.
I’ll especially miss my new favorite coffee chain, Espresso House, which always had such a cozy atmosphere. I could’ve spent hours there reading or writing in a journal had I not been a tourist trying to see the whole city and country within a few weeks. Still, I loved stopping by before class to grab an iced coffee, or after class for one of their delicious chicken, mozzarella, and pesto focaccia sandwiches.
Anytime I was doing something close to the water was a highlight for my trip. Since Danes love the water, I knew I had to go cruising along the canal in a go-boat, sitting along the canal for a picnic, or jumping in the harbor. And I can see why they do love the water, because there’s so many fun things to do when you’re surrounded by it!
Even at home in the United States I live close to Lake Michigan, and I’ve always felt so drawn to the water. It made me feel right at home in Denmark.
Another highlight for me was visiting Tivoli with my friends. All of Denmark felt like I was walking through a fairytale, but Tivoli is where all of this energy seemed to culminate. I had a blast walking around the gardens, trying different fair foods, and going on the rides as many times as we could!
My favorite ride, as was my friends’ favorite, was definitely the old rollercoaster, which we lovingly dubbed “The Mountain Ride.” I think we had gone on it at least six times before we left the park.
I think one of my biggest challenges and cultural shocks that I was able to overcome was, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, going to the grocery store. It was very frustrating at first to not know what anything was without pulling out my phone to whip out Google Translate or asking someone for guidance. It made me want to not go altogether and just eat out all the time.
But like most things that start out difficult, it gradually got easier by the end. I had started learning my way around the different organization of the aisles and how to spot certain ingredients I knew I liked (easiest one: jordbær = strawberry!), which made things get easier each time I went. It showed me that sticking with something uncomfortable can get better if I have patience and persistence.
Overcoming challenges like this also gave me a lot more confidence in myself. It made me feel like I’ll be able to handle myself once I’m fully on my own in the world, and that I know I’ll be okay no matter what. At a point in my life, as future-focused as this college-student life I’m currently living, that’s a valuable thing to know.
I’ve learned so much about Denmark and about myself, but there’s so much more I want to come back and see someday! I hope Denmark becomes a regular summer vacation spot when I have a family someday, and I hope I can come back even before then. I want to enjoy more Danish summers for many years to come.
Thank you so much for the memories, Denmark! I’ll see you soon!