I never want to leave Denmark. As some of my friends who only did session 1 left, I’ve had some time to reflect on my journey so far. I have a lot to say in this one so bear with me!!
Since my last blog post, I have done SO much. In our final days of classes we got to eat at Amass, where we met famous chef Matt Orlando and heard about Matt’s journey with Amass and their impeccable sustainability practices. I think that meal was the best I had ever eaten (and maybe ever will eat). We also visited and tried some samples at Empirical, a distillery started by Lars Williams who used to work at Noma. All of the flavors we experienced were so unique and left me speechless. It was also fascinating how these restaurants were so committed to sustainability and centered their whole restaurant and mission statements around sustainability. It showed me how passionate they were about taking care of Denmark’s people as well as the earth! After learning about sustainability and seeing these examples, I’ve noticed even more how all of CPH focuses so heavily on sustainability.
Later in the week I was also able to see some of my FAMILY!!! As I mentioned in an earlier post, all of my mom’s side of the family lives in Denmark. I hated not being able to see them sooner, but I got caught up with school and trying to figure out the city and I haven’t been able to yet! I got dinner with my mom’s cousin and her daughter. Although I hadn’t seen them in 3 years, it was like no time had passed at all. They met me with wide open arms into their home and it was so exciting to get to see them as well as their home. They lent me an extra bike (yay!!!) and took me to one of their favorite restaurants, Mad & Kaffe. I loved talking to them about my experiences in Copenhagen so far and catching up with them. I cannot wait to see them again soon! I have many more family members to see in the rest of my time here, and I am so interested to hear about their favorite places in CPH and get more recommendations. Having family here makes me so happy. I feel connected to the city even more, spending time with them and learning how to navigate the city.
Since we are in between sessions, some of my friends and I decided to go on a weekend trip to Møns Klint. We got an airbnb and rented a car and we were on our way! It was such a fun weekend and the views were AMAZING. It was so fun to get out of Copenhagen and see other parts of Denmark. We can’t leave Denmark due to restrictions, but why would we need to when we have SO much to do here?! Some of my friends and I went kayaking randomly one afternoon – we can do anything we want here!
Day by day, Copenhagen seems to feel more like home. I’ve started to do small things for myself that help me step back from my seemingly “busy every second” lifestyle. These small things can be ANYTHING. Recently, I’ve been cooking for myself every night. It is so tempting to eat out every night in a city such as Copenhagen, but cooking for myself saves money and makes me feel good.
I have also been having to force myself to drink way more water than I did in the U.S. Walking everywhere and being out in the sun everyday dehydrates you! It has never been more important for me to drink water all the time. It doesn’t always seem like it in the present, but drinking water helped my mental and physical health immensely.
The number one thing I have learned so far while being here that has really helped me is making coffee at home. I am the type of person to always start my day with a coffee. When I don’t make it at home, I am always tempted to (and almost always) buy one from a cute coffee shop just down the street from DIS. While this always cheers me up, I always regret spending money on coffee that I could have made at home. These small things I started doing have helped this city feel less intimidating than it did 3 weeks ago.
While I am starting to figure out the city a bit more, I still have lots of learning to do. I started biking today (eep) and clearly need a lot more practice. It can still be a little scary being in a foreign city, but we can do hard things!!
Our session 2 classes start tomorrow and I am sad to say goodbye to my last class, but can’t wait to meet new classmates and go on a Study Tour soon! I am taking Sustainable Development in Northern Europe and I am intrigued to see similarities and differences in my last class and this one. We also get to go on a week long Study Tour next week. I will definitely keep the blog updated on that one as well as my biking adventures!!!