I came to Denmark thinking that my life would completely change and, for the most part, it has. I know that when Aaron and I were considering such a profound move away from the place we grew up, we both agreed that change was something we needed in order to move forward in our lives. As we walked to the train from our friend’s home; friends that invited us into their lives, fed us, comforted us and have been truly welcoming, our faith in this incredibly difficult decision was affirmed.Read More
I grew up in the sunlight… I mean just take a look at my skin and you can tell that I've spent the majority of my life being baked by the sun. I also come from a country that adds vitamin D to everything! It's in milk, it’s in bread; vitamin D is something that I have not yet experienced a lack of… It's just there. It's always there and it doesn't really effect me when the sun goes away for a day or two normally. But coming here, being covered in clothes for so many weeks, having the sun hit me at this odd angle where it doesn't even feel like it's actually touching me, the fact that I haven't been really hot since I came in August… All these things have really started to effect me in a way that I have yet to experience.Read More
It’s the little things that you really start to notice when moving to a foreign country. The small, seemingly insignificant stuff you don’t think about on a normal everyday basis. Those things start to creep into your mind, sometimes your heart, and I feel that it can make for a pretty fun list. So I made my fun list, a little Hump Day gift for you all… Feel free to add on to it in the comments if I missed something. Some advice for the future as we quickly move into the cold and dark winter everyone keeps talking about… and by “everyone”, I mean everyone.Read More
Some things I’ve found to be awesome about living in Denmark can be listed and elaborated on. The things I’m not so into about living abroad are best served for a long drawn out melancholy-sounding novel of writing and I think we’re all pretty sick of that at this point. So here are the things I love about being in the chilly north:Read More
So that time of my expat life has finally arrived… The time where I realize I miss my family and friends so much it hurts a little. I mean, you miss your family and friends when you leave regardless… You walk away, get on that plane and you miss them almost immediately. Tears start to flow sometimes (they did for me) and you just miss them. But right now, what I feel…. this is a different kind of missing them. It’s that kind of missing when I realized, "this will be my first official holiday season away."Read More
Tourism is weird. I grew up in a tourist town and I always felt that way. I hated tourism as a youngster and I always wanted them to “just go home.” Then, as I got older and found myself rather dependent on tourism, I didn't want them to go home as much. Tourism is a great economic driver but it can also be hugely detrimental to a culture’s way of life depending on how your tourists act in your home town.Read More
My husband and I started the actual immigration process about a year ago when we came to Scandinavia looking for the best music composition program for my husband to work on his masters degree. We visited two schools in Sweden and the school Aaron now attends here in Denmark, The Royal Danish Academy of Music. I remember the day we decided we wanted to immigrate to Europe quite fondly, actually. My daughter and I were playing at a little park together while my husband met with the head of the Music Composition program at RDAM. It was a really lovely autumn day. We had visited pretty much all the Swedish schools and, honestly, Aaron wasn't interested. We felt a little defeated by the whole thing until that fateful day in Denmark…Read More
Saturday morning I woke up late, at least late for me... typically on a Saturday I'm up at sunrise trying to finish editing and clearing cards before my daughter wakes up and begs for my attention until I leave for work around early afternoon. Not these days. This Saturday morning we woke up slowly, we made pancakes, I finished my editing in peace while Tess entertained herself with the myriad of outdoor and indoor activities provided to her, then we piled onto the train and came to an indoor playground packed with young children and happy parents called Remisen. It's Saturday in Denmark and, like all the memes and statistics love to report, “the happiest people in the world” are relaxed and enjoying their children.Read More
So, I’ve been asked to write again how things are going now that the end of my first month has almost come to a close… to tell you what it’s been like and how I feel. And much like I can’t really tell you why being married to my husband is better than when we were just dating or what it’s like to have a child… I can’t really tell you what it feels like to be here and living this life.Read More
It's really amazing here, supportive and full of community... it's vibrant and it's safe… and when the Internet tells you over and over again that the Danes are the happiest people in the world, they aren’t using the word "happy" correctly. The Danes aren’t the happiest people in the world… But they are certainly one of the most secure and security brings a lot of mental freedom.Read More
It has officially been a week here in Denmark. I’ve always wanted to live in Europe… The fantasy of simply being in a European city, speaking the language so nonchalantly, having a huge base of foreign friends… All as part of a natural progression of moving to a new place; it’s been a fantasy of mine for a long time.Read More
We arrived on Tuesday afternoon and, essentially, spent the entire day hugging each other. I hugged Aaron so hard it was like I was trying to merge our bodies into one. The look one his face when he saw us come out of the airport was priceless… I wish I had my camera but my brain camera took a pretty solid image so I’m cool with that. It was like his whole being just softened and relaxed, being apart used to be just a thing we did but now it’s just hard and frustrating… I don't really want to do it again.Read More
Over the weekend I went to Pensacola for work on my way to my new home in Copenhagen, Denmark. Everyone is so confused about where I live now… Even I’m confused about where I live now. I woke up and the sky was a murky grey, the grass a perfect shade of kelly green, birds chirping happily as they pluck various insects from the bushes… I live in Denmark now.Read More
Well… the time I was wishing away has finally come to an end. Tomorrow we’re on the plane and we’re on our way to Denmark for two years.Read More
So… Advice at this point is almost futile since, as it turns out, there’s yet another 5000 hurdles in front of me for procuring employment and finding a permanent place to reside when I get there. But I thought it would be a good idea to list out what’s happened so far for those of you thinking about becoming an expat:Read More
We’ve been married for 8 years today… I think it’s, like, the bronze one or something. I mean, I don’t have anything bronze to give him anyway, what kind of bronze do you get a person? Bronze medal for putting up with me maybe… He would say, “Who would get gold?”
Our marriage has been pretty wonderful, I’m fairly attached to my husband and we’ve grown very close as friends. We’ve gone through a lot together but we’ve also encouraged each other through a lot as well. Every night that we settle into bed with each other is my favorite part of the whole day and I really miss having him next to me… I mean, nothing really beats a tiny toddler’s hand to the face at 3am but Aaron’s sweet embrace is definitely a close second.Read More
Every step I take I do it with two large burdens; my fear of death and my love of life. They are large rocks that make taking leaps and bounds difficult and sometimes slow, but I am strong and capable of leaping anyway most of the time. These burdens are heavy but they are not impossible. I am no Sisyphus in this, I can force myself to the top of the mountain and I will. I have a lot on my side, most notably the people I love.Read More
Sitting on the floor of the room I grew up in, some things never change. The heat that billows up from the garage below, the way you can almost climb out the window and sit on the roof, the way every creak and squeak echoes endlessly throughout the entire house… it’s almost like stepping back in time.Read More
So I figured out that if I can lift the suitcase, it’s the proper weight, I almost completely max out at lifting more than about 50 pounds… The things you learn when moving your family across the world. I’ve also discovered that my clothes mean a lot more to mean than I expected and that packing a large bottle of French’s mustard isn’t as easy as I was thinking. Ahhh, the joys of travel… Everything is a “mind opening experience” and I just think my mind is so open right now bugs might start flying in.Read More
I said “goodbye” to my friends today… it wasn’t easy, I hope they didn’t notice how hard it was. A rough start to the day, I was up at dawn to do a sunrise family session in Claremont. Sometimes it feels nice to have so many people clamoring for spots on my quickly dwindling calendar, but sometimes it’s hard to know that each one of these families will most likely move on from me and have another photographer take their photos next year. It’s hard to say goodbye to my clients as well…
Then we came back to our neighborhood and had one last breakfast at Eclipse Chocolate with Will. I want to say that it was an amazing meal and I savored every bite but it’s hard to have a last meal… it’s almost bitter knowing that it’s the last one for a while, what’s the point? That return meal will be 10000 times more delicious than the one from this morning, why did we even bother? Well… I guess if I didn’t have it then I wouldn’t know what I needed to return to. And it was nice to sit and say farewell…
Then we came home and we packed some more… and waited for our little goodbye shindig to start. I felt anxious as the time approached both because I wanted to see everyone and also because I wanted to pull it off like a band aid a little… I mean, it was like 15 minutes in before I started to make secondary and tertiary plans to see people again in the coming weeks. I love my friends… This is why I have so many friends all over, because I’m just never very good at disconnecting or allowing my friendships to fade. They are my extended family. But most of the time, they go… not me. I stay here.
So, I look around my little get together and I see all these people that have blown into my life on the sweet California winds and I find myself seeing the origin of each relationship… this one was a client, this one is my childhood friend, this one and I have some stories (Oh my goodness), this one is my flesh and blood… it’s hard to know that they will be here, living and loving this place without me. My sweet home San Diego.
But… I’m going to go to Copenhagen and I’m going to find a different life there. Probably not a different “me” but definitely a different way of living and a different way of being. I’m going to experience their culture and their language, and I’m going to join in and hope I get accepted into the club. It’s going to be colder, a ridiculous amount of expensive, and probably not as diverse as this place I’ve grown up and have learned to love… but it’ll be different and I think it’ll bring me to the path I’ve been trying to get on my whole life. And, if it doesn’t, then I’ll just be me and try something else because, as most of the people at the party know about me already, I never give up.
This isn’t what I thought I would be doing at this point in my life, no way. I always assumed that Aaron would finish school and we would just struggle on from there… and now I’m taking this huge detour. The hardest part is going through everything and throwing it away… knowing it’s not reasonable to keep everything and making the conscience decision to throw it in the trash. The ticket stubs and the stuffed animals, the books and the hodge-pogey gifts… it’s just stuff and I’ll feel better later but, for now, I just want to go to Target and buy 100000 bins and throw nothing away……. I even want to keep the dust. The sentimentality I never really had has grown into this thing I just can’t control, kinda overnight.
So… I have a blog and I have this Facebook thing that I’ve been trying to use again (I hate Facebook) and I will post to them and I will sit here and watch you all from the perfectly designed and a bit darker north. Give me good stuff to keep me occupied while I struggle to create a new community in Denmark. I’m not worried about making new friends or keeping in touch with the old, I guess I just know how long it took me to feel so perfectly at home in my hometown and I’m pretty sure the two years I have in Denmark isn’t going to get me there.
I will miss you <3