My First Week in Copenhagen
Riding home from work today and this was my gorgeous view. The classic Copenhagen Lakes. There’s three of them and they are in the center of the city. Today was an insanely sunny day but it’s still wildly cold. You have to bundle up in lots of layers. But despite the cold, the Danes love when it’s sunny out and will take any opportunity to sit in the sun and drink a cold beer. After I finished up at work today, I went to by favorite little sandwich bar at Torvehallerne, the ultimate foodie paradise, and got myself a gluten-free panini and a banging vitamin-C rich smoothie as I’m still fighting a little bit of a cold. I had just finished my first full week here, which was full of ups and downs and annoying little legal things like registering myself in the country. And getting my bike tire replaced twice. But today’s the day because today I finally succeeded in getting my CPR number, which is basically the equivalent of a social security number in the U.S. This means now I am legally allowed to be in Denmark and have basically all the same rights as a Danish citizen while I’m here. I also got the cutest new bike today. It’s white and it’s a cruiser; or as they say here, a “granny bike.” I love that. I think my bike would make my granny proud.
I rode home from my first day of work, bundled up one hundred times in a scarf that wrapped all the way up to my nose and a big coat. The sun was shining and things were good. But this week was hard. The adjustment to life here is hard. This time around I’m not just traveling, I’m in for the long haul. It made me think about all the things I left on the west coast: amazing work, family support, warm weather, a city I love, amazing food, financial independence, comfort of the familiar. And I left this for what? Why did I come to Denmark? Why did I choose to come here and sit at a desk for five hours a day? To be here, a place far away from my family. Amongst people I don’t know so well. Far away from the little things I love like blasting Taylor Swift in my car after yoga class, windows down while the warm air flows in, driving to whole foods to eat at the salad bar and replenish my body with a ginger-lemon kombucha. I guess I came because I wanted something new. I wanted to try living and working abroad. Not just travel. But actually living abroad. I knew it would be hard. But I believe this experience will continue to add to my repertoire of amazing life experiences that have made me who I am. Sure, I could have stayed in the U.S. I could have continued working with amazing clients. Continued going to my hot yoga classes and whole foods. But this. Moving to a new country. Working at a company. This is challenging. This pushes me. This fosters growth. I can always go home. San Francisco will always be my home. It’s where my family is. It’s where my heart is. It’s where I grew up. Copenhagen is something new. And if this week is any indication of the next few months, it’s going to push me in all the ways I need to be pushed. It’s going to give me the opportunity to stretch in ways I didn’t know I could stretch. And I’m going to have a time with it. I’m going to embrace it. Love it. Live for it. But this weekend, I’m going to let myself be a little melancholy. I’m going to let myself wallow a bit in what I gave up to be here. I’m going to go to my new favorite sauna in town Øbro-Hallen, I’m going to go to a fun re-sell market, drink almond milk cappuccinos and buy myself a cute little cactus.