I can’t believe I have only a little over a month left in Copenhagen. This semester has gone by so fast. In my first post, I set up some goals for myself while abroad. With only a month left, I wanted to check in on the goals and see if I’m following them.
- Embrace Discomfort
Unsurprisingly, I was faced with many uncomfortable situations while abroad: I’ve had to navigate public transportation in unfamiliar cities, I’ve had to ask Danes about their sex education, and I’ve had to ask for help several times. Through these experiences, I’ve learned that people are generally really nice and helpful. You have nothing to lose by asking for help.
I think I’ve done a good job of embracing discomfort while abroad, especially while travelling. I spent two days alone in Rome, where I had to get meals by myself and navigated around an unfamiliar city. While it was a great experience, I realized that I like to travel with people. The cities I visited are beautiful and hold so many cool opportunities, but those things don’t mean as much if I couldn’t share it with my friends or family.
2. Make Copenhagen A Home
I said that home means being able to navigate the city effortlessly. While I make a few mistakes here and there, I can pretty much get anywhere within the city center without the help of Google Maps.
In addition, during the weekdays I’ve created a pretty good routine for myself. I know how often I need to get groceries, which coffee shops I like best, where I like to study, where I like to spend time on a sunny day, etc.
I think that part I need to work on is befriending the locals. While I know a few local hangout spots, it’s easy to stay in DIS bubble. Today, for instance, I went to a local café spot only to encounter a room full of DIS students studying for their upcoming Danish exam. While it’s great that there this sense of community, it is not exactly the authentic Danish experience that some may be seeking.
Definitely have done a lot of traveling while abroad. While I did not get to visit every city on my top 5 (Amsterdam and Warsaw, I’m coming from you), I got to explore new cities – Berlin, Rome, Brussels – while getting reacquainted with others – London and Paris. Traveling is exhausting, but definitely worth it. I think I found a good balance between traveling in my weekends but also staying in Copenhagen. I’ve talked about this a lot with my friends but Copenhagen is a great city to live in because of the resources and scale of the city. There are so many amazing things to do in Copenhagen if you were to visit for a weekend, but I have really found my love for Copenhagen flourish through the little things: how much the Danes love spending time outside in the sun, the easy and accessible public transportation, how I haven’t needed to use a car once since being here, etc.
4. Get to Know Copenhagen
In progress. While I’ve ventured outside of the center on my weekends here, there’s still so much more to see. Luckily, I’ll be in Copenhagen for the next couple of weekends, so I definitely will get to continue exploring. Otherwise, I feel very comfortable navigating around Copenhagen and have created a good routine for myself.
5. Pack Light
Well, I successfully packed everything into one checked bag and one carry on, but I made no promises about staying light. While abroad, I have down quite a bit of shopping and no longer think my one checked bag with suffice. Luckily, my parents are visiting me at the end of the semester and can bring another bag. However, if that’s not your situation, don’t forget to leave extra room while packing.
Well, with a month left, I decided to make a list of things I want to do before leaving. So, here is how I want to spend my time:
- Picnic on a boat – you can rent a small motor boat for an hour and go around the channel. You can bring food and drinks along, so I’d love to turn this water activity into a picnic because who doesn’t love picnics?!
- Ama Beach – hopefully the weather will get a bit warmer, so I can visit Ama Beach. Located on the island of Amager, there is a long stretch of manmade beach. It is also home to Kastrup Søbad, a public swimming pool that is very photogenic
- Swim in the channel – there are quite a few pools/baths/beaches along the channel that are popular among locals and tourists in the summer. Hopefully I can experience it before leaving.
- Reffen – the outdoor food market has finally opened and I can’t wait to eat some delicious food and get to know a new part of the city.
- Copenhagen Contemporary – located right next to Reffen, this new-ish museum sounds and looks really cool so I hope to kill two birds with one stone by visiting here and Reffen in one afternoon.
- Bastard Café – a popular board game café in central Copenhagen. It’s always been too crowded when I’ve gone so I need to plan ahead (luckily, they accept reservations on the weekend)
- Pedal boat – One of the lakes that connects the city center to Nørrebro is home to swan pedal boats. I am a sucker for pedal boats and definitely plan on dragging my friends to rent a boat with me on a sunny afternoon
- Explore Meatpacking more – they have so many good restaurants that I have yet to try! From Turkish to dim sum to pizza, Meatpacking can satisfy any craving.
- Explore the surrounding neighborhoods – I regret not having spent much time in Vestebro, Frederiksberg, Nørrebro, so I want to take a bike ride or walk around these neighborhoods since I know they hold secret gems that are waiting to be found
Until next time,