I can count on one hand how many days are left in my program. I just finished my last assignment of the semester. My parents are arriving in a few days. The end is here.
Four months ago, I counted the number of days in my program. One hundred and nineteen days of living in a new country, counted down one day at a time. Many of you probably read about how difficult I found the first month of my time abroad, and I still believe it is important for us to talk about and expose those feelings, as many of those who go abroad experience them at some point. But most of us will agree (including me) that it gets so much easier. Like every time you try something new, it feels like you’re wearing your shoes on the wrong feet for a while, but when you figure out how to make it work, the shoes switch and you feel perfectly fine.
I have a little bit of time now, as the semester ends, to explore Copenhagen a few more times. As I said, the first few months were more about survival than exploration, so I’m taking advantage of feeling at home here now. Enjoying the beautiful spring weather is incredibly easy in a place as beautiful as Denmark.
The warmer weather also drove us to the beach, not only to lounge, but to play beach volleyball! A favorite activity and a beautiful way to spend a Saturday.
My parents are arriving here soon for a week of visiting and travel. We’re going to Prague, but we’re also spending a few days in Copenhagen, so I’m saving some of the touristy things for when they arrive. It is a little unbelievable to my friends, who have seen much more of Copenhagen, but to me, it’s holding on to the very end. If I save some for the end, it will still be exciting and new.
What you can’t see in the touristy photos, is the fact that I met some of my favorite people here and I’m enjoying our last weeks together as much as I can. It is amazing how quickly you can bond with people you never may have met without this experience.
Copenhagen is an expensive place to eat out in, but usually worth it. This semester has been one long craving for delicious burritos. I’ve found them a few times, and they satisfied my appetite, if only for a little while. I miss you, Frescos.
Eating in Europe is an adventure, especially compared to the quick, sometimes too rushed feeling of eating in the States. Here, it’s normal to have drinks before dinner, wait patiently for your food while chewing on appetizers, eventually eat your food, and then have a few drinks after. In a particular burrito-related incident, our food arrived so late that the waiter actually asked if us if we were finished eating before our food arrived. We got free drinks, though, so maybe worth it?
I wouldn’t say that being abroad entirely changed me as a person, but I would say it gave me the time and opportunity to grow. I spent a lot of time this semester thinking about myself. Because my classes were much less challenging than at Vassar, I had a lot more time to reflect and take care of myself. I decided to live more, which is a body positive philosophy, but applies to everyone. The main message is to do what makes you feel good and focus on healing your life in order to be completely yourself. For me that means putting on bright lip colors, cute clothes, and walking out into the world with a huge smile.
Just a few days left, a week of travel, and a couple plane flights and I’ll be back in the States, returning to the familiarity of home. To everyone who has helped me along the way, to everyone who has talked me through the hardest times, I couldn’t have done this without you and I am forever grateful. Just hold on, I’m coming home.