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Closing Remarks

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Happy holidays, readers, and hello for the last time! I feel like I owe it to all of you who have been following my journey to wrap up this blog with some closing remarks.  You know me, nothing goes unsaid.

REUNITED with X and Misher! (and yes, I changed my hair)

REUNITED with X and Misher! (and yes, I changed my hair)

Throughout the holidays, I have been so thankful for what I have experienced, and the people I now get to share that experience with. That includes all of you, some of whom have read all 90-something of my posts since the very beginning, when I created this blog in a Dunkin Donuts on a family vacation to Misquamicut, Rhode Island.

Readers, this has been such an amazing journey, and I am sad that I will not be writing to you anymore. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being with me through everything. Blogging has become so much more to me than simply a record of what I have done and seen. This is a medium of expression for me, and I hope you know that you have now seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of this little lady!

Now, I will continue my adjustment back to living in Connecticut and at Villanova. At this point in my transition, it is obvious that American reality is much different than my Danish study abroad experience. Some people think I was simply “on vacation,” but I urge you to remember that taking five classes and dealing with the emotional ups and downs of culture shock, changing worldview, and developing transatlantic independence were no ride on the ferris wheel…

When all is said and done, this semester has been priceless in so many ways. I have grown as a person, appreciate a multicultural perspective, and gained countless friends and experiences. My journey only continues from here.

Much love, readers. Hej hej!

The Great American Transition

Hello from America, readers. I’ve been here since Saturday evening, and am just now sitting down to write my homecoming post. If I said it’s been an emotional roller coaster, would you believe me?

Coming home (to my original “home”) has been the best and worst thing that’s ever happened to me. The BEST part of it was seeing my family and close friends for the first time, and realizing that nothing has changed the way that we feel about each other. I am so happy to be in close proximity to them once again!

Mom stalked the reunion of me and Bitty, who ran to me before I could even get out of the customs doorway. We missed each other so much!

I didn’t even make it out of the doorway of customs before Bitty attacked me. I loved it.

BOGUE family picture in the airport, that's how we do.

BOGUE family picture in the airport, that’s how we do.

Accidentally reunited with my very best friend Christina while trying on dresses in the mall. CRYING HAPPY TEARS IN PUBLIC

Accidentally reunited with my very best friend Christina while trying on dresses in the mall. CRYING HAPPY TEARS IN PUBLIC!

I know, so cute…

The WORST part was that coming back to America has forced me to start yet another period of adaptation and change. I have always been naturally resistant to change, but bored by routine. This means that I walk a fine line between upheaval and monotony, since too much of either causes me stress and anxiety. Returning home was upheaval for me. I was surprised by this, as I thought I would only be a little uncomfortable and transition quite smoothly. Apparently, I was wrong, as I have been struggling a bit more than anticipated.

I knew that I had fallen in love with Copenhagen, but I had not been aware how deeply the Danish lifestyle had become ingrained in me. For example, simply prioritizing what needs to be achieved/obtained today and what can wait until tomorrow is different in America because here, we try to do too much, overschedule ourselves, and bite off more than we can chew at times. While such ambition is usually a healthy challenge for me, coming back and throwing myself right into that was quite difficult for me to deal with. After a trip to the mall on my first day back, I had to cancel one of my reunion visits and take a breather before I could move on to an evening get-together.

Then, of course, there’s the Danish value of spending time with loved ones, getting hygge. My family has appointments, meetings after school, and my dad works two jobs when he can. Thus, the reality of life catches up to me, and I am left to fold up my fuzzy blankets and blow out my tealight candles until Sunday, my new, strictly imposed Family Day. I wish we could just slow down and be cozy together like the Danes do every evening, even in the city. I miss that the most.

Overall, though, I’m making progress on my transition. Today is the first day I woke up feeling like I was in the right time zone. I’m glad to be back, but I also miss my home in Copenhagen. That’s the trouble with being such a lucky little lady, I can’t seem to settle on which life makes me happiest. I love them all.

Much love.

 

The Last Days

Like I promised, I’ve made the most of these last ten days in Copenhagen. It’s 2:30 AM on my last night, so I couldn’t help but give one last recap, as you know I love to do. Up till now, I’ve been too busy squeezing the worth out of every minute in Copenhagen, so I have barely opened my computer! Here’s the scoop on my last few days in the city I love.

1) The Arts & Culture House Art Show!

We were inspired by the Danish museum called the Louisiana, which has a temporary exhibit called Self Portraits. Like the artists featured there, we each created a self portrait to reflect our “i-DANE-ity” and how it has changed our concept of ourselves since we came to Copenhagen! Mine is called “Place Like Home” and reflects the importance of my family as they accompany me on my yellow brick road of sorts, finding out that maybe Dorothy was wrong…

The Arts & Culture House (left to right) Vince, Emma, Anna, me, Rebecca, Carrie, Adriana, Ariel, Jamie

The Arts & Culture House (left to right) Vince, Emma, Anna, me, Rebecca, Carrie, Adriana, Ariel, Jamie

Me with my project, which I titled "Place Like Home"

Me with my project, which I titled “Place Like Home”

THE CLOSE UP. Just so everyone knows, I made that shoe out of newspaper and tape ONLY. skillz.

THE CLOSE UP. Just so everyone knows, I made that shoe out of newspaper and tape ONLY. skillz.

Vince and his project, made from his favorite foods and their wrappers!

Vince and his project, made from his favorite foods and their wrappers!

2) Tivoli 

Christmas time in Tivoli is so magical! Everything is lit up, and there are Christmas markets and a special water fountain show in the evening. Tivoli is the second-oldest theme park in the world, and was an inspiration to Walt Disney!!

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how they REALLY make aebleskriver (the Danish pancake balls that are traditional Christmas food)

how they REALLY make aebleskriver (the Danish pancake balls that are traditional Christmas food)

3) Christmas in the streets

If you thought Copenhagen was adorable during the summer, the Christmas season has taken it to another level! It’s easier to deal with the lack of sunlight when there are Christmas lights EVERYWHERE!

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4) Christmas at Ravnsborggade

As an honorary housemate at Mia’s house, I was delighted to attend her house Christmas party, which of course turned into the most gigantic festival ever held. My favorite part was the wall papered in gift wrap for a backdrop for pictures! While my freezing cold shower prevented me from creating an acceptable hair style that night, I did enjoy taking silly pictures with my friends.

Dylan, Aimee, me, and Mia attempting to be serious, like in the TV show "Skins"

Dylan, Aimee, me, and Mia attempting to be serious, like in the TV show “Skins”

5) Saying Goodbye to my Visiting Family

My visiting family has been so good to me this semester. Between giving me an extra duvet for when Mia’s and my heat were broken, taking me to the zoo, cooking me Danish food, and showing me how to make Christmas decorations, they did everything they were supposed to and more! Their patience, hospitality, and genuine affection made this semester much more enjoyable. When I went to their house this Saturday to say goodbye (and meet some of their friends), I was heartbroken to leave them behind. Finn, Marie, Siri, and little Vigga, I’ll miss you when I go back to my real family!!

6) Sticks n’ Sushi atop the Tivoli Hotel

Lousie took us out to dinner at Sticks n’ Sushi, a high-end restaurant located at the top of the Tivoli Hotel that serves Asian food. Mostly sticks of meat and sushi rolls, this restaurant also had an extensive bar with swings on one side, that overlooked the canals and a gorgeous skyline. We spent a good portion of the meal taking turns to sit on the swings, gawking at the A-listers that Louise identified for us as Danish celebrities, and thanking God that we’d finally found some edible Asian food. It was devine.

7) Christiania Christmas Markets

The Christiania Christmas Markets take place in the Great Hall in Christiania. Vendors of jewelry, crafts, ornaments, clothing, and other miscellaneous goods all come together to sell their wares among some interesting food selections and even more interesting people. While it was crowded, I was intrigued by the low prices and immense selection of homemade Christmas gifts!

8) Traditional Danish Christmas Dinner

If you thought I was all Christmas-ed out, you were wrong! Yesterday, Louise (my SRA and favorite Danish friend) slaved away in the kitchen to make our house a REAL DANISH CHRISTMAS DINNER! There was roast duck and pork (yummy pork skins, too, Dad), boiled potatoes, caramelized potatoes, cooked pickled purple cabbage, cold purple cabbage salad with oranges and pomegranate, Danish version of Waldorf salad, homemade pickles… so much food! I tried everything, but my favorite was the cold purple cabbage salad. We also drank Exotic Fanta, which everyone jokes should be attached to me in an IV because I absolutely love it! After the meal, we played the rice pudding game, which is actually more like torture. There was a HUGE bowl of Danish rice pudding in the middle of the table. Now, this dish is made with chopped almonds in it. The object of the game is to find the ONE WHOLE ALMOND in the pudding. Everyone has to eat the pudding until someone finds the almond. For each of the twelve people eating, that meant two full bowls of pudding if we were to get to the bottom of the bowl. AND WE ALMOST HAD TO, because MIA found the almond in the first five minutes AND HID IT UNDER HER TONGUE until everyone was literally falling off their chairs with fullness and taking shots of the pudding to try and make it go down easier. CRAZY DANES and their games. For her almond discovery, Mia won a pig made out of marzipan. Dumb prize, serves her right for making us so full!!

 

Other than that, I’ve been spending as much time as I can just talking to my friends and enjoying their company. I cannot express how much I have come to appreciate the people I have met here. We have seen each other through adjustment issues, mood swings, love problems, and all the other drama that inevitably happens within a semester. Although I never could have predicted it, I will come home with even more amazing people in my life. Somehow, I sincerely doubt that there is a luckier person on this planet than me. I’ve experienced so many different cultures, made new friends, and discovered a new home. I’m in love with Copenhagen. My journey is not over, it is just beginning.

Much love.

Things We Take For Granted in America & at Villanova

If you think American life is boring and annoying, you’re not alone. A bunch of people here hate on America and think they are going to turn into a real live European (or even a Dane!) just because they’re studying abroad.

While I think there is some value in appreciating the Danish culture and taking aspects of it home, I disagree with this “high on study abroad” attitude. America is a considerable part of who we are, from our habits to our values.

Now that Mia and I  have spent much time outside of America, we have thought about the things we miss about living in America, at Villanova, with our friends and family surrounding us. In a particularly long ab ride, we decided to write them down for our readers!

Take a look at Mia’s and My Compiled List of Things We Take For Granted. (click on the words, they’re a link!)

Warning: More lists to come, this is how I process things.

Much love.

Giving Thanks

This Thanksgiving started for me on Wednesday and ended on Friday (of course). I didn’t mean to make it happen, but I’ve had so much to be thankful for these past few days that I just had to extend the holiday.

On Wednesday night, we made our own Thanksgiving dinner at Mia’s house. There were 22 people in attendance, including everyone who lives in Mia’s house, me, and my friend Anna. The spearheads of this operation were Emily, Mia, and Aimee, who did most of the cooking and coordinated other contributions. Mine was home-made cranberry sauce. Jhon and I also whipped up some cinnamon butter and helped with the mashed taters (so yummy). It was SUCH a HYGGE night!! I am so thankful to have all these great friends!

Group shot of everyone (minus Jhon) in Mia’s house, my second home. LOVE THEM ALL!

My contribution: homemade cranberry sauce (since Denmark doesn’t have it)

this captures the moment well

Thankful for this girl ❤

Emily, Mia, and Aimee: the three moms with their pies

picture-perfect “hygge” (Danish concept of cozy)

 

 

 

Thursday, I woke up still full (typical Thanksgiving problems). It was kind of a rough day because I missed my family and friends on this American holiday, and everyone in Denmark was acting like nothing was happening. I know that Christmas decorations are up, and they look great, but it’s just not the same. Thanksgiving is a day to spend walking around the house in slippers, cooking with people you love, listening to “Alice’s Restaraunt” (Dad & Ben!), failing at pecan pie… and instead I was expected to be in class. EWW.

Luckily, I had pre-arranged a coffee date with Anders Larson, a man who teaches and works in Housing at DIS. I never would have done this, but Nancy strongly suggested that I meet him, as he was one of her favorite people here. Let me tell you, I’m SO glad I listened to her. Anders is the coolest! He’s super cute, so easy to talk to, and as a real Dane, he knows what’s up around Copenhagen. Even better, we met up with his friend and colleague Lauren Chaney, who is a Villanova alum and has been traveling the world since she graduated ten years ago! It was nice to spend time chatting with such cool people, and I was reminded that there are so many people I have yet to meet here. With only 22 days left, it’s easy to check out mentally, but I won’t do that yet. There is too much I’d miss out on!

Just to top off the night, we spent Thursday night as we would on Thanksgiving Eve in CT. My dancing shoes are a little worn out now, let’s just say.

Friday, I thought the festivities would be over… but I couldn’t have been more wrong! I got an email about a package, and had been expecting my mom to send me my favorite sweater. Instead, I got TWO HUGE PACKAGES!

THANK YOU SO MUCH MOM AND ANNE!!! Opening these boxes seriously felt like Christmas and took away any lingering sadness I had that I was missing out on Black Friday shopping, another HUGE family tradition. I got a little taste of the wardrobe I miss at home, since my mom got me a million sweaters and legwarmers, an Alex & Ani (the teacher apple), and other stuff. Thanks Mom! And Anne got me a ridiculous amount of great American stuff, including A WHOLE JAR OF PEANUTBUTTER, DUNKIN COFFEE, AND HOMEMADE BROWNIES!! I haven’t smelled a brownie in months. THANK YOU SO MUCH ANNE!!

Really, it all comes back to being thankful. I have never before in my life had so many reasons to be thankful. It hits me just about every day, even when I’m sad or missing home. I am thankful for my wonderful, supportive family, my absolutely amazing friends, and of course, this experience. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Much love.

Pizza, Pasta, Prosecco, & (Mia’s) Parents!

On Friday, November 9, Copenhagen had the pleasure of receiving Mia’s parents, Paul and Andrea Savoca. Along with Mia, they are literally the sweetest humans on the planet, and they let me tag along on Saturday to see ome of our lovely city of Copenhagen.

Mia’s first Danish!

Mia & I with our Danishes (I know that’s not actually what they are called here but I can’t help it)

Paul, Mia, & Andrea at the lake at Christiania. Love them!

Our return to Nyhavn, still one of my favorite parts of Copenhagen!

During this day around Copenhagen, I got to participate in showing Mia’s parents all the places I would have liked to show mine. You’ve seen them throughout my blog as I’ve visited them (Nyhavn, the Glass Market, my house, the lakes, Parliament/Christiansborg Castle, etc.) but it was cool to show Mia’s parents in person. They also got to observe all the little things you can’t capture with a picture, like the guttural language, fast bikers, cobblestone streets, and windy grey weather. Most of all, they experienced the charm of Copenhagen that has made me fall in love with this city.

At dinner that night, we were casually chatting when Paul suddenly said, “Bri, why don’t you just come to Italy?” Mia was equally as shocked as I was, and at first we didn’t take it seriously. But, five hours later, I had tickets to and from Italy!!

I spent all of Sunday in bed with a stomachache, while Mia and the fam spent the day in Malmo, Sweden.

Monday started the trip! We flew into Fiumicino, Rome, and drove directly to Perugia, a few hours north of Rome. Being in a car was actually mindblowing for me, and surprisingly soothing. We enjoyed the ride to the 13TH CENTURY CASTLE THAT WE STAYED IN (the Savocas seriously know how to travel!), and later drove to a restaurant where we had an amazing culinary experience.

Seriously, for real, castle.

I finally found my knight in shining armor!

The view from our window, of the terrace and the Italian countryside beyond.

view from the terrace

Best tortelloni I’ve ever had, complete with mushroom pecorino sauce.

My eggplant parm. Delish!

Paul’s octopus, which I tried and actually kind of liked!

Such a great look for Paul, reminds me of my dad eating lobster.

Mia’s pasta, made with octopus ink. It tasted really good but the color just looked so strange!

The next day, Tuesday, we made the most of our location and toured the world-famous Perugina chocolate factory, known for Baci chocolate hazelnut kisses! We saw the production of Baci and some of the other chocolates that the factory makes, AND GOT A FREE TASTING ROOM! YESSS.

fooling around with my head in the trademark Baci kiss logo

Baci white and Baci! Love them both!

Promise I didn’t eat all of these, but honestly I probably could have if you gave me a few hours. So yummy.

Post-chocolate food coma, we explored the Italian countryside some more. The first place we stopped was Deruta, famous for its hand-painted ceramics, and Assisi, known for St. Frances of Assisi.

Deruta

Deruta ceramics

ceramic electric guitar (BEN!!) made strictly in Deruta, nowhere else in the world

Assisi

Assisi

Church of St. Frances Assisi. Pretty sure he’s buried in there under the altar.

I would just like to note that Assisi is one huge hill, which makes for gorgeous views BUT a LOT of walking uphill! We definitely walked off that chocolate!!

Tuesday night we drove to Rome and checked into our hotel, Hotel Villa San Pio. At this point in the trip, I basically picked up a glass of Prosecco and a fork, and never put them down for the rest of the journey. NO REGRETS, but this week the jeans are a little tighter! (EuroDiet was not in effect on vacation.)

Wednesday began with a visit to the Vatican to hear Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly address to the public. The thing is, he spoke Italian… but thankfully, Mia’s dad is fluent in Italian so he translated. SO INTERESTING: He spoke about St. Augustine, and Veritas, Unitas, Caritas, which is literally Villanova in a nutshell. We are an Augustinian university, and Veritas Unitas Caritas is part of our University Seal as well as our core values!

Pope Benedict XVI

For the rest of the week, we basically just walked around Rome, revisiting the Colosseum (of course, since I’m obsessed) and other sites. We took the Scavi tour of the underground cemetery beneath the Vatican/St. Peter’s Basilica where St. Peter’s bones can still be seen today. Inside the Basilica is super cool and intricately designed, and the remains of past Popes can be visited as well. We also went to Piazza Navona, Campo di Fiori, an Italian opera (my first, and probably last, opera ever), and the Spanish Steps. Aside from that, we had great food and, of course, more Prosecco!

view of Rome over the Palatine Hill (the Colosseum is in the back)

Saw this right before the Scavi tour, super creepy as I’m about to descend into the depths of Rome

Mia took this artsy photo of the Colosseum, so proud of her skillz

Prosecco at the hotel courtyard

XTINA THEY MAKE SURE TO ACCOMODATE YOU IN ITALY

St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, the Scavi tour was under there!

Dad, orange trees AT MY HOTEL

These are posters for the strikes that took place all week. One even got violent.

before the Scavi tour, with friends of the Savocas who recently moved to Rome

The Tiber river was the highest it’s EVER been… Those are treetops. Covered.

Getting adventurous trying some meat (after a mostly-vegetarian semester)

On Friday, we did the most Italian thing I have done in Italy: we took a pizza-making class!!

cutting mushrooms

People who know me know that I am a pizza snob, but this has taken my judgement criteria to a whole new level! I will never be the same again after this delicious experience.

The next day, Saturday, we said a sad goodbye in the airport and went our separate ways. For the last time, I flew back to Copenhagen.

I cannot express how thankful I am to Mia and her wonderful parents. ADOPTED FAM, YOU ARE THE BEST!! This trip was fun, exciting, and refreshing. I am so glad to have you as my adopted family. I will never forget this amazing vacation.

Much love!

The Perfect Gift

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Imagine my day: It’s rainy, I’m exhausted and cold. There is much to be done, both exciting and boring, in my final 40 days here in Denmark. Just last night I was telling Bitty how it’s all ending so soon, and she was telling me about all the clothes she’s accumulated for us to share when I get back. Feeling a little lonely, I’ve been pushing through today thinking about checking things off my to do list and getting in front of our UV lamp (they call it a happy lamp, and it’s used like artificial sunlight). It will be dark here in about a half hour, since it’s 3:15 PM right now.

Of course, my family came to my rescue. Uncle Eddie, Auntie Debbie, Ang, Cassandra, and Josephine, you could not have known how much your surprise gift would make my day, but it truly has. I was laughing and crying in the middle of the package place at school today because I was shocked that you sent me such a generous gift! It’s absolutely perfect, and I will wear it as I finish out this section of my own “path of life.” Leave it to Alex & Ani to make the best bracelet for every situation… and leave it to you guys to find it!

 

I miss you all so much. When I finally get back, I’m hugging all of you forever.

Much love!

 

Long Study Tour to Milan, Italy

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Last week, my Positive Psychology class took our long study tour to Milan, Italy.

Class photo!

While it was definitely an academic tour, with lectures at the university by prominent figures in positive psychology, DIS did a great job of planning so it didn’t just feel like a week-long class. Some of our academic visits were creative applications of positive psych, like the spent in a meditation center of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.

We got to spend time exploring the city of Milan, eating Italian food, and even climbed to the roof of Il Duomo, a famous and beautifully built church in the center of the city!

Our hotel, Hotel Bernina, got to know each of us loud Americans very well during the night hours when we got knocks on our doors telling us to quiet down! Oops!

Inside La Galleria, a cross-shaped building lined with shops like Louis Vuitton.

Spinning around on the “most delicate” part of the mosaic bull that decorates the floor of the Galleria. Apparently three spins on your heel gives you luck and good fortune!

quick shot of me, HEY

The tram lines run all over the city and are a cute, efficient way to travel. We saw much of the city this way, and used the Metro as well.

fountain pic, classic

This old castle had a moat, which I think is fascinating. Cats live in there now. Ironic, since cats hate water.

Arc de Triumph, which has something to do with Napoleon

Il Duomo

Inside, leading up to the altar. AN ORIGINAL NAIL FROM JESUS’ CROSS is suspended above the altar!! You can see the small red light near the top of this picture–that’s where it is kept embedded within an ornate cross. To be in the presence of such an object was absolutely astonishing.

areas to light candles and pray were on the sides of the church

I decided to have a moment to myself, say a prayer for my family, and light a candle. I miss them so much at times like these.

My friend Chelsea snapped these photos when she saw me being a real person…

The bodies of a few Cardinals (or Archbishops?) are also here on display, which was both surreal and a reality check for me. I hope it’s okay that I posted this, I just wanted everyone to get the full effect of what I mean.

A pitcure from the roof of the Duomo. Of course on the day that we actually climbed it, it was cloudy out.

Close-up, you can see that atop each point, there are actually sculptures of saints! Remarkable.

Tori, me, Chelsea, Rachel, and Kelsea sitting on one of the windowsills on the roof of Il Duomo!

The classical music concert we attended as a class. Very entertaining and enriching, as I used to play the flute (through freshman year of high school).

Zoe, me, Chelsea, and Gabe enjoying intermission, with a phenomenal photobomb by Katie in the background

WINE TASTING UH HUH

Indulging in some Milanese drinks with Zoe, Chelsea, and Tori. They were delicious!

This is what happened when I tried to order that orange drink the next night at a different place… I got a giant green thing that was bigger than my face. But I was not complaining!

Cool lunch place, that served us an entire plate of meat as an appetizer with bread, fried sweetbread pockets, and chunks of parmesan cheese.

Although I am not a meat person, I did venture to try one of each of these, and actually liked some of it! Proud.

Couldn’t help myself with this stalker pic. When in Milan!

The beautiful town of Lake Como, which we visited on the last day of our trip. This picture does not do it justice. If you’re curious, google Lake Como and see why GEORGE CLOONEY owns a house here!

Lake Como

As you can see from all my pictures, my classmates and I enjoyed ourselves on this study tour. We became much closer as a result of living together for six days and sharing some truly hilarious experiences!

At the end of our trip, we did a Positive Psychology Intervention called the Compliment Bag, where each of us had our own bag, and every classmate would drop in a little note with a personalized compliment written on it. Because the compliments are anonymous, you don’t get to know who thinks what about you–it’s just a general confidence boost from everyone! Writing my compliments for my classmates was not difficult after all the fun we had together in Milan. The best part was reading all 27 compliments, which I saved in my room for a rainy day. I plan on doing this with every person I know when I come back to America, so brace yourselves!

This was my last time leaving Copenhagen for the rest of the semester. Overall, I flew on 14 planes this semester, so I am tired of checkin, security, and landing ear-popping! I’m excited to experience Copenhagen, as it has actually taken on the meaning of home for me. The third “travel break” provided by DIS will serve as a Staycation for me, where I will have the apartment to myself (with my SRA, Louise)! I can’t wait!

Much love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True Life: I Study Abroad

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63 days ago, I walked through JFK security with my cheetah pillow and nearly collapsed from anticipation and fear. 8 weeks and 6 days have passed since I came to Copenhagen like a kindergartener on the first day of school. I simply could not imagine what was in store for me.

56 days are all I have left before this experience is behind me. Only 56 more times to wake up, go to the gym, and spend the day interacting with the people and city that I have come to adore.

I have spent this “midpoint week” reflecting on the affect that studying abroad in Copenhagen has had on me, and what I still need to do in order to make this experience worthwhile.

The first point I’ve come upon is this: it’s interesting how little I actually need in order to be happy. All this time, I didn’t realize how self-sufficient I could be, and how little of my American comfort is necessity. For example, since coffee is $5 a cup here, I have stopped drinking it. At home, I had a two-cup-a-day minimum. But after the cravings subsided a little, it wasn’t that hard. The same goes for shopping. Be proud, I have not bought ONE thing I did not need abroad. While I love being fashionable and making outfits and such, I won’t be able to transport more stuff home if I were to get some. Besides, I’m pretty much the poorest I’ve ever been since I don’t even speak enough Danish to wait tables. Basically, I’m living a life of less. And I’m good at it.

The permanence of this lifestyle is yet to be seen.

My second mini-lesson came from the small vacation I took with Mia to meet up with Marissa and Dee. It was Fall Break at Villanova, and they flew transatlantic to see us! Most friends just Skype over the ocean, but mine fly. Honestly, when we first saw each other it was like nothing had changed. The passage of time was irrelevant. We fit with each other like puzzles, interacting in the same perfect harmony as we always have. Feeling the love from them was reassuring for me. Instead of being homesick now that I am without them again, I feel even happier that I am abroad. I know that if our reunion felt so natural, I have nothing to worry about for the rest of the people I love. This realization has left me feeling free to totally invest myself in Copenhagen–I didn’t know it, but I think that was the “something” I was missing about this experience. Now, I have the confidence to fully step away from the people I love, knowing that they will be there when I return. I can finally let go of home and spend my remaining 56 days as a truly independent European (wannabe). Missing everyone has been such a factor in this experience for so many people, myself included.

Overall, the past two months have taught me so much about myself and my role in the world.

Much love.

WHERE IS MY MOM

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I wouldn’t exactly say I’m homesick, but being sick in Copenhagen has made me miss my mom. And my sister–Bitty is one of the best people to be sick around because she cares so much. Between the two of them, I’m wishing I was back in my own bed (actually, Bitty’s bed) at home in America. That said, I slept enough today that I decided it was finally time to eat. What do we usually eat when we’re sick? Soup!

Although I’ve never had to make my own soup before thanks to Ben’s requests for Dad’s chicken and dumpling soup, tonight was my first attempt. And let me tell you, I succeeded! Veggie stock cubes from the communal pantry basket, veggies from the fridge, beans from my shelf–voila! I am already starting to feel a little better.

Wish you were here, Bogue fam. Much love.

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