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Things I’ve noticed when traveling through Europe

Tips for travelers that I have discovered or re-discovered throughout my semester abroad:

1) Siestas are effective (eat lunch late, rest from early mornings, eat dinner late, and make and use of nightlife)
2) Nightlife= wee-hours-of-morning life
3) The dollar fluctuation actually matters in the real world!
4) Use of the metro is SUPER convenient.
5) When packing a suitcase to travel, it’s better to pack an L.L. Bean backpack instead (airlines are a crapshoot and sometimes tell you that suitcases are too big, re-wearing jeans is necessary evil, you may be doing extensive walking on cobblestones so rolling bags are not ideal, weather can be difficult to pack for so be realistic about the forecast and be prepared!)
6) Americans are not always well received, especially by rude Italians
7) Overall levels of trust and social responsibility are different in every country. Thus, you and your possessions will be safer in some places than others.
8) YOU must find you own balance between wandering vs sightseeing/doing both.
9) People within certain cities act differently (Italians have a more leisurely walk than Danes, Greeks sit around in squares, Italians spend much time at cafes/trattorias, London metro is brisk)
10) ALWAYS have a charger for all devices AND an extra adapter (or else our plugs are useless)
11) 3 things to never leave home without: debit card, granola bar, shower flip flops!

With these tips, everyone can learn from my mistakes and misconceptions. I hope you have safe and comfortable travels!

Much love.

No Time

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When I think about how I live my life, I often catch myself saving things for later, putting them off, or having doubts about whether or not it’s the right time for them.
buddha timeStudying abroad has NOT been one of those instances. Just flying here was an obstacle for me, and I know that the person boarding the plane to the USA will have accomplished far more than the person who boarded the plane to Copenhagen. Since I’ve been here, I have been taking as many opportunities as I could, because I don’t know when, if ever, I will get another chance to come to Europe to learn, see, do, and love all that it has to offer.

With only TEN DAYS LEFT, I find myself thinking about a statement that Vince made recently: “This space in time is unique and will never be replicated.” Even if I were to come back to Copenhagen in the future (which I hope to do), I will not be living in this apartment in city center on Skindergade with fellow DIS students. Each moment we spend here is a chance to make a lasting memory, because those are the most important souvenirs. That said, my housemates in Skindy 14 have become much closer over the past few weeks, cooking family dinners, decorating the house, going out on weekends, and basically just spend time enjoying each others’ company for the last weeks of our time together.

For these last TEN DAYS, I will do everything in my power to give Copenhagen all the love it deserves, and show my appreciation to the beautiful city that will always occupy my memory as my European home. I will not waste this time, for I know I do not have it.

Much love.

My Precious Nuggets

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To rattle off my to-do list here would be pointless. Just imagine an absurd accumulation of sticky notes and the feeling of sinking and being unable to stay afloat. I know that the things I have to do will get done (I will find time during business hours to call the bank) but the minutes only seem to last for seconds and the time I have to spend with loved ones is running out!

Speaking of loved ones…

Today, all the parents at the daycare (TLCC, my place of employment) started asking when my last day would be. We are all used to this, as I have spent the last four years, including high school and college breaks, gaining the wisdom that can only come from taking care of children. To hear the parents’ disappointment that I would be leaving their children once more, and their excitement for me in my travels, means so much to me. Knowing that they have accepted me as a caretaker for their child is the most precious feeling in the world. I will miss them all so very much when I am away. When I come back, my nuggets (as I affectionately call my group) will have grown so much, as they are between five and nine months old right now. Brinleigh’s hesitance to crawl may have developed into a walk by the time I get back. Alfred, my most treasured little one, may actually be running in spite of our insistance that he stay contain-able for as long as possible. I have the pictures that we took during our many days of playtime and laughter. I only wish that I could freeze those moments and relive them periodically to remind me of how sweet they were.

Through DIS, I have acquired a Visiting Family, which may soften the sting of missing my nuggets. This family and I will bond over the semester as they show me Copenhagen and Danish culture. Happily, I heard from them today, and learned that they have two- and four-year old daughters! However, I have the highest of standards for how beautiful, affectionate, and absolutely astounding children can be. My only hope is that my Danish Visiting Family can add to my awe at the children I meet.

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