A big thing I take pride in about myself is my ability to enjoy my own company. A big thing I try to work on is not only being with myself. This past week as I settled into my home in Copenhagen, I think I did a good job of doing both.
I was placed to live in Skindergade 40, a residential living area only steps away from DIS. I absolutely adore everything about city life- walking everywhere I want to go, people watching, the constant ability try something new- so this feels like the perfect place for me to live.
I got to know my roommates, and we made plans to share a cooked meal each week together to continue our relationships and showcase our individual cooking skills. Our first shared meal, a bolognese dish made by my roommate Lexi paired with wine, proved our little family was going to get along well throughout the semester.
A few of the people in my building and I bonded our first night over a few drinks, discussing our classes, plans for travel and hopes and fears for the semester. It was clear to me I’d at least met some people I could explore this new city with while getting settled in, and likely also made some good friends.
After the scavenger hunt through our neighborhood that DIS put together to get us used to our surroundings, our community advisor suggested we take a swim in the canals to enjoy the unusually sunny weather. My first reaction was, of course, the canals? Like, where the boats are?
Sure enough, our quick half hour walk brought us to a packed boardwalk filled with people of all types sunbathing, picnicking, and jumping into the water. Some in swimsuits, some completely naked, some fully clothed. The guide on our canal tour later told us that Danes are much more comfortable with nudity than Americans, so it was relatively common to see people fully naked in public.
While I came ready to try new things, I decided a swim-suited jump into the canal was enough for the day. The cold salt water was a little shocking, but the laughs my friends and I shared along with the locals sitting next to us were more than worth it.
My next days were filled with more new experiences. I began my mornings by picking a coffee shop that seemed relatively far away, and took in the city while making the walk there. People watching isn’t the same here, as I have no idea what anyone is saying around me, but I’m hoping I’ll eventually be able to fully take in my surroundings with the help of my Danish language and culture class. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the view.
We made the most of the sunny days we were gifted with by canal jumping every day and taking a new route to walk there each time. Our canal tour guide also told us Danes will make the most out of every bit of sunshine they get, so we decided we’d do the same.
As the clouds and rain come in, I’m still trying my best to navigate my way through the city by foot. Classes have started and I’m beginning to form relationships with my classmates while my excitement for what’s to come continues to grow. Plans to visit Tivoli, explore museums, eat late night Shawarma and ‘live like a local’ have begun, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have so much time to experience it all.