When we decided to move to Denmark for an expat assignment, everything happened fast. One thing we came back to often was, “what will we miss if we move abroad to Copenhagen.” Even in a short term expatriate assignment, we knew we would miss out on family birthday parties, friend’s bachelor parties, weekend trips to the beach and almost every holiday besides Christmas.
What we found out was that there are also some incredible trade-offs to missing these events. This past week, while we were missing out on Easter with our families, Mike and I spent some time talking about what we gained in exchange for missing those events. These “expat trade-offs” really mean something to us, and we focus on them when we start to get down about missing out on things back in our native country, America.
We began our Easter Holiday travels with two nights in Tallinn and we were not disappointed. In fact, we left feeling that everyone should visit the capital of Estonia and we had discovered a hidden gem of Europe. Here are 13 reasons why: Read More
One week ago, Michelle Obama visited Copenhagen, Denmark as part of her European book tour promoting Becoming. While she has sold over 10 million copies worldwide, her Royal Arena appearance last Tuesday has drummed up some pointed criticism. As an American living in Denmark for over two years, I see a cultural misunderstanding with confusion on both sides. While I may not be an expert in everything Danish, I have adapted quite well to the norms of Denmark and therefore have a solid foot in Danish and American culture. Here’s where I think things went wrong for the former First Lady and how some cultural sensitivity could have prevented an awkward appearance. Read More
Next week we are off to explore a section of Europe we have yet to travel, the Northeastern Baltic cities of Helsinki, Finland – Tallinn, Estonia and finally Saint Petersburg, Russia. We can’t wait to explore the beauty, culture and unique character of these cities. Even with a late Easter holiday, the temperatures will be cooler but we are ready. The shoulder season should mean smaller crowds and the cities may be a bit quieter, even for a holiday week. Like I posted about earlier this week, it’s a good time for us to travel as expats because most of our friends will be visiting family for the Easter holiday. Here are some of our plans for the week: Read More
At times, I think about what I would do differently now that I’ve been living in Denmark for over two years. Being an American expat in Copenhagen has been thrilling – Mike and I often describe it as “really high highs and really low lows.” There’s a lot more than what you see on House Hunters International – expat life is intense! Most of this adventure, I would never change but there are still things we could have done better. One of those is something we look back on and call “the travel trap.” Read More
Travel inspiration comes from all over. I don’t really know why I looked up flights to Kiev (Kyiv) one random evening this winter, but it happened – and I’m glad I did! It may have been from binge-watching The Americans on Netflix and a mounting curiosity about the Cold War. It could also be the fact that I am mildly obsessed with visiting locations that were closed off to the West during my lifetime. It could have just been flights under $100, but without a lot of debate we were booked for Kiev and convinced our friend, Uffe, to join us.
Last month marked my two year anniversary of moving to Copenhagen. Celebrating my “Denmark Day” with Mike and my friends was a lot of fun, and it made me think about some of the biggest surprises I experienced when expatriating. It’s been a lot more than expat housing and Danish hygge – those things I could read about online before I showed up. Everyday expat life in Copenhagen (København) can be very familiar but still so different, and here are 7 things that really surprised me at first.
In this second piece about the group trip we took to Napoli, Italy, I’ll talk about our travels and settling in to our villa. Plus I’ll discuss our first excursion in Naples. Visiting the ancient ruins of Pompeii, having lunch at a vineyard with a generous wine tasting and climbing Mount Vesuvius. This was a tremendous kick off to our Italian vacation! Read More
We left Agra early and cold the day after visiting the Taj Mahal and Red Fort of Agra. The city was crowded, but by this point we have started to get used to chaotic traffic and the constant blowing of car horns. We left the hotel around 6am and were dropped off at the bus station to take the local bus to Jaipur, known as the Paris of India. A six hour ride on the local bus was a hip, no-frills way to travel. Riding through the small towns and villages was something we would have missed out on by train or plane. Dotted with small produce stands, crowds of people and animals moving in every direction – rural Indian towns were exciting to witness up close.