There should be no excuse not to travel, but we hear them all the time. Travel or stay home? Everyone has a reason not to go traveling and usually they’re things we tell ourselves to put off stretching our comfort zone and exploring the world. Most people find the time to go on vacation – trips to the beach or relaxing in a resort – but travel is a much different beast.
Should I go traveling? When I say travel, I mean immersing in another culture including the food, language and history. Travel isn’t always easy or glamorous, and sometimes it can be a sensory overload like walking the streets of Delhi, India or navigating through the Souk Bazaar in Marrakech. Continue reading “30 Reasons Not to Travel – and How to Overcome Them”→
Everything You Need to Know About the Eurovision Song Contest
What’s Eurovision? Well, until I moved to Denmark, I really didn’t know what Eurovision was. I had heard about some song contest, and kind of remembered that one time the bearded drag queen won (only because John Oliver talked about it), but then last year I got hooked. Eurovision was like heroin to my vein, combining so many things I love – crazy music, competition, nationalism, and flags. Having lived here, I learned that no one in Europe is neutral on Eurovision – everyone either loves it or hates it (but still secretly loves it). And now that I’ve been a Eurovision fan for exactly one year, I am here to answer all your questions about Eurovision 2019! Continue reading “What is Eurovision? A Beginner’s Guide to The Eurovision Song Contest 2019”→
I’ve always loved watching sports – my parents still joke that I went right from Sesame Street to SportsCenter, so watching sports has been one of my main hobbies all my life. Of course when Derek and I moved to Denmark, many friends asked me how I would adjust to life away from my beloved teams and the ESPN family of network. After two years of life in Copenhagen, I’ve completely adjusted the way that I enjoy sports! Continue reading “Tuesday Morning Football – Watching Sports and Living Abroad”→
Before we moved to Denmark, Mike and I were excited to fully embrace the new culture including learning Danish. As we prepared to move our lives to Copenhagen, we downloaded language learning apps and took in the Danish language basics. Is Danish hard to learn? Yes, and a lot of this is because of Danish pronunciation, but when we arrived in Denmark, everyone pointed us towards enrolling in Copenhagen Danish courses. It was free to enroll and the best way to really start speaking Danish. We made a lot of friends in our class and after completing the first of 6 modules, we decided to stop taking lessons. It was a huge time commitment and we had other activities we wanted to pursue. Still, there also a political reason that caused us to stop taking Danish lessons – the Dansk Folkeparti. Continue reading “Learning Danish is Hard, it’s Even More Difficult When It Gets Political”→
Even before I moved abroad, I heard tales of culture shock and reverse culture shock and wondered if these experiences would eventually hit me. The ups and downs of culture shock in Denmark have come and passed and I think I’ve come out on top and adapted well to the Copenhagen lifestyle. This past week I enjoyed a trip back to the US from Denmark and noticed some reverse culture shock where I didn’t expect it – dining out. Continue reading “Reverse Culture Shock: American Dining Service vs. European Dining Service”→
It seems like every few months there’s an unfortunate story of someone being kicked off of a plane in the United States. Most widely publicized is the 2017 United Airlines incident where a passenger was bloodied and forcibly removed from a flight. Sometimes these removal stories appear to be for valid reasons while other viral stories are just bizarre. If you do a quick Google or YouTube search for “Passenger removed from airplane for…” the results will give you a list of reasons from “body odor” to “fat shaming” to “yelling at a Trump supporter” along with wild stories and videos. There was even the time a woman was denied bringing her emotional support peacock on board a flight.
Ridiculous stories aside, this morning I learned about a serious one involving a Frontier Airlines flight out of Las Vegas that appears to have a lot of unanswered questions. The incident resulted in a mother being removed from a plane and arrested in front of her 14 year-old daughter who was placed in child protective custody. YIKES!
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.
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. Continue reading “Culture Clash: How Michelle Obama Annoyed One of the Happiest Countries on Earth”→