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”
For simplicity – when I use the word “football” below I am referring to American football. If I use the word “soccer” I am referring to European football. I realize this is incredibly American-centric, but I’m American this is written in my voice.
Yes, I really did spend 10 hours flying 4800 miles (7725 kilometers) to watch a football game in my home town.
Like most large cities around the world, Copenhagen is full of graffiti. Over the years, graffiti is something I have gotten used to as an urban dweller. My hometown of Philadelphia tries to combat graffiti with a city-wide mural arts program and it’s been quite successful. Berlin is another city full of graffiti that has made it part of its charm – graffiti is a thread in the municipal fabric of the city. In Copenhagen, I walk past a piece of graffiti almost every day that is nothing short of adorable and I had to share it. Continue reading “Must See – Adorable Danish Graffiti”
Preparing to travel can be exhausting. There’s a long list of things to plan from lodging to transportation and of course what to do when you get there. While tour groups can alleviate some of this burden, many people still prefer to take the ball themselves and travel like a local. Whatever your destination, getting to experience life as the natives do can bring your travel to the next level. Here are some tips on how to travel more authentically with examples from my adoptive home and popular European vacation destination, Copenhagen, Denmark. Continue reading “How to Travel Like a Local – Hidden Copenhagen”
Last month the Oxford Dictionary added over 600 new words and phrases to the English dictionary. These quarterly updates never really catch my attention – the last word I remember being added was “bootylicious” in 2004. However, in this latest helping of nomenclature, Oxford threw in a Danish word that I recently added to my vocabulary in heavy rotation – Hygge (pronounced “HUE-gah”).
There was a time when I would joke that people shouldn’t celebrate Independence Day outside of the original 13 colonies. I grew up outside of Philadelphia, the birthplace of America, so July 4th always had a high degree of importance. In Copenhagen, Denmark July 4th is just “Tuesday” and as you can imagine, not observed.
It was a weird feeling to forgo the celebration of July 4th. Continue reading ““Celebrating” July 4th Abroad”
“Can you be in Copenhagen on Monday?” – that was how this whole adventure started back in November 2016 when Mike was asked to go to Denmark for a business trip on almost zero notice. After being briefed on the trip, he called me that Friday afternoon to ensure we didn’t have anything else going on during the weeks he would be away. My reaction was, “who cares?! GO!!”