So I’m just going to go ahead and call out Belle on this one: You know how spastic and shambly I can be in the morning before class or before we have to leave the house for something significant. Well, right now I’m at that point times about ten. Why? Because in approximately 4 hours I’ll be on a flight to ROME ITALY.
Yes, that’s another country. That’s another country I’ve had a borderline obsession with since first learning about the Italian Renaissance. And I’m about to spend 9 days there with my roommate! It’s almost literally a dream come true, but also a very shambly one at that. I’m suddenly very grateful the cheapest flight for us is at 1:40 PM-if I had to get up at, say, 3 AM like some of the other girls in my building and pack and get their lives together before leaving for a week. Because I probably wouldn’t make it out the door.
But one thing I thought about while packing that I’m really excited about isn’t leaving-it’s coming home. Sure, I’m not going to be craving Copenhagen while Lauren Ashley and I tour Tuscany vineyards and experience art like Michelangelo’s David and Da Vinci’s The Last Supper-not to mention all the pizza, pasta, and gelato-but I’m already anticipating how good it will feel to land in Kastrup again and really be home.
To be corny and kind of cliche, one of the songs that Belle and my sorority use often in videos and in relationship to our chapter and sisterhood is ‘Home’ by Phillip Phillips-we let the girls we surround ourselves with at school to ‘make this place our home’. And that’s always made sense to me-we spend 4 years (at least) in college with the same people in the same city doing the same things-it becomes your home. I’ve gotten to the point where I say ‘home’ and I could really be referring to Dayton (my hometown) or Cleveland-more likely Cleveland, really, because I spend more time out of the year there.
But what surprised me about being here is that Copenhagen really does feel like my home now (yes, now I’m singing the song in my head, sorry not sorry if you are too). I know my way around the city now-I can explore and wander and still find my way back to my bus stop. I know how to work bike traffic now. I know the proper bus etiquette to never small talk with your neighbor-really, you should avoid having a neighbor on the bus at all, if you can. My internal body clock is even trying to adjust to Danish schedules where they manage to get up early, function all day, socialize until 4 or 5 in the morning, and then repeat it the next day. I get out of class and say ‘Ok, it’s time to bike home’.
Yep, that’s a pretty philosophical finding for someone who’s supposed to be traveling and meeting foreign boys and taking advantage of the nonexistent drinking laws in Europe all semester. But now that I think about it, this is part of what we came here to do-I feel like (but can’t promise) that Belle might feel this way too. Even in only 4 months, we get so used to our host country’s land and people and culture that it becomes a part of us. And not just in the way that we’ll bring home souvenirs that will confuse people, because what American really knows what the Danish flag looks like anyways (I certainly didn’t before I came here), but in a deeper sense as well. I can guarantee you that I’ll be obsessed with candles forever now that the Danes taught me to fight off the winter blues with hygge and candlelight. I’m probably never going to question a person’s choice in college major again after being told off by a Danish history student, who assured me (light way of putting it) that Danes choose jobs and lifestyles because they want to, not because it will bring them material wealth. I’m going to be majorly culture shocked coming back to Cleveland and actually having to be careful walking alone at night (as compared to here, where it’s so safe that parents leave their babies bundled up in little marshmallow suits, napping in strollers on sidewalks while the parents shop inside. Not to mention I don’t think a pasty will ever taste quite as good again-and don’t even get me started about the PopTarts. Infinitely better here, to say the least.
But before I start rambling too much, the point of this post-study abroad may have the stereotype of little work and lots of night life, but if anything, Copenhagen has shown me it’s more than that-it’s about adding new depth and experience to your little version of ‘home’. I’m going to have a soft spot for Denmark my whole life I’m sure, and I’m already a bit sad thinking I have to leave in May (plot twist: if I end up taking a gap year before medical school, I could apply to be a paid intern at DIS for a year and come back to Copenhagen….). I can’t speak for Belle, but let’s be real, if you spend every day soaking up the sun and immersing yourself in the country through the oceans and reefs around it, you’re probably going to love it forever.
So now I’m going to wake up my already napping roommate and venture out of our little Copenhagen world for Italy-expect lots of news/pictures, but not right away, because when I get home on Sunday, I have a feeling I’ll need some good, old-fashioned catching up with Copenhagen before functioning again.
“The trouble it might get you down, if you get lost you can always be found…..just know you’re not alone, cause I’m gonna make this place your home.”