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Realization upon Returning from Denmark

 

Just returned from Denmark and I wish I could have brought back all the people and places I love there, the beautiful design and local foods. But upon recovering from travel fatigue I realize that I am bringing home something far more important… a realization you can call it. That every place has its qualities and weaknesses and that being in Denmark is no guarantee for happiness. In fact, I feel happy to see my home in America again, my friends and my town that welcomes me back. Maybe the most important thing I am bringing home is this realization that the perfect country does not exist anywhere. Happiness is more of an attitude to life. An appreciation of what we have and a letting go of the yearning for what we do not have. This is something the Danes, generally speaking, are pretty good at. Taking time to enjoy things and people they love. Doing something joyful and relaxing is important to people of all kinds and ages. It clears our minds, we get the chance to recharge our batteries and appreciate the things we have and love around us. Fortunately, you do not have to be in Denmark to do this.

I will definitely not deny that my trip to Denmark was exciting and lovely and I cannot wait to share my experiences and all the great things I saw there here on this blog in the weeks to come. Just as long as we remember that it is only meant as an inspiration from Denmark because every place in the world has something great to offer. As a matter of fact it is a boost of energy to be back in the U.S. and to feel the American excitement, energy, hospitality and friendliness. When anthropologists go on long-term “field work” (research) it is recommended to take a so-called “field break”, for several reasons. The interesting thing is that when the anthropologist returns to the “field”  (the place they study) they usually become closer to that place and its people. Ironically, going away for a little while brings you closer. Now this has happened to me. I realize that I am not only Danish but also American and that it would be impossible to only live the Danish way. Maybe a more appropriate name for this blog would be Happy as a Dane – in America.

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7 Comments

  1. Hello there ! Im actually really happy i came across this. We are a family of 4 living in denmark .i am a us citizen the rest of the family are danish citizens and have had anreally hard time adjusting to denmark . Now we are in a position that a move to the states is possible and im scared to compromise the safety of my kids in the states even though i was born and raised in the states, living overseas for 7years has really changed my perception of things . Reading the news has made me scared and nervous that i would be increasingly jeopardizing theyre safety and feel as though denmark has lower risk . We are just having a hard time making the right decisions and it would be nice to hear from someone who experienced kind of the same thing. Every country has its goods and its bads like you say we are just struggling to know if the risk is worth taking.hope to hear from ya. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! Thank you for writing. I can really relate to your dilemma. It is so hard to make such a big decision. I wouldn’t be concerned with safety by moving over here but of course it depends on which part of the states you would move to? If the whole family still after 7 years has a hard time adjusting to Danish culture it might be a good idea to move to the U.S.
      If I were to choose I would say that it is generally easier to raise a family in Denmark because childcare institutions are so much more affordable and work places are more family friendly in Denmark.
      Have you read “The Year of Living Danishly”? That book has great advice on how to adjust to Danish society.
      But as you say, none of the countries are perfect – they have different things to offer. And if you find a friendly town or community it can be a nice place to raise a family. I hope it helped? Good luck and I hope you find out what is best for your family.

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  2. Helle Koustrup Berry says

    I was, involuntarily, moved to the USA in 1960 at the age of 8. 20 years later I made my first visit. Absolutely loved everything: the places, the feeling, the family and friends.
    Yet that 6th week could not end fast enough: I was ready to go HOME. The USA had become home and I learned to blend the two. Not perfectly but it works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so interesting! How American culture sneaked in on you and shaped you even when you thought Denmark was still your “real” home.

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  3. I really appreciated your reflection. I feel very much the same way although I grew up in Copenhagen. I usually go back once a year and swim in the “Danishness” but also appreciate coming back to colorful and exciting America with all of what has been created here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes that is how I experience it too! I love the “Danishness” with all its hygge and comfort but also appreciate the American colorfulness and room for diversity.

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