Pencil Me In | Making Friends in Denmark

How to make friends in Denmark when it feels like every Danes’ dance card is full

Happiness rankings do not always equal friendliness rankings

You’ve probably heard. Seen the news. Read the reports. Denmark, and the rest of the Scandinavia siblings often take top ranks on World Happiness Reports year after year. We could debate all day about what happiness means to you, while the Nordics just keep winning. No matter what. 2018 saw Denmark’s Nordic neighbor, Finland, atop the charts while Denmark came in at number three behind Norway. But really, what does make a country “happy?” Ask a Dane and it quickly becomes quite clear. In addition to a prevalence of personal freedoms – those social democratic benefits like universal free healthcare and free higher education are big when it comes to feeling satisfied, comfortable and content with where you live. Continue reading “Pencil Me In | Making Friends in Denmark”

Walking the Path of a Life Lived Abroad

When you Step Away From a Life You Had Planned

There is a path that you are supposed to follow. For a well-led life. A path that takes you from the boisterous enthusiasm of your sometimes pimply-faced youth through high school and on. To the expectation and rah-rah of those determined and dedicated university years. A path that is supposed to launch you into the world, on newly emergent adult-type wings still wet and unfurling, fluttering, and trying to fly. On your own.

The path may take you through first jobs – possibly slinging pizzas or bussing tables. You’ll find first apartments and first loves and then second loves or third dates and likely devastating breakups, but then when the time is right, the path might propose marriage. And maybe next, a first home. A small painted brick saltbox in Cincinnati, Ohio. You didn’t know when you started on this path where the house might be, but you knew you would likely be in a house. Then potentially another. In another space. With another move. Packing up and moving a life from each place to each place. But it’s still part of the plan.

This same path potentially brings a dog. Then a family. The 2.5 kids. The path is supposed to be stable and for the most part, secure. If you walk it. If you want it. If you ascribe to the unspoken rules. Follow the path. Work hard, raise your kids, buy a house, save for retirement, send them to college, and launch them on their own paths. Work some more. Retire. Happy. Fulfilled. Knowing you followed the path. It is what you were supposed to do. It’s what you are supposed to do. Continue reading “Walking the Path of a Life Lived Abroad”

A Sweet Slice of Nostalgia at The American Pie Company in Copenhagen

Authentic Americana and Apple Pie in the heart of Copenhagen

Care to share a sweet slice of authentic Americana right in the middle of Copenhagen? It’s as easy as pie. Except that I had yet to try. Until yesterday, when I finally succumbed to step inside The American Pie Company in the center of the city, which has been charming locals and garnering nominations for the City’s Best (Byens Bedste) Awards since it flung open its button-cute café in 2015. What took me so long you might ask? Wouldn’t a nice piece of pumpkin, pecan or key lime pie be the perfect palliative for any potential bout of pining for home? Yer darn tootin’ it could be. However, I’ve resisted. Until now. Continue reading “A Sweet Slice of Nostalgia at The American Pie Company in Copenhagen”

HOW TO INVITE DANES TO A PARTY | Tips to Help Understand the Cultural Rules around Celebrations in Denmark | via Oregon Girl Around the World

How to Invite Danes to a Party

Tillykke med fødselsdagen! Happy Birthday!

How to Celebrate in Denmark | Etiquette and Cultural Misunderstandings

Tillykke med fødselsdagen! Congratulations with your birthday! That’s how you say “Happy Birthday” in Denmark. And there are certain ways to celebrate it here. Like most everything you encounter when moving abroad, no matter where that may be, you quickly find there are distinct rituals and customs about how to do things. Those little, unspoken rules that are blanketly accepted by that society. The “rules” that no one tells you about until you do something incorrectly. Didn’t you know? That’s how we do it here. We all knew. Why don’t you? It was in the manual. Continue reading “How to Invite Danes to a Party”

At the end of the emotional parenthesis – living in Expat Limbo

What happens when there is no end in sight.
Where do you see yourself in five years?

My father-in-law always asks us the same question when we see him. It’s part of the ritual. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? It’s not the first question. Usually. And it doesn’t necessarily come at the beginning of a visit. It may even take a few days to come up. But then, unsuspecting, when you’re in a brief moment of reverie after the kids have left the table and you linger in the quiet space – BAM. There it is. Soooo, where do you guys see yourself in five years? Guh. I don’t know? I don’t even know where I see myself next year. Continue reading “At the end of the emotional parenthesis – living in Expat Limbo”