Growing your own Happy as an Expat

For Today’s Wednesday Wanderings – or Onsdag Wanderlust as I like to call them – I’m taking you local. A simple outing to a beautiful place right here in Copenhagen. The Botanical Garden in the middle of the city. Botanisk Have in Danish. If you are interested in going further afield on this hump day – see my last post about charming Torekov, Sweden.

I will be honest with you, since we got back from Sweden, I’ve been a wee bit melancholy. It’s the crutches and my foot. Ready to be mobile. Ready to be myself. Ready to hop on my bike, camera strapped to my back and take whatever turn I feel like. But there is still a lot to do before that happens. I know that. And more than the really ugly and permanently scarred cankle, something else has creeped in recently. For the first time since arriving here in Denmark, I have felt a little homesick. It’s true. I can’t say that I have really been homesick before this. Now. I know what you’re thinking. In those dark, cold, damp Dansk winter months – nary a twinge of wanting to go home? I read your posts I hear you saying. Nope. No. Honestly. I’m serious. Wasn’t homesick. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t missed family and friends and my dog before this. I definitely have. And it is true that I was more than a little blue and there were some days where I only wanted to stay in bed and say screw Denmark’s hygge all up in my business. But that wasn’t homesick. I didn’t necessarily want to be back in Oregon. And even the amazing pull of necessity empowering my post-surgical cross worldly trip to see family in Hawaii I wouldn’t call homesickness. That was different. And Hawaii has never been my “home.”

Oregon is my “from.” To assist the kids’ transition here I have been very careful not to call Oregon “back home.” Home is here now. In Copenhagen. “Home is wherever I’m with you.” Cliche perhaps (I do love that song), but it is important to feel committed to this here. Easier said than done sometimes. Especially when images of end of school festivities in your “from,” summer outings at your lake or fun family events you are missing pop up in your feed constantly. I am missing that. Part of it is the community. Part of it is the “normal.” Part of is the very simple sense that I am missing out. This is something that has to be weighed in your pros and cons process before leaving. And we did. But, if I were more mobile, I’d be filling my bucket here with activities, sights, sounds, tastes and experiences that would balance the scales. Lesson the missing. I’d be out and about and exploring. That’s how I do. Alas. Poor me. Dislocated ankle. Wanh wanh. Tiny violins. Over it.

So with today’s blue blue’s taunting me from out the 5th floor flat window – I decided to do something about it. Yep. Destiny in my own hands. I am the master of my own happiness. I would fill the bucket. It wasn’t easy on the crutches (that I am HATING about now) but it was worth it. I bussed to Kent Kaffee Laboratory on Nørre Farimagsgade which I had seen reviewed several places lately. And while it was a delicious cappuccino, I think the lack of ANY OTHER person in there made it a little lacking in that classic Danish hygge. There are other coffee shops I like better. From there, I crutched the few blocks to the Botanisk Have. There are only a few entrances – I recommend starting near the corner of Gothersgade and Nørre Voldgade (this is an easy walk (not on crutches) from the Nørreport Station or the delicious and fun Torvehallerne Market for eats.). The air is heavy with late blooming lilac in the warming day of early June.

Sommer blooms at Botanisk Have
Sommer blooms at Botanisk Have
Allium love
Allium love
Botanisk Have
Botanisk Have

I can not believe I haven’t been in here sooner. So beautifully adorned in ever changing flora around each and every turn. So many little nooks and crannies for a picnic or rest or walk. Two little cafe trucks (one near the entrance listed above and one near the beautiful museum) offer light eats and beverages. I can definitely see spending a lazy afternoon here on a day date. A few hours of crutching and resting and snapping and filling my bucket. It worked. Enjoy the pics and cheers from Denmark. What fills your bucket? Please share!

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