I’m Back.

It’s been a while since my last post, I think over a month to be honest.  A lot of stuff has been going on so I’ve been busy a lot!

Since my last post I’ve travelled to Western Europe when I visited Amsterdam with my school, I celebrated my 3 month anniversary since coming to Denmark, I changed classes in school, and I moved to my second host family.

Going to Amsterdam was phenomenal.  As you may know, I love large cities. My favourite place on earth is Manhattan; so, finally getting travelling outside of rural Denmark was fantastic.  Amsterdam was unlike any city I’ve been to before.  I was struck by just how quiet the city was at night.  I’d walk along the canals in the cool autumn air and could just quietly listen to the city.  Three months ago I was still in North America, never travelled to Europe, and now I’m sitting on a bench by the Canal enjoying one of Europes finest cities.

New York is a City to Dream in, but Perhaps Amsterdam is a City I Could Live in.

While I love Manhattan in all aspects, I find myself living Amsterdam in a different way.  Sure, there isn’t a constant 24/7 hustle and bustle, but perhaps that’s a good thing.  Seeing the sights in Amsterdam, the canals, the leaning houses, and the Dutch culture, it was amazing.  Oh, and I had the opportunity to see an old friend from Canada on Canadian thanksgiving.  Suffice to say, I had a great time.  I think Amsterdam is my #2 city of choice to live in.

Three months is a long time to be away from home.  No parents, no home, no Canadian comfort food (well, I brought maple syrup with me, but that’s besides the point) and no familiarity.  This exchange was a leap before you look kind of affair.  It’s been fantastic for me in more ways than one.  For instance, prior to leaving Canada, I was defined by certain characteristics.  Maybe I was that “smart guy”, or the “cocky guy”, but since coming to a country where I’m unable to express either of those things through language I’ve been forced to adapt and try to flesh out other parts of who I am.  It’s been good for me to expand upon different parts of my character.

Today is my 100th day in Denmark.  300 days of Denmark only has 200 days left…  Chronophobia is the persistent and irrational fear of the passing of time.  I can definitely relate to that fear.  Sometimes I lay awake at night and think about all the people I meet here, the things I do, and the places I go— it’s all temporary.  Sure, the memories will exist for the rest of my life, but in all honesty nothing has given me more profound sadness than remembering my old life.  I don’t miss home, I miss the memories.  And perhaps someday I’ll miss the memories of my Scandinavian home.  That thought constantly runs through my head, and the fact that I can’t do anything to stop the passing of time really messes with me.  All I can do is try to ensure that I don’t waste any time.

This year is approximately 5.26% of my life.  But if I play my cards right the memories will account for a much higher percentage.

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Denmark Five – Oh

By the time this post is 12 hours old, I will officially have been in Denmark for fifty days.  All I can say really is: “wow”.  Denmark has been so good to me, and of course, Denmark has been so good for me as well.  Long have I passed my personal record for time spent away from home on my own (two weeks while I traveled to New York city).  I’ve been here for seven weeks now.  It is crazy to think about really, fifty days prior I was in the Toronto airport, saying goodbye to my family, my friends, and my country. and fifty days later I’m sitting on the edge of my bed writing a blog post; reminiscing about old memories, and old faces.

But, no matter, new life – new me.

I’ve been up to a lot recently.  I toured an old prison on the east coast of Denmark, I was able to see one of Denmarks mega-farms, a massive facility responsible for a huge chunk of Denmarks agriculture production, and of course, I’ve seen a great many of the Danish cities – Odense, København, Roskilde, Vejle, etc.  Of course, I have to manage all of this while also maintaining a school life.  On top of all this, I must also maintain a personal life.  Maintaining a personal life while abroad is harder than one may imagine.  It is true that I have a lot of free time, but it can be difficult to preserve who you are while you’re away from home.  One the one hand, you wish to become an integrated into your new culture and be indistinguishable from any other Dane.  But on the other hand, you want to preserve your culture and maintain who you were before you left home.  For instance, flannel and plaid are rather uncommon and unfashionable in Denmark; but, as a Canadian, you’ll have to tear my flannel from my cold, dead, hands.  

A lot can happen in fifty days.  There are years where nothing happens, and there are weeks where years can happen.