Godspeed, travel well…

You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.

 

Today I started to sort out the ‘practical matters of leaving Denmark’.  I can’t believe my time here is coming to an end.  This is my last Danish summer.  I was granted the visa I needed to allow me to live and work in Australia from September, and I can’t believe its time to pack up everything into two suitcases and start all over again.

Starting over is cleansing.  It is refreshing to the soul.  The deep emotions felt when leaving a familiar place and entering a new one, swirl amongst memories had and memories yet to be made.  I like that the aspect of my ‘home’ has changed so many times and will continue to change in the  years of my life.  I like it because I have many places in this world that I feel at home.  I have friendships that will carry me over to the next place, with the hope of creating friendships that will last as long as my last ones.

It’s bittersweet to the point that is is unexplainable.  The mix of heavy heart and happy feelings mesh in such an unusual way.  It’s like the world is telling you that it will be alright.  Life goes on.  Nothing is static, fixed.  It all changes, and can change when you least expect it.  Change is good.  We all need to learn to embrace a little change.

 

Godspeed, travel well…

Rantings from the musings

A little bit of a rant.

I really, really… REALLY cannot stress enough how many ill feelings arise when I hear the comment, “how do you do what you are doing?  I wish I could do that!”  (or something along those lines, you know what I mean).  Honestly, I’m stunned.  How am I doing what I am doing?  Because I love it.  Because I made the conscious choice every day to take action on what I want in this life.  That’s how.  Am I insanely rich?  no freaking way.  Do I travel a lot?  I would say yes, more then most my age, but do I have some glamorous job that allows me to travel the world?  No.  My glamorous job?  I’m a student. A student, who I might add, is stuck in the middle of her thesis and feels the anxiety slowly creeping in as each day towards deadline draws closer.  A student, who, lives in Denmark on a student visa, allowing me to work only 15 hours a week at my part time job at Starbucks.  Do I make a killing?  Hell no.  I just know where and how to make sacrifices, and thankfully all that organic food that the Danish people don’t purchase, ends up in a dumpster for me to loot through.  How glamorous is dumpster diving?  To be honest though, I haven’t gone through the dumpsters much lately… it’s getting warmer out now and the food items are starting to turn a lot more quickly.

But back to my rant.  What I am trying to say here is, IT IS YOUR LIFE.  If you aren’t happy with the way something is, then change it.  You are never ever stuck in something you don’t want to be a part of.  If you honesty think there is no way out, I feel sad for you.  If you think you are too fat, get off the couch and train your ass off at the gym.  If you hate your job, get another one.  If you want to travel the world, then GO AHEAD… get on the plane and never look back.  I can’t tell you the amount of people I have met on my travels who decided to do just that, and they are still doing it, 6, 7, 10 months later.   Sure they may dislike living in hostels, or have wicked blisters on their feet… but they are some of the happiest people I have ever met.  For me, having regrets isn’t part of my life plan.  The worst thing is this world is to have regrets.  I never want to be that person wishing I took that chance, or wondering how my life would have been if I had taken a different path.  Do everything and more in this life, you only get one.

I hate the comments people say, “Well, you are young, of course you are traveling…”  “It’s easier when you’re the age you are”…  “You don’t have real priorities”.  Excuse me, just stop right there.  When did turning 25, 30, 40, 50 put a limit on what you can achieve for your life.  Sure, it may be an easier time in my life right now in your opinion, but my problems are just as big as yours are and I deal with them on a regular basis.  Age, accomplishments, achievements, your job… they have nothing to do with your life.  Life is what you make of it and it really is quite an amazing journey… not some path you have to aimlessly wander down until your dead.

To change the topic, I just got back from a quick 2 day -city break- [a term I have coined for quick travels] in Paris.  I had quite the amazing time exploring the city with my roommate Sarah.  With no real plan in mind, we wandered curiously around the city of Paris, which might I add, is ridiculously huge.  I guess it came as a bit of a shock to me, and I really have gotten used to living in the small city of Copenhagen (population around 1 million compared to Paris’ 15 million). After the first day of seeing the many famous landmarks and buildings the parisian skyline has to offer followed by an evening of wine and cheese in the park– the wine was 2 euros, the cheese 3 and can I say, quite a meal!– we returned to our hostel worn out and ready for bed.  I quite liked where we stayed, this hostel offered POD beds, equipped with a privacy curtain, plugs and a reading light right in your little cubicle.  Under-the-bed storage that can be locked with your own lock offered a nice sense of security.  Free breakfast in the morning was also a plus, if not only for the morning tea/coffee.  The staff was overwhelmingly helpful and pleasant, and really helped make our stay a great one.  We flew home with Norwegian, and might I say the free wi-fi on board is quite an offering… I will definitely fly with them again.  I’ve also heard that offering wireless is cheaper than providing an individual entertainment system for each passenger… a win/win for everyone, since now-a-days everyone seems to have there own tablet or some mobile/video device.

I am anxiously waiting to get on my second travel to Australia this coming Tuesday.  I am working all the days leading up to it, including a 5 am morning shift the day I fly out (work 5-10 and leave at 12:30).  Thank goodness I work in the airport and can just go to my gate after I finish work.  I’ve already looked up a nice pay-use lounge in the Singapore Airport (which just won the worlds best airport award) that I will be purchasing for a nice hot shower and light refreshments after I finish that 13 hour flight.  I’ve been in the Singapore airport before, it really is an amazing place for a stopover.

Thesis is going well.  I am bringing my work down under with me to continue writing while Daryl has to go to his own 9-5.  It works out well though, no distractions for me during the day in sunny Oz.

That’s enough for tonight from this rambling mind.  Off to sleep for another early Starbucks start tomorrow.  Vi Ses.

 

the light changes and we escape forward

The title of this post originates from a Charles Bukowski Poem.  I have since closed the book and forget the title of the piece, however that one sentence resonates with me daily.  The light is strange that way, how it can change someones mood.  When I look back on my time in Copenhagen, I won’t think about the lack of sunlight in the winter months, because the never-ending summer sun makes up for those long dark winters ten-fold.  However, the seasons are changing now and spring is in the air.  Daylight savings time is tonight and we spring forward, giving us Copenhagen’ers another hour of that precious sunlight.  The sun will start to set around 20:00 or 8:00 pm for all those reading back home.  The days are mostly hovering around 7 C now, or 45 F again, for my American friends.  I’m looking forward to going to sunny Paris on Monday, where the temperature will be 20!  (70 degrees back home).  I’m packing sunny clothes and I want to buy a big floppy hat so I can feel Parisian while drinking wine in Paris.

Paris, yes… Paris on Monday!  I was going to meet up with an old friend, but circumstances have changed and thankfully i’ve convinced my roommate Sarah to come along with me for the quick 2 day exploration:)  We will leave Monday afternoon, and have a full day tuesday and return to Copenhagen late wednesday night.  I think thats enough time to see some of Paris!  Sarah and I are joking that we are going on a romantic roommate date to Paris… it is quite a romantic city though, isn’t it!  I haven’t been there for almost 10 years now, so I’m looking forward to the pang of nostalgia that might flood my senses.  Who knows though, I was a different human being when I came to Paris at a mere 16 years of age.  We’ve found a room in a female only floor in what appears to be a very nice and newly renovated hostel.  I have come to enjoy the smaller perks of being a female, and the rejoice in the tiny comforts of female only floors.  I have stayed in mixed rooms before, but with a group of at least 6 of us.  When the group I am with makes up more than half of the floor, i’m perfectly fine with having the rest of the mix both male and female, yet its just Sarah and I… i’ll take the female only floor:)  I am very excited to drink some delicious coffee and eat some crepes and bread.

I’ve been busily writing my thesis, and yesterday (Friday) submitted my first piece of writing, plus a fully detailed 3 page outline of what the thesis will include.  I’m still not quite where I want to be with my research, however I’m cutting myself some slack there since Its about a 100 page work, I think I will need a good amount of time to research.  I am taking all my work with me to Australia and will work on it the month I am away, while Daryl is at work.  It works out well in that sense, I know my wandering mind and I would get distracted by not only Daryl, but the profusion of accents, sun, sand and økologiske cafe’s.  It will be nice to sit down at the library, no distractions but in a new environment to gain some new insight.  I was lucky enough to pick up a few extra shifts at work, some to cover Paris and the others just to cover my never-ending growing list of expenses and month long excursion to Australia.  The sun comes out and I want to explore my city (and every other place in the world)!  It does cost some kroner, but it is so very very worth it.

I had the pleasure of walking around ørestad yesterday with my friend Mona.  We stopped and got an ice cream as the temperature outside was around 12 and it was extremely sunny.  What an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon!  We stopped at my favorite ice cream shop, Ismageriet that is a quick 7 minute walk away from where I live.  We each got an ice cream cone, I selected nutella and pistachio with my favorite Danish ice cream topping ‘guf’.  Its actually the ingredient found in my other favorite Danish sweet flødeboller.  Anyway, Guf is a creamy substance that covers the entire cone like molten lava. This topping is made by mixing whipped egg whites with sugar and is a bit like marshmallow fluff.  It is quite a spectacular topping I might add, and a must to try if you are in Denmark.

Then Mona and I headed off to the mall, as the sun was starting to set and the warmth was fading with it.  We moseyed our way around the multitide of stores- trying on clothes, picking out shoes and handbags, dreaming about how we would arrange and decorate our apartment in the midst of Danish Design, eventually stopping at the Bilka to pick up some food for dinner.  We said our goodbyes, as I wasn’t sure if that was the last time I would see her before I left for Australia… I always run into Mona though, as she lives right across the courtyard and I can see her house from my balcony:)

Today I am busy packing for Paris, trying on outfits to complete my perfect parisian style for the short city break I will be having.  I have to go into work later, and off to a friends 25th birthday tonight.  Thankfully I managed to have some friends who are very well connected and was able to put us on the list for the nightclub Hive.  Its apparently one of the nicest in Copenhagen.  I’ve never been, as I tend to stay away from the places that judge you on the way you walk, talk, and the designers you clothe yourself in.  I’m sure I will enjoy myself though, as I’ve learned that it is the people that make an evening… not the place.  I hope you all have a very good weekend and a good start to your week.  I am enjoying this start of spring.  Surely enjoying it 🙂

In Danish News.

Well, it’s not really news, but its hilarious.  This video, by Gruppe Læsset is not only hilarious, but perfectly explains all Copenhagen’ers interactions with the metro system.  Check In, Check Out reads the title.  hehe  Check it out, HERE.
The next piece of hilariousness to come from Denmark is a new Ad Campaign by the travel agency, Spies.  Apparently, the birthrate in Denmark is the lowest its been in 27 years. Danmark står over for en krise. (CRISIS IN DENMARK)   The fewer Danes that are born, the less Danes there are to support the aging population.  That’s not acceptable in Denmark, and they created a hilarious ad campaign to not only increase travel, but to also (hopefully) increase the birth rate through travellers quick city breaks.  Check out the deliciously crafted campaign to help save Denmarks future HERE.

I’ve attached the photos in a gallery so you can browse through them.  There are shots taken from around ørestad and also on our walk to the ice cream store.  I have also included some of the inside of Bolia, my favorite Danish Design shop… which I will be decorating my home in.  Ill just order straight from the catalogue.  Im obsessed with the simplicity.

The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great, that I thought I was in a dream

I always think that I do not have much going on in my life, yet I guess it is somewhat exciting.

Spring is here and the moods of all danes are vibrantly shining.  I love how the city comes back to life when the sun shines.  The mood is lifted so much, its actually quite ridiculous how much the sun breathes life back into the atmosphere and city life.

Most days I spend in the library working on my thesis.  I wrote my first page the other day (1 down, 99 more to go).  Yes its around 100 pages.  Yes I don’t think I will be able to finish it, yet I keep reading everyday.  I do enjoy working with my thesis partner, Joakim, and we help keep each others moods up on most otherwise dreary days.  We are supposed to hand in a first draft of something next week.  I have no idea how much or what we will have, but ideally we want to have our theory part written.  Who knows if that will actually happen. I have a page so far to turn in so thats actually somewhat of a start.  I am still enjoying researching my topic, so that is always a good sign.

My roommates are amazing.  Maria broke her collarbone the other week after a tragic bike accident.  I say tragic but it really was just her falling sideways and hitting the ground at the wrong angle.  Her mom has been living with us and helping her out.  Poor thing she can’t move her arm at all.  Maria’s mother is amazing, if anything can describe her mother it’s your typical spanish mom.  She cooks and cleans and speaks lots of spanish to us, even though we can’t understand her.  Knowing some Danish has actually helped me understand the spanish words, cinnamon for example, is Kanel in Danish and is some version of Kanel in Spanish.  I wouldn’t have known that if it weren’t for Danish.

Speaking of knowing Danish, Starbucks is offering free Danish Langauge courses 1 day a week for 2 hours.  I signed up!  I actually am going to make a further attempt to learn and speak this language.  Did I mention I speak it pretty much fluently at Starbucks, and have asked all my Danish friends to ONLY speak to me in Danish so I am forced to learn it a little faster.  Sometimes I dont know what they are saying really, but most of the time I can piece together words I understand and form together a conclusion of what they are saying.  It’s kind of exciting to know what people are saying when at first this language seemed like a complete slurring of mumbled words at first.  Also, and I found this out after I signed up, you get a free tablet to help you continue to learn the language.  Now i’m almost in it just to get the free tablet.  I always wanted to learn the language, my first teacher was just so horrible that it really turned me off to the whole idea of it.

 In Danish News

Denmark to introduce dual citizenship-How exciting!  For a country that [still] only allows you to belong to one identity, opening this alternative for citizens will really make Denmark a country of the world.  

I have been going to the gym and trying to “bulk up”.  Being fit isn’t good enough anymore, I really am obsessed with gaining muscle (At least in my head, you can’t really tell from my appearance, I don’t have muscle yet).  Aside from the fact that I can’t really lift heavy weights, and close my eyes and hurriedly walk past the the part of the gym that I have deemed the ‘sausage fest’ section, I have been making progress.  I have gone from the standard machines to actually lifting free weights and focusing a lot on deadliest and squats.  Today I actually stepped foot in the sausage fest section!  I met a girl from my kollegium who is very into lifting, and asked her if I could join her on some gym days and help her lift and vice versa (even though it is her teaching me most of the time).  She showed me some of the routines that she does in that section, and I tried out a couple… I could actually lift the standard bar and had to put on some extra weight.  It was fun and it was nice meeting another gym buff!  Now I have another person I can call when I need some motivation and not go to the gym by myself.

I have 23 days until my trip to Australia, and man, those days cannot go by fast enough.  though I will really miss Denmark this time around.  I have started to cherish these moments now that I know I have only 6 months left in this wonderful country.  That saying really does apply, you don’t know what you have until its gone.  Hopefully the last of the cold weather will finish out in April and I will come back to warm weather.  I plan on writing a lot of my thesis in Australia, however since I really haven’t started writing yet, I might have to continue the research process while I am there.  Either way I am looking forward to seeing Daryl for a whole month 🙂  I really feel like I am spoiling myself, and I so look forward to September when I can actually move there.

It seems to be wedding season back home, and I am sad I am missing so many of the main life events for so many of my friends.  This is the life I chose, however it would be easier if I had just a little more income and could afford to fly back and forth to see everyone more then once every year.  Money comes and goes, but I would love to have some money just to spend on flights.

Well, just a quick update from a healthy and very happy Caitlin.  I love you all and hope you are looking forward to spring like me!

Everyday Life

It’s an exciting week for me!  I officially sign into my thesis contract on Wednesday with my writing partner in crime, Joakim.  We still have yet to formulate a solid research question, but luckily we don’t need quite a concrete one when we sign our contract.  We will be writing about Mobile technologies in tourism, and something along those lines.  We’re thinking something that has to do with user generated content in relation to apps and mobile users.  My thesis supervisor seems absolutely amazing and I am quite excited to work with Klaus Bruhn Jensen.  You can google him if you want, he’s published a lot of books and is quite a researcher!  I am very humbled to be studying under someone who is so obviously ahead of me in my field.  It reminds me that I have a lot to learn and still have quite a ways to grow during this thesis process and the end of my Master’s program here in Copenhagen.  We have 26 weeks to finish our thesis from our signing date on Wednesday the 19th of Feb.  That puts us somewhere in the middle of August for our final hand in date.  Joakim and I hope to be finished by the start of summer so we can each enjoy our last summers here in Denmark.  It’s weird to think that in 6 months my time in Denmark will be coming to an end.  I started this crazy journey 2 years ago with a glazed innocence that I’m still somewhat carrying in my back pocket.  My eyes have really been opened to this world however, and with each  passing day I do grow in ways that I couldn’t have imagined 2 years ago.

As the days get longer and the sun decides to show its wonderful shining face, I find myself renewed with energy every day.  I’m trying to get back on a regular 9-5 school work schedule, and my manager at Starbucks has generously allowed me to work only weekends and save the workweeks for my thesis.  I’m somewhat regretting that choice of mine, because now I have no weekends to myself, but its manageable and much better to focus on school during the week, and my income on the weekends.

I have been exploring Copenhagen again with renewed spirit, as the new souls in my apartment have refreshed my curiosity to explore and wander through this wonderful city.  We often meander together down the streets of Copenhagen, enjoying a cosy evening at home with talks of our days.  Its nice to have some roommates that can enlighten your spirit.  The ones you surround yourself with really do have an impact on how you paint your day and so on and so forth.

Packing up from the library today.  Hope my musings were somewhat interesting on this somewhat sunny day.

 

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Danmark, jeg elsker dig

Being back in Denmark i’ve realized a couple things. I don’t know why I was having such a struggle last semester because being back here, in this place I was whining so much about reminds me of how incredibly happy I really am with my life here. Seeing my friends at work again, getting back into my barista grind and starting my last and final semester of grad school (which, I remind myself is what I worked so hard for in the beginning) is more than amazing and is really enough to keep me going. I have a renewed spirit this time around and I have made some resolutions to be a happier, healthier Caitlin. I have said there is no excuse for me to not cook my own meals, and bring them with me so I know what I am fueling my body with. I have slipped up a couple of times but for the most part I have been very good about cooking and finding new yummy sugar free things to eat. My new favorite foodblog is mynewroots.org and is actually a woman from the states who moved to Denmark! I feel like I can easily follow her recipes since I know she is using ingredients found here in this country. Celeriac is the ingredient that I am having a tough time finding but I just found it in Bilka the other day and I am excited to try out this recipe here.

I am very excited about getting started on my thesis, currently I am waiting to hear back about who my supervisor is and once we have that figured out and our first meeting, we can enter into our contract and officially start our thesis.  Until then I am doing limited amounts of research and reading up about how to write your thesis.  Thesis work for dummies pretty much.  ALso finalizing what exactly our research question will be.  We (I am writing my thesis with a friend) want it to be on Digital Media and Tourism, however that field is very broad and we are having a hard time honing in on exactly what we would like to research and write about for the next 6 months.  If all goes as planned I will turn in my thesis on August 17 and wait to hear back on the next steps:)

Back to the gym for me as well according to my new healthy lifestyle.  I’ve been aiming to go everyday and with that mindset I can usually go about 4-5 times a week.  With being on campus from 9-5 most days and working part time on the weekends, that is actually a reasonable goal and something within reach for me.  Im keeping myself busy happy and healthy and this is all resulting in a positive outlook:)

The days are starting to get longer, not warmer yet but having the sun not set around 3:00pm is absolutely wonderful.  I long for the never-ending days of summer where the sunsets at 11:00pm and rises again around 3:00am.  I look forward to enjoying my last summer here, before I move on to the next phase and adventure of my life, Australia.

Until next time readers.  

Much Love

No place like home for the holidays…

I think I finally understand what that saying means.  I’m home this year, first time home in 1 and 1/2 years to be exact.  It feels like nothings changed, except my attitude towards this place.  I left in 2012 running and never wanted to look back.  However this crazy year of 2013 with all of the ups (a new country, new friends new explorations and a new love) and all of the struggles the end of the year brought my way of friends that I had made leaving me, and Daryl returning to Australia and having to really commit to a long long distance, it actually feels nice being back home again.

Seeing all my friends and family has reminded me that I have so much, and that I really never am alone, even though it may at times feel like it.  My best friend met me at the airport when I returned home. Kate Parker!  I was so happy to see her standing along side my mom, and then my dad appeared also!  It was a wonderful welcome home.  We went out to my favorite Mexican place, Moes, right after we had landed.  It was nice just catching up with Kate and my mom and enjoying some delicious burritos!  Kate was the one that dropped me off when I first left, so it was only natural that I should see her first out of everyone! it was nice to be sitting face to face with the ones I love, instead of seeing them over skype!  I just really enjoyed seeing kate and my mom and spending time with them right away:)

Now that I am about to leave to go back to Denmark, I feel sad again. But also happy, I hope to take the experiences from the states back home with me to Copenhagen, and be empowered to finish off the school year strong. It’s always a little cold and lonely, I just think I needed to see my family again to bring that warmth and cozy feelings back into the spotlight 🙂

From January 28. I never realized that I failed to post this little blog post here, but I have returned to Denmark rejuvenated and in high spirits. I have started the prep work on my thesis, which includes contract signing and waiting for a supervisor. I have decided to write on none other than TOURISM! huh?! Who would have thought that. I have gotten right back into the swing of things with work and school and a (finally) clean apartment. I look forward to having new roommates soon and pray to the forces of the world that I get some girls this time instead of all boys. I am feeling much happier about things, though I still miss Daryl all the time.

It’s off to Uni for this kid on this cold and windy Danish day. We actually had a big snowstorm last night. It’s nice to see the world covered in white once in a while.