Goodbyes are never easy, especially when you are leaving behind an exciting country where you have countless memories with a lot of interesting people. (However, the pain can be eased with the knowledge that I am trading the cold Danish climate for a beachside apartment in Sydney.)
While I have been somewhat diligent in blogging about my travels within Europe, I haven’t written much about my day-to-day life here in Aarhus, Denmark. However, I have been reporting From the Field for Verge: Travel with Purpose magazine as a guest blogger. Over the last six months, I have written about how I adapted to a small city, my struggles with the language, getting used to a new (and weird) grading system, and more recently my biking adventures. If you haven’t checked them out already, here are my favourite articles that are worth a click:
I ditched the big city exchange experience and ended up in Denmark biggest village. One can bike across this city in less than 20 minutes. In December I wrote, “Naturally, I had my inhibitions when moving to Aarhus. Most people are nervous about moving to a bigger city, but I was really worried about moving to a smaller city. There is something about rush hour traffic, packed TTC subways and perpetually angry nine-to-fivers that makes me feel at home.”
How did I learn to love Aarhus? Find out!
That’s not 10 out of 10. That’s 10 out of 12. Denmark has a 7-scale grading system where you can get one of the following grades: -3, 00, 02, 4, 7, 10 and 12. How and why this weird grading system works? I have the answer.
In January I made a confession: “It’s embarrassing, but I’ll admit it: After six months of living in Denmark, I can’t pronounce the name of my street.” Before judging me, why don’t you try to correctly pronounce “Rødkløvervej.” When you think you are saying it right, guess what? You are not! Even as a language aficionado, I have had a hard time picking up Danish, and in this blog post I tell you why.
Biking has definitely been a highlight of my Danish experience, but it’s come with its fair share of problems. Going uphill is only one of those steep problems. Read about the highs and lows of my two-wheeled experience.
I am grateful (mostly to low-cost airlines and my high-interest savings account) that I got to travel a lot while living in Denmark. Spain, Scotland, Poland, Germany, Norway and Sweden are some of the new countries I visit, and I also went back to London for a memorable weekend. Before you plot to hack into my bank account and steal my precious tuition money, read this blog post to see how I did it on the cheap.
What I didn’t get a chance to blog about, but is definitely worth a mention, are all the amazing people I met in Denmark. Granted I didn’t make friends with too many locals, but I did manage to constantly get inspired by my classmates from 44 different countries. My German friends showed me the craziness of Carnival in Cologne; my French roomie patiently listened to me butcher her mother tongue while trying to learn French; my Canadian-turned-African roommate enchanted me with her warm African tales (and delicious baking); my Serbian “sports reporter” roommate answered all my stupid sports queries, and trust me, some of them were really stupid; my Chinese flatmate brought tears to my eyes with his spicy food on several occasions; and my
American Californian housemate serenaded me with pleasant tunes on his ukulele. I could go on thanking all the 70 students in my program for their contributions to my Danish experience, but that’ll need a new blog post.
Thank you to all my readers for following along on my Danish ride. Hopefully you’ll stick around for the next chapters as well!