Tag Archives: copenhagen

my first amateur photo trip: copenhagen, florence, cinque terre

Only fitting that it takes me three months to publish these.

I recently acquired a Nikon D5200 (my first DSLR) in an effort to back up my writing abilities and a (pending) career in journalism with some sweet photography skills. And to make this site more dynamic! Cascading scrolls of endless words can only be so engaging.

This past January I took a few weeks off to reward myself for finally submitting my grad school apps. I had a year’s worth of PTO saved up and the restaurant was entering the slow season, not to mention half of my hyper-fertile coworkers were expecting… I figured it would be the only time I would be able to get away with skipping town for more than a few days for months, so, 86 LANI until February.

After a super hyggeligt dinner with my fam to celebrate my dad’s 60th, I flew to Copenhagen straight into the drunk and welcoming arms of my former coworkers a few hours into their super hyggeligt julefrokost (traditional christmas lunch/party/night of debauchery).

DSC_0127Cue sweet reunion! I had just seen Rikke three months prior when we spent a week in SF sprinting up all the hills and then plowing through every restaurant and bar that had a good draft list, but it was so, so, nice to see her again. :)

DSC_0139Kasper in the basic beer-d and obligatory Flying Couch t-shirt, wait is this a party full of beer geeks? I didn’t realize.

DSC_0125Rune! It’s ironic that two winters ago I was miserable and freezing in Denmark with no friends, and this year I went out of my way to get back to the gross rain/snow/hail situation just to hug them all. It was very, very worthwhile.

DSC_0148The Lauras and Stan! They were being very patient with me being a dumdum with the camera settings and posed a million times. This was one of the only ones that came out, and then I gave in to automatic. Probably best to figure out aperture/ISO/shutter speed when I am not 9hrs behind on sleep and drunk.

DSC_0165Peter and Razz having an intimate moment. It never happens when Danes get drunk.

DSC_0155The cafe that hosted the julefrokost had only the bare necessities.

DSC_0172Sara’s apartment! She’s all moved out of Egmont and into this beautiful apartment with her boyfriend Thomas. She’s so grown up now, jeez. I leave for a year and everything changes. Thank you again, Sara, for letting me make myself at home in your immaculately clean house. (Living with fewer things = a Danish idea that fights my hoarding gene every day.)

DSC_0188 These goofballs, with small beers to start our gluttonous multi-course dinner that evening…

DSC_0182Oh haaay Rikke. With the trademark Søernes/Ørsted beer candle.

DSC_0193Intermission at dinner, because beer tasting.

DSC_0197Such a nice night at Höst in the city with all these food and beer nerds.

DSC_0201Afterhours at Søernes for Kub’s birthday. It was painful only staying here for a few hours on my last night in CPH after spending so many hanging until dawn the previous summer.

DSC_0207A wonderfully familiar scene.

DSC_0209Made it to Florence! My first time in Italy. Decent Chianti for just five euros, truffle oil, tagliatelle pasta, gelato, pappardelle with a duck ragu, sandwiches, and pizza… all my favorite things in an amazingly romantic city. And I got this girl to come with me!

DSC_0245Even though it was freezing.
DSC_0234 DSC_0224Only the coolest people will take a spontaneous week away from life to galavant around Italy for the first time.

DSC_0223As always, climbing a tower for a view pays off.

DSC_0221I can only imagine how beautiful (but crowded) Florence is in July.

DSC_0215The inside of the Duomo, the site of the most selfie stick-bearing Asian tourists in all of Italy.

DSC_0214Selfie stick or not, though, you can’t fit the Duomo in the frame. A better photo would have been one capturing the attempt.

DSC_0256Monterosso, one of Cinque Terre’s eponymous five villages.

DSC_0252Sunrise, first morning on the coast. I will thank jetlag for this shot from our hotel.

DSC_0250B-E-A-Utiful.

DSC_0248It was cold, so we started planning the next leg of our trip in one of the enotecas. We definitely did this more than once.

DSC_0264Manarolo. Okay. How impressive is this?

DSC_0290“Tanning”

DSC_0288Typical Dane… always in search of sunlight thanks to the perpetual Vitamin D deficiency that only comes from living that far north. 

DSC_0275People always ask me if I went swimming here. It doesn’t look it, but it’s maybe 45 degrees out. We did meet a nice local who (in addition to cooking us dinner and showing us a good time even though all the restuarants and bars were closed for the winter) offered to take us surfing, buttttt maybe next time.

DSC_0272Amaze-balls.

DSC_0266
DSC_0261

DSC_0259All you can see anywhere other than the brightly painted houses are lemon trees, orange trees, and olive groves.

My camera froze over while running around in the rain during the last leg of the trip in Genova, but I already can’t wait to go back. A port city with fried seafood and pesto everywhere, old Roman architectural design implemented with the new, a giant art museum in an old palace. I regret not staying for longer!

There is really nothing like getting away.

DSC_0295

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This photo taken with Sara’s iPhone.

 LC

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let me give you some reasons to go abroad after college.

Thinking more and more each day how much I miss Copenhagen. I mean, circumstances were certainly different. Having a low-stakes year abroad to fuck around in Denmark and do clichéd shit like discover myself and binge drink was obviously going to be a lot more fun than living at home in the same town I hit puberty in and having to explain to everyone why I am not doing time licking obligatory ass at a startup in the financial district like everyone else my age.

I have suddenly come to this alarming realization that I haven’t spoken to any truly inspirational individuals in a very long time. I’m probably not looking in the right places, but there it is. Last year, I was hit with an overwhelming amount of people and things and projects and I was just like YES, PLEASE INVOLVE ME, I want to help you do this so hard, I’m surrounded by all this entrepreneurial spirit and creativity and WOW, everyone is so humble about how fantastic and fucking smart they are, and the hardest thing to do was to just FOCUS on where to funnel all that energy to help create something wonderful and now the challenge I face every day is resisting the temptation to knock over all the shit at my job and quit on the spot in some brilliant rebellion-inspiring spectacle.

This is an overreaction to life in the service industry and I will probably be put in my place immediately by somebody reading this but I don’t even care.

The point is that I am again recognizing the value of taking a year to figure out what is important, what makes you tick, and what you need to be happy. Figure it out early in the most extreme of circumstances so that when things are getting weird you can blow the whistle on your own life and chase down those things that made you feel good when you were so far out of your comfort zone. I would not trade my year in Denmark for anything. Go somewhere strange and live there for a little. You will cry a bit and it will be fucking hard. Maybe nothing will work out and things might suck. But expats are a certain breed of people created by these situations- you will be open to anything and everything. It is this stage where you become a sponge for ideas and everything that crosses your path is an opportunity.

I never wrote about my time in Denmark after the fact. I even stopped writing about anything at all come April because I was so distracted that I didn’t have any energy left to sit there with zero friends (i.e. all posts dated before April) and write about all the wonderful things that were going on, something I highly regret now because very little of the amazing stuff is preserved in writing.

I guess I needed to come down from the high of kicking it in Copenhagen to fully appreciate how very very nice it was.

 

——

 

Well. I wrote this back in February and just found it recently on my computer. I’m thankful I can say that I am nowhere near this level of frustration anymore. But for the sake of putting real, and (maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here) valuable blog content, I chose to post it unedited.

Pretty much immediately after writing this post I started planning a trip to New York to check out journalism schools and explore some opportunities at various media outlets. New York City was where I wanted to go immediately after college to pursue a career in writing. It was also where one of my professors told me (verbatim) all my dreams would go to die. Go to Copenhagen, he said, it’ll be so much easier. You’re not ready for New York.

I don’t keep in contact with this professor anymore, and I haven’t since I had this conversation with him at a café exactly two years ago. Creating a life for myself in Denmark was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’d do it again (okay I’d maybe aim for a place with more sunlight… but that’s irrelevant). For the first handful of months I was living abroad I was depressed. I was too busy pining for Davis, home to all 100 of my best friends (#frat) who I saw every day, my gigantic house I paid a measly $400 per month for, with all of three bars down the street and perpetual blistering heat. I was confused because for four years I felt I’d been working toward something and then I had it… and suddenly, after facing the San Francisco job market of endless recruiting, tech, and sales jobs I felt like I had nothing at all. What did a diploma mean if all people wanted me to do was something else? No, I cannot deal in the headhunting industry. I want more. But my teacher told me I was doomed to fail in New York. I was left with little to no confidence… and then, Josie gave me the perfect out. Moving to Copenhagen meant a clean slate. Zero expectations, undiscovered opportunities.

Moving with my head in that sort of place meant I had some things to work through. But I packed to return to California roughly over a year later feeling so immensely proud, and so incredibly lucky. The Danes are a magnificent people. From the friends that I made there, I learned how to be humble. I learned how to slow down and enjoy the little things. How to balance my work and play. How to entertain and be a good guest. How to live simply. How to harness creativity. How to seriously chill the fuck out. How to be okay. When I think back to this time I feel rich in a way that has nothing to do with money.

I’m in the early stages of planning a move to New York next fall. Because, New York, I am ready for you. I’ve been thinking about you for years and if Copenhagen has taught me anything, it’s that I can handle it. I’ll probably have to learn how to code. But I’ve learned not to doubt things the way I used to.

And you shouldn’t, either. Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, a place you think you could thrive? It’s waiting.

 

LC

 

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Filed under Copenhagen, Postgrad blues, Travel