Travel, traveling with kids

My City Crush on Copenhagen

I LOVE COPENHAGEN

There it is, all in caps, just like the t-shirt says. I love it. I love it with the intensity that a good holiday crush deserves. “But it is more than a crush!” I whine to anyone who will listen.  I love it to the point that I would willingly move there given half a chance, despite knowing only seven words of Danish (four of which are types of food).
I’m a quick study, I’ll pick the language up over a few hundred Danish coffees and Spandauers, no problem.

Copenhagen is to my forty something self what New York City was to me in my twenties. It has a gentler, earthy vibe that speaks to my soul. I know, I was only there for a week, but thats all it really takes for me (ask my husband).  I have future plans to write a post sharing all my favorite places in the city, but right now I’m just too breathless and starry eyed. I need to just make a list of reasons for loving it:

  • Reason #1 – The Pace

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    Bike parking outside Copenhagen Central Station!

    Most people in CPH bike or walk everywhere, and this gives the city a soft edged vibe, it has all the energy of a city without the spikiness that some of my favorite places – London, Paris, and New York have. It is an oldtimey version of those places.
    Everyone seems connected with their surroundings in a more healthy and mindful way. Things move slower, but people are patient with it. Biking in Copenhagen is a totally different experience to biking in the USA. There is no spandex, hardly any helmets, people are biking in pretty dresses and work outfits. It isn’t a leisure activity, rather a way to get from A to B. I love this! People who know me well, know that I hate sitting in a car, and find driving supremely stressful. Imagine the benefits of just jumping on a bike whenever I need to go somewhere. I’d be a lot more relaxed and have super thighs of steel. Sigh

  • Reason #2 – The Sense of Community

    Many buildings and neighborhoods in Copenhagen are designed to promote social interaction.Every block of the city has lovely public spaces for children to play in and families to enjoy. Denmark being a welfare state, collective well-being is valued greatly. The people are more socially conscious, and therefore more likely to be polite and considerate towards you. It’s a nice break from the every man for himself attitude of the USA that I am used to now.  One of the loveliest consequences of this is…

  • Reason #3 – The Happiness of my Children

    The kids were tickled pink at all the cunningly designed buildings with play spaces built into, underneath, and above them; museums with whole sections devoted to them; and beautiful outdoor recreational spots just hanging out for them to relax in when they were tired. They loved being told “Yes, you can touch that/climb on that/run there/share our space.” and took full advantage of their surroundings.

  • Reason #4 – Scandinavian Design

    Ugh, the sheer, clean beauty of everything! The buildings, the furniture, even the cutlery! As a designer, this was a treat for my senses. I blissfully wondered around the Danish Design museum, and the Danish Architecture Centre. We made a pilgrimage to the legendary 8 House, and obsessed over each Arne Jacobsen chair we saw.

  • Reason #5 – The People
    Every time I professed my love for Copenhagen to a local, they would answer “You should move here, you would be very welcome” without even blinking. Without doing that thing of first looking me up and down and taking note of the fact that I am a scruffy looking, brown skinned, klutz. And I really do believe I would be welcome. The people were nothing but warm and kind and patient with us, and it soothed my senses just to be there.Now I’m going to deal with my withdrawal symptoms in the only way I know how, by obsessively reading books on Denmark.  I’ll be back soon with more mind bending musings on Danish life. 🙂
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About Author

Artist, Educator, Parent, Small Business Owner, Big kid from a big city, in a small town.

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