I saw snow for the first time when I was 3 years old and living in Japan. I don’t remember anything from those days, but from the pictures that were taken and from what my mom tells me, I loved it. More than 20 years later, I saw snow falling once again, now in Denmark, and I felt like a child again. I had seen snow falling for a few minutes during these days of intense cold, but today, for the first time, it snowed enough to create a white blanket over everything. When I woke up this morning, I opened my curtains to a completely new landscape and I ran outside, full of happiness. I remembered to bring my camera along, and here’s some of what I found (to see the pictures in a larger size, just click them):
Coming to Aarhus after the Copenhagen and Malmö trip was not at all like I had planned. The only chance I had to be a guide during the July 2012 Europtrip, I led everyone in the wrong direction. Well, the direction was right, the distance was just a tad off. Anyway, being a guide, instead of the tourist, was an interesting experience. But, next time I’ll make sure to do a little more research beforehand.
Yesterday, I received some news that really affect my plans here in Denmark. I found out that my stay here is being cut short by no less than two months.
But, let’s start from the beginning. As you all know (or at least I imagine you know,) I’m living in Denmark as an au pair. My host mom is Brazilian and my host dad is Danish. They have two beautiful kids, a 3-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl. I met my host mom through the English school where I worked at in Curitiba. She sent an email to the school looking for someone who spoke English and would be interested in living abroad. I had never thought about being an au pair, but I ended up getting in touch with her and after two years of emails, meeting up and lots of paperwork, here I am.
This post is long overdue, but it somehow got lost in the shuffle of things. But, better late than never, right?
So, on the last Saturday of May, my dear friends Juan, Kimberly, Lucas, Sabrina and I rented a car and drove a couple of hours north of Aarhus to the city of Aalborg.
We had heard about Karneval, a week long festival, with parades, music and fun. In fact, the parade on Saturday is supposed to be the biggest parade in Northern Europe. And believe me, it is amazing!
Going to Copenhagen (København in Danish,) I had very big expectations. I was meeting up with two of my best friends from childhood, Carli and Paige. I was excited to finally see them again after only communicating through emails and Skype for the last three years and I was looking forward to our big three-week Eurotrip together. But, Copenhagen exceeded all of my expectations. Not only was I reunited with two incredible friends, I was also with an amazing new friend, an adorable CouchSurfing host and, to top it all off, amazing weather.
Over the last few months, traveling has become a big part of my life. While living here in Denmark, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to put this passion of mine into practice. One of the things that has been aiding me in this journey is CouchSurfing. I’ve used the community for meeting some of the locals here in Aarhus and for staying at people’s houses while travelling, so far I’ve surfed in six different cities a total of seven times! Now, I’m not claiming to be an expert on the whole CouchSurfing thing, but I am an enthusiast (I’ve posted about this online community before, here and here,) and I do have some experience that I think may be of help to those of you who are just starting out. So, here are some tips on how to make a CouchSurfing profile that will make people want to meet you and accept your requests for a host or for a hang out:
Before I started my July Eurotrip, I had everything planned over a month before I was supposed to head out. Malmö was a different story.
I only decided to go to Malmö about a week before the trip was supposed to start. My host family was going away during the last week in June on a camping trip, which meant I had five extra days to spend as I wished, and my wish was to get a head start on my big trip. Since I was going to Copenhagen to meet up with some friends in a few days, I looked into cities near Copenhagen that would be interesting to travel to, and I stumbled upon the great city of Malmö. Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden and it’s conveniently located just 30 km east of Copenhagen, which means a 35 minute train ride to get from one city to another. Perfect for a last-minute addition to my itinerary. Continue reading “Malmö – A Last Minute Trip”
Today, I’m completing 6 months here in Denmark, can you believe it? And I’m very grateful for the experience I’ve had so far. I can’t even describe the happiness I feel in being able to make my dream of traveling and seeing some of the world come true, much less measure the importance of the last few months for my life. I was able to meet extraordinary people, incredible places, be faced with new challenges and overcome them, and learn so much about the world and about myself. A few days ago, my host mom here showed me a really interesting text that is very close to what I’m feeling, so here it is:
Living away from home is not just about learning a new language. It’s not just walking through different streets or meeting different people and cultures. It’s not just the value of the money that changes. Continue reading “Halfway There”