I confess that…
Even though I live in another completely different country, I still miss home, Alaska. (and yes, I still consider Alaska my home).
I lived in Alaska for most of my life. As an expat living in Scandinavia, there are things that I just can’t let go of. These are things that I either CAN’T FIND or they are RIDICULOUSLY expensive and/or I just LOVE and will not be swayed.
And so my love affair with Amazon continues.
So here are things that I confess that are HARD about life as an Alaskan expat living Danishly:
My Danish is still limited– yes even after two years I can’t fluently speak the language. In my defense…it’s a pretty damn HARD language to learn. This is coming from a gal that learned Japanese in high school. Anyways- I guess I should try harder.
I still use power converters- I love my trusty American curling iron. Enough said.
I still don’t like the bread. Rugbrød (pronounced opuul) is not my cup of tea. But I hardly ate bread before I moved here. Although, here its a staple. Go figure.
I miss my subsistence food. I grew up hunting and fishing for moose and salmon. I rarely bought ‘store meat.’ Now, that’s all I do. I miss my native soul foods.
No ‘real’ friends here. Moving changes friendships. I found out who my ‘real friends’ were after I moved and I value them more than ever. It’s hard to make friends here though. Dynamics are different and I feel as if Danes don’t ‘let new people in’ so easily. Ehhhh still trying even though the struggle is real.
Less is more– I moved with about 11 bags and two dogs. I really didn’t need all the crap that I brought. But I didn’t know what to expect so I brought it all. Since we’ve moved so much, I’ve learned to keep it light. Now, I’m down to ‘the bare minimal amount’ of crap. Less is more.
Loneliness is a norm. I think it’s different for everyone. But for me, the loneliness really doesn’t go away but it comes in waves. Its more of sadness for things that are familiar and we are constantly moving so nothing is ever the same. But it stays with me and I am probably getting too ‘comfortable’ with being alone and lonely. Hence, I’m more introverted these days.
Sadness…I still cry. I don’t know what else to say other than I just have to let it out when I get overwhelmed with waves of homesickness for my family, for home and anything that remotely reminds me of home. Social media is brutal for this.
Even after two years, the birthdays, losses, the holidays come and go and life just doesn’t stop and wait for you. I find myself missing even the smallest of things, and those are the ones that sting the most – the ones I find myself painfully missing the most. It can get really hard sometimes and even with supportive family, I’ve learned to be my own hero and carry myself through those days. It’s all I can do.
It will change you. I am not the same person that I was when I arrived. I dearly hope not. I confess that I was a nervous, anxiety ridden, pregnant, hot mess when I arrived here. Don’t get me wrong, I am still all sorts of anxious and worrisome, (just not pregnant), but I am more confident nowadays. I can wade through the city on my own and be ok. I can muddle through a basic Danish conversation. I can find that shop that has all the American food. I’m constantly forced to leave my ‘comfort zone’ and I’m better for it.
I’ve come this far, I’m not about to up and hightail it out. I was always an independent and confident native woman, but this…this new animal of living in another country is a whole new level of ‘grown’ and I am left changed into a new and evolved me.
Do you live in another country? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you’ve ‘integrated’ into the country. It’s always a challenge. If you want to know more details, subscribe to my email list. I give some sweet expat tips and tricks, especially if you are a mom.
Anyways- stay tuned for more ‘unconventionisms’ of my kind of jen 🙂