The magical thing about traveling as a family, is that home is wherever we decide it to be. We took a leap of faith and changed the course of our family’s life in hopes of finding balance, adventure and new experiences to share together. We told two little girls that we were moving far away from familiar things and familiar people and they looked at us with wonderment, excitement and most of all…trust. As we walk the streets of Copenhagen and Dahlia holds my hand ever-so tightly, I realize that being with Mom and Dad defines “home” for her. A three-year-old can sense that things are new and different, but holding my hand feels familiar and safe.
They watch Nick Jr. tv shows in Danish and have no complaints. They willingly climb 3 flights of stairs to get to our apartment, try new foods, love taking public transportation and have found joy in the novelty of showers instead of baths. Small children are so adjustable and hardly ever given enough credit for it. There are times when we push them a little too far, on not enough sleep or not enough food and we will certainly pay for it, but overall, they have adjusted incredibly well. Matea wants so badly to speak Danish. She likes to speak in a language we call “SpanDanGlish”…a combination of Spanish, Danish and English. An example of this would be, “Mor, yo quero another cookie, tak”.
We still feel a bit like we are on vacation because we are in a small, temporary apartment, but as we begin to find the rhythm of a routine, we are feeling more at home with each passing day. We were living with only the contents of 4 suitcases, up until last week when our air shipment arrived. It did not contain much…some toys, books, clothes, a little girl’s tiara and a potty seat. Still, it was very exciting for us to see those familiar things. It’s not often that you go on vacation with 2 dozen kid’s books, a pile of dolls and stuffed animals and a closet full of clothes, so the arrival of that shipment was one of the factors that shifted vacation-mode into reality-mode for us. If I could do it again, I would have included a tea cozy, cooking apron and a few wash cloths, but until the sea shipment arrives, we are making do with what we have.
The other thing that happened last week is that Brett started work. I can’t speak for him on how that went, but from what I know, it went well. It takes time to settle in to any new job and with half of Denmark on holiday at the moment, I think his office is a little quieter than normal. So I’m not sure reality has hit for him either yet. He has figured out the train and bus schedule and that’s good enough for now.
While he is at work, the girls and I are trying to find our daily rhythm. We have been to the zoo, kid’s museum, the beach, lots of park and on many walks. On rainy days (and there have been plenty!) we have mostly stayed home, but we’ve also ventured out with rain coats and umbrellas. As the Danes say, “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad equipment” (or something like that). It’s surprising that Seattle hasn’t caught on to all the rain gear they have over here! Our relocation agent said she loves working with people from Seattle because they don’t complain about the weather in Copenhagen.
We have not been able to plan our meals and grocery shopping schedule very well yet. The girls and I stop at the local “Netto” grocery store almost every day to pick up something for dinner. Our fridge is small and we can only carry 2-3 bags home at a time. Thankfully it is right across the street. For some reason, I am always the only one in there with 2 noisy, rambunctious little girls tagging along. Kids are out of school at the moment, so I don’t understand why they are never at the grocery store. A mystery to me. So for now, my little ones enjoy making a huge scene, asking me what everything is (in loud English) and asking for chocolate biscuits. Europe is the chocolate biscuit continent, after all.
I have found time to knit some baby booties (for a friend’s baby) and have been reading a lot. I just finished a book on my kindle and ordered another immediately. The kindle has been fantastic. I highly recommend it for international travel. I have heard that it is difficult to find books in English here, although I haven’t tried.
So it appears we are still in search of a more familiar routine, but for now we are in the rhythm of new and unfamiliar. And that’s okay. Our focus is on learning our new surroundings and finding a permanent place to live. We have time and we’ll get there, eventually.