Before covid was a thing, my best friend and I got the chance to explore parts of the Scandinavia region. We spent most of our time in Denmark but we did manage to take a few days trips to Norway and Sweden. Getting lost in the details through the city of Copenhagen taught me a lot about happiness in the simplest form.
People choose to walk & cycle vs using a car
The people in Denmark are pretty active. In most of the street pictures I took, there would be people riding their bikes or walking leisurely, not in a hurry at all. There was no sense of the hustle and bustle that I’m used to in my day-to-day life in Dallas. No traffic either since most people opt to use their legs as transportation. Everyone truly enjoyed their moment, savoring the fresh air.
Everything was small
The airbnb we paid for was tiny yet we had everything we needed. It was so humbling to stay in the simplicity of this modest, 1 bedroom apartment. The decor wasn’t over the top. The bathroom was tiny but you were able to comfortably take a shower without creating a mess. The kitchen was dainty but had enough space for you to cook and enjoy your meal. Even the little window had a view that showcased the quiet, picturesque street. You could see that the person who lived there did a great job keeping a balance of comfort and ease.
The food is healthy
In Texas, I’m so used to watching what I eat. It’s no secret that there’s tons of processed garbage in our food. Why else do you think America has such a bad obesity problem? In Denmark, I stuffed my face with plenty of sweet treats and full plates of meals without gaining a pound. The food was fresh and the portion sizes were smaller than what I was used to but more than enough to satisfy my hunger.
The views are great too
What can I say? I’m a sucker for a canal :)
My trip to Denmark sparked an evaluation of my life in Texas. My parents gave up their home in India for my brother and I to have it all. The pressure to attain the “American Dream” was seared on to me the second I was conceived. To a certain extent, I’ve delivered.
- I’ve had a job since I was 16 years old.
- I graduated a year early from high-school.
- I worked full time and went to college full time, still managing to graduate within the 4 year window
- I got to dance Bollywood competitively for 11 years
- I’ve traveled to 21 countries
- I’m financially stable to where I can support myself and pay off my dad’s medical bills (he has PKD, it really sucks).
Suddenly, none of that matters as much as it used to. I was so proud of myself for having a seemingly balanced life with my career, friends & family, along with my travel adventures. However my lifestyle in America is nothing compared to Denmark. I’m not spending enough time to appreciate the little things. I’ve had the same job for the last 5 years and I don’t allow myself to enjoy the fruits of my labor because of the pressure I’m under. Since my dad’s health is poor, I save most of my money out of fear for unexpected bills that’ll come up. I’m not outside enough. The more successful I am at my job, the more stressed I get to maintain that standard. I pay attention to everything I eat out of paranoia that I’ll end up with the same disease my dad has or worse. Am I living in the right country?
The more I travel, the more I listen with my eyes. I can’t help but question my lifestyle. I’ve been able to make some adjustments on my own but it’s not enough. I’m hopeful that the right opportunity will get me outside of these country lines. I’m only 27, my story has plenty of time to evolve. I just wish I could fast-track this part of my life to see how it all shapes up to be. This change might be brave choice or it could end up being a reckless leap of faith. I’m not afraid of the outcome.
Thank you for reading :) See below for an article similar to what I wrote