Each core course at DIS goes on a long study tour during the first week or last week of October (Travel Week 1 or Travel Week 2). If your core course is not traveling during a Travel Week, you get the week off to do some independent travel. My long study tour is at the end of October, which means that I got Travel Week 1 off. During this week, I visited Rome, Palermo, and Paris with my new friends at DIS.
I had such a good time eating great food and seeing a bunch of sights. In Rome, we went to the Colosseum and Roman Forum, saw the Spanish steps and Trevi fountain, attended mass at the Pantheon, and ate some of the best food of my life. We went yachting and snorkeling in Palermo. In Paris, we went to the top of Eiffel Tower and took a sunset boat tour on the Seine River. I loved seeing new places and trying new things; however, being away from Copenhagen, the place I currently call home, made me appreciate it even more. Here is a list of what I missed about Copenhagen while I was away.
Public transportation: public transportation in Copenhagen is easy, efficient, and reliable. Even when I’m visiting a part of the city I’ve never been to before, I can easily figure out how to get there. The trains are clean, the metro is super quick, and the buses are never more than a couple of minutes late. Everything is clearly marked and people are helpful if you ever have questions. We had a very tough time using public transportation in Rome, and, in Paris, we found it difficult to locate metro stations at times. These experiences made me realize how much I rely on and appreciate public transportation in Copenhagen.
Danish: it was fun to be in countries that speak different languages. My Spanish was especially helpful in Italy and thankfully we didn’t have much trouble communicating. Yet, when my friends and I overheard tourists speaking in Danish, we got excited at the familiarity of it. Even though none of us have a good grasp on Danish, hearing it while abroad was like having a taste of home.
Hygge: basically, comfort and coziness. Traveling can take a lot out of you; navigating a place you’ve never been to before is overwhelming. At one point, my friends and I were having an impossibly difficult time getting around Rome and finding a place to eat. I exclaimed, “I just want hygge!” In that moment, I was just tired of being uncomfortable and missed the hospitality and coziness of Denmark.
Our homestays: of course! My friends and I had a great vacation traveling around Europe. By the end of it, though, we were ready to get back home to our Danish families. Both my friend Chelsey and I kept making little comments about missing our host siblings. I think these sentiments were especially revealing to me about the life I’ve built in Copenhagen in such a short time. I feel at home with my host family and enjoy spending time with them to the point where I missed them while away.
Traveling and seeing new cities was tons of fun. Every place has something new and different to offer. However, being away also reminds me of everything unique to Copenhagen and what makes it such a great place to call home.