Monday, 25 February 2013

Jeg bor i Danmark

I thought I would have departed by now from these chilly Danish soils. I thought when I said "okay, it's your career, it's for three years, lets have an adventure", that I had signed up for a three year stint in Denmark. I thought there would be regular trips home and an end game in sight. I thought after two and a half years the conversations would start to be about where to go next. Like they are for nearly everybody else whom I have seen come and go.

Those conversations did start, in actual fact they have never finished.

If not every week but most definitely every month my husband and I have spoken about where in the world we have/want/wish/need to live. We are after all, two years beyond our original agreement. It can be a conversation fraught with emotion as we both have differing opinions on what's best for our family or our career(s). We came close last month, very close indeed.

The conversation that started as a 'maybe, what if' turned into discussions with teachers about moving strategies for the children. It turned into appointments with our doctor about treatments ending in time and her disapproval at uprooting the boys from all they know. The children were asked how they would feel about trying someplace new, where we could live a different life. They resisted and then came to love the idea. We all looked forward to a change. I felt lighter just knowing my time in Denmark would soon be at its end. There would literally be sun light at the end of the tunnel.

Please don't misunderstand my sentiments, Denmark is a remarkable place to bring up a family. It is very hard to decide to leave such a fantastic country. One that has been the backdrop of five years at home with my boys. We live next door to two large forests, in which we go biking, cross country skiing, fruit foraging and sword fighting. Drive ten minutes and we are at the seaside. We love the days after school where we pack up our mini grill and some hotdogs and we can just simply play in the water and eat our supper on the beach. I love too that there isn't an over abundance of goods here, we cook everything from scratch and on a seasonal basis. It feels very in touch. But it is not 'home' and the longer we stay, the harder it gets to leave. Yet leave we must at some point, that is the rule.

It gets harder and harder to be the one that always stay's. Just ask my children that. Last summer when they had waved off their best friends of three years to begin a new adventure in a new country the dam burst on their tears and the sobs broke my heart.

For now the conversation has ended, I accept that stay we must. I am no longer waiting to go home in order to resume my career. I will learn to speak Danish fluently. I will make every effort to live as full a life as I can. I will enjoy the friends that are here and I will take trips around the world to see the friends that have left, I will try not to feel lonely in their absence. I will be happy. I am not waiting to leave anymore. I will live in the moment. This is not my husband's job, it is my life and I am in charge.

(By request this post has been edited from it's original version)


  1. Honest and raw, and unexpected. Which makes it work all the more...This weird bubble we live in when we live away from 'home' is a place both of adventure and delight, but also of heartache and uncertainty. Brava for taking it on by the horns.

  2. Beautifully written. As one of those who left last summer, and now look longingly back at all you describe, keep on living that life and to the full!

  3. This is exactly what we went trough during our stay in Denmark, but at the end we left 2 months ago!

  4. Hi Sally

    I had a similar experience several years ago. Englishman met my future wife in my new home of Sydney, Australia back in 2000. We moved to Denmark 'temporarily' in 2001. It is now 2013. The first 3 years I was counting the days, but then I got a promotion and we moved to Stockholm for 6 years (thats another story). But where after Stockholm? London? Sydney? Somewhere new? I realised my wife missed CPH and after a time I realised the same too - bikes, family, easy living, hygge, less rat race - so we moved back, and I have embraced this city and lifestyle to such an extent that I quit my corporate job to celebrate it - hence

    Weird how life turns out. All I can say is embrace your decision to stay, as you so clearly have decided to.