Blurs and Routines


  • HOMESTAY JUMP START EVENT — each homestay network hosts a jump start event. We all brought cake, went on a walk in the Hareskov forest, and then prepped for a nice dinner and dessert. Classic pork steak was served with salad galore. We had Koldskol for dessert, which is a typical summer danish dessert with a nilla-like cookies smothered in sweet/tangy lemon yogurt based cream. It’s really scrumptious.
    • EXPLORATIONS — where has the week taken me? Each week, I get to know Denmark and Copenhagen a little bit better both as a local and a tourist. I have explored the city on my own, making my way to the beautiful park (pic 4) called Orstedparken, checking out the Glass Market nearby (Torvehallerne), CHART art fair (gallery + DJ event ft. Nordic design), and the greater Christiania. More on these adventures to come later.

  • TIVOLI and SCARLET PLEASURE – Scarlet Pleasure is a popular Danish band that sings English lyrics. They’re very good. A little backstreet boys aesthetic.


  • SWEEEDEN — My host parents took me on a trip to Sweden. Across from Denmark’s Helsingor is Helsingborg, which is a short drive from Kullen, a peninsula on the southeast point. Some good sightseeing, caves, and walks through some stores, cafes, and supermarkets gave me a good introduction to the area. Fun facts — Danes frequent Sweden for cheaper goods and Swedes frequent Denmark for alcohol since laws and regulations are much stricter. Swedish delicacies include Chokolade (yum), squeeze-able caviar for your toast, and the all smelly surstromming (fish that is buried underground and fermented for months). I hear it smells great.

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Welcome to September… where has the time gone? Let’s start with facts that I’ve learned about myself during my time here:

  1. I NEED TO BE ALONE — for the past two weeks (first traveling with my mom and second with DIS), I tired myself out from constant social interaction and activity. *note to self – this seems to happen very frequently, but I never really learn. I think because I value the connections I make with people… and the time frame to do so is often easier in the beginning, so sacrifices had to be made.* Always with another event on my calendar, another location to navigate to, I haven’t had the time to simply sit and think. Or look outside the window and do nothing. Both of which are extremely important for my own well-being. I realized, the more time I spend with others, the less I know about myself. If that makes sense at all. While on a 22-day backpacking trip in the Pacific Northwest 2 years ago, I started the habit of writing down my core values — a method to better understand myself and know what I stand for, how I want others to perceive me, and a way to prioritize what was important to me. Every so often, I revisit these values and adjust them based on my environment and experiences. After meeting new people and moving to a new city, this reflection was even more crucial. Knowing who I am helps me be more intentional about my actions, my relationships, and ways to achieve my goals. Ultimately, I think it helps me be a better hooman for those around me, which is also one goal, right? In short, alone time is important people! Schedule in some time to think when you need it.
  2. I HAVE OPPORTUNITY PARALYSIS — DIS offers scores of cool coursework with leads to debilitating decision making processes. Also, there’s always so much going on in Copenhagen and with travel plans across Europe. Should you go on a day trip to Malmo or check out a neighborhood in Copenhagen/climbing gym? Should you take Environmental Policy (visit a member of the Alternative Party in Danish Parliament) or take Sustainable Business Strategies (what a better country with case studies to analyze)? For me, these decisions can seem debilitating. Opportunity paralysis — a disease that plagues only the luckiest humans. And I am so grateful to be in this place; however, I sometimes find myself torn between minuscule decisions like these… I find the easiest solution goes back to point one — understanding yourself, your goals, and your values. As long as you take the time to truly analyze your priorities, the solution becomes clear. For me, it was to explore Copenhagen to its depth (save the trip to Malmo for later) and take Sustainable Business Strategies (best aligned with my academic goals).
  3. I AM SO LUCKY..? — just thought I’d throw this one in here. Always a fan of the headwinds and tailwinds theory (which I think about often when I’m running lol). When running, headwinds are the winds blowing in the opposite direction that you are running, while tailwinds push against your back, propelling you forward. The theory states that humans have a tendency to notice the headwinds pushing against us (the hardships in our lives) but fail to notice the tailwinds (opportunities, connections, and conditions that help us). So just a reminder to thank the tailwinds in your life.
  4. IDENTITY/WHO WE ARE — I always think it’s so interesting to consider how a person is perceived by others in different circumstances/locations. This, at least for me, gives a representation of who a person is. Ultimately, because I believe that humans continuously grow and the definition around who we are is fluid, it can be difficult to understand who we are at our core. If that makes sense. These are the trends I notice on others’ perceptions of me — cute, on top of things, organic/earthy style, silly, carefree, and sweet. Which are traits tied back to my core values. Huh. Funny how things work.


  • Me pretending like I speak Danish in Netto, feigning a Hej and Tak! Yet, when the cashier asks me a question I realize I have to give up my facade, respond in English thanks to my limited Danish knowledge. So instead I just say “no thank you”. And they just smile and nod. And start speaking in English. Sigh. I tried.


3 thoughts on “Blurs and Routines

  1. Wow! JW, did you blog your backpacking trip from 2 years ago? would love to see some photos!

    on I WANT TO BE ALONE: You know, I’m experiencing the exact opposite phenomenon here at school. With a lot of my close friends abroad, it’s a strange feeling not spending time with people that I saw on a regular basis last semester. Especially halfway through a campus with a big population, it isn’t as much “making new friends” as it is making an active effort to deepen relationships that already exist in the social circles I am a part of. And that takes effort + energy + time, but more importantly, a shift in my mindset: people (I already know and already have a somewhat solidified perception of) can surprise you; make a conscious effort to clean the slate, don’t be judgmental, and invest energy in creating the kind of mental space where people CAN surprise you, be honest with you, feel at ease…but this is important to me, because I know that when I feel like I’m alone things can spiral very quickly…

    on I AM SO LUCKY: things that I am grateful for in my life, today: my house and my own room (–> my own space); working with some passionate af people in the AAPI community; people who are currently investing time in looking for resources… for me??? :’)); for a great summer, made great by some great people

    on IDENTITY/WHO WE ARE: I’ve actually put a lot of thought into a variation of this idea. In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately: what do people think of me? Organized, likes to plan, diligent, likes to think (?) … I think perhaps these are the most salient parts of my personality that would be easy to identify after getting to know me for a week or so. But what more? I’m not saying I don’t like these traits about myself; but more so, these are traits that I’m intimately familiar with, that I know are a part of my identity. I’m curious about other feedback: what do people think of me beyond those things? I’m struggling a little bit with how to articulate this, but in an exchange with another person, what kind of information are they learning that I’m not aware that I’m giving? and in turn, how can I utilize this feedback to get a better grasp of how I understand my own identity? I have not asked for this information because I’m afraid that it will come off superficial, like I’m seeking to hear compliments; or, I don’t want it to come off like I don’t appreciate the reasons why my friends appreciate me, if I end up dismissing the more salient traits I mentioned before. sigh


    1. Hi Jade457! You know, I haven’t blogged about my backpacking trip, but I’d be happy to share some photos on my gallery 🙂

      I think that’s a really rewarding strategy. I often find myself to be the person that chooses depth over breadth, so investing in relationships that already have a strong hold is preferable to me as well. Often, our first impressions are terribly inaccurate. In general, I am align with the belief that love is cheap. Or that as long as you spend enough time with someone… you’ll find an appreciation for them? Because at our very core, we’re all human. There’s a cute quote that says …. “star dust human”. But this can be extrapolated to friendships as well. Honestly, being here, I’ve found that if I really try, I can most likely get along, find common ground, or find a forms of enjoyment with almost anyone; however, with this mindset, how do you choose what people are worth investing your time in? Ultimately, I think that choosing who you spend your time with boils down to a similarity in interests, values, and humor… which reminds me that I already had this conversation with a good friend of mine regarding the three qualities we look for in friends…. but anyway. A point to return to and ruminate over. Please don’t spiral! Always happy to lischten. But yes, sometimes I find that I think I spend time with people just to take a break from my own thoughts. That being said, I would prefer to spend time alone than with people I don’t case as much for.

      Wow, these people sound great! Would love to hear more about them when you have time.

      I think your close friends would be more than happy to divulge what traits they see in you; after all, they are all after your best interest! A good chit chat should do the trick. 😀



  2. I think your comments om values and choices are especially pertinent . i find myself noticing that the choices I make on a daily basis abroad impact how I see myself based on what I’m gravitating towards. I love how you capture the nuances of how aggregate choices make up who we are. I want more photos and more more more !

    Liked by 1 person

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