Ten years. Had it really been so long? Before Helen and I got on the plane to Copenhagen, it was hard to believe that when I last visited Denmark, I had just finished rowing at the Henley Royal Regatta. Before that, as some of you know, I lived in Denmark for a year as an exchange student. That was suddenly 13 years ago. I had no idea I’d be stumbling over so many milemarkers as Helen and I prepared to visit my Danish friends and host family, but there I was, tripping over them with practically every step I took. I could only hope for a soft landing.
And what a soft landing it was. When Helen and I arrived at Copenhagen airport, we met my old friend Tommy, who, along with his partner Camilla and their son Alexander, would be our hosts while we stayed in town. They’re great friends, the kind of people you can reconnect with after years of being out of touch and just pick up where you left off. It’s an amazing feeling, and as Helen noted, the sort of thing that makes you feel at home wherever you are. They were great hosts and their son Alexander is a great little boy!
We began our tour of Denmark by taking a relaxing spin around Copenhagen’s canals. It was the perfect thing to do after sitting on a plane for over seven hours. We soaked up the Danish sun and did a little sightseeing from the comfort of a boat. If you’re headed to Denmark, this is a smart tourist move. It gives you a pretty complete sense of the city so you’re not disoriented later in your trip.
Helen and I continued down Memory Lane the following day by taking a trip to Skanderborg. I lived in the heart of Jutland’s lake district for a year — and what a year it was! Do you remember the winter of 1995–96? It was terrible! Denmark usually does temperate winters, but this was an exception. Look at the lake in this map. Pretty big, right? It froze! That hadn’t happened in 25 years and it hasn’t happened again since. Needless to say, it was a memorable year.
Introducing Helen to Skanderborg and the Schmidt family was like solving the last piece of the puzzle. Helen and I met the year I returned for Denmark and she’s spent about a third of her life hearing about this place and these people. A lot of my identity is built around the year I lived abroad. It may sound strange, but Denmark is home to me, too. Maybe you can go home again?
Now that I’ve finally recovered from jet lag, I’m going to be posting photos and little stories to accompany them here, recounting our belated honeymoon — or babymoon, depending on how you look at it. It was an amazing trip. I can’t wait to share it with you.