How have fifteen years already passed? Has it been that long?
In case you’re wondering, that’s me with some of my Rotary exchange friends, including Sarah and Jeff, whom I’m both in contact with again thanks to the wondrous powers of Facebook.
I don’t remember the exact date we left Newark airport for Denmark, but I remember how it felt. It was the first time I’d been away from home for more than a week or so. I was nervous and excited. I was glad I wasn’t flying alone. I remember meeting up with all the other gawky exchange kids in the terminal. I was carrying around a copy of A Clockwork Orange. Yes, I was THAT guy. Are you surprised?
(Ed. note: Turns out that day is today! I guess I could’ve checked my old passport, but Jeff was kind enough to remind me over on our exchange class’ Facebook page.)
That it was an amazing time goes without saying. I made some great friends while I was there. Our trip back last year was fabulous and I was thrilled to reconnect with my host family and friends. For me, Denmark is the sort of place I could visit every year and not be disappointed. I love it that much.
My exchange year had its ups and downs. It was a glorious summer that ended in dreary disappointment. It was a brutal winter that year, but I was warmed by a loving host family and some wonderful new classmates, to say nothing of the Gammel Dansk and Tuborg beer they plied me with!
The year ended with a frantic tour around Europe. 14 countries in 17 days. In a bus. Somehow that seemed like a good idea at the time. In the picture above, we’re about mid-trip, on a ferry ride to or from Venice, a city I didn’t like for reasons I can’t articulate today. I got very drunk that night.
Wish I still had that Ill Communication-era Beasties tee.