Denmark, are you ready for me?

On January 14, 2012 I left Denmark with my visa in hand. I had already unofficially moved to New York City July 1, 2011.

It wasn’t that I decided to spent the next five years without going back to Denmark. It just kind of happened. Besides, once you make a mature decision of moving somewhere else you can’t keep rushing back and forth if you’re trying to “make it there”. At least that’s what I kept telling myself. Besides, being an international student in New York City is very, very expensive. I don’t even understand how I made it!

Anyway, it’s time for my son to go see his great-grandfather and for me to go back for a while. My son is automatically American citizen by birth and since I’m a Danish citizen, that makes him a dual-citizen of America and Denmark. Pretty cool. I have to wait another 6 months before I can start the application to become an American citizen (but that’s a whole other talk).
Markus’ middle name is John, named after his paternal grandfather and his maternal great-grandfather. I know my grandfather is eager to see him – his first, and likely only, great-grandchild. I’m also looking forward to seeing him again after almost six years. You shouldn’t take family for granted and it does feel a little selfish at times, knowing I turned my back and moved to NY.

I’ll also be taking care of business. My online concierge & sightseeing business, NYC & Tours – known on the Danish market as Turist i New York, isn’t going to sell itself to the Danish travel agencies – so I’ll be doing my best to kick-open some doors and let them know we exist. I’ll be participating in the USA Travel Show on March 6, and hopefully generate some valuable business connections. It’s going to be a wonderful feeling representing New York City in my birth-country.

And then I’ll be working … Life threw me a curveball and I need to get back on my feet. I’m actually excited about the possibility of maybe learning a new industry though I definitely wouldn’t mind finding a job in tourism and hospitality.

I am originally from Zealand but will be living with family in Southern Jutland – just 5 min. from the German border.

I guess all in all – it’ll be a CULTURAL SHOCK to be on the country side of Denmark, coming from the bustling metropolis of New York City but I’ll welcome it as an opportunity to start fresh, grow my business and care for the people who are the most important in my life. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to be a travel blogger and a total amateur photographer …. it’ll give me some new material!

 

Danish-American Baby Boy

On August 10, 2016 just a few days overdue my water broke. It was early am around 7:20 I believe and I remember the feeling … “this is it” while desperately walking around the apartment trying to gather the stuff I should have already packed in my hospital bag. Continue reading Danish-American Baby Boy

Sweet return, or?

It was hard leaving New York. Leaving the town of Forest Hills, that is my home. Leaving my friends, that I love so much!

I got the chance to say goodbye and hug two of my best friends, and it did break my heart looking over my shoulder when saying the last farewell, on my way through security. I know, that when I return .. it’ll all be here .. but it will be different!

I gotta do, what I gotta do. If any of it was real, it will have more the reason to be real when I come back! I have to tell myself that.

The flight was not as pleasant as hoped for. I love flying Icelandair. But we were stuck on the runway for 40 minutes. I took a Benadryl and was able to sleep most of the way to Iceland, but I woke up with an aching body many times. I guess sleeping on an air mattress / couch for 3 months is not healthy at all.

When I finally got to Denmark, my mom picked me up. Haven’t seen her in 4 months and it was a tearful moment.

A few hours later,  I saw my baby sister (the 15 year old) and oh, I love her so much! I kept hugging her, never wanted to let go.

It was a weird evening, being back in the house that I grew up knowing that it’s no longer home. Not knowing what will happen to me in the next couple of months. But I will be strong, “I will come back STRONG!”

Denmark is my country and I will get the best out of it, before I go back to New York for school. After all, that was the whole purpose of going to New York in the first place, right? Not creating a life, not falling in love …

Please, remember me! Please!

(This one is dedicated to you!)

Broadway show and other fantastic experiences

I’ve been so busy, way too busy to write anything. Even my dissertation is suffering from it. But life is so beautiful, and how can I possible say no, when being asked to go out and enjoy life!

Since Irene, I’ve been running around, seeing things, experiencing things, hung out with friends.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with one good friend in particular,  and has really been a true pleasure to get to know him better. I normally never talk about my private life in this blog but he really is worth mentioning! Through his eyes, I now see New York in a different light. It’s something I will take with me. (You know, this is ‘real’!)

It also took me on a trip to Philadelphia, where I met new great people.

..

Yesterday, I went with my a close girlfriend of mine to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. It was on my Bucket list for last year but never got a chance to go. BUT WOW! What an experience! Absolutely recommendable!

..

I’m so happy to have friends that makes life easier and even though I don’t want to leave them to go back to Denmark in 12 days, I know that they will all (no exception, right?) be there when I come back. And I can’t wait for that day. When that’s said, I will make my stay in Denmark good. Will be great to see my beautiful sisters and wonderful mom again. I sometimes forget how much they mean to me.

4 years, 10 months and 12 days later

I did it!

Nobody, not even myself believed that I was going to do this. Now, while the tears are running down my cheeks, adding a dimension to the smile on my lips, I know I had it in me.

Eventually the struggle, the hassle, the hard work has paid off.

It’s 4am; besides from the rugs I bought in Ikea yesterday and the suitcases that I managed to pack the leftovers of my past 8 years in Denmark, the room is empty.

It doesn’t matter. I already knew this apartment was going to be my home. It already feels like home. I am home.

I found a studio!

Last week I went for a walk around the neighborhood of Forest Hills, NY to think, relax and look for ‘For Rent’ signs.

Some of the houses in Forest Hills are almost mansion-like, big beautiful houses, crazy expensive. Then, I saw a ‘For Sale’ sign. I thought to myself, what if I could buy? Then a Chinese lady approached me (I guess she was the owner of the house) I told her I wasn’t able to buy at the moment (would I ever be able to buy a house in Forest Hills?) but I was curious how much the house was on the market for. She told me $1.5 million. That is one expensive house. It wasn’t even that beautiful.

So, I said I was looking to rent but it was hard to find something. She told me, in her broken English that I should read the Chinese newspaper: “Many Chinese, they buy house and then they rent!” … Alright lady, so now I need to learn Chinese to find an apartment? Thanks.

I walked further down the street and 5-6 blocks later I saw a ‘For Rent’ sign, I immediately called, left a voicemail and a guy returned my call shortly after.
The apartments I saw for rent was 3-bedroom, and even though I wouldn’t mind that, I’m sure they don’t go for anything close to $1000.
But, he asked me to go take a look at a studio in an apartment building.

I went, but due to renovation I couldn’t take a look at it until the next day. I did talk to the doorman, Nick, for a while. He’s so nice.
The following day I got back and saw the place. I truly fell in love with the charming studio with a separate little room. It’s was still a mess because they were renovating it but it felt like home.

I knew it was my home. When leaving, I teared up. I send a prayer to God and asked for His help. I can see myself grow old there (with or without a husband)

The thing is, that to live at this particular place you need to be approved by the Board. Which can be tricky since I’m a foreign student.
Long story short, I have my papers stating that I’m fully capable of paying the rent. I offered them 3 months rent in security deposit (as we always pay in Denmark) and then I waited …

Monday night I went and saw another studio, same rent, beautiful building (no doorman or automatic elevator doors though) but further out in Forest Hills. Even though my roommate loved it (and she doesn’t want me to leave her) I just couldn’t see myself growing old there.

Tuesday morning, I thought maybe I should just do the most responsible thing and pay the deposit on the studio I saw but I had my doubts. I listened to my inner voice and …. Well, 5 hours later I got the call from one of the board members. I was so scared but when he told me, that it wouldn’t be a problem for me to get the studio I started tearing up again. How embarrassing!

So! Eventually my prayers paid off. I got my beautiful studio gem in Forest Hills. Now, I’m gonna fill out the paperwork, figure out how to withdraw $6000 from my account in 2 days, when I’m actually only allowed to withdraw $1200/day. And then hopefully tomorrow I can sign the lease.

I’m so happy! Truly so happy.

My money no good here

– The rental nightmare!

When I was 18, I moved out of my mother’s house into a room with shared kitchen and bathroom. I paid about $435/month. I lived there for 9 months. Then, I moved to a studio apartment where I stayed for another 2 years. My rent was then $500.
My third apartment was a 1-bedroom, in a beautiful building. I lived there yet another 2 years and my monthly rent was $875. Due to some changed circumstances I decided to move into a dorm room complex. I had my own small, small studio but with the $650 I paid a month I was dying to get out of there. After a year I started college in Copenhagen and I found a lovely large studio and with the $730 monthly rent including utilities and cable I was truly blessed. I lived there for almost two years.

The reason I’m writing this is to make a point: I’ve lived alone for 8 years, I’ve paid my rent on time every single month. And every time I’ve moved I’ve gotten my whole deposit back.
I’m responsible and respectful.
I know what I’m doing.

Now.

Been looking for an apartment in New York for 2 weeks now and so far nobody wants to let me rent. The market is completely different in New York compared to Denmark. I’m sure something will show up and I’m sure that it will be worth my while.
But, for now I feel like even though I’m good for it – nobody wants my money!

Status on NY dream vol. 4

Only a few days after my last blogpost I went to my mailbox and the only thing awaiting me was this beautiful envelope:

cuny acceptance letter

The letter was thick and heavy and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to open it. When I finally did, my heart sank when reading the first word: ‘Congratulations…’

Really didn’t read the rest of the letter until a few hours later. First, I had to phone my mom and let her in on the good news. She was of course so happy for me, but I think I also sensed her being a little bit sad. After all, this is going to mean that I will be out of Denmark for quite some time. But as I told her, I will be back!

Then I texted a few good friends in New York. And finally I posted the news on facebook! Normally my status updates doesn’t get a lot of ‘Likes’ but this one cleared the table!

Finally I read the whole letter but especially the first paragraph felt so unreal:
“Congratulations on your acceptance as an advanced standing student into the Hospitality mgmt program at New York City College of Technology for fall 2011 semester. I am pleased to welcome you to the City Tech family”

Me, chubby little Dane, a part of the the City Tech family. ME!!!!

Even writing this now, makes me so emotional. It’s not like I have doubts in myself ’cause I know my own value.

It’s just, when I realized I wanted live in New York back in ’06, I didn’t even have my high school diploma. I was a drop-out, a quitter, a wreck in many ways.

I pulled myself together and did what I had to do. And NOW – It paid off!

Well, there’s not enough time to apply and get the F-1 visa (student visa) so I will have to talk with the school to postpone my start until spring semester ’12. But no worries, this will only allow more time to finish all necessary paperwork, applying for scholarships, finding proper housing, work/save money etc. Plus, I do have unfinished business (like a dissertation) in Denmark.

You know what, cross that part  – Not that important right now …

I DID IT!

40 days and I’m homeless

I’ve lived in this studio apartment in Copenhagen since September 2009 but in forty days I’m out. I don’t have a new place to move into yet but I’m sure something will come along. Have some health issues I’m taking care of as well as needing and wanting to finish my dissertation on time. All of this is stressing me out!

BUT wow, Denmark isn’t quite so bad at the moment. The weather is nice and it feels good spending time with my people here … knowing that in a second or two, I’ll say goodbye.

Things to do instead of …

Yo!

Pro-Poor Tourism in USA, specialization report, hand-in Monday, 20 pages ..

So as I’m getting more and more frustrated about the fact that I have to write something that has already been written before I find myself coming up with excuses to do  much more important things and my mind wanders off and suddenly this is what’s going on:

Listening to old cd’s with Vonda Shepard.

Packing a box for shipment of SATC dvd’s I sold online.

Trying on pants from my closet realizing that they actually fit so much better now after all the powerwalking I’ve been doing.

Curious about how the pants look with the plateau heels I bought this summer in NYC.

Getting even more determined to be able to walk those heels on a regular basis when I’m gonna be a fancy international student in NYC – here’s to our welfare system!

Running back and forth from the kitchen, in heels, prepping for dishes and making a pot of coffee.

Thinking, a hardworking student such as myself needs coffee to write interesting reports on pro-poor tourism aka sustainable tourism aka eco-tourism aka whatever.

Realizing that I still have some starbucks instant iced coffee left that I bought the last day in Forest Hills.

Contemplating having both hot and cold coffee when one of my favorite Vonda Shepard songs are playing..

Decides to look it up on youtube but accidentally starts listening to other versions of it .. Share it on facebook. Makes a silly comment trying to link the fact of being heartbroken and having to hand in a 20p report on Monday.

Finally sits down.

Check my email – nice! Newsletter from Forever21. Gets caught up by some very nice dresses

Again thinking about the shoes. Together with the dresses.

Writes an email to a friend.

Checks my phone. No text messages.

The coffee is ready in the kitchen. Dang, I love my coffee. I actually love my kitchen too. It’s cozy. A real, old Copenhagen Apartment kitchen.

Am not going to afford an apartment like this in New York. Will be renting a room. In somebody else’s house.

Why is tuition that crazy anyway? Oh well, anything to live my dream, right?

I can’t wait to start applying for scholarships.

Oh wow .. PEST analysis .. Economic factors in the external environment.

I don’t like working within the box of regulations and rules and expectations.

.. I’m a smart kid.

This report is going to kiss some butt. I even have this sentence in my report:

…’cause it is shameful to forget about the people living in devastating situations around the corner from where we shop our Manolo’s and have our venti triple mocha lattes.

I only have this report, 2 months of classes and a dissertation left. I’m motivated. I will do it. I just can’t wait to do it for real, in real life situations, on the work place.

The coffee is still steaming hot. I can’t drink hot beverages. It has to cool off for at least 20 minutes. Preferable half an hour.

I love my blog. This domain. Have had it for 3,5 years. It’s about time I do more with it.

I don’t care how great my blogs are (thank you very much!) but nobody wants to read my stuff forever .. Nah. I wanna do more. I wanna give back to society! Or at least the ‘New York starving’ tourists.

If only I had more hours in a day – then I would be writing a perfect report, cleaning up my apartment, having lunches with friends AND! I would work harder to get this website and the other 5 I have more popular.

So many ideas …

I need to write a blog.

Here you go …