Author: amycourtland

About amycourtland

Yoga-doing, music-listening, record-collectiong, pokemon-catching, movie-watching, book-reading, travel-enthusiast. 20 year old from Canada, just trying to feed my case of wanderlust. And hey, if I get to drink some tea, sip some wine, meet some people and even get to eat some good vegan/gluten free food, well then bonus! Can be spotted in airports or in downtime playing games on my 3DS/reading/watching a movie.

People Who Sleep In Airports

They get in your space. They smell. They have had one too many coffees; and I respect the hell out of them.

Recently, I have joined their ranks.

When you are traveling on a budget, you have got to do what you’ve got to do. More often than not, this includes spending a night or two in an airport as apposed to getting a nice soft bed at an airport hotel. Seeing as the broke traveling crowd usually are an interesting bunch, people watching is a top notch activity. You can see seasoned travelers snoozing on the floor, in a perfect slumber curled up in sleeping bags. You see confused young travelers that are only there because they missed their first flight and decide it is best to just stay at the airport to avoid missing catching the next one. You see the girl with the stuffed backpack as a carry on, viciously playing a Nintendo 3DS to pass the time… oh wait, that’s me. As most people reading this probably know, I am currently living in Aarhus, Denmark. Although it is the second biggest city in the country, the airport here has limited flights and therefore I had to go to Copenhagen to catch my 10 o’clock flight (with Easy Jet, so gates close 30 mins before the flight takes off). I left my residence at 3 on the Wednesday, walked 30 minutes to the train station which is connected to a shopping center (who has money for cabs anyways?). I wanted to get the latest train possible, so I was able to kill some time at the mall wandering about. I ended up on a 6:30pm train, as I was getting bored of walking around stores and knocking things over with the over-sized pack (How do those Ninja turtles maneuver with such poise with those gigantic shells on their backs?!), and quite looked forward to the 3 hour ride which would allow me time to watch a movie or two. The train goes right to the airport, which was a blessing. I arrived around 9:45ish, and my night at the airport had begun (however much of a buildup I am giving this post, I assure you it in no way resembles night at the museum). There were a few stores still open, mainly convenience stores, so I browsed them a bit. Eventually I plunked down in an area next to a 7/11 at which I purchased a Summersby cider (becoming a favorite of mine while living in Denmark) and a bag of mixed nuts. The night was rather uneventful, and my mind was mainly occupied with figuring out if the man who said “Bon Voyage” to me was actually French, or just using the popular line. I had attempted to sleep once or twice, but I am far too restless. I was impatiently anticipating a time that would be appropriate for me to go through security. I finally did around 6 o’clock, as that is when Joe And the Juice was opening and I was desperate for something in my stomach. After wandering the shops that were slowly beginning to open, I had a seat at a big coushy round thing that was planted in front of the screen displaying the gates in which planes are flying in to. I ended up somehow laying down and drifting off. Apparently, some people find this behavior unladylike or something, as when I came two just 20 minutes later, I was greeted with stares of disapproval of well dressed strangers. Finding their disapproving glances to be quite comical, I stretched, got up and made my way to the nearby bathroom. Ah, the bathroom. This is where the fun begins. As one can imagine, I was a bit tired and not in my most alert state of mind. I have a terrible habit of leaving phones in bathrooms. After I had brushed my teeth and was ready to wander around some more, I headed out to take another hopeful glace to see if the gate for my plane was up yet; no luck so I decided to check my phone and see who I could bother at this hour of the day. My phone. Check, my … phone? In my pocket, of course. Yes.. no? Oh right, my sweater pocket then! Noo.. no. Purse, obviously, right? Nope. Starting to get desperate here.. backpack. Must have gotten to the bottom of my backpack. But.. no. I had thoroughly searched every possible place on my person that my phone could be. It. Is. Not. Here. I refuse to have another phone lost to an airport. I am getting close to funding the black market on the lost and found cells misplaced by tired travelers. So off I go in a fury of rage to find this damned worthless piece of shit Nokia Android phone. After revisiting Joes, and all the other places I could have possibly been, and some I hadn’t, no. phone. I sat down in a fog thinking of why I even bother with phones, and gave myself some bull shit pep talk about how modern technology is just a burden anyways and I really don’t need it (says the girl with the touch screen laptop.. shut up Amy). Knowing my record of leaving phones in bathrooms, I return one more time to give the place a once over. With no avail, I hopelessly head back to sink into the coushy round thing and watch the flights. On my way I was chased down by a highly enthusiastic, stereotypical dramatic Italian woman. She spoke little to no English, but was yelling phoneeee!! at me. After haphazardly explaining that she had noticed the phone after going into the bathroom after me, she had looked for a girl in a striped dress and hair in a bun, and that she had tried calling people on the phone to notify that it was lost. A lovely gesture as it was, she just called random people on my Facebook (so sorry to anyone who might have received any mysterious calls from a very concerned Italian) and she used up the 20 dollar card that was on my phone that I had just purchased making these international calls. However, she was just the sweetest, and our communication was essentially chopped down to an extensive game of charades. I said thank you once again, and we went our separate ways. My flight gate was not announced until maybe 15 minutes before the gate was supposedly closing, and it was at least a ten minute walk away, even by my fast walking standards. However when I got there, I found that easy jet is rather slow with the process of getting people on to the flight and such, so I had plenty of time. Being a low cost airline they can take these liberties I suppose. I met up again with my my Italian phone saving friend, it turns out she also was headed to Milan on the same flight as me. We used our hand gestures and broken understandings of each other’s languages to make do and pass time in the lineup. She was a lovely lady, shout out to you where ever you are. Point of the matter being, a little kindness and effort can go a long way, and has the ability to completely change the outcomes for someone else. I would have been kicking myself the whole trip for losing yet again another phone to an airport if it hadn’t been for the kindness and concern of a complete stranger. You never know who you are going to come across and who will have an impact on you, especially being a traveler, so be nice and helpful whenever you get the chance.

When I was staying the night at the airport in Milan on my way back to Denmark, I had hours of conversation with a woman who spoke no English, yet I know she is a manager at a fast food restaurant, she has a son and was going to Casablanca. She wanted to see the snow in Canada. I was thirsty and the only vending machine wasn’t working, so she gave me her bottle of water, offering also to split her boiled eggs, of which I had to politely decline.

Here I am, once again spending another night in Copenhagen airport, saving a buck or two on a hotel, heading to Norway early in the morning. I had a lovely chat with the people at Starbucks who are always a ridiculous amount of friendly for how busy they are, especially in comparison to the general disposition of Starbucks workers. Making my complicated order perfectly without complaint, and an amusing misspelling of my name as “Emmy”, it was an overall pleasant experience, setting an immediate pleasant tone for the remainder of my evening.

I suppose, the purpose of this post is simply to applaud the generosity of complete strangers that I have experienced throughout my travels. I am not oblivious to the fact that there are copious reasons that call for caution in unfamiliar situations, however I would be hard pressed to say that there is no reasons left to have faith in human nature. If the dreary state of the the perception of the world shown popularly on the news has got you down, may I recommend that you spend a night or two sleeping in air ports as well.

A special thank-you to anyone who I have come across to make countless hours in airports, in stations, or on planes/trains enjoyable or at the least bearable (including the people that take the time out of their busy schedules to talk to me on Facebook so I do not start talking to the walls), you are all lovely people and are all so essential to everything I do, near or far!

Love to you all across the globe,

-Amy Tattrie  xo

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23 Things Only Travelers Will Understand

Thought Catalog

1. You remember getting your passport in the mail and being filled with excitement over all the possibilities of where you could go now.

2. Every time you make a purchase you secretly think about what that could pay for while traveling. $20 dinner = two nights in a hostel. $5 Starbucks coffee = 11 plates of pad thai in SE Asia.

3. You’ve learned to cut back on talking about travel with your friends who don’t travel, only because you know it’s annoying and you don’t want to be THAT guy.

4. But when you do talk to your friends who travel you guys can’t stop gushing to each other about all the places you want to go and cultures you want to experience someday.

5. You regularly use #wanderlust, #travel, and/or #traveling on your Twitter or Tumblr posts.

6. Even though it’s cliché, you really do feel like…

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Take me as I come ’cause I can’t stay long: Italy 2014

Buongiorno! 

Hello beautiful people! Over the last weekend, I took a short 4 day trip to Italy. I started this excursion by sleeping in the airport in Copenhagen, having a flight at 10 the next morning. Then followed a short day in Milan, took the train to Florence and stayed in a hostel, spent the day in Florence and then trained to Rome in which I stayed for two days before heading back to Milan to catch a flight home. I do dearly wish I had of had time to update you lovely people on my adventures as I went along, however I was extremely pressed for time and therefore had to take in every second of the enchanting Italy while I could. I will attempt to sum it all up in one post, and try to keep it to a manageable size!

March 13th- Milan

My flight got in to the airport around 12:30 on Thursday. I was able to quickly catch a shuttle bus to Central Milan, about an hour from the airport, for only 10 euro. This was extremely convenient as I had no time to wait for a bus, yet was not overly enthused about having to pay 90 euro for a taxi. I had a tour at 2:15 meeting at Piazza del Duomo, and this being my first time in Italy, I had no idea which way was what. So I took a cab which was a rather pleasant experience having the driver cheerfully teach me how to properly say “Piazza”. Usually I do prefer to explore places on my own, without being restricted by a guide and an itinerary. However, my train to Florence departed at 7:30 and I did want to get as much done in Milan as possible without pesky line ups. I was able to see such sites as the famous Duomo, a church made over hundreds of years displaying influences of differing eras. With intentions of creating a Gothic church, it is a glorious display of white spiky exterior is an event on it’s own. Throughout this 3 hour walking tour,  we were able to see many of the main sites of Milan, with the main being a viewing of the Last Supper. Being a huge Renaissance  nerd, of course the thought of getting up close and personal with a painting that was the first we know to show human emotions, well, just was an absolute dream. The perception of this painting, was far more than religiously significant. The ability to represent dialog through a still painting, to create depth and such perspective within a piece of art, is incredible to say the least. Standing where Leonardo Da Vinci had stood, trying to perceive the way he must have been thinking to paint such a significant work; well it was honestly and truly moving. I do believe that in the overwhelming emotion of it all my eyes my have teared up a bit, as disgustingly cliche as it all sounds. Purely surreal, it was a moment that was certainly significant and unforgettable. The painting occupies a wall in a room that was once where the priests would eat at the long table, and the painting was made to seem as if the Last Supper was taking place with those eating in the dinning hall. Made to accommodate 200 people, a max of 20 some people are allowed in this room at once, after passing through a series of  doors that were sealed air tight to ensure that everyone was clean of dust. I could honestly continue for posts about this painting, however that is unsightly and unfortunate for all you readers.   Just take my advice: If you ever consider simply dismissing Milan as a city solely of high end fashion, please consider stopping in to see this masterpiece. There is many other less known gems in Milan which I also encourage you to do your research again, a Lonely Planet will do quite nicely. I then continued after the tour to get incredibly lost making my way to the train station  and decided to cut my losses and hail a cab. Luckily I was not too far away, and only had to pay 5 euro for the ride. After grabbing a quick bite to eat, I found my gate and was onward to Florence.

March 13th/14th- Florence

I arrived in Florence around 10 something, and I was able to find my Hostel right away as it was simply 3 minutes from the train station and the hostel’s website provided excellent directions of which I had printed off (it does me best to be prepared as I have an uncanny talent for getting lost). I stayed at the Hostel Archi Rossi which was pleasant with clean rooms, reliable wifi, lovely facilities, free breakfast buffet as well as free tours leaving at 10 every morning. I had a nice shower and went directly to bed, seeing as I hadn’t truly slept in two days. The next morning I quickly got ready for the day, packed my things and headed for free breakfast to be followed by the free 2 hour walking tour at 10. This was a nice way to get my barrings about the city. I must say, I am completely in love with Florence. Italy instantly captured my heart, and Florence sealed the deal. I was inside Strozzi palace. I was standing outside of Palazzo Pitti, former home of the Medici family. THE MEDICI FAMILY. Everything in Florence is absolute magic; From the Ponte Vecchio to the Uffizi to the absolutely heavenly Gelato (which was first created in Florence) Oh and the Wine. Ahhhh the wine. After my tour that finished on the Ponte Vecchio, I was able to go about the city myself as I prefer and explore. I made my way to the Uffizi, and after strolling around the building far more times than I would like to admit, I finally found the correct entrance. For those of you who are easily overwhelmed with directions as I, the entrance of the Uffizi is on the inside of the two buildings, your second door in from the square on the building to your left. If you accidentally try to enter in one of the doors that are by no means entrances, you will get yelled at in Italian. This museum is substantial, and you should take care to set aside a large chuck of time to take it on, give or take how much in depth you plan on observing the exhibits. This museum is home to the large Medici collection of art, donated to the city by Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici under the condition that the collection forever remains in Florence. After the Uffizi, I was able to find a lovely vegetarian cafe, Brac ( http://www.libreriabrac.net/brac/ ) and had an avocado salad. For more great restaurants for the Vegetarians and Vegans, check out Florence happy cow- quite a few listings!! Also, all Gelato places I came across had many sorbet flavors, also some had soy and usually a dark chocolate dairy free Sorbert! All equally delicious. After that I continued to stroll along the stunning streets and Piazzas, and happened upon a cafe for a glass of wine as I had a few hours before I had to be at the train station. I enjoyed a delicious red Chianti while unlooking the Duomo. Then I continued to move along to find my street, and looking a bit disorientated a kind young man with a British Accent noticed and set me off in the right direction. With a map at hand it would have been no problem to find my way, but this sure made the process go quite a bit faster! After picking up a few things at a train station  I was onward to Rome.

March 14th/15th/ 16th- Rome

Arriving in Rome late on Friday night, I made my way to my hostel which was a short walk from the train station. I was staying at the Beehive Hostel. Oh my word, it was beautiful! It has a vegetarian cafe located inside, and lots of different types of rooms. Very clean, and lovely lounges outside as well as one inside. Gorgeously decorated, very cheerful! Helpful, friendly staff as well. HIGHLY recommend it. After a shower I was able to settle in and make use of the free wifi, then get a good nights rest. The next morning I had a tour of the Forum/ Colosseum, followed by a tour of the Vatican. Again, I really am not huge on tours, but in order to see everything I wanted in such a short period of time, they were necessary. To those of you who have the time and are not on a skip the line tour as I was, do the Roman Forum first as the line is always shorter for tickets, and the same ticket will get you into the Colosseum. The line up for the Colosseum is pushing 2 hours as the Forum is about 10 minutes. I absolutely adored both of these sights, and was enchanted by these ancient ruins. The fact that they have withstood the test of time is absolutely incredible. Having a glance into the lives that people have lived so long ago, standing where they once stood, is an absolute honor. Seeing my history lessons come to life as my mind painted vibrant life within these deserted buildings was incredible. Also I must add, standing in front of the temple of Caesar on March 15th, the Ides of march, the day he was killed, was absolutely insane for me! It didn’t seem to be a big deal to others, but well, I am a nerd. After this I accompanied my tour guide to the Vatican for the second portion of the tour. The Vatican was of course breathtaking, with architectural feats that are hardly perceivable. The Representation and symbolism in the Sistine chapel was  obviously a highlight. The excess of statues obtained (stolen) by Napoleon was incredible as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the hall that displayed different maps from over the years, due of course to my obsession with maps. The ceilings were also another high point, painted to look as if they were carved however were all flat paintings. truly an optical illusion to say the least. St. Peters Basilica was also amazing, of course. Afterward, the two others on the tour and I decided we would do some exploring as a group. It was lovely to meet some new like-minded travelers, and to have some company. I was able to see the Pantheon in passing, as we walked the exquisite streets.  We had a look around Piazza Navona and I indulged in buying myself a small painting. We had a lovely meal, during which we drank red wine. Afterward, had Gelato at a fantastic place with a VW van inside. Too cute! It was called pistachios, and I have the address on a business card kicking around here somewhere if anyone is interested. Finally arriving back at my hostel, prepared for my last day in Rome/Italy. 

March 16th

I awoke the next morning with intentions on heading to the Capitoline museums, but not before finally getting to sample the cafe at my hostel. I had a lovely fruit salad, along with blood orange juice and a macchiato with soy milk. Sooooo goooood. I had a lovely walk in the sun to the Capitoline museums, and first enjoyed the surrounding area before I actually entered. The museums were very overwhelming, however enjoyable. I was able to see some things of which extremely interested me, such as the statue of the She-wolf. I would recommend leaving a good chunk of time for this, with breaks on the terrace as to not become overwhelmed with art and history. After this, I met up with the friends I had met the previous day at the tour. Together we did some exploring, including the Trevi fountain and the Spanish steps, finishing off the day and our time in Rome with a sunset with a view from Pincio which was stunning to say the least. Sadly, we then made our way back in the direction of our differing hostels, but not after one last meal at which I had grilled Vegetables, delicious! After this, I had to retrieve my bags from my hostel storage room, and goodbyes were to be had. I was at the train station in plenty of time, so of course I had one last Italian Gelato while waiting. I swear, this gelato is incomparable to any other ice cream form on the face of the planet. Onward to Milan, I was able to catch the last shuttle at 12:30 to the airport, at which I had to spend the night to wait for my 7:30 flight.

As mentioned above, I am completely enchanted with Italy as a whole. Florence especially captured my heart as a place that felt like a home; I could see myself living there. Rome was a beautiful city that I grew more fond of for every second I spent there. It felt like a dream, of which will forever remain a place I will long for. I did throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, ensuring that return as the legend goes. I would love to see much more of Italy, I cannot even begin to make a list. Hopefully the return will come soon, until then my heart will ache for it.

For any of you reading this with aspirations to travel to these areas and want any information on the places I stayed or ate at, etc, (particularly the veg or gluten free crowd, as I know it is so much harder for us!) Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions at all! I may have not been there long but I did more research than I needed, so hopefully will be able to help! Personally, I never go anywhere without a Lonely planet. 🙂

PS: I will add pictures, internet isn’t behaving at the moment.

Hope everyone is having a lovely night where ever you find yourselves!

Much love, thanks for stopping in!

-Amy Tattrie xo

Don’t stop me now

Hello friends!

Due to unfortunate circumstances, this is my first post from my new laptop! IE: I have a lethal combination of clumsiness and bad luck. However this one is much more travel compatible anyways, I am going with it needed to happen. And the Danish keyboard can just be a souvenir of my time here! Haha, worse things have happened. 🙂 Hope you are all well. I have been busy on adventures around the city, checking things off of the list in the Aarhus section of my lonely planet. The waterfront has become one of my favorite places; I have always loved the water. Sea, lake, river, you name it. Kind of has a way of being calm and chaotic. I have been to The Viking Museum (FREE) which was a interesting insight to how these fascinating people have lived long ago. What makes it just the more fascinating is that this museum is constructed on the actual site of an archaeological excavation where the artifacts featured in the museum were found. Also this little store called the decorate shop, I wanted to buy everything! However I escaped with just a few trinkets. I have plans on visiting the two university museums tomorrow, along with possibly a trip to the mall as I have some mail to prepare.Today I went to the small organic health shop to pick up some avocados and did a bit of shopping around in the area today, and made the tragic mistake of wandering in to the Marc Jacobs store downtown. Why would I be so cruel to myself? A fucking tshirt costed about half the price of my brand new touch screen laptop, and a dress costed more. MORE. Bat shit crazy y’all. Admittedly though, there were a lot of gorgeous things. Namely shoes. However, I could use that money to go on about 3 weekend trips around Europe.. So thanks but no thanks Mark Jacobs, I will be moving along now. Speaking of weekend trips; I am off to Italy next weekend! Four days, flying into Milan, then Florence for a night, then Rome for two days, then back to Milan to fly back to Copenhagen to get the train back to Aarhus. More on that trip when the time comes though, just in the process of securing my places to stay and connection trains right now. I also am in the process of planning a trip to Spain/Portugal for my mother and I when she comes to visit on my Easter break. Along with that, looking at a weekend in London, the Netherlands and Germany. Really whatever deals I can come across. The whole process of planning a trip, booking it and low price searching, review checking for hostels and other services, I find it all extremely invigorating and exciting.  Truly enjoyable. I am looking forward to writing about every aspect of my trips and maybe will be able to offer some helpful information for future travelers pursuing the same destinations as I. However if not, I sure enjoy the hell out of at least writing about it for my beloved friends and fam :). So until then, I will be nose deep in travel guides and websites making sure I catch everything- when you only have four days to travel you have to be a bit more vigilant. Anyways I suppose that is all I have to say for today, I am going to be getting to a page on eating vegan in Aarhus here soon. Promise!! I will be around to update you all of adventures here soon, a few sights planned for this weekend.

Lots of Love from Aarhus;

-Amy Tattrie

I’ll send all my loving to you;

Just kidding though, because I suck at mail.

So today, I set off to the closest post office to mail a package home. An impressive feat at it was, considering I went for a run earlier and unknowingly chose a route that was seriously hill after hill and then, some more hills. Not the steep but quick hills, the minor inclines that NEVER END kind of hills. Anyways I hate people that talk about their exercise via public forums, so I am just saying this to drive home the point that to go out in the dark gloomy weather to walk 15 mins there and back with a heavy backpack took motivation. I arrived at the mall, already feeling accomplished and excited to get this load of junk out of my room, ha. I made my way to the post office without even stopping at Vero Moda. Picked up two post cards and the box I needed, and went up to pay. However, my card did not work; the post office lady then informed me they only accepted Danish cards. I shit you not, EVERY place I have been so far has accepted my Visa. All the way down to a sketchy corner store that one would be surprised even had working lights. I managed to find the 90kr for the box and post cards, and then went to situate my things. After getting everything ready and filling out my postcards, I realize, well shit, how am I supposed to pay for stamps and shipping, I seriously have NO kronos left. After shortly considering ripping into the envelop containing the set of different coins I was sending home for my dad, I decided it was best just to take my box and walk to the nearest ATM, just outside of the mall. After dodging some very aggressive traffic, I made it to this magic machine that has so far allowed me to avoid the hassle of getting a Danish bank account. Anyone want to make any guesses as to where this is going? Place a bet with the person next to you? YEAH. The ATM was out of order. I then decided to just buy something cheap at the Fotex, hoping to get cash-back. That didn’t work for me either. So here I was, with a big ole’ box in my backpack, and no money to mail it. The only other ATM I know of where I can get Danish kr with my Canadian cards was completely in the opposite direction past where I am living. So I decided to call it a day, as by the time I got the cash out and got back to the mall, the post office would be closed. So I sadly headed home, and decided to give my mom a video call and tell her of my troubles. I proudly presented her the box I was going to send, and she so kindly pointed out I forgot to write her name, and put the postal code in the wrong space. IN MY DEFENSE, THIS POST OFFICE STRESSES ME OUT SO HARD. So, I suppose it wasn’t all and all a negative that I could not send it, as it may have never arrived. So now my game plan for tomorrow is to go to this ATM and get lots of Kronos, as I need money for laundry as well. THEN go to the administration building to get a fancy little laundry swipe card, then go to the mall/post office to send this god forsaken package.

SO FRIENDS, my advice;

1) ALWAYS have some of the national currency of the country you are in on you at all times, whenever you are getting low, get some more. Do not wait until you have “a bit” because you never know when an ATM is going to fail you.

2) DO NOT assume that your visa is a magical card that will be accepted in whatever place you happen to go. It is not and sometimes the most surprising places (like a post office) will not accept it.

3) Try to have your shit together before you get to the post office; Writing three post cards and shoving 4 different packages into one box on the side table at the post office is not a good idea. They will resent you. It’ll be busy. (You’re excused from this if you were not planning on getting these post cards and had never considered buying the box in advanced and bringing the box intact- but you will do that next time.)

4) Do not freak out, it is no big deal, and just because the lady at the counter was a bitch does not mean you need to feel dumb. You’ll get the hang of it.

5) Laugh at yourself; it is all an adventure in the end.

*** NOTE: it is not advised to wait in line just to get them to weigh your package and see if you can count the extremely small change in your wallet and have the perfect amount. I opted out of this as you should as well. Protect that last shred of dignity.

I am writing this post one, because it is kind of funny, and two, because at the time such little mishaps can seem so huge and defeating when you are built up to accomplish something. Do not sweat it. This might sound like such a minor thing to discuss but just to all those out there in a relate-able situation, involving international mail or what-have-you, it is okay to get frustrated but do not be hard on yourself! 🙂 Things have a weird way of working out. Even if you almost sent your mom mail… without her name on it. We all have those days.

stay golden etc etc,

Much Love from Aarhus;

-Amy xox

Here Comes the Sun

Sunny skies

Sunny skies

Hello Friends!!

I am terribly apologetic for my recent absence from the world of blogging. Week two in Aarhus involved a visit to the famous Aros art museum featuring art by the one artist I follow, Ron Mueck, check him out! Naturally, I wandered about the city and was utterly amazed by the vibrancy that every new thing seemed to have, as new things often do. However, I must say, it was a hard week. Week one is busy with adjustments and settling in and everything is hitting you at once; you go go go. Week two, it kind of hit me, where I was, how long I would be there, what I would be missing, who I would be missing, and how much I would miss them. I also was feeling sick in general, presumably my body adjusting as well. It was a rather dark and rainy week, as they often are here, and I was just feeling drained. Friday had been valentines day which was the first time homesickness reared it’s head, as it is traditionally a day for me spent with my closest friends and my family, my Dad always got me flowers, tiny presents sometimes exchanged. Now I am not one for the traditional valentines day, which is solely used to celebrate romantic love through the man presenting the woman with copeous amounts of ridiculous gifts ad gestures, with no reciprocation at that.However I appreciate it in my own way, simply as a holiday used to take extra time to show the people you love that you love them. A reminder, of sorts. Anyways, such a day just really makes you miss being surrounded by those people, and also makes you appreciate them that much more. However, it could have been much worse, and I took myself out to a nice meal and bought some records, always a pick me up. The following Saturday, I was invited to take part in my floors late Christmas feast/celebration, which was tonnes of fun and featured many traditional Danish dishes that were delicious, including a new way to cook potatoes which I am certainly bringing back to Canada. This night included drinking copious amounts of Schnapps, which everyone was shocked that I didn’t hate. However eating and drinking together is a fantastic combination as you do not get sick, weo go Danes!! It was plenty of fun and I am certainly lucky to be living with such welcoming people. That Sunday I had a lazy day as I was exhausted. Monday (Yesterday) I went on a mission to go to a certain cafe that also offers yoga (Vegan curry AND yoga in one place? yesplease). However mission failed as I am pretty sure this place does not exist. I ended up eating at a place called Mo&Fro which I had visited one time before, best soup ever (I will be soon writing a post on being a vegan/ gluten free in Aarhus, stay tuned!). I was however able to see new areas of the city, buy a few clothes, and most importantly /where the name of this post derives from, IT WAS SUNNY. I am sadly one of those people that requires sunlight in order to be in a pleasant mood. I easily fall victim to winter-blahs, and it is absolute magic what one day in the sun can do for a persons disposition. So here I am today, at a Tuesday morning 8 o’clock class, with dark misty weather outside the windows, feeling much more at ease and content. My jet leg is also finally subsiding, along with my irritated throat and upset stomach. I am extremely blessed to have some really great support from home, and having that contact means the world to me, even as I am having new adventures and a new country, so thank you! I am however in a class on Religion and Mythology in the Viking age, so I should probably get to that. I promise to be more on my blog after this, because I know you all are just hanging on the edge of your seats to hear about my wild and zany mishaps, so I will try not to disappoint, haha!

Hope you are all well, much love to whatever corner or the world you find yourself in!

– Amy xx

Don’t know what you got ’till it’s gone

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Note my blog up on the corner of the computer screen; priorities.

Classic phrase, classic song, and incredibly applicable to many areas in life. However, in the instance, I am referring to my Campus back home in Nova Scotia Canada, Mount Saint Vincent University. Do not get me wrong; I absolutely LOVE Aarhus University; it is extremely beautiful and filled with friendly people and endless opportunities. I am unbelievably thankful for the Mount for giving me the chance to be here, and it is an opportunity I am glad I have taken. I am simply saying that when the Mount brags of small class sizes and a small campus; they are not fucking around. Guys, NEVER complain about the 5 minute walk that it takes to get from any place to any other place on the mount campus, and I will NEVER again complain about the hill. Y’all don’t even know a walk to class. And yes, the Mount hill does have a bit more of an incline than the hill here, BUT it is over in a mere 5 minutes, give or take depending on your speed and the weather. The hill here however, IT.GOES.ON.FOR.EVER. I swear it never ends. Similar to the campus; it is huge guys, seriously. I spent 40 minutes finding my first class yesterday, and maybe 3 minutes max was that being in the wrong building and looking for a room that didn’t exist, the rest was walking. Mostly on the incline mentioned earlier. And this is not circling, or retracing my steps. that is just trying to find the right damned building. AND ALL THE BUILDINGS LOOK THE SAME. I had better luck finding my second class however, only about a 15 minute walk from my first class, and was able to find the auditorium right away. Mind you I am pretty sure that one class had as many students in it and the collective MSVU student population. Oi. The class I have next Monday however, isn’t even on the damned main campus, it is a bit up from me to the left. 3 classes, 3 different buildings at minimum 15 minutes apart. Oh and classes aren’t always in the same place so that is fun too. So the next time you have a class in Seton right after your class in Evaristus thank your stars that you don’t need google maps to find how to get places that are just on your campus. So yesterday I had my first day of classes, which is what is described above. The first was a class on Mythology and Religion in the Viking age, very cool. And then a course on British and Irish history, could maybe get cool. Currently I am just on break in the middle of a two hour version of the one hour history course, which I still don’t fully understand the workings of. Last night there was some international student activities which was cool, had some drinks and danced and met some neat people. They have Jack Daniels here so obviously that was exciting. Then of course I had to polish off the rest of season one Game of Thrones when I got home at 12ish.

THIS JUST IN: FOLKS IT IS SUNNY IN AARHUS. This is the first time I have seen the sun here, I AM SO EXCITED. They have a very dark winter, a little warmer than a Canadian winter but so so dark. I was assured last night that it will get brighter, and apparently the enthusiastic international coordinator was spot on! Great as I am walking to the mall later to get a phone and this’ll make it much more pleasant. Also I really need groceries.. but it is an awful hassle. I am aiming to do that Thursday as I have no class!

Things are looking quite bright here in Denmark,

Love and miss you all back home; and hope all is well wherever/whoever you are!

-xox Amy

PS; all the current talk that is going on about Kings and Lords and control, all of this in accents, is really making me want to dig into season two of Game of Thrones. Should probably get back to class.

5 Cardinal Rules For The Solo Traveler

Thought Catalog

You probably have read recent articles on the web telling you why you should travel alone at least once. I’m pretty sure you’ve even retweeted and reposted these in all your social media accounts, then added ‘to travel solo’ in your never-ending list of things to procrastinate with.

I could give you a thousand more clichés on how exciting and empowering it is to travel on your own. But I’m sure you’ve heard enough from others that say traveling solo provides the perfect opportunity for self-discovery and all that metaphysical, new age-y stuff.

Exploring a new city by yourself has that certain je ne sais quoi.

Just recently, I visited the cities of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia and (re)discovered the joys of going solo. ‘Seeing the silhouette of the Angkor Wat outlined by the picturesque sunrise behind it’ is now ticked off my bucket list.

While…

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She took a midnight train going anywhere

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OKAY, so it wasn’t exactly a ‘midnight’ train, I had to catch it by 9:50 am, regardless it was a train so whatever. It is also suiting due to the ‘anywhere’ as I essentially did not know where the fuck I was going. What a shit show. I have received a lot of sympathy in regards to the airport mishaps I had encountered, well friends, it doesn’t hold a candle to yesterday. I would be being too kind to term it the day from hell. The previous night I had been super restless, and only banked on 2 hours of sleep before rising at 7 the next morning. Checked out of the hotel and grabbed a cab, onward to meet some others from my school back home who were also heading to Aarhus. However the cab driver had no idea where the bus station I needed to be at was located, so he dropped me at the central station. Now this place was insane on its own, everyone bustling about trying to catch their train or bus. However the busses were all local busses and asking for help was futile as all of the people I encountered thought I was crazy to take the bus when the train was of the same expense and what they considered to be much faster. SO eventually I did find a kiosk supplying bus tickets to Aarhus and decided to just get it and possibly the directions would be on the ticket. WELL NO DICE. Apparently I had reached the limit on my visa and with the absence of a phone it was not as simple as a quick money transfer. Did I mention I couldn’t get wifi either? Because I couldn’t get wifi. I thought I was completely fucked. In despair I made one last attempt at asking a local what to do. Again, I was told the train was the best option and quite frankly the only option that anyone knew anything about. So I made a snap decision to go with it and re-approached the information center that had dismissed me quite abruptly earlier when asking about bus routes, this time inquiring about the train. She informed me that one would be leaving in 20 minutes and vaguely pointed to the general area where I could purchase a ticket from the kiosk. [did I mention this place was HUGE?] So after finding the appropriate place to be, I was EXTEREMELY relieved to find that this one kiosk also took Kronos (Danish dollar) as payment. The only negative thing about this is that it left me with 120 kronos and a declined visa. So I hauled all my luggage on to this train, had to have a kindly gentleman help me put my main bag on the top luggage compartment, hell I couldn’t even reach up that high let alone chuck a fifty pound bag onto it. The kicker of the train is, I had no idea it was supposed to take but I knew it was less time than the bus which was estimated to be about 3 hours. So I was super anxious the whole train ride at every stop, NO idea when I should get off. This whole ordeal made watching Game of Thrones especially difficult as it was hard to pay attention to both. However two episodes later I did in fact get off at the right stop and arrive in Aarhus. It had then suddenly dawned on me; I have 120 Kronos (Which is just a little over 20 dollars Canadian). I better hope to fuck that my taxi drive was short, as my initial one from the airport was 260kronos. Luckily my taxi came to 115. HOW LUCKY. The unlucky part of it though, was that the taxi driver had about the same amount of knowledge on the orientation of the campus as I did; read: NONE. So here I was, with all my belongings in tow, aimlessly wandering around the campus with absolutely no sense of where I needed to be (the international center). So I asked a random man in a history exhibit at the nearest building, who then google maps’ed it for me and gave me a campus map. God bless him. However what followed was 30 mins of confusion and dragging a shit tonne of stuff around a campus I didn’t know looking for this allusive international student center. I did eventually get there, and seeing some students from home there was a huge relief. After receiving a welcome package and my keys, I was again off with all my things to walk up hill to where my room was located. I did however arrive safely, and was never more relieved to see a room in my whole life, I swear it. I was able to meet a few people that lived on my floor and everyone seemed super nice and welcoming, but I was exhausted and was being peer pressured by a friend back home to keep watching the Game of Thrones. Okay it didn’t require much pressuring; the show is addictive as fck and having something normal and familiar from home is a blessing as a refuge when trying to settle in to a new country. I also spent the night trying to sort out my timetable, which still isn’t completely sorted. But at the end of the day, I was super proud of what I had accomplished and of the fact that I have the balls to do I am doing, going to school in another country and all. The most important thing I have found so far is that you honestly just have to have faith that things will work out, because 9/10 they will, and it is not the end of the world if they don’t. unless of course the thing we are referring to is indeed human survival, then well if it didn’t work out it would be the end of the world and we would be fucked. But that isn’t exactly the issue at hand, is it? Hahahaha sorry guys I am a bit tired and my jokes seem funny to me. ANYWHO where this post has taken me, completely coincidentally, is don’t stop believing. ✌ [and for those of you that know me, yeah, I am singing the rest of the lyrics really loudly and obnoxiously right now]

XOX All my Love from Denmark;

-Amy