Posts in Expat Life
The Paradox of Nesting In: How buying a home abroad taught me the value of trusting my instincts

Until now I’ve felt like a visitor in Denmark, but by settling here I feel like a citizen, and with that comes a lot of unknowns. I literally have no idea what to expect from the next 5 years now that we have made the decision to root ourselves here more permanently, and, whilst that is exciting and exhilarating, it’s also a little (a lot) nerve-wracking. 

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Feeling lonely? Embrace it. It could just be the break you needed.

People often ask me what the hardest thing about moving abroad is, and my answer is almost always: the loneliness. But that feeling doesn't have to be a negative thing. In this post I take a look at how - without realising it - loneliness turned helped me to start a side project that turned into one of my biggest achievements, and to connect with my better, happier self.

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Learning Danish: Breaking through the expat echo chamber

People often think that moving to Scandinavia is a doddle in language terms. And it’s true, you could feasibly live in Denmark without ever having to learn a word of Danish. Danes, in the cities at least, speak such phenomenal English that you could reasonably live here a lifetime without ever troubling yourself to learn the language. But my experience from the short time I’ve been here is that the key to truly feeling at home here (or anywhere), is breaking through your echo chamber and learning the language.

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Why you should visit Denmark in Autumn

As I sit here, roll neck on, soup on the hob, candles burning even though it's barely 4pm, there's no denying that winter is well and truly on its way. During summer I was warned time and time again to brace myself for the harsh winter months. I spent the entire summer grasping on to every ray of sunshine, knowing that the long days would soon give way to even longer nights. At it's shortest, it's only light for around 6 hours a day during winter, and so as the summer gradually came to an end, I was surprised to see that rather than lose its sparkle, Denmark instead seemed to bloom.

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How Moving Abroad Helped Me Find My Happy Place

As I sit here on this beautiful, sunny, late summer’s day I’m struck by the strange sensation that I feel alright. You see, I’ve just come back from nine days holiday in the rolling Tuscan Hills. Normally, the night before I start work after summer hols I’m in all kinds of inner turmoil. By this stage, I’m usually the embodiment of that anguished face emoji (this one —> 😩 ). This year, however, I’m feeling a bit more like this guy —> 🙂 . Not thrilled, obviously. But honestly - quite alright. 

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Adapting to Danish culture

Adapting to Danish culture is filled with paradoxes. In many respects, Danes are so similar to Brits that at times you’re mistaken into thinking that you don’t need to adapt at all. With their dark sarcasm, and understated reserved nature - often I feel totally at home with the Danes. I get them, I’m on their level. Then something will happen. Something so seemingly innocuous you question whether it really happened at all, and suddenly you’re thrown right off balance. From how you make your smørrebrød (Danish open sandwiches), to how much you embrace the sun - there are whole swathes of unwritten rules about life in Denmark that it’s helpful to know if you’re thinking about making a new start here. 

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Creative Studio

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote, and what a couple of weeks it’s been! I had my first bike accident (I’m fine, just a few bruises); I worked at my first Danish festival and, most exciting of all, I ran my first ever MeetUp. 

Some of you will have seen from my last post that in my quest to make friends in this strange new place I’ve spent a lot of hit-and-miss weekends at MeetUps of all different shapes and sizes. It’s been fun, awkward and inspiring in equal measure and so, when I found myself in a bit of a rut with this blog, unable to quite motivate myself to stick with it, I decided to try and remedy things by turning to the MeetUp-o-sphere. I was looking for a group where I could go and meet other people doing creative projects. I wanted somewhere to get inspiration and motivation to see my own projects through, but I couldn't find anything so, a couple of glasses of wine down, I decided to just start my own.

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The Art of MeetUps & Making Friends

This week, for the first time, I felt a sudden bout of homesickness. 

After travelling back home to visit my family and friends for the first time, I realised that leaving them behind in pursuit of this grand adventure is a heavy price to pay. The friendships I have back in the UK are the result of years and years of growing through life’s experiences with a select few wonderful people. From my school friends who I’ve known for over 15 years, to my grad scheme friends who were there when I was going through some pretty pooey times in London, my life in the UK was filled with the most awesome bunch that I now can’t just pop round and see. The past few months have been so exciting and new that it’s only now that I’m feeling the impact of that in a tangible way.

The great thing about moving abroad these days is that you can bet your ass that the internet will help you fix things. So, determined not to be a social hermit for much longer, I went online in search of ways of making friends.

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Redefining Perceptions of Home

There comes a point when you move abroad when you have to redefine your perception of home. For me, that point came this weekend.

For the first time since moving to Denmark, I landed in the UK late on Thursday night and found myself back in the place I have always called ‘home’. I’ve spent numerous periods of my life abroad, but only ever periods that I knew were finite. 6 months here, 9 months there, I’ve always known that at some point I’d be going back to the UK, it was never forever. 

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An impassioned plea from a Brit abroad on why we should Remain in Europe

This week is one of the most important in modern British history. It’s the week we make the vote of a lifetime to decide our position within Europe. In or out? 

Those of you who know me will know that I’ve been extremely vocal about my position as a hardline Remainer. I’ve posted videos, articles, interviews and infographics high and low, trying to encourage as many people as possible to not lose faith in the European project. As we now head into the final straight of this week to remember, I thought it time that I put pen to paper to explain why I feel so passionately that we should Remain.

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The Wonderful World of Work in Denmark

This week I was lucky enough to be featured in The Local Denmark, who interviewed me about my experiences adapting to working life here. Quite a few people have contacted me since I started the blog to ask some practical questions about how easy it is to find work abroad and adjust to cultural differences. Since this interview got me thinking about all of those things in more detail, I thought I would do a quick FAQ for anyone who's thinking of taking a professional leap overseas. 

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Reflections On A Leap Of Faith

Well, here we are. It’s been two weeks since we took the life changing decision to quit our lives in London and start a new chapter in Copenhagen. I gave myself these two weeks as ‘settling in time’ before starting my new job and, now that that’s come to an end, I thought it would be a good time to take a moment to reflect on how we’re feeling now that the dust is starting to settle and we ease into our new normal.

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