the bucket list

July 18, 2014

I am back home in Canada now and it is so weird. I feel like for the past six months I had stepped out of everything I knew, everything I was, everything I was comfortable with. And I just lived. Lived, indulged, floated, and had the best time. I was endlessly happy and endlessly inspired. I feel so different now having experienced all the things I did. Having seen all I did. It is hard to explain it fully to anyone. I was gutsy abroad. I was alive, more fearless than I usually am. But now everything that I experienced so vividly feels like a dream. Did it all really happen? Did that all just slip past me? I ask myself seventeen times a day as I binge watch Weeds on Netflix while stuck in the suburban house that is supposed to be my home while sipping on green juice in attempt to somewhat detox from the lifestyle I have been living while away.

I feel different, I know I am different. But I came home and everything was just the same. I caught up with my friends and they were all the same. My room is all the same, but I feel the urge to tear certain things off the walls and put up new memories. And I did. My clothes are all the same. The sameness, it is both grounding and terrifying at the same time. My life here scares me now. It is not the life I want but I have always known that. For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyways for there you have been and there you will long to return. The reverse culture shock hit me hard as my parents drove me home from the airport. We sat in silence at one point, all barely able to believe I was finally back, and as I took in the big box stores, the malls, and the chain restaurants with contempt, I realized it was really over. You're not in Copenhagen anymore. On my last night I cried and cried and cried on the bridge with a beer and all the friends I still had left in the city. I did not want to go home. Most of these friends were there for an indefinite amount of time, telling me effortlessly that I could always come back like they did.

About a month before the adventure came to an end, some of us decided to make Copenhagen Bucket Lists. The things we kept meaning to do, but never really did. A lot of it was food-related, but at that point I had not gone to see the Little Mermaid yet. I had rode by the Rosenborg gardens almost everyday, but had never gone in. I had never tried the ice cream place right around the corner that everyone kept telling me about. Stuff like that. Some big stuff, some small stuff, some secretive stuff. But all things I wanted to experience before leaving. As soon as finals ended, I became addicted to checking everything off the bucket list. Naturally, stuff kept getting added on everyday.

Climb the Christiania Tower.
Frederiksborggades Is soft serve.
Brunch at Paludan.
Food trucks at Papirøen.
Go to a Copenhagen Photography Festival exhibit.This was difficult, as I had finals the weeks it was happening. BUT. The one I finally made it to did what art is meant to do - it made me reflect, cry and be grateful for what I have. This one was personal projects, and there were seven exhibitions by different Danish photographers. All exhibitions were loosely themed around the idea of freedom, proposing that it is not a concept that we often think about deeply unless we are forced to. It was heavy stuff - topics explored included homophobia, true love, sex for the disabled, being a woman in an unequal society, the need to find god, and living under government censorship - but I remember feeling changed walking out of there.
Play with the goats at Byoassen.

Go for the Rodfruftmos option at DØP instead of my usual veggie hot dog (with extra pickles!) option. It was so delicious and the ultimate Danish fast food.
"Savoury porriage" (risotto) at GRØD.
Pancakes (and homemade nutella!) at Kalaset.
Visit the deer park. I happily biked 22km that day and saw some notsohumble mansion houses.
Ride all of the rides at Tivoli, one of the oldest amusement park in the world.
Take a plunge from the Islands Brygge harbour baths.


  1. Dear Lana,

    I actually discovered your lovely blog during my time abroad when I was in Paris about two years ago and I read it on a daily basis since. The way you look at the world and capture it in your photos is stunning (not to mention all the amazing recipes I do love as a real foodie at heart).
    Also, I remember when you posted about your letter of acceptance from Copenhagen Uni! It just seems incredible how fast time flies (when you’re having fun, right?) and as a returnee from two stays abroad (London and Paris) I can absolutely relate to how you must feel now. It might take a little time for you to settle again at home but let me say- you will feel better again ,even if nostalgia might hit you very hard from time to time but hey, that’s ok. At the same time you can turn your Copenhagen nostalgia into your motivation to work as hard as you can to maybe start your career there in the future or get a master’s degree there (if that is what you wish to do). Everything is possible, right? Cheer up! :) Greetings from sunny Germany,


    “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”

    ― Miriam Adeney

    1. sam - it is truly crazy how time flies! i think it goes faster each year. thank you for reaching out and sympathizing, it is really difficult to explain the feeling to anyone who has not experienced this. on one hand, i feel so lucky to have lived abroad. on the other, the feeling of letting it all go is one of the toughest things i've had to do. i am glad you have pointed out the bright side to me. two semesters abroad, that must have been an unreal experience! all the best xo

  2. This is such a lovely idea and one which I think we should all aim for on our travels to squeeze the most out of our experiences! I've loved seeing your rich photography and reading your stories of your adventure. Thank you for sharing! Do you have any bucket list recommendations for short stay in Copenhagen this winter?

    1. hey anna - thank you so much. i am looking to put together my own little guide to copenhagen in the near future, so look out for that!

  3. You have inspired me to make my own Belgium Bucket list!! I can't wait to get started on it. After all, I'm here for another four years, so plenty of time to do lots of things!


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