Back to Narnia

Eeeeeeeevery once in a while I run a hand down the back of my closet, just to make sure I’m not missing out on finding any doorways to Narnia.

But then again, flying from New York to Copenhagen was nearly the equivalent for me.

Because when I studied in Copenhagen* one year ago, magic happened. There were no fauns or talking animals or white witches, but there were still feelings of such happiness that I often questioned if it was real life or a dream.

So I was elated to be going back to Copenhagen–even though I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be.

Many of the people I’d loved–who had made this place so lovely–weren’t there anymore. And the people I’d loved who were still here had lives which had kept moving.

So I was thankful and humbled when they made time for an old friend.

And I had to chance to on my first night there when my old host mom, Tine, invited me for dinner. Eating dinner in the same dining room that had seen holiday parties and hastily-scribbled Danish homework and late night tea and pebernøder–that was quite the treat.

Meeting Tine’s new students for ice cream was a treat as well (Note: eating ice cream on a sunny day on the banks of Nyhavn is the best way to eat ice cream.)

I was beyond relieved to realize that we could just pick up where we left off; that we weren’t stuck merely reminiscing about the past.

I found that to be true with a lot of things. And even though it became clear that it was time to say goodbye to some people, with others it seemed as if we’d only said goodbye yesterday.

And there were some old haunts I had to return to when I visited DIS, like the shawarma place across the street and St. Peter’s Bakery.

But things were different. Or maybe they were too much the same. And I spent one long, frustrated afternoon being angry that I didn’t know how I fit into this place I loved anymore.

So I tried new things.

I rented a bike and rode around the city (I’d been too intimidated to leave my homestay’s suburb on a bike before).

And I went to a favorite open mic venue with new friends and strummed out some songs.

And I finally tried proper Danish porridge at a place I’d been eyeing for awhile.

Grød at grød.

What’s more, I coincidentally visited during arrivals week for DIS, and I would constantly run into lost-looking Americans with a white-knuckled grip on their orientation maps. I was so excited for them, knowing what they were in for, and a little perplexed to realize that I could never feel the way they feel-that I felt–about Copenhagen again.

Food, friends, and favorite places; I was surprised at which things still fit and which things had fallen away.

I hope I come back and make a life here. But I also know there will be a happy life elsewhere if I don’t.

I guess there’s life on both sides of the wardrobe.

*You can check out the chronicling of last year’s Nordic adventures ovr at


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