Go On an Unforgettable Adventure!
This blog post was written by Education Abroad Peer Advisor, Ziqian “Zoe” Feng…
Friday 2pm, Nørreport, Copenhagen, DK.
I just got out of school for the week. It was raining hard outside, but I needed to get to my B&B on the northern top tip of the North Zealand by the end of the day. By bike. By myself. Snekkersten is 39km away from Copenhagen, and the travel time would take a little more than 2 hours. The route to this biking trip and the destination B&B were both recommended by the young man working in a boutique next to my classroom, and life is always funny enough to make sure you end up going to these places in the exact raincoat he sold you.
I came from a country where people would use umbrellas under minimal sunlight, but here in Denmark, men and women strode, or biked, casually in the pouring rain with no rain protection as if it was nothing at all. Humor is contagious, so are strength and acceptance. So I felt like “no big deal” when I ventured into the rain with myself in a standard Danish raincoat and my backpack in 2 plastic bags. Biking up along the coast, with the Baltic Sea on my right, I felt so welcomed when I finally understood the rain as indeed a greeting from the ocean, so inspired when I kept passing by fellow joggers and dog walkers along the route, and very comical when a rushing-by car totally soaked me through.
“You swam all the way from Copenhagen?” “Here, let me open the door for you.” “Honey, why don’t you help her with the bike?” While due to the weather, I did not get to meet the B&B owners until the second day, the fellow residents there made me feel at home immediately upon my arrival. I had a long, late-night conversation in the common room with this Swedish couple on their start-up business and on Swedish culture – the exact foci for my Babson and DIS summer abroad studies – and it was a conversation so good that the guy even brought out his new bottle of wine to celebrate.
I studied abroad for this. I studied abroad for crazy, unexpected adventures. I studied abroad to appreciate the power and beauty of nature, to discover myself and my ties to it amidst a pouring rain. I studied abroad to challenge my courage, strength, positivity, and problem-solving skills on the road. I studied abroad to stumble upon an absolutely beautiful B&B that ignited passion in my heart like nothing before. I studied abroad to see a different part of the world, to connect with more people and cultures, and to become a better me with a bigger heart.