Tuesday, January 18, 2011

this is it.

So this will be my last post. I think its time I put a little part of Denmark to rest. Its been four days since I have been home. And even though its only been four days-so I still have every right to be sad, I'm still majorly jetlagged and my feelings about returning to Dk wont go away anytime soon I need to say goodbye a little more.

This year has just been the most amazing thing I have ever done. I could not think of any better way to spend a year away. From the moment I stepped off that plane into -7 snowy weather my whole life changed.
Being an exchange student was always something I wanted to do and I have no regrets about following my dream. I am more myself and happier with who I am than I have ever been before. When you're an exchange student you go though some many things all at once that you have no time to be anyone but yourself. You meet so many new people and experience so many new things that the easiest and quickest way to be able to comprehend it all is to be yourself and go with the flow. I walked into my first day of school and said... 'ok, they already think I'm weird because I am foreign, I look different, sound different and do things differently. So who cares if I am a little weirder?' and by being myself and true to who I am on my first day was one of the best things I could of done that year. From that moment, my eyes opened to the beautiful country I was living in, my heart opened to the beautiful people I was meeting and my mind opened to acceptance of another lifestyle and world around me.

It took me a long time to let go of Australia, even though I was in Dk and being a part of Dk. My head wasn't 100% there... and even though my year has compromised friendships and relationships I had before I left, I don't regret my year. Because if those friendships were 100% true they would still be here when I got back- and some are!
But I have also come away from Dk with friendships that will last a lifetime.

This year I have traveled, met amazing people and followed my dreams. Its been an emotional roller coaster but its been in the emotional times where I have also really found myself. I've spent a lot of the time in my head and driving myself crazy but now, now I know my limits. Now I know what I can take and what I can get through.

I have so much more I would like to say in the post but its already been said in previous posts.
So all I'm going to say now is Thank you! Thank you Denmark and everyone that has been a part of it. Thank you for changing me, thank you for loving me, thank you for helping me find a piece of myself that it takes some people their whole lives to find. Thank you.

And as for the rest of my life. I don't know. I start school in a few weeks and I'm going to find a new job. I am going to move forward with my life... no going back. Every now and then I will slip back into that girl I used to be but I will spend forever learning and bettering myself because if exchange taught me anything, it taught me that there is always something to learn, someone to meet, something to find and something to change our lives. We have to remember that time doesn't mean anything, it keeps moving even when we want it to stand still. So we have to make the most of what we have got when we have it. We have to take the chances when they come around and say yes, yes to being happy and to remember that its ok to be afraid, to be scared. To gain anything in life, we have to venture.

Monday, January 17, 2011

hello again.

On friday the 14th I was up early with my bags packed and on my way to Cph Airport to say good bye. It was such a surreal feeling and I never quite grasped the concept of being home until the plane touched down in Melbourne and I burst into tears.

I'd had so many said farewells that week and then on friday they just got worse. Standing in the airport in Cph saying goodbye to my families and my friends was so different from saying goodbye in Aus. Atleast when I left I knew I was coming back. The plane flights were long- about 21hrs of flying all together and by the end of it I would was so keen for a good shower and decent food. but if flying around the world meant prolonging the end of my exchange year then I would of gladly kept hopping from destination to destination.
In Bangkok I had a very rushed goodbye with Kat. She went to Sydney and I went to Melbs. It is strange not seeing her everyday and even though I'll see her in april or even before that She is one of my best friends and it sucks that I cant call her just to hang out.

I'm seriously jetlagged, I have slept about a total of 12hours since being home. I'm tired but my brain wont shut off. I crash in the afternoon and then stay up all night and then sleep for a few hours in the early morning. But I'm just so tired and strung out emotionally that I just cant be bothered trying to correct my sleeping patterns.

Its so strange to be back. I cried and cried when I got to Melbourne. I felt so bad, My poor family were so excited to see me and all I could do was cry and tell them I wanted to go back to Dk.
Its weird you know, I have come to a life that no longer fits me.. I feel that there is nothing here for me anymore. But whats weirder is, If I were to go back to Dk, it wouldn't be the same. The life I lived while I was there wouldn't be the exact same. Yes, I have my amazing families, some danish friends and exchange friends there. But I wasn't actually doing anything there- what I'm trying to say is I was living a life that wasn't sustainable. It was amazing while it lasted and it helped me grow so so SO much.. but I wasn't actually going anywhere with my life. I wasn't working or attending school. I'm not trying to say I wouldn't go back to Dk- I would in a heartbeat. What I am saying is that what I had there really was exchange and as permanent as it all felt it really wasn't. Even though it will always be with me and in my heart it wasn't a life that I was supposed to live forever.

So my big question is now, what the hell do I do with myself!? Because I don't want to be here and I cant go back to Dk anytime soon. I'm stuck in this in between and its going to take a long time to get out. I'm trying to stay positive- my mum reminded me today about the post I made about being happy as long as I chose to be. So I'm trying but its hard. However, already I'm feeling like I'm losing the girl I became over there. I feel like I need to be someone different here. I have no idea why, but already I've started hiding pieces of me again and I just don't know where to go from here because I'm stuck here... I cant go anywhere anytime soon.

This isn't the end of my blog, there'll be a few more posts to follow. I want to finish the blog positive and happy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Tomorrow...I'm heading to the airport and saying goodbye to the amazing life I have made tthis year.

Tonight was my last night in DK. My host family celebrated it by having a traditional dansk meal and gave me a scrapbook of my time with them.

I cant believe that my year is over. This big dream of mine is over. Even though it will always be with me, this time is over. whenever I'm back I wont be on exchange. It feels like yesterday I left and I sat here writing my goodbyes and my new experiences.
This year is the best thing I have ever done. Even though I am only 17, I haven't lived a long life- I'm just beginning. But.. This is truly the most amazing thing and I believe it will always be.
I have fulfilled so many childhood dreams this year. I have met amazing people. I have seen beautiful places. I have fallen in love over and over again but mostly, I have found who I am and for the first time ever, I truly feel happy with who I am. I'm proud of myself, I see my self as a beautiful person and I see the world in a new way. This year I have found people that love me for who I am.

I will never forget everything that everyone here has done for me. My host families have been amazing. I love them all so much and each one has given me a new experience. I'm so grateful towards my rotary club, without them I wouldn't of had this year. My counselor and his family have been terrific and I appreciate everything thing they have done for me. My danish friends and class have been amazing this whole year.. and my exchangies. My oldies and my newbies. These were the people that changed me the most. They gave me the understanding of the rest of the world that I was much needing understanding in. Also, my two lovely girls, Katrina and Stace. These two girls have been there for me always. I have known Katrina since day one, we leaned on each other at the start but out of that grew a forever lasting friendship.

I'm not ready to leave Dk, even though I know this life I'm living isn't sustainable, I'm not ready to leave it just yet. Once I'm back I cant just return easily. Australia is a long way away and I plan to come back but who know how life gets in the way.

Denmark is the most beautiful country and exchange is definitely something everyone should try if they get the chance. Its been a year full of good and bad times. But here I am on the other side of it a bigger and better person. I believe life is about continually learning and bettering yourself and any opportunity to do that should be taken.

Tusind Tak Denmark, for everything.

For evigt i mit hjerte.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

last rotary meeting talk paa dansk.

Mit år i danmark har bare vaeret den mest fantastiske oplevelse i mit liv. Jeg har mødt nogle vidunderlige mennesker, set fantastiske steder og jeg har vaeret med til gode ting. Det er svaert at tro at det snart er forbi, det føles som om det var i går at jeg stod af flyet.
Jeg ved ikke hvordan jeg skal beskrive det hele i en lille kort tale men jeg gore mit bedste.

Jeg kom til danmark den 23. januar. Det var -5 grader og landet var hele hvidt. Jeg kan huske jeg taenkte for mig selv ‘oh, how my life is about to change’.

Danmark er så forskellig fra australien. Den første store forskel jeg lagde maerker til var vejret

Vi har ingen sne i australien og jeg havde ikke set det før. Første, elskede jeg sne, selvfølgelig. Jeg lavede en snemand og sne engel, fik en snebold kamp og stod på skøjter- det var fedt! Men, efter 2 uger hadede jeg sne. Jeg var ikke vant til at det var så mørkt om vinteren.
Jeg kan huske den første dag jeg kom på skolen, det var så mørkt om morgenen og igen mørkt meget tidligt om aftenen- det var en totalt chock.
Det er meget varmt i australien, så selvom danmark havde en meget varm sommer, var jeg ikke vant til så lave temperaturer hele tiden. Nu ved jeg hvad kulde er.

Jeg synes danmark er meget fine på alle årstider.
Alt er utroligt flot om vinteren, når det er daekket af sne og alle lyserne i mørket er hyggeligt.
Når man er ude i skoven om forår er de grønne blade og anemonerne smukke.
Jeg elsker lyset om sommeren, jeg elsker at vaere ved stranden og set på himlen.
Også er der efteråret med alle de fine farver.

I løbet af året, har jeg haft 4 værtsfamilier.

Min første familie var Claus og Hanne Vad. Jeg boede hos dem fra februar til maj Det var en anderledes oplevelse at vaere ene barn for jeg har en søster i australien. Med dem rejste jeg til mange steder i danmark- Første fodbold kampe, mange gang i CPH, byer i Jylland, H.C Anderson hus i Odense, første gang i Tivoil, kron princess mary nyer slot og Nord Sjaelland.

Min naeste familien var Helen og Henrik Olsen og deres to drenge Laust og Dres.
Det var endnu en forandring for jeg har aldrig haft brødre. Jeg boede hos dem fra Maj til August. Det var i sommerferien så jeg var ikke hjemme hele tiden men jeg havde en dejligt uge ved vest kysten. Jeg var glad for at vaere der, for det var rart med de livlige drenge i huset.

Næste gang, flyttede jeg til Sussie og Martin og deres to piger Mie og Karoline. Jeg boede hos dem fra August til november. Denne Familie var ligesom min familie i Australia. Jeg elskede at have søstre igen. Med Sussie og Martin, havde jeg mange dejlige dage i Københaven- Dronning Fødelsdag. Tivoli, Kanal rundtur Ny Havn og Shopping. Jeg stod også på vand ski i naerheden af storebaeltsbroen.
i November, flyttede jeg til min sidste familie. Connie og Ken og deres datter Katja. Det ver den mest saergelige flyttning. Ikke kun fordi jeg var så glad for min tidligere familier men fordi det var den sidste familie jeg skulle bo hos. Jeg har haft det rigtig godt med den familer Vi har vaeret mange gange i CPH – Julemarked i Tivoli og planetariet. Jeg har også vaeret i odense og Vejle for at besøge deres to andre born. Hos Connie og Ken jeg ogsaa fejret jule og nyt aar. Det var min første hvid jul og jeg har aldrig fejrede jul paa den 24th aften. I australien vi fejre jul om morgen den 25.

Jeg synes det havde været lidt svært til have 4 væartsfamile. Når jeg var faldet til skulle jeg flytte igen og starte på en frisk. Men jeg har vaeret meget heldig at have gode familier. Det har vaeret en forskellig oplevelse hver gang og jeg har laert mange aspekter af dansk kultur.

At bo hos 4 familer er også en god måde at bryde året op på og kurere mit hjemve. Når Jeg først kom til danmark, havde jeg meget hjemve, naturligvis. Det var koldt, mørkt, jeg kunne ikke forstå noget og jeg savnede australien (men jeg taenkte aldrig at jeg skulle tage hjem).
Jeg ku’ saette mål op for mig selv.

Første var jeg i Rom med min klasse , så skifter jeg familier i maj , så kommer Europa turen, så er det Roskilde festival- hvor jeg arbejdede,så skifter jeg familer igen, så er det London turen med min klasse- London var super fedt og jeg mødte min farfars søster. Så skulle jeg til irland- hvor jeg besøgt min fars kusine. Jeg har ikke set dem i ti år.

i år jeg har fået mange dejlige venner. Min to bedste veninder er udvekslinstudenter. En anden (2nd/N) australsk pige som hedder Katrina, hun bor i Slagelse og en pige som hedder Stacey, hun kommer fra New Zealand men bor i Roskilde. Selvom jeg har fået at vide at jeg skal finder danske venner, så har jeg ikke fortrudt mine venskaber med udvekslingstudenter. Min danske klasse har vaeret rigitig sød med mig. De har taget godt i mod mig og har inkluderet mig, men de kan ikke helt forstå hvordan det er at vaere udvekslingsstudent.
gymnastiet har vi to store gruppe af udveksligstudenter.- de fleste kommer fra rotary. De har vaeret min anden familie i år. Jeg har laert meget om den danske kultur men jeg har også laert meget om andre kulturer fra hele verden.

I løbet af året har jeg gået paa slagelse gymnasium, første i 2.g og saa i 3.g. Det har vaeret intressant at gaa i skole. Skole systemet er meget anderledes end i australien. Og det tog lidt tid at vaenne sig til. I australien møder vi i skolen kl 9 og har fri kl 15.30. Jeg stod aldrig op før kl 8 i australien. Det var et chock at staa op kl6. I det første halve aar, synes jeg det var kedeligt at gaar i skolen. Det var haardt at sidde i 6-8 timer om dagen og sove eller spiller computer. Men midt paa aaret begynder jeg at forstaa mere dansk og jeg fik faerre timer saa det blev bedre. Laererne og eleverne prover ogsaa at faa mig mere med. Jeg har ogsaa lavet nogle praesentationer for min klasse. Jeg har vaeret rigitg glad for min studie tur til Rom og London fordi det var fedt at rejser og fordi jeg laerte min klasse bedre at kinder.

Europa Tur-

Europa Turen var en af det bedste ting jeg har gjort i årets løb. I kun 17 dage fik jeg alle mine barndomsdrømme opfyldt. Vi rejste rundt i 7 lande med 70 udvekslingstudenter.

Vi tog til Tyskland- Berlin, Tjekkiet- Prag, østrig- Wien, Italien- Lido de Jeslo, Venice og San Remo, Frankrig- Avignon og Paris, Belgien- Bruxelles og Holland- Amsterdam .
Mine favorit byer var Venedig og Paris. Det var de to steder, jeg altid havde drømt om og de skuffede mig ikke.

Euro Turen var fantastisk. Vi rejste hurtigt gennem landene saa vi saa ikke det hele men saa har jeg en god grund til at komme tilbage. Da jeg kom tilbage til danamrk efter turen, følte jeg mig som et helt nyt menneske. Noget i mig var forandret.

Jeg har forandret mig saa meget i løbet af aaret. Jeg var selvstaendig og moden før jeg kom men nu føler jeg mig meget mere voksen. Jeg har fundet mig selv og den jeg er. Jeg besluttede mig til at blive udvekslingsstudent fordi jeg ville finde nye venner, se verden og laere en ny kultur at kende. Men jeg kom ogsaa for at laere mig selv og verden rundt omkring mig bedre at kende. Jeg føler mig meget mere aaben over for verden. Jeg har en mere postiv tilgang til livet og jeg føler mig lykkelig. Saadan var det ikke før jeg kom.

Det bliver haardt at komme tilbage til australien efter det her fantastiske aar. Min familier og mine venner vil ikke helt kunne forstaa det for de har ikke forandret sig.
Jeg har stadig to aar tilbage i gymnasiet. Bagefter vil jeg gerne vaere laerer eller arbejde med turisme. Men mest af alt vil jeg tilbage til europa og jeg vill ogsaa rejse i resten af verden.

Jeg vil gerne give en stor tusind tak til Per Vesterholm og hans familier. I har virkelig betydet meget for mig og jeg er meget glad for den made i behandlede mig paa. Tak til alle mine vaertsfamilier, fordi I lod mig bo i jeres hjem. Jeg har elsket at bo hos jer og at vaere en del af jeres liv.

Og, TUSIND TUSIND TAK til Rotary- denne klub har vaeret saa generous over for mig og jeg er meget glad for alt hvad I har gjort for mig.

Sadån, mit år i danmark er faerdig. Vi ses igen, for jeg kommer tibage.

Our Similarities bring us to a common ground; Our Differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.
Tom Robbins

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

min dansk piger

Today was my last day with my danish class and last night I had a dinner with four of the girls I have become close with throughout the year. I spend a lot of time with exchange students but I also have these 4 wonderful girls and I love them. They have helped me, encouraged me to learn danish, been so kind and they welcomed me so warmly into their lives. I will miss them and their crazy dancing and funny slangs.
But, I do hope to see them in Aus one day!

i get it...

I get that you're excited for me to come home. I've been missing you all too.
but just remember I'm saying goodbye to a place that I love so much, I'm saying goodbye to a temporary life that I've so hard at and I'm saying goodbye to people and friendships that mean the world to me.

So I get that you're excited- and I am too, but please, get that a little part of me is not.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

my year in 20kgs...

I'm packing, I started a good few weeks ago, but its just so overwhelming that I've been doing it in bits. However, with a week to go- a very BUSY week to go, I think while I have the free time I should get it done. Except I have the problem of fitting my year into 20kgs. I came to DK with 20.. and that was fine because I was starting a new life... I could build on what I had, but now I'm leaving and I want to take everything back from this life.

So I've donated a whole black garbage bag of clothes to charity, thrown away all my papers and culled all the little extra bit and pieces. I believe I'm doing well compared to the other exchange students- my mum always taught me to be ruthless and not to hoard but its just so sad putting the contents of my year into 20kgs.

Friday, January 7, 2011

what do you get when you cross a sheep with a kangaroo?

.. two amazing best friends.

so tonight/ EARLY this morning I said goodbye to one of my bestfriends- Stace, from N.Z.
over the last 6/7 months Stace and I have become such close friends. We've had an amazing time together and so many unforgettable moments. From good, bad, sober, drunk, happy, sad, crazy and just plain mental.

I love this girl with all my heart. I've learnt so much from her and she has been an incredible friend. I'm going to miss our sleepovers, our lunch dates, our odd gym sessions, our nights in copenhagen, our mental moments and just our adventures together.
Its been amazing to have her as a part of my life and I know she will continue to be even though we are the Tasman Sea apart, the bridges we build on exchange will never be broken.
Even though we're all different, we have this one incredible thing that joins us together, that gives us a forever bond-


and I know that if in 10 years time and we haven't spoken, I could ring her up and we could chat like we just saw each other yesterday- just like no time had passed.

So, I've cried alot tonight and as much as they are tears of sadness and goodbye (for now!), they are tears happiness and of the incredible friendship and memories we've made.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

the start of a new year.

So today is the first day of the New Year.

2011, will it be as big as 2010? I don't think so.. but I'm sure there'll be just as many experiences and adventures this year. I will remain positive.

So last, I spent a lovely night with my host family and their friends. We ate dinner, dessert, ice cream and cakes, drank coffee and consumed numerous alcoholic beverages. I watched the danish queens new year speech (I zoned out half way thru!) and jumped off the chair with a coin and a glass of champagne when the clock struck 12- this is a tradition they do, it means you (literally) jump into the new year. I'm guessing the money is about wealth, prosperity etc. I didn't exactly jump, we were crammed together, but I stepped down lightly and cautiously. and I believe that is how I'm going to approach this year. With caution.

I stood in the attic of the house and watched the fireworks go up (all over Dk people buy fireworks and just light them up, so the whole town was popping as far as you could see!), it was beautiful...I had a moment of missing home, missing new years with my family and friends. but then I realised...2 weeks. 14 days. 336 hours- what ever you want to say, I'll be on my way home.
and I honestly don't know how I feel, I'm not going to go into this business about change and missing memories because I'll just be repeating alot of my previous posts. BUT I'm going to say this.
Leaving here feels like I'm ending a life. I'm living in a whole other world here, living another life and even though when I come back to Dk I'll still have my families and friends, it still will be Dk, it wont be the same. It wont be 2010, I wont be 17 and I wont have my exchange life. When I get on that plane, its goodbye to this life.

and that, is a bloody big goodbye.