A successful trip to Ikea

Okay, no more self-pity for a bit. While the lonely and uncomfortable feelings I wrote about in my last post aren’t gone, I am in Europe and I’d like to at least appreciate that a little. I’ve decided to become comfortable with feeling uncomfortable because I’m here for six months and I need to learn how to make the best of it even when things are tough.

The day after I arrived in Aarhus, Emma and I made plans to visit Ikea for bedding and a few other things. After a rough night, I needed some positivity. The sun was out and the weather was great (compared to winter in Wisconsin). We successfully navigated the bus system and made it to Ikea as we’d planned, which was a relief after all of our travel mishaps the prior day. I held on to that little bit of happiness as tight as I could and let it carry me through the rest of the day.

At Ikea, Emma and I arranged to meet with Marissa, another UW student studying abroad in Aarhus for the semester. Marissa arrived in Aarhus a few days before us and she already had some great advice for us to help ease the transition. We all grabbed some coffee at the Ikea Café and exchanged our travel horror stories. We were even able to laugh together about our experiences, which was a nice change from the night before. Then we set out to shop.

I’d been to Ikea once before in Milwaukee, so I was somewhat familiar with how things worked. I got some sheets, blankets and a few other things to make my room a little more comfortable. It was fun picking out some things for my dorm and I knew I’d feel a little better once I unpacked my suitcase and organized everything.

To celebrate our successful day and arrival in Aarhus, we all agreed to go out for supper that night. Emma and Marissa picked a cute little Italian restaurant and it was the perfect spot for our first evening out in Denmark. The restaurant was quiet and cozy, and the food was amazing.

Going out to eat in a different country is a little intimidating. We weren’t sure if the menus would be in Danish or English, or what Italian food was like in another country, but we took a chance and tried it anyway. It’s well known that eating out in Denmark is pretty expensive, but I felt good about treating myself and celebrating our arrival.

After unpacking my suitcases and putting sheets on my bed, I felt immensely better than I had 24 hours earlier. It made me a bit more hopeful that things would start to look up, and that little bit of hope was good enough for me.