A year spent travelling to and from Copenhagen has made the author appreciate the Danes' easy-going ways. Photo: Justin Cremer
One year into what I thought would be a brief sojourn to Scandinavia and the Danish nation; I am still here and continuing to rack up the air miles on a weekly basis!
It is fair to say that living and experiencing what life is like in Denmark is in stark contrast to the things I take for granted as being the norm in the UK. Cleanliness, excellent public services, cutting-edge design and architecture are high on the list of priorities for the Danes.
The winter is long, dark and cold so as soon as the sun shows itself in the spring and summer months, by 3pm work is pretty much emptied-out.
Meetings are reorganized and long evenings are spent on the beach, harbourside or simply as quality family time at home. For me of course this has proved a challenge being as my family have not accompanied me on my weekly commute, therefore I read, cycle and explore the sites of Copenhagen.
The other day, as I cycled into work from my rented room on the outskirts of Copenhagen, a colleague actually commented as I passed him “you’re even starting to look Danish!”
So what did he mean?
I thought to myself and here’s what I came up with; perhaps he was not so far from the truth:
• I cycle to work every day on the bike provided by my employer
• I embrace the climate – both good and bad; “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”
• I dress down (smart-casual) to work
• I consciously eat healthily, drink alcohol minimally; the cost is prohibitive in Denmark for a reason
• Embrace regular breaks, especially for cake; Granny’s House patisserie is simply extraordinary
• Work and life balance is more important than ever; happiness is attainable
• Education is the key to succeeding in life; play hard, work harder
• Embrace hygge, the Danish word meaning ‘a good time with friends or family’
• Family first
The more time I spend in this wonderful country, I am mindful of the fact that my outlook to life is developing and changing all the time, for the better – the Danish Way.
Adam Walker is an experienced Subject Matter Expert in the field of Biometrics. He has a keen interest in the adaptation of technology to real-world data reporting; specifically within Clinical Research. With a background in Pharmaceutical Sciences, he has worked for both Pharma and Contract Research Organisations globally, in a career spanning more than 20 years in the field; working presently as a Consultant; Copenhagen, Denmark. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.