Nine (cynical) reasons I left London for Copenhagen

Natalia Bagniewska left her cushy home and job in London four weeks ago for a life of the unknown in Copenhagen. Here's why.

We’ve heard it all before: Hygge! Better way of life! The living standards are sooo much better in Denmark! Denmark is the happiest nation in the world!
Granted, these things are true, there’s no denying it. But things aren’t so bad in London either, so why did I squeeze my life into two (huge) suitcases and jump on the next jet plane (thanks Ryanair) to Copenhagen? Well, let me tell you why…
1. Brexit
There’s just no way of getting around it, is there? In the same way that many Americans are now talking about fleeing for Canada, Europe has never looked so good to us Brits. In the words of that meme, we love EU. 
2. Trump
OK, so I was already in Denmark when Donald Trump became the president-elect of the United States but it only confirmed what I already knew – it’s time to step away from British and US politics. They’re just not working. 
3. Bikes
I really wanted to ride a bike without the never ending fear of my commute ending with a trip to the emergency ward. And on that note….
4. The commute 
Photo: William87/Iris
Photo: William87/Iris
I write this as the friend I am meant to be FaceTiming from London says she can’t make it as her Underground line is not running. She’s going to have to get a bus to the Morden tube station along with another hundred tired miserable sods. I cannot express how little I miss this. London is wonderful. The commute was, is and always will be hell. 
5. Fresh air 
This isn’t something I had factored into my exit strategy, but boy have I felt it since coming out here. I have quite literally been slapped in the face by it. The air seems so much cleaner when compared to London! I sleep like an absolute log. 
6. Weekday 
I bloody love this shop and until London gets its act together and opens one on our high streets, I ain’t coming back. The selection on ASOS is just not big enough. 
7. Nature
The easiest way to get some leaves or sea or flowers into your eyeballs in London is Hampstead Heath and though it’s quite a magical spot it doesn’t compare to Copenhagen’s beaches and harbours, green oases or the massive forest 20 minutes from the city centre. It’s almost too easy to scratch the nature itch out here, but I’m definitely not complaining about that. 
8. Escapism 
Perhaps the most cynical reason for leaving the UK, and not a reason to move to Copenhagen specifically, but escaping feels really great. This is most probably the introvert in me talking but waking up every day without the obligations that come with having lived somewhere forever is awesome. No need to see anyone. No need to catch up with anyone. Excellent. 
9. An adventure… without having to go too far
I’m not an adrenalin junky nor am I particularly brave. But I really wanted to do something different. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve moved away from my comfortable life and that I’m doing all these new things and (trying) to learn a new language, but the reality is I can be at my Mum’s house quicker now than when I lived in Brixton (OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration). It’s an adventure that’s safe and happy and cosy and most of all it’s hyggeligt
Natalia BagniewskaNatalia Bagniewska has just recently moved to Copenhagen and is looking for friends and people to share a coffee with. She and loves pictures, photos and the Danish way of life. She has worked on the picture desks and written for  publications such as The Debrief, The Mail Online and ASOS Likes. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Copenhagen to miss 2025 zero emissions target

Copenhagen will not reach its longstanding target of becoming CO2 emissions neutral by 2025.

Cyclists on Copenhagen's
Cyclists on Copenhagen's "Lille Langebro" bridge. The Danish capital has admitted to errors in emissions calculations and says it won't be climate neutral in 2025, a long-standing target. Photo by Febiyan on Unsplash

A city councillor told newspaper Jyllands-Posten that the city, which has long stated its aim of becoming the world’s first CO2-neutral capital, would not meet that target as scheduled.

“I won’t need to stand there in 2025 and say ‘hurrah, we’re CO2 neutral’, because I know that CO2 will still be emitted (then),” elected representative Ninna Hedeager Olsen of the Copenhagen Municipality environment section told Jyllands-Posten.

Tourist board Visit Denmark has previously used the emissions goal to market the city, while Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen named the target during the C40 climate summit when it was hosted by Copenhagen in 2019.

But the municipality has included wind energy produced in other municipalities in its calculations on energy sustainability, according to the newspaper report.

This means it effectively still emits CO2 overall.

The company which supplies energy to the city, Hofor, has erected windmills in a number of municipalities outside of Copenhagen. But the electricity produced by these windmills has been used in calculations of CO2 emissions in both Copenhagen and in the municipalities in which the windmills are actually located.

The replication of the energy production in data for different locations can “rightly” be said to be “cheating the scales”, according to Hedeager Olsen.

But that is not the only problem in calculations of the city’s emissions, she also admitted.

“There are loads of things that haven’t been counted,” she said.

The goal to become climate neutral by 2025 was first set by the city in 2012 in a climate plan adopted by the city government.

Copenhagen was the following year awarded the Cities Climate Leadership award for the plan.