Hygge Inspiration from Copenhagen
| Kara Webster
This May I traveled to Europe for the first time and stayed in Copenhagen. The first few days my husband I and visited popular landmarks like the Canal, Tivoli and the Little Mermaid. When the work week began, my husband went in to the office and I was able to go on my own daytime adventures!
I would have thought going to a country that I know nothing about and don't speak the language would be intimidating but it was just the opposite, I gravitated to every new experience! I mapped out museums like the stunning Glyptoteket and visited their famous Tivoli Gardens as well as the Copenhagen Botanical Gardens. I actually visited the Botanical Gardens two days in a row because I felt so peaceful and relaxed being there.
One of the biggest takeaways was learning about the Dutch culture, it is incredibly peaceful. Their police officers don't carry guns and in general do not believe in punishment, they believe discussing issues is the most effective response to issues. The Danish pays almost 50% in taxes for the greater good of it's people and it has a great impact, there is a very low crime rate, small homeless population and less pollution as they prefer bicycles over cars. Denmark is always at the top of the list for the Happiest Country to live and this has a lot to do with their cultural belief in Hygge.
Hygge is pronounced all different ways, I go with "HOO-GA" Hygge means different things to different people but my biggest takeaway was it's emphasis on being present, finding joy in the simple things like that cozy feeling you get from the warm glow of candles as it storms outside. Hygge is the appreciation for the small things like a pair of cozy wool socks or a sweet treat. They make their home their haven and will invest in just the perfecting lighting and fixtures and like to bring an element of nature into their home with lots of natural wood furniture and decor. Creating this welcoming environment is very hygge.
I bought some souvenirs home like floral books and bags to remind me of my time in Denmark but the most significant thing I returned with was my new understanding of hygge and how I can implement it in my own home with my family.
Since I returned, I replaced our small round kitchen table (that never got used) and purchased a 6 foot table with cozy chairs with blankets on one side and a comfy bench on the other. It's where we now have our morning coffee while watching the hummingbirds, where we eat dinner instead of in front of the tv and where we read and play games in the evening. It is all things hygge and it has connected us as a family and provided us the opportunity to enjoy what really matters.
This trip gave me the desire to travel out of the US and really see the world. I'm looking forward to returning to Copenhagen in a few months and emerging myself in their art, their gardens and learning more about hygge!
Have you traveled somewhere that you feel was life changing? If so, I would LOVE to here about it, please leave a comment below so I can add it to my list of places I need to visit.
Wishing you a summer full of adventures and joy,