Two weeks in: Living in Europe

Two weeks in. I know it’s not a lot of time, but life is different. Not so much in the daily activities – we didn’t come here to spend every waking day cramming in as much as we could in each new city. We still go about our days similarly to what it was like in Toronto. We still run, talk long walks, visit cafes to try their coffee and do work, and we still balance our time between cooking in a kitchen and eating out at restaurants.

But I worry less.

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And let me tell you: I don’t miss worrying.

I don’t miss worrying that I didn’t do enough food prep on Sundays, or that I don’t have enough food in the house to snack on in between meals. I don’t miss worrying about my caloric intake, or whether I ate enough of a balance of carbs, fat and protein at each meal. I don’t miss being a slave to an unreliable transit system (sorry, TTC, but you suck at keeping to a schedule), and I don’t miss worrying about trying to fit it all in.

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Seen on the run: pretty houses in Copenhagen.

After two weeks of living out of suitcases, I’ve realized how little I care about how the clothes look on my body (my level of caring in Toronto was already at an all-time low, but apparently I can still sink to a new level). I brought over one dress “just in case” and it’s currently crumpled in a corner of my suitcase. I can’t foresee myself taking it out anytime soon. Since it is currently Winter in Scandinavia, my biggest concern is wearing enough layers whenever I step outside – either for a run or for a walk – and that is it.

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This is as dressy as I get these days – a zip up sweater and black pants at a trendy restaurant in the meat packing district in Copenhagen.

For each city we visit, the first thing Mike and I do is look up a city map and try to decide which corner to explore first. We look for potential running routes, and cool neighbourhoods to hang out in. We couldn’t care less about where the trendy shopping districts are. When the desire strikes to look up museums and galleries, we will indulge in them. For now, we just want to be outside as much as possible, exploring each city on our two legs and then spending the rest of our time sampling coffee while working on our respective side projects.

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Another simple at-home meal: a cheese and avocado rye sourdough sandwich with a simple arugula, carrot, and cherry tomato salad on the side. This kept me full for hours.

The most refreshing thing is not reaching for the remote. And not searching the pantry for a snack to munch on out of boredom, or surfing the internet and losing time from scrolling through various websites. Meals are basic and on some days just viewed as another task in the day. On occasion, Mike and I will treat ourselves to a nice restaurant, but I won’t obsess about “recreating” whatever I’ve eaten at home. I’ll just tuck away the memory of it and enjoy being in the moment.

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Carbs, what? We couldn’t resist trying this sourdough pizza crust at Mother. Worth every bite. No regrets.

Of course, two weeks away still feels like a vacation. This isn’t “real life” and I recognize that. But whatever this is, it feels good and right. A little disorienting sometimes, but never terrible. Always changing. It feels right.

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And when it snows in Stockholm, lace up the trail shoes and go for a run around the Stockholm University grounds.

alison

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2 thoughts on “Two weeks in: Living in Europe”

  1. It truly sounds like you are having a great time and I could not be happier for you. I’m glad you both feel like it was a great thing to do. I worry a lot so I can relate to that.

    1. Thanks, Hollie! So far, this trip has been kind to us. 🙂 I still worry a lot, but it’s a fraction of how much I used to worry compared to when I was living in Toronto. Two weeks feels too soon to come to any real conclusions, but I hope it stays this way!

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