Have y’all heard of this amazing new thing called a momcation? I recently embarked on one and it was…amazing. Experts say that moms are too stressed, are constantly engaged in some form of child-care, managing households on top of career responsibilities, or emotional labour, and basically underpaid for all of the things that we do for our families. Balancing everything and keeping everyone happy and healthy can be overwhelming! Which is why I was delighted when one of my fellow mom-friends in my neighborhood suggested the moms of our small community indulged in a weekend away.
One of the other moms in our group just so happened to have in-laws with a beautiful, spacious summer home about an hour north of Copenhagen, and we planned enough in advance to score some cheap tickets on RyanAir and just like that the eight of us were off to one of the most happiest places on the planet – Denmark!
I have two pro-tips incase you want to embark on a brilliant relaxation quest like we did in Denmark. First, the Danish word for hello is “hej.” Luckily, I discovered this with Google translate, so I quickly learned that it is not actually pronounced “hedge” or “heg.” It sounds like “hi” or “high.” Luckily, I discovered this important distinction before actually speaking to any Danes.
Second, if you are going on a destination mom conference, my advice is to leave the schedule as open as possible. Focus on not making decisions and just literally enjoying. When I travel with my guys, we tend to cram in as much as possible, with the goal of trying to get the absolute most out of our holiday. On the one hand, this strategy is great because you get to see and do a lot of different things. On the other hand, sometimes, even on holiday, a crammed schedule can be stressful. So this time, I did zero research and planning. I booked my ticket, helped choose our accommodation, and just said yes to whatever everyone else wanted to do. There were ladies in our group who did the planning, and I am really grateful they did, because it was wonderful.
We arrived in Copenhagen in the morning and spent the day wandering around the city. I quickly learned from my fellow mom-conference attendees that Hans Christian Anderson, the maker of fairy tales, was originally from Denmark. We started our adventure searching for the Little Mermaid statue. We stopped for lunch, and of course, I sent my partner a text to check in.
Again, evidence of the need for a weekend away- my partner had everything under control! So, I allowed myself to be completely immersed in the mom-conference. We decided that we were mermaids for the weekend, or maybe for life! Copenhagen is a lovely city; however, we had a summer home to get to.
The word was never explicitly mentioned, but immediately I understood the concept of hygge. Basically hygge is a state of contented consciousness, not quite a feeling or design, but a kind of cosy, friendly, relaxed ambiance. Even though I cannot pronounce it, it is amazing. In my usual cultural and emotional state as an American, I am always worried or stressing out about something, and prior to this trip I felt like I was pretty much stressed everyday. Well, I just needed a Danish summer home and some good friends.
But really, it wasn’t just the cosy, thoughtful touches of the home that made the trip, it was spending time with the wonderful ladies who had come together with one common goal – to relax and enjoy a weekend away.
Our full day in Denmark was absolutely perfect. The sun was shining with big, puffy white clouds in the sky, and the green of spring all around. Sometimes, the best activity is just a wander around enjoying each other’s company and the beauty of the outdoors.
In the afternoon, we made a trip to a lovely seaside village, Gilleleje for lunch and more relaxed strolling. Let’s talk for a moment about the Danish diet – why is this not a huge phenomenon worldwide? Perhaps I did not experience the actual Danish diet, but when I was there I ate very, very healthfully without even really trying. For example, this was my lunch:
If this is how the Danes truly eat then someone needs to come out with the Danish Diet or some such thing, because I was satisfied and healthy the entire time. In addition, rye bread or Rugbrød is amazing. I was really skeptical at first, because it appears to be a very heavy carb, but in practice it is really delicious and high in fiber. A slice of Rugbrød, some pickled herring and a small salad makes for a breakfast of champions!
I don’t know much about Gilleleje except that it looks like something out of a travel magazine and completely embodies the hygge vibe on the outside – which is quite a feat considering hygge refers to an atmosphere of coziness which makes me think “indoors.”
And because my friends are amazing, we had a surprise stop to see some sheep -which initially we had thought and hoped were goats. I run another blog you may be aware of that specializes in goats, so it was really sweet that they made the stop!
We returned to our hygge refuge after our day of strolling, picture-taking and wine sipping to make a lovely dinner together and share more about our backgrounds.
The following day we had pancakes and explored Copenhagen until it was time to leave. By explore Copenhagen, I mean enjoy more Rugbrød, shop for mermaid themed souvenirs and continue to just relax and enjoy each other’s company. I have never before traveled to the capital city of a country without visiting each of its main museums except for this time. One day, I will have to return, but on this journey, I was content to just be a mermaid with my friends.