I left Yukon, Canada on August 7th, 2019 and began my journey to Nyborg Denmark. I was moving to Europe to attend a boarding school, Efterskolen Ved Nyborg (EVN), as well as play for their soccer team.
You know that anxious feeling a couple of hours before you leave to the airport for a vacation? That’s what I was feeling, but stronger; I was nervous, excited, and everything in between. Was this how it would feel to be leaving for university? Even though I was planning on coming back for Christmas, I will have never been so far away from my family for this long.
The drive to the airport was the most intense period and the closer I got to boarding, the more jittery I felt. My dad, my mom, and my sister were all in the car with me on our way to the airport. The whole ride, my sister and I were sitting close, laughing with one another, while my mom said things like, “Are you sure you packed your shinguard's?”, “Where in your bag did you put your passport?”, and “Call me if you’re ever in trouble”.
We arrived at the airport and I got my boarding pass. My close friend, Jasmine was also coming with me to Denmark. She and I shared an itinerary to Nyborg, so it wasn’t as scary for us to be travelling, knowing we could rely on each other for help. Her twin brother was also coming to Denmark, but he was competing at a soccer tournament down south, so we wouldn’t see him for two weeks into the school year. All three of us would be playing soccer in Denmark, so having the opportunity to share this experience in Europe was a wonderful feeling.
The time had come and I said goodbye to my family. It was heartbreaking to know I wouldn’t see them for another five months. Jaz and I both had tears in our eyes up until a third of the way through the flight to Vancouver. But by the time I had stopped crying, my sadness began to turn into excitement, because Jaz and I started chatting about the school and all the people we were bound to meet.
The flight from Whitehorse to Vancouver was short. When we landed, we ordered take-out at Tim Hortons and looked around for a place in the airport to sleep overnight, as we had a very early flight the next morning. While searching for a spot, we asked a couple of employees for some recommendations for sleeping locations. Unfortunately, everywhere they had recommended was full of families. Jaz and I ended up settling in a quiet corner, on the second floor of the airport. We set up our bags close behind us to keep them secure . Sleeping on hard carpet isn’t exactly a dream nest, so we had some trouble getting to sleep. In fact, the next day, Jaz said she probably only slept for an hour or so.
In the morning, we checked into our flight to Toronto. We had previously arranged to meet two other Canadian girls who were also attending the Danish school with us. We arrived at the gate and waited an hour before we saw the two girls, Jess, Kyah, as well as Jess’s mom, Erin. They were all very sweet people, but of course it was a tad awkward at first. Before the five-hour plane ride, we made sure to fill our stomachs and do a lot of stretching. Even though we had not gotten a good night’s sleep, it wouldn’t have mattered because the time-change from America to Europe would have messed up out sleeping schedules anyway.
The flight was relaxing. Both Jaz and I were tired, so as soon as when we boarded, we fell asleep in our seats.
We didn’t have to stay overnight in Toronto before our flight to Copenhagen, Denmark, but while we were waiting, we all found a nice Chinese restaurant and had lunch there. During our meal, we got to know one another much better.
Jess was attending EVN for soccer, whereas Kyah was in the art course. They were also really good friends, like Jaz and I, but a year younger than us, which I was surprised about. I would have thought they were the same age, because Jess was much taller than us, and they both seemed very mature.
At the Copenhagen gate, we were meeting another student attending the school, Sebastian. He was a very quiet boy and put little effort into conversing with us, which was understandable. If I were with a group of strangers, I too would likely be very shy at first.
When we boarded the plane, Jaz and I found out our parents got a deal on our tickets. We ended up sitting in Business Class. The seats were much wider, they reclined further, and the arms included cup-holders! This had been our first time in a high-class airplane seat, so were both super stoked for the ride. At the beginning of our flight, a flight attendant came around and handed out hot towels, drinks, and a pack of Oreos.
But of course, there just had to be a downside during the flight; I ended up sitting beside a lady who smelled like a mix of tartar sauce and wet dog. I constantly found myself leaning towards Jaz’s side, to avoid the wretched smell.
Other than that “minor” issue, the plane ride was a blast! Jaz and I played games, watched movies, took naps, and snacked a lot. Too bad we were seated far away from the other Canadians. We weren’t able to talk to them until the plane landed in Copenhagen, nine hours later.
After going through border security and picking up our bags, one of the staff members from the school, Kim, picked us up from the airport. He was a very cheerful guy and spoke an impressive amount of English. The ride from Copenhagen to Nyborg was almost two hours long, but the drive was fairly interesting. On the drive, we were able to get a glimpse of the beautiful architecture of Denmark. Many of the buildings were combination of vintage and modern.
We pulled up to the school and everything was quiet. We were all brought to our new four-person dorm rooms, in which none of us were roomed together. We were completely okay with this though, because it gave us opportunities to meet even more people. Because we arrived on the weekend, we had to wait two days before the other students showed up. During these two days, we explored the little town of Nyborg and got to know the campus better.
On Monday afternoon, students finally began arriving at the school. One by one, I introduced myself to all my roommates and a couple of other people I walked past. It made me really glad when my roommate’s mother came up to me and said that Amalie (my roommate) was actually really hoping to have a foreigner in her room.
After I heard her say that, I knew It was going to be an awesome and memorable year.