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DANISH TRANSLATION BELOW

As you may know, my boyfriend Nicolas lives in Denmark and I’m currently living in Sydney for half a year. If you’ve read my post about moving here, you know how sad I felt about moving away from him (if not you can read about it here). My first thoughts about doing long distance were very negative, to say the least. The whole point of being in a relationship is being together! Why would anyone want to spend half a year apart? There were several times when I thought about cancelling the whole thing so I could still be close to him. But I didn’t.

Because, it’s inevitable that our lives are going to lead us different places sometimes. We are after all different people. I have always wanted to live somewhere else than Denmark. Now that I think about it, it has probably been my biggest wish throughout my whole life. Not in a sad way, because I do value living in Denmark. More in a curious way. Denmark is such a small country and we can’t deny that the weather sucks. Big time. So I’ve always dreamt about living somewhere warm and tropical. Somewhere like Australia…

When I got the opportunity to apply for exchange, Nicolas and I had just started dating. It had been my dream for so long that nothing could have stopped me then. Nicolas jokingly kept saying that he’d never ask me to be his girlfriend because he knew I was leaving. Luckily, I think I got him convinced anyway.

So here we are, currently having been apart for almost three months with still more than two months left before we see each other again. The first month was definitely the hardest. You’re so used to seeing each other every day that just sleeping alone seems like the worst thing in the world. If you’re not currently in a relationship you probably think I sound foolish but that was really how it was for me.

As hard as it is, there’s nothing you can’t get used to over time. And so we got used to being apart as well. We talk to each other everyday, two times a day actually: when Nicolas wakes up and just before I go to sleep. We text message each other throughout the whole day and play games together on our apps. Stupid really, but sometimes it’s the little things.

Not that it’s been without any problems at all. We have fought, quite a lot actually. It’s very easy to misunderstand each other when you’re so far apart and it’s especially easy to worry about nonexistent problems – such as cheating. I, myself can get quite jealous at times, simply because I’m afraid of losing him. Even though I trust him and know that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me – he actually doesn’t even have time if he wanted to, because we FaceTime two times a day – it still doesn’t stop me from creating stupid scenarios in my mind. When that happens, I think it’s important just to accept it. Accept that these are your feelings and that they’re completely human and okay to have. Talking about it helps too. That’s probably the most important thing in a long-distance relationship: communication. You have to be able to talk about your feelings, to tell the other person when you’re sad or missing them. If you can’t do that and if you feel like you have to put up a façade and act like you’re doing just fine, then it’s not going to work. Honest communication and patience – a lot of patience. Because sometimes you won’t both be sad at the same time – sometime you can be having a great day and he’s feeling sad, or the other way around. So being patience and honest is the key to making it work, in my opinion.

One very good thing about being apart is that I’ve realized something important. I don’t need Nicolas in my life, but I want him in my life. I am able to function on my own and to handle my own problems. I think that’s very important, because in the end you never know what will happen. I am absolutely certain that Nicolas and I are going to stay together for many, many years to come but in reality, we have no way of knowing. Therefore it is important that I’m able to live my life without him as well. That being said, I’ve discovered something else too: how much I want him in my life. Every time I have a great day or see a beautiful place my first thought is always: ‘I wish Nicolas was here with me’. Being apart has made me realize how happy I am that we are together and how much I enjoy having him in my life. It’s getting cheesy now, but being apart has definitely made me realize that he is the only one I want to spend my life with. And that’s something I’m very happy about.

I think I’ll end it here before it gets too long but if you’ve made it this far, thanks for taking an interest in my thoughts. I hope you enjoyed reading it! And as always, if you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to ask.

Lots of love,

Claudia

DANSK: Som I nok ved, så bor min kæreste Nicolas i Danmark, mens jeg skal bo i Sydney i et halvt år. Hvis du har læst mit tidligere indlæg om hvordan det har været at flytte hertil, ved du hvordan jeg har haft det med at skulle væk fra ham – hvis ikke, kan du læse det her. Jeg var virkelig negativ om at skulle have et langdistance forhold i et stykke tid. Meningen med at være kærester, er jo at man skal være sammen! Hvorfor skulle man dog tilbringe et halvt år hvert for sig? Der var virkelig mange gange hvor jeg havde lyst til at aflyse hele mit udvekslingsophold, bare så jeg kunne blive hjemme hos ham. Men det gjorde jeg ikke.

For det er jo uundgåeligt, at livet nogle gange fører os i forskellige retninger – vi er jo trods alt forskellige mennesker. Jeg har altid gerne villet prøve at bo et andet sted end Danmark. Nu hvor jeg tænker over det, så tror jeg faktisk det har været mit største ønske gennem hele mit liv. Ikke fordi jeg ikke sætter pris på Danmark, men mere fordi jeg ved hvor småt det er i forhold til resten af verdenen. Og hvor dårligt vejret er. Så jeg har altid haft lyst til at prøve at bo et anderledes, varmt sted – et sted som Australien…

Da jeg fik muligheden for at tage på udveksling, var Nicolas og jeg lige begyndt at se hinanden. På det tidspunkt, var der intet der kunne stoppe mig. Nicolas blev ved med at sige, at han ikke gad være kærester med mig, fordi han vidste jeg alligevel skulle rejse næste sommer. Heldigvis, fik jeg vidst overtalt ham alligevel. Nu har vi så været væk fra hinanden i snart tre måneder og har stadig mere end to måneder tilbage, før vi ses igen. Den første måned var helt klart den hårdeste. Man er så vant til at se hinanden hver dag, at det føles helt forfærdeligt at man, for eksempel, skal sove alene lige pludselig. Det lyder måske fjollet, men det var virkelig sådan det var for mig.

Det bliver selvfølgelig nemmere med tiden. Nu er vi efterhånden blevet ret vant til at være væk fra hinanden. Vi snakker stadig sammen hver dag, to gange om dagen, faktisk: når Nicolas vågner og når jeg går i seng. Vi skriver sammen hele dagen og spiller spil sammen på vores apps. Ret åndssvagt egentligt, men nogle gange er de bare de små ting, der gør at man føler sig lidt tættere på hinanden.

Det har dog ikke været uden problemer. Det er svært ikke at skændes nogle gange, for man kan nemt misforstå hinanden, når man er så langt væk. Så er der også de klassiske bekymringer, man ikke helt kan undgå – for eksempel om den anden kunne finde på at være utro. Selvom jeg ved, at Nicolas aldrig ville gøre mig noget ondt – og at han faktisk heller ikke har tid, hvis han ville, for vi FaceTimer som sagt to gange om dagen – så stopper det mig ikke fra at bekymre mig om det. Nogle gange kan jeg også blive jaloux, bare fordi jeg er bange for at miste ham. Når det sker, så tror jeg det er vigtigt, at man bare accepterer det. Acceptér, at det er sådan du føler lige nu og at det er en helt normal følelse at have nogle gange. Det hjælper også at tale om det. Det er nok noget af det vigtigste ved lang-distance: at man taler om tingene. Man bliver nødt til at kunne være ærlige over for hinanden og fortælle hvis man er trist eller i dårligt humør. Hvis man føler, at man bliver nødt til at lade som om man er helt okay og ovenpå hele tiden, så kommer det bare ikke til at fungere i længden. Tålmodighed er også vigtigt. Oftest er man jo ikke trist på de samme tidspunkter – nogle gange kan den ene have en fantastisk dag og den anden have en rigtig dårlig en – og så bliver man bare nødt til at være tålmodig med hinanden.

En virkelig fantastisk ting ved vores langdistance, er at det har virkelig fået mig til at indse, hvor meget jeg elsker at have Nicolas i mit liv. Jeg har fundet ud af, at jeg sagtens kan klare mig uden ham og få min hverdag til at fungere på egen hånd – men samtidig, har jeg også fundet ud af hvor meget han betyder for mig. Hver gang jeg har en virkelig god dag eller ser et nyt, fantastisk sted, er min første tanke altid at jeg ville ønske han var der. Jeg har lyst til at dele det hele med ham. Nu bliver det måske lidt for sukkersødt, men jeg har virkelig fundet ud af at han er den rigtige for mig – og det kan kun gøre mig glad.

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I think it's safe to say that I have fallen in love with Sydney already. It’s such a welcoming city; everyone seems to be smiling all the time and people actually say "thank you" to the bus driver when they leave the bus! It’s definitely easy to feel at home here. It's also a perfect mixture of city life and tropical vibes - with both tall New York-like buildings and palm-tree filled beaches, who could ask for more?

As I am still quite new to Sydney I am in no way an expert on where to go and what to see. But that being said I have found a few places that has made me very excited about living here. Here are a few of my favourite spots in Sydney so far – hope you enjoy!


WHERE TO…


EAT


Bondi Wholefoods

For someone like me who loves the sugary breakfast options like pancakes, muffins and so on – but still wants to be healthy and feel good – Bondi Wholefoods is the perfect place. Their pancakes are probably the prettiest I’ve ever had – and they taste amazing! Bondi Wholefoods has a wide range of smoothies, healthy breakfast and lunch dishes and also a huge to-go selection. It’s a perfect place for a Sunday brunch and both their shops are definitely worth a visit.

Bondi Wholefoods, Surry Hills and Bondi Beach: https://www.bondiwholefoods.com.au/


DANCE (AND DRINK)


Establishment Bar

I spent my birthday at Establishment and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to go dancing. I went there on a Tuesday where they have free salsa lessons and $12 mojitos. Stepping in to Establishment on a Tuesday is a bit like stepping into the secret dance place in Dirty Dancing. The vibe there is definitely something else compared to your usual dance bar; everyone is moving to the Latin beats and not just standing there moving a foot or two. We’re talking proper dancing and it’s so much fun!

Check it out here: http://merivale.com.au/whats-on/event/celebrate-all-things-salsa/


GET ACTIVE



Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Looking at the photo of Bondi Beach it might not seem like a good place to get active but I promise you it is! The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is a 6 km scenic walk overlooking the most stunning Sydney beaches such as Tamarama, Bronte and more. It's definitely more exciting than your usual treadmill session at the gym. Wether you jog or simply walk it'll be a good workout - and there are even several small outdoor gym spots on the way where you can stop and do exercises. The best thing about it though is that whenever you get tired, you can just choose on of the beaches and relax there instead!

Read more about the walk here: http://www.bonditocoogeewalk.com/



SHOP

Glebe Markets

Glebe Markets is the coziest place to spend a Saturday. Located in the lovely streets of Glebe surrounded by small cafés it's a very relaxed place to shop. The market has a bit of everything: second hand clothes, eccentric jewellery and a lot of local Australian brands. You’ll also find plenty of vintage Levi’s denim at very reasonable prices – something that I’ve definitely taken advantage of. If you get hungry the market also provides smoothie bowls, cakes and more – but as there are plenty of cafés in the area you have a lot of options. I would recommend going to Well Co café, which is located just opposite of the market. Sit in their outside area upstairs and enjoy the sun and their amazing breakfast/lunch options.

Glebe Markets is open every Saturday from 10-4. Read more about it here: http://www.glebemarkets.com.au/

Read more about Well Co Café here: http://wellcocafe.com/


MEET KANGAROOS

Morriset Park

When you’re in Australia, you have to meet a kangaroo. I did not know enough about these crazy creatures before I went to Morriset Park. There they run free and are completely comfortable with humans. The baby kangaroos are so cute and if you bring bananas or carrots you can feed and pet them. But beware of the older ones - we brought a picnic when we went there and ended up having to eat it far away from the park, as a very muscular, male kangaroo wouldn’t leave our hummus alone. Very clever move to have a picnic in a park full of kangaroos, right?

Read more about Morriset here: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/morisset-picnic-area

That's it for now! There are of course many more places to go in Sydney so stay tuned for more on my blog as i'll soon be sharing more of my favourite spots here.

Love Claudia x

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DANISH TRANSLATION BELOW

So I thought i'd start to share a bit about how I spend my Sundays here in Sydney. It's funny because back home in Denmark, Sunday to me means staying inside watching (too much) Netflix and eating (too much) food. If I do get around to do anything productive at all it will be skimming my homework while lying in bed. But Sundays in Sydney are entirely different. Sydney public transport has this amazing deal: every Sunday the public transport will never cost more than $2,50 - no matter where you go! As public transport is a bit expensive here this is actually a huge deal and the reason why Australians take their Sundays very seriously. Since I came here we have spent every Sunday exploring new parts of the city and especially those that are a bit further away. I've been to some amazing, very insta-worthy places and I thought it would be cruel not to share!



Last Sunday we went on the most amazing hike. It's called the Spit Bridge to Manly Scenic Walkway. You start out at Spit Bridge and walk the whole way to Manly Beach. The walk is 10 km long and therefore you should probably wear comfortable clothes and shoes - something we didn't and kind of regretted. My friend Nathalie (seen on the photo above) was the only one who had done the walk before and therefore she was dressed in proper activewear. The rest of us? Not so much. As you might have seen I had chosen to wear a very tight, very white dress. Nathalie laughed so hard when she saw me.

Despite the lack of workout wear I did not regret one minute of that walk. We walked past the most beautiful, hidden beaches. Unlike some Sydney beaches these weren't crowded at all but instead very peaceful and relaxed. We decided to eat our lunch on one of the smaller ones - just soaking up the sun and resting there for a couple of hours.



After our break on the beach we started taking the walk a bit more seriously. Other than beautiful beaches we came across some great viewpoints overlooking Sydney.. aaand we also came across quite a few huge lizards. I'm not gonna lie: I am not a big fan of these. They aren't at all as bad as snakes of course, but I would still prefer to meet no reptiles at all. I did shriek (probably a little too much) when I saw the first one. But then I got quite used to it and as they don't really come near you I found it okay. So reptile haters, if I can do it so can you!

Anyway, the walk is too beautiful to miss out on because of a few lizards. But definitely wear your workout clothes and remember to bring lots of water and something to eat as well!

You can read more about it here:

https://www.sydney.com/things-to-do/nature-and-parks/walks/manly-to-spit-bridge-walk

That's all for now. I'll make sure to update you every Sunday as we explore more of Sydney! And if there's anything else you'd like me to write about or if you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to ask me here or on my Instagram @claudiabhimra.

Have a great Sunday!

Claudia x

DANISH TRANSLATION:

Jeg tænkte at det kunne være fedt, at fortælle jer lidt om hvordan jeg tilbringer mine søndage her. Det er ret sjovt, for i Danmark bruger jeg altid søndagen på at ligge indenfor, i min seng, hvor jeg ser (alt for meget) Netflix og spiser (alt for meget) mad. Hvis jeg overhovedet laver noget produktivt, så er det at skimme mine lektier, mens jeg forbliver liggende i sengen. I Sydney er mine søndage dog meget anderledes. Det er nemlig sådan, at den offentlige transport aldrig koster mere end $2,50 om søndagen her. Lige meget hvor du tager hen, stiger beløbet ikke! Det er altså ret billigt og en ret fantastisk mulighed, i forhold til hvor dyrt offentlig transport er til hverdag. Så søndag er altså bare dagen, hvor man skal ud. Lige siden jeg kom, har jeg været på udflugt hver søndag. Jeg har virkelig set nogle fantastiske og ikke mindst insta-værdige steder og jeg tænkte det ville være synd, ikke at dele dem med jer!

Sidste søndag var vi på den mest fantastiske gåtur. Turen hedder Spit Bridge to Manly Scenic Walkway. Man starter ud ved Spit Bridge og så går man hele vejen til Manly Beach. Det er en 10 km lang tur, så man skal helt klart hoppe i træningstøjet – noget vi desværre ikke gjorde. Min veninde Nathalie var den eneste der havde gået turen før, så hun var selvfølgelig velforberedt og kom i sit behageligste træningstøj. Jeg havde derimod valgt at tage en meget stram, meget hvid kjole på. Nathalie grinte meget da hun så mig.

Selvom jeg ikke lige havde fanget dresscoden, havde jeg stadig en helt fantastisk tur. Stien går langs vandet og vi kom derfor forbi de smukkeste små strande. De var fuldstændig gemt væk fra offentligheden, så der var næsten ingen mennesker – hvilket er ret exceptionelt for en strand i Sydney. Vi valgte at tilbringe et par timer på en af strandene, hvor vi spiste vores mad og nød solen.

Efter vores strandpause, begyndte vi at tage gåturen lidt mere seriøst. Udover smukke strande, kom vi forbi nogle virkelig vilde viewpoints, hvor vi havde udsigt over hele Sydney. Det eneste jeg ikke var så begejstret for på turen, var de mange kæmpestore firben vi stødte på. Jeg kan ligeså godt indrømme det: jeg er simpelthen bange for alle slags krybdyr. Jeg ved godt de ikke er farlige og jeg ved godt at de ikke gør mig noget, men jeg hader dem! Når det så er sagt, så vænnede jeg mig faktisk overraskende hurtigt til dem. De er egentlig ret kedelige og sidder bare stille i et hjørne – og det er simpelthen for flot en gåtur til, at et par firben skal stoppe mig. Så til alle jer der heller ikke kan fordrage krybdyr – hvis jeg kan klare det, så kan I i hvert fald også!

Jeg kan helt klart anbefale at gå turen – i kan læse mere om den her: https://www.sydney.com/things-to-do/nature-and-parks/walks/manly-to-spit-bridge-walk

Det var alt for nu. Jeg har tænkt mig at opdatere bloggen med et nyt indlæg hver søndag, så husk at følg med! Og hvis der er noget som helst andet, I kunne tænke jer jeg skrev mere om eller hvis I har nogle spørgsmål overhovedet – så skriv til mig! Enten her eller på min instagram @claudiabhimra.

Rigtig god søndag!

- Claudia

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DANISH VERSION BELOW

It has now been more than two months since I moved to the other side of the world – more precisely to Sydney, Australia. As my boyfriend said to me I couldn’t actually be further away from home. Denmark is exactly 14.407 km away from Australia – which, I must admit, is quite far.

To be honest I actually wasn’t excited to go at all. To some it might seem like a dream to go to Australia for half a year but I was mostly just very, very scared. I was going all by myself leaving everyone at home behind – including my boyfriend. We're used to seeing each other every single day so leaving him was extremely hard for me. And if that heartache wasn’t enough it was actually also my first time moving away from home. I’ve never lived anywhere but with my parents till now. Such a smart move starting out in Australia all alone, right? The only thought going through my head during that time was what the hell am I doing?

When I actually arrived in Australia I didn’t feel any better. After the 30-hour plane ride with nothing but time to dwell in my misery, I was in such a bad mood. On top of that I was suddenly eight hours ahead of time and the jetlag was killing me. At one point I actually thought about faking that I’d been mugged or attacked just to have a reason to go home again. I called my very patient boyfriend crying all the time and it didn’t feel like it was ever going to stop.

It did stop of course. I think the first day I started feeling good was when I met two girls who have now become two of my closest friends here. It’s crazy how much it can affect your mood just being around people, talking and laughing. I instantly felt better. And then I went to the beach. Bondi Beach, to be exact. I was completely stunned by it; I had never seen the ocean so wild and incredible before. Even though it was in the middle of winter the weather was still warm and sunny – and I suddenly remembered why I wanted to go here in the first place.

Now, two months later I absolutely love my life here. It’s not perfect, of course, because nothing ever is. Some days missing my loved ones overwhelms me – and I wonder if it’s even possible to be genuinely happy when you can’t share it with the people you love. Other days I am bursting with excitement at the very thought of being in this beautiful country.

I’ve started to realize that even though moving to another country all by yourself is hard, there is something so empowering about it. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m the only one who can pick myself up when I’m down. I can’t rely on my family or friends or anyone else to help me or get me out the door. Learning to say, “get yourself together!!!” to myself and actually make myself feel better has made me feel so strong.

I’ll end this before I start sounding like some proud life guru - maybe that's actually too late, I already sound like that - but I just want to say, if you’re thinking about going on exchange or travelling by yourself, do it! You’ll find that you are capable of way more than you think. And it’s definitely worth it.

Claudia x

DANISH TRANSLATION:

Det er nu mere end to måneder siden at jeg flyttede til den anden side af jorden – mere præcist, til Sydney i Australien. Som min kæreste sagde til mig, kunne jeg virkelig ikke være længere væk hjemmefra. Danmark er præcist 14.407 km væk fra Australien – og ja, det er altså ret langt væk. For at være helt ærlig, var jeg faktisk overhovedet ikke glad for at skulle af sted. Jeg er sikker på at det er en drøm for mange at rejse til Australien et halvt år, men jeg var egentlig bare sindssygt bange. Jeg skulle af sted helt alene og måtte sige farvel til alle derhjemme – også min kæreste. Det var utrolig hårdt for mig, eftersom vi er vant til at se hinanden hver eneste dag. Som om det ikke var nok, så var det faktisk også første gang jeg flyttede hjemmefra. Jeg har aldrig boet andre steder end hos mine forældre. Ret smart lige at starte ud med at flytte til Australien helt alene, ikke? Det eneste jeg kunne tænke var bare ”hvad fanden laver jeg?”

Da jeg var fremme i Australien, havde jeg det overhovedet ikke bedre. Efter 30 timer i fly, hvor jeg ikke havde andet at lave end at have ondt af mig selv, var jeg virkelig i dårligt humør. Jeg var pludselig også otte timer fremme i tiden og var hårdt ramt af jetlag. Jeg havde det så slemt, at jeg faktisk på et tidspunkt overvejede at fake at jeg var blevet overfaldet – bare så jeg havde en grund til at tage hjem igen. I stedet ringede jeg til min meget tålmodige kæreste og græd hele tiden. På det tidspunkt føltes det ikke som om det nogensinde ville blive bedre.

Det gjorde det jo selvfølgelig. Jeg tror den første dag jeg begyndte at have det bedre, var da jeg mødte to piger, som nu er blevet to af mine tætteste veninder her. Det er helt vildt hvor meget det kan gøre for ens humør at være omkring andre mennesker og bare snakke og grine. Jeg fik det bedre med det samme. Og så tog jeg til stranden – stranden over dem alle, faktisk: Bondi Beach. Det var det vildeste øjeblik, da jeg endelig var der; jeg tror aldrig jeg har set havet være så vildt og smukt. Selvom det var midt i den australske vinter, var det stadig varmt og solen skinnede. Jeg blev pludselig mindet om hvorfor det egentlig var, at jeg ville afsted til at starte med.

Nu, to måneder senere, elsker jeg mit liv her. Det er selvfølgelig ikke perfekt, for det er der intet der er. Der er nogle dage hvor jeg savner dem derhjemme så meget, at jeg begynder at tvivle på om det overhovedet er muligt at være glad, når man ikke kan dele det med dem man elsker. Så er der andre dage, hvor jeg er helt oppe at køre og overlykkelig over bare at være i det her fantastiske, anderledes land. Det er begyndt at gå op for mig, at selvom det kan være hårdt at flytte til et andet land, er der også noget ved det der styrker en så meget. Det er den der følelse af, at jeg er den eneste der kan gøre det her. Den eneste der kan trække mig selv op, når jeg er nede. Jeg har ikke lige familie eller tætte venner rundt om hjørnet til at hjælpe mig med det. Jeg har lært at sige ”nu tager du dig sammen!” til mig selv og rent faktisk få mig selv i bedre humør – og det gør bare at man føler sig lidt stærkere. Inden jeg begynder at lyde som en eller anden stolt livsguru – hvilket jeg nok allerede gør – vil jeg bare sige, at hvis du på nogen måde overvejer at tage på udveksling eller bare rejse rundt alene, så gør det! Du finder ud af hvor meget du er i stand til at klare på egen hånd og det er virkelig det værd.

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