Leaving home to go home.

Once again I am finding myself in a well-known situation. I know this feeling. I am sad, excited and glad at the same time. While I am packing my stuff, my life. I find myself staring out the window doing absolutely nothing, than realizing that I am about to go home.
Last time I had this feeling was the 31 of December when I was about to come here for 6 month. At that time it made perfectly sense that I was confused and excited since I would leave many loveones behind, but now? Now where I am going home to these loveones. Why am I sad? I guess the answer must be that Santa Rosa and California has become my home. This place will always have a special place in my heart. What I am going to miss the most are all the wonderful people I have met here. The thought that some of them I will never see again, scares me. There is one difference in the feeling from the 31 of December and now. Back then I knew that I would see all my friends and family again in 6 month, but now I don´t know when I will see these people again. I am sure I will keep the contact and some of them will come visit me in Denmark and I will come back to the US to see them. But when ? no one knows.

#Hippielife.

This Weekend I got the opportunity to see Healdsburg, Hidden Valley, Middletown and Calistoga. This has been an amazing weekend.
Normally when I travel I will go and see the famous sights, like the big cities or most popular parks and places. Small towns like this are rarely on my list, mostly because I don´t know about them. I guess I can be a real tourist sometimes. Having american friends who grew up here is a gift. I got to see all these small cities and they are just wonderful, I fell in love with them. This place has so much to offer and so much interesting culture and beautiful nature.
Also I got forced out of my comfort zone by going to the Harbin Hotsprings, there were a lot of nude people. I put on my hippie face and opened up my mind to try something new. It was an experience I will never forget. In case you are interested in the hot springs here is a link to their site. . They also have beautiful hikes there.
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Miami… Miiiiiiami.. Miiami….

Hey readers.

A new video is up. check it out !!!
https://lassenabroad.wordpress.com/videos/

I spend some days in Miami with some of my friends from back home. It was awesome.
Also I need to figure out where I will spend the rest of my time and money before I go back home to Denmark next month.
…. OH.. now I am realizing that my time here is almost done. These 6 months just passed by and soon I will be sitting in my old room in Copenhagen again. I am excited to go home and hug my family and friends, but I am going to miss my new friends here in California. Anyways.. so far I have been thinking about going to Yosemitee and down to L.A and Hollywood. 🙂 I also thought about Seattle and Portland. what do you think ?

Any good ideas for places I should visit before I go home ?? 🙂

Creative intern for sale !!

I am a passionated marketing student, who is looking for an internship for the summer/fall 2014 in Denmark.

The link underneath will guide you to my application.
Since I am applying for an internship in a sales and marketing department I thought I had to do something more creative and different than just a regular application. Take a look and let me know what you think about this idea, even though it is in danish. And even more important, let me know if you hear about any cool internships available. 😀

http://prezi.com/xauo7yd4afp3/copy-of-linda-lassen/
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Beer, sports and the awesome americans.

The americans really love their sports. They love to watch it, they love to play it and they love to talk about it.

People spend a hole day watching sports and they are really enthusiastic about it. Football is probably the biggest sport followed by Baseball. I like how people get excited when there is a game and how they become friends even though they don´t know each other, they just share the same interest. Anyways I went to see my first rugby game this weekend. The sun was shining and the Santa Rosa mens team were playing against San Jose. We brought some beer and enjoyed the game and the sun. Afterwards there was a get-together and I had the opportunity to learn the basic rules and how to throw a ball in a rugby game. I met some of the players and the day ended with a party i Sonoma. A whole day passed by and my scandinavian skin got grilled. Whenever I get to much sun my body will act crazy so I spent the whole night sweating and freezing. My red colored face did give me some conversation though. people started talking to me and asking where I had been this weekend.

So far I have seen a rugby game and tried to practice my baseball skills, since one of my friends has a baseball cage in their garden. I still need to see a baseball and football game and hopefully it will be when the giants are playing. I like the giants and the 49érs, of course I live in Santa Rosa.

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Another thing that americans love is beer. I thought, Denmark were huge beer lovers but you guys are taking it to a totally new level, or maybe I just hang out with the right kind of people 😀 I have learned a lot this week especially the differences between Denmark and California regarding drinking and driving and smoking weed.

Culture facts of the week.

When agreeing to meeting someone remember to point out AM or PM !! Well lesson learned !
We arrived at San Francisco airport after we had travelled 2400 miles. The arrival time was just about 6 o´clock in the morning and we were all very tired after spending 6 hours on an airplane.
Before we left for Hawaii I asked my American friend if he could pick us up at the airport Monday at 06:45. “sure, no problem” he responded.
We were sitting at the airport and I decided to contact my american friend to agree on a meeting spot. His respond to that was “ I thought it was PM” oh no. The funny thing about this situation is that I am perfectly aware of the different systems, I mean I know that in the US you use AM and PM and in Denmark you have the 24 hour system. I guess the culture and normal procedure just sticks deeper in a person than first expected. How is it even possible to miscommunicate that much when knowing the facts and difference’s?? the good thing is, I am pretty sure I won´t make that mistake again. ☺ …. At least for now…

Trouble in Paradise.

All long-term travelers will experience small bumps on their way.

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Culturechock: For me culture chock is a sneaky little thing. It is not like a wall you suddenly walk into when leaving the plane. It is more something you will experience over time.

I always though the Americans were like the Danes. No huge difference, so it should be easy to adapt to the norms. I kind of compared it to china, if I had to live there it would probably be way more difficult to adapt to the society. Guess what, once again I became wiser!

The way Americans think is way different compared to the Danish mindset (in general). How they behave, how they speak and what they do. Culturechock is something that can take months to understand, and even after you have recognized the difference it still affects you. Culture shock tends to move through four different phases: wonder, frustration, depression and acceptance. Due to our complicated little brain each of these stages takes time and you cannot be sure how deeply they will effect you, even the order of the stages can vary

Phase 1: Landing the 1 of January in San Francisco… “WOW this town is soooo beautiful”  “look at this…. And look at that.” 

IMG_0328“I think San Francisco is my new favorite city.”

Well this phase is also called the honeymoon period, everything is just great and new.

This trip was the best idea ever. !!

Everyone who has been travelling knows that feeling.

Slowly settling into phase 2: Frustration.

– The infrastructure sucks!!! When is the bus coming? Oh nobody knows. Well isn´t that great.
– Why are they bringing their dogs everywhere? some of these dogs a freaking more educated than some people that I know. And Yes I think it is disgusting that your dog is sitting on the table.
– OH so I should eat a Chick-fil-a in order to get a really good meal??? The owner is a gay-hater. But you don´t care right, you’re not gay. Where is your moral???
– Hahahah it is so funny that Arizona almost implemented a law that would give the rights for businesses to deny services to gay and lesbian customers. Really? I think it is some scary business that one of your states was seriously considering that.
– Yes you are number 1 America.. you don´t have to think about recycling and taking care of the environment.

I hope you could feel the irony.:)

Phase 3: So far I had some ups and downs but mostly I enjoyed life in California, experiences cities like Las Vegas and the coastline was how I wanted to live my life. Everything was good and I knew from the beginning that there would also be rainy days in Santa Rosa so my frustrations didn´t last that long. I loved the sunny coast.

What happened next, I did not expect.

One day it just all felt like nothing was going to be good. I could in no possible way stay in California for the rest of this semester. Nothing would ever get better, not before I was on that plane home to Denmark. It took me exactly 63 days to get to this phase. I remember checking Momondo.dk for flights home every 3th hour just in case the tickets had fallen in price.

I spend a lot of time looking at the calendar to find a date, where it would be possible for me to go home without missing to many classes.( at this point I didn´t even care about the money anymore). There was nothing I could do, I just really needed to go home to my family and friends. So what do you do when you are on the edge of falling apart??? You call your mom. ☺

As I remember the conversation It somehow must have looked like this …. First I was quiet.. then I almost had to cry….. suddenly I started to talk very loud in a complaining way… and lastly I cried…. I might even have said something like ” I don´t want to go to Hawaii I just want to go home” ( This is what we in Denmark would call, having a ” temporary brain haemorrhage”)

Frustration can bring on homesickness, but depression adds the dimension of feeling like you just have to get out.

What happened the next day really change something in me. I meet an American girl with whom I actually had a real conversation compared to the usual conversations that includes the mandatory “ how are you” question.

Every beginning is hard. I knew that. But missing my friends and my social life back home I really needed this experience, also if it only would last for one day.

 It made me realize that we all have an impact on other lives more than we might be aware of. Remember a smile or a “Hi” can change somebody´s day from being the worst to become the best.

The last phase is the acceptance phase. It is kind of having a home away from home.

I like my room here in California and I like my college, it is really great. I also love my lifestyle, since I have a lot of time to do workout, running in the sun and climbing the walls. All my travels are filling me with energy and experiences I wouldn´t switch for anything in the world. I will miss California when I am going back home in a few months and I will definitely come back some day.

 

The “How are you” effect

The “how are you” effect.

One of the first things you will notice as a foreigner when traveling to the US, is what I like to call the “how are you” effect. This basically means that the Americans are asking the question “how are you” to everyone they meet.
Many Danes thinks this is superficial and that the Americans don´t even care how you really feel, I was such a Dane. But then I became wiser.
People started asking me that question in school, while shopping, on the train, on the street, literally everywhere I went. Since I only just had arrived and I still was in my “resistance comfort zone” it was kind of annoying.

My jetlag was trying to keep me in bed but my stomach forced me to do some grocery shopping, here people would start asking me that question. I was really not in the mood for some smalltalk conversation about “how I am doing” with an employee that only would ask me that question because his culture tells him to. I might even have had some thoughts saying “ please, I could say anything right know you wouldn’t even notice”. Well my mom raised me better than that so I answered politely. The employee at safeway took my answer as an opportunity to create a valuable conversation. We talked about Denmark, the 49érs, The SRJC, he even shared a joke about his colleague with me. I must say I left the store with a sense of optimism about my stay and being so far from home.

In Denmark when somebody is asking into your situation, the cultural norm is to show interest in their personal situation as well by asking him or her similar questions. This goes for family and friends only. If somebody asks you while they are working in a shop they are just weird, and the Dane will feel uncomfortable and probably leave. Some might even feel that the employee is making fun of them or that there is something going on behind their back.

In the US employees are asking you, and they don´t expect you to show interest in their situation.
– “Im good, thank you” is a great answer for them.
Since I still had my Danish way of thinking i always replied, ” I am very good, thank you. How are you?” Some smiled at me, some didn´t even answer, others looked very surprised. Well there were a few who just said. ” Fine”.
Guess who´s the Weirdo now….. 😀

Back to the fact that many Danes think the Americans are superficial when asking this question, well…. My mind has changed and I must be honest I probably use the “how are you” question at least once a day.
The first time I did it I though “Omg.. now you are doing what you though a month ago was bull ^^^” But honestly it is a fantastic way of starting a conversation with people you hardly know. It is kind of an ice breaker.

This is kind of how I see it.
In Denmark : “…..” (I don´t know what to say to that person,, mmh? I will just say nothing)
In US : ” How are you ?” (let´s see where this conversation is going )

My conclusion must be that the question is more used as a way to start a conversation instead of really wanting to know how the individual is feeling at the moment. It is not supposed to be used for sharing once deepest feelings or concerns.

Somehow I am not the master of my own ass.

Since I am turning 24 in a month, I am trying to cross of some of the things on my “thing to do before I am 25” list.
So today I went to an indoor climbing center, where I will be a member for the next 3 months. I have for a long time now wanted to start climbing but the prices in Copenhagen are just crazy for a student.
This climbing center also consists of a small gym with all the necessary equipment, which actually makes this a great deal compared to the other gyms in the area. The gyms in Santa Rosa will easily charge you 65$ (360DKK) for a regular membership and if you want to become a member in a CrossFit center you will have to pay 140$ (761 DKK) The climbing center will only charge 45$ (244DKK) for both climbing and workout.
Well at least the food is cheap, I guess that is somehow a compensation for the expensive gym prices, maybe that is also the reason why some people get fat over here. Anyways………
Today is Thursday so it is actually my weightlifting day but the coach cancelled the class, so instead of becoming a couch potato I decided to move my ass to the local climbing center in Santa Rosa, which was a great experience. Well let´s be honest, it is way harder to climb than first expected. Somehow I am not the master of my own ass and I therefore spend a lot of time hanging in the air instead of the wall. You can easily spend a couple of hours climbing around, try it ! it is basically fun and workout combined in one activity.

Feel free to suggest some things for my “to do before I am 25” list.

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