The nice thing about traveling between two countries that both are home is that you can develop the mindset of going home regardless in which direction you go.
I am often asked if I miss my old country. The answer is no - but I miss people that I don't see regularly. Thanks to technological advances I can see them while we talk - albeit with a bit delay now and then - but it is not the same as being in their company.
Do we really have to lose things - or people - to appreciate them?
Every time I hit the old country during summer, it strikes me how lush and green Denmark is. This year I arrived when all the canola fields were bright yellow, the lilacs were blooming, and the turn from spring to early summer brought out white marguerites and red poppies along the freeways.
Denmark in early summer is just lovely. Here are a few of the things to be thankful for:
- Sunsets hours after dinnertime and nights that never get dark.
- Fjord shrimps - so small that it is a wonder anybody bothers peeling them. But what a treat.
- People who put up with you for no other reason than that you are kin.
- Water that tastes delicious straight from the tap.
- Baker shops that open at 7 am with freshly baked rolls and loaves.
- Smooth pavement.
- Smells and tastes that send you right back to your childhood.
- Showers controlled by thermostats.
- Salmonella free eggs.
- Smoked herring with chives and raw egg yolk. Hence the importance of good eggs.
Coming home to California brings a different assortment of upsides:
- Mosquito nets.
- Dark nights when light sensitive people like me can actually fall asleep.
- Automatic shift on the car.
- Friendly strangers.
- The produce section of Whole Foods.
- Humming birds.
- The variety of cuisine.
- Carpool lanes.
- Gas BBQs.
Traveling opens ones eyes to possibilities that are hard to imagine from just reading a book or watching a movie.
The grandeur of American nature has to be experienced as has the diversity of people generally living in harmony regardless if the countries from which they arrived do not.
The lushness and orderliness of Denmark is a wonder to Americans. It is like Legoland, cute and petite. And OLD!
As we stop taking our blessings for granted, life becomes richer.