Welcome to our new feature column! Each week we are excited to introduce you you to a local person of interest. This week we will be talking to Melanie, the insightful blogger behind Dejilge Days Welcome. Although not a native to Denmark, Melanie as adopted Copenhagen as her home and has been a lifesaver to those new to the area and feeling a little lost in unfamiliar surroundings. Please join me in welcoming Melanie!
Please introduce yourself and your business. Where are you located?
My name is Melanie and I have lived in Copenhagen for eight years. I run a relocation and settling-in service in Copenhagen called Dejlige Days Welcome. I am also a freelance writer and blogger.
How did you end up in the business you’re in?
I moved to Copenhagen in 2008 and had a great relocation experience but in 2011 when I moved to Berlin it was the reverse. Once I was back in Copenhagen in 2013, I started a blog, Dejlige Days, for expats sharing recommendations, advice on settling in and little idiosyncrasies of living here. I started getting emails asking for advice and also saw on many expat forums the need for support for new expats.
I saw that new expats needed help with the everyday things like getting to know their local area, shopping in a new country and transport systems. All the things I struggled with in Berlin.
So I decided to set up at a consultancy service helping to bridge the gap between the first stages of relocation and the real settling in period, the time when it feels the hardest to find your feet.
What would surprise people about you?
Whilst I love the company of others and will talk to anyone it is probably surprisingly that I am quite an introvert. When you speak to me I am very open and friendly and I also write in the same way. Over the years I have learned that I am what is termed an introverted extrovert. I sometimes need time to myself to find the positive energy to be with others.
What hopes/ goals do you have for your site in the future?
I haven’t done a lot of active marketing for my business but I am already busy with clients. My goal for this year is to build on this more and to gain a reputation as the person to go to for relevant but personal advice about living in Copenhagen. I also want to finish my ebook about relocation by the spring.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
It has to be that feeling of having helped someone feel less worried or daunted about the thought of relocation and to see the excitement in their faces as they embark upon a new adventure. If I can stop one person feeling as unhappy as I did in Berlin then I have done my job.
What advice do you have for someone new to Denmark?
Take everyday as it comes and don’t put too much pressure in yourself at the beginning. Settling into a new country is not a race. Get out and explore your new area and talk to people, ask about things and enjoy your new city.
How would you spend a perfect weekend in your city?
I love spending time outside whatever the weather but the spring and summer are the best times to enjoy Copenhagen and after a week of work and school we like to relax at the weekend.
A perfect Saturday in Copenhagen would involve wandering around Torvehallerne to pick up some lunchtime treats to enjoy in one of the amazing parks in the city. I often enjoy being a tourist in my own city and as a family we love museums so we can often be found in one of the free museums in the city — the National Museum and the Statens Museum for Kunst being two of our favourites.
After a big Sunday brunch, I love a walk on one of the beaches close to the city to blow away the cobwebs of the week and then a lazy Sunday cycling with my family.
That sounds like a lovely weekend. Thank you, Melanie, for sharing your experience of Copenhagen and why it is special to you. I love that you have made this beautiful city so much more accessible to others and provided support in what for most is a very difficult transition.
Are you living an inspired life in Denmark? Why not share your experience and insight with the rest of us? Drop me a line if you or a friend would like to be featured in this column. We are looking forward to hearing from you!