Before I landed in Copenhagen, I imagined that I’d be just as connected to my hometown as I was before I left. I imagined that I would connect with old friends and family through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc, and be in the know of all that was happening back home. However, as I look back to this idea three weeks later, it could not be any more different.

It may have been because I had an unconscious desire to unplug or because of the fact that the foreign SIM card did not work in my phone. Which ever option you choose to believe, the results have concluded in immense independent growth. Without having my phone glued to my hand checking up on the latest Instagram post, I have been able to fully enjoy being immersed in Denmark culture. I have met several Danes and learned about the culture within the country. I was informed of the history of the Rosenborg Castle, must-try restaurants and cafes, and the best places to thrift shop. If I had my phone at my fingertips, I do not think I would have looked up to talk with those around me.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to make small talk with two travelers at the dinner table in a pizza parlor. One of them which was from London, who actually studied in the United States and wanted to discuss the current politics. He expressed his views and what he experienced while he was in the states and explained how different it was in Europe. He recently moved to Copenhagen to pursue his Master’s degree and to work in a law firm.

I learned that even though the sales tax is high in Copenhagen, overall it is worth the move because of the focus on physical health, free healthcare, and free schooling. The two travelers made it clear that the pure joy and happiness they have experienced in Copenhagen is worth the move. It was amazing to hear the gumption they took to make the move, and it inspired me to be more confident in my emotions and feelings. It even means being confident without hiding behind a screen.

Looking back, I’ve had a myriad of missed opportunities to connect with those around me. I think about all of the knowledge and connections I could have made if I just looked up from my phone, and I regret it. At first, I was a bit frustrated that I could not set up an international plan in Denmark, but now I could not be more thankful. I am determined to maintain this desire of being unplugged when I head back to the United States in a month. I want to make the most of what is in front of me and meet the wonderful people that surround me.