The Story Behind My Trip to Copenhagen
Luck had its part this summer when I received a chance to fly with my two sisters to Amsterdam and then visit the city of Copenhagen. My sister had given me the plane ticket as a gift when otherwise I would not have spent the money. I have traveled to several countries before this trip and even visited Amsterdam once before, but I had never been to Copenhagen, Denmark. I was on a strict budget since I had recently quit my job as a buyer in hopes to find a new career that aligned more with my environmental beliefs. I was not only on a journey to a far-away country, but I was also on a journey to self-discovery. The only baggage I carried was a backpack and tote, yep you read it right, a small Jansport backpack and a little tote handbag. After years of traveling, and at one point carrying a separate suitcase for my shoes, I've learned to travel minimally. In this post, I’ll share some of the ethical yet fun things to do in Copenhagen as well as how I was able to pack with such a minimalist approach.
AN ETHICAL APPROACH TO CREATING MULTIPLE OUTFITS OUT OF A FEW PIECES
The more you plan, the easier to it gets. I’ve struggled with this for years. When I would travel in the past, it was ridiculous how much I carried around that I didn't even use. Not only does traveling light have its peace-of-mind advantages, it's also cost-efficient. Packing will cause your luggage to weigh less, which generally equates to using less fuel. Imagine if everyone packed light! One of my mainstays for packing minimal is to always bring a reusable water bottle so that I limit my plastic waste. The best part about traveling light is the fact that less equals more time to focus on the adventure and living in the moment.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR PACKING LIGHT -
BRING THE BASICS
Look to the core pieces when packing, such as a black pants, simple sport-jackets, blue jeans, knit dresses, cardigans, and t-shirts. There are many ways one can mix and match between these basic pieces. Wear flats or sneaks, pack one pair of heels and that will cover almost any occasion.
KNITS & WRINKLE FREE GARMENTS
Knit clothing can be easily rolled up and wrapped with a rubber band to expound on baggage space. Wrinkle-free tops and dresses are the way to go if traveling for long periods of time to places overseas.
Knowing what to bring comes with a preset plan. Most of the time, the reason we travel with so much stuff is the fact that there isn't a day-to-day plan. Know the environment for dinners, research the atmosphere and style of places in the itinerary and plan activities. This train of thought will allow the outfit planning to come easier.
Below are pictures of what I packed for my trip and the outfit I traveled in for this short escape. I handmade the tee from a used one I found on eBay that didn't end up being used by a production company for a T.V. show. I ironed on a cool picture of Nancy Cunard (one of my favorite muses) to the front of the t-shirt and voila! It was a personal tee that I loved. The pants and jacket I upcycled from a thrift store. I attached a hood to the jacket from an old hoodie I found.
Traveling in Copenhagen -
Copenhagen was even more than I expected in a good way. People are eco-centric, relaxed, quiet and kind. The places were beautiful, fresh looking and highly sustainable. This is one place I wish I stayed longer and at times regretted being on a budget. However, below are a couple of places and activities that I'd recommend for any first-time traveler.
Take the train everywhere, for three days I only spent about five American dollars to go around the entire city. I Iiked the train system so much, that I decided to take the train to the airport an hour and a half away on the day of departure. It was not only a fast way to travel but also a very clean way to travel compared to most American cities.
PLACES TO GO
Try the local Ethiopian restaurant called Lalibela, which has a full tray of finger food (typical Ethiopian style) that can be easily shared with two people. Copenhagen is full of Turkish fast foods that will make your mouth water and wallet happy.
Take a trip to Christiania. It’s free to visit, the place has affordable marijuana, inspiring art installations and cheap mouth-watering food. Christiania is a hippie commune of sorts that started in the 70’s consisting of friendly, intelligent artists, craftsman, and families that wanted to live a free, self-sustainable lifestyle. The giant commune spans many blocks with beautiful nature trails and shabby-chic cottages. There are art exhibits and installations put on by the community as well as concerts in the central market square.