Meet Lori Johansen

We asked Lori to tell us about her move from the USA to Denmark. 

If someone told me 30 years ago (ok 29 but who is counting) of all the places life would take me, I would have rolled my eyes, made a sarcastic comment, and moved on with my day.  If the same person told me I would still be working at Shipco, I would have never believed it.  More recently I would have laughed out loud if they told me, I would give up my beloved Jeep to move to Copenhagen, ride a bicycle every day, and most importantly, love it.  But here I am.  

The journey to get to Copenhagen was easy, even in times of COVID.  It was a decision I did not have to think much about. I was presented with a great opportunity to learn from and work with someone I have the utmost respect and the actual position was my dream job.   I can honestly say I always loved what I do so taking it to the next level only seemed natural.   

On January 21, 2021, I boarded a nearly empty plane with 5 bright yellow suitcases in tow and did not look back.  As with all things in life my journey has not been without challenges, but they have been few and far between.  Perhaps moving to Seattle alone at 25 or later to Los Angeles helped prepare me. Copenhagen was not new to me.  While I never lived here, I visited many times.   Unlike a lot of people who move to a different city, state, or country, I had friends and family waiting for me. I knew there were things I would miss from home but more importantly, I was looking forward to what I could only get in Denmark.  In fact, before I arrived, I was asked for a simple shopping list to get me started.  A few of the items I requested makrel I tomatsauce, torskerogn, rugbroed, good Danish cheese, and a bag of Tyrkisk peber.     

My biggest struggle has been learning Danish.   Yes, it is 100% my responsibility and can be done.  However, most people speak English, and more importantly, they want to. Most of the time, when I am out, the moment someone hears me struggling to speak Danish with an American accent, they switch over immediately. While I cannot complain as it makes my life easier, a part of me wishes I was forced to speak Danish.  Naesehest will only get you so far! 

Overall, I wake up every day feeling lucky that I have this amazing opportunity.  Do I miss my family and friends in the US, of course!  Has it been difficult learning a new job and navigating living in a different country, yes!  However, I can say without hesitation, I love living in Denmark. People, in general, are friendly and helpful.  The 18 hours of daylight in the summer more than make up for the 18 hours of darkness in the winter. You can ride your bicycle easily in any weather if you are dressed for it.   

When asked what I like about living here my answer is always this:  I love Copenhagen, it is a modern city with a pulse.  There are malls, cafés, bars anything you want or need. The scenery is green, the sky is clear blue and the air is clean. People value family and living. When the sun is out winter or summer the city is full of people walking, riding bicycles, sunning, and enjoying life. Why do I love Copenhagen? Because in our modern crazy world, life can still be simple.   

And for that, I will continue to be always thankful, grateful, and blessed.    

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