-Where were you born?
Panama City, Florida, USA
-In which country and city are you living now?
-Are you living alone or with your family?
With my Danish husband and our two cats
-How long have you been living in Denmark?
-What is your age?
-When did you come up with the idea of living in Denmark?
We knew it was a possibility as soon as we were dating about three years before. He was still in university in Denmark, and I had a job in the States. He finished his Kandidat about the same time I was trying to get a promotion. He landed a much better job than I had, and I didn't get my promotion. His job is in Denmark, so the cats and I moved!
-Was it hard to get a visa or a working permit?
I am still waiting for my CPR number, so I'll have to let you know later.
-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
See above. Still waiting.
-How do you make your living in Denmark? Do you have any type of income generated?
I do not generate any income. I'm a stay-at-home wife.
-Do you speak Danish and do you think it's important to speak the local language?
I am learning Danish, and I do think it's important if you will be here for a long time. In tourist areas, everyone speaks English, but I live in Herlev, which borders on Copenhagen - literally touching it - and many of my neighbors do not speak English, nor does my hairdresser! Going grocery shopping and not knowing any Danish is a huge PITA. Not being able to see Danish movies or "children's" movies (which are dubbed) will get old. Personally, I just find it annoying to not be able to participate in normal life.
As for customs, I do highly recommend reading Xenophobe's Guide to Danes before arriving!
-Do you miss home and family sometimes?
I haven't lived near my family in more than a decade. I see them just as frequently whether I live in Denmark or Minnesota.
I enjoy going to the zoo, going to movies, and just walking around parks.
-Do you have other plans for the future?
We sometimes go to Sweden for shopping, and we'll likely travel a bit as time goes on. I'd like to see Germany and Finland. We've already been to Oslo.
-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
We purchased a one-bedroom condo, mostly because we could not find a place to rent, but we're very happy with it. I know it's only been a few months, but the housing market has changed a lot, and I no longer know how much a place like this would cost here!
-What is the cost of living in Denmark?
-What do you think about the Danes?
All the Danes I've met, I've met through my husband. They already know they like him, so they're pretty open and friendly with me from the start. A lot of Americans seem to think Danes are rude, but I don't find this at all. I think they are just quieter. They only speak when they have something to say. Why say "excuse me" after you've bumped into someone, when it's obvious you didn't mean to do it?
How they treat me, as a non-flag-waving, non-fundie American, and as someone who looks as Danish as anyone else, is perfectly fine. Those who are (or appear to be) Middle Eastern, Asian, African, or African American have very different experiences.
-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Denmark?
I find it to be a safe and pleasant country. People leave their babies outside cafés and apartment buildings without a second thought! I also feel more free here; my rights are not infringed upon in the name of "security."
As a barefooter, I much prefer Denmark to the US, since no one here cares if I wear shoes or not. No one cites non-existent "health codes" or tells me I can't spend my money somewhere just because of my feet.
As an atheist, I appreciate the lack of religiosity so prevalent in much of the US, despite the lack of church and state separation.
As a person who was very politically involved in the US, I find it frustrating that I will likely never be able to get so involved here. Currently, to become a Danish citizen, one is required to give up any other citizenships.
-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Denmark?
Everyone has different experiences. Talk to as many people as you can. If you are American and marrying a Dane, it's so, so, so much easier to marry in Denmark than in the States. Forget fiancé visas. You can always have a "wedding" stateside without making it the legal bit.
-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about Denmark?
Copenhagen American Expat Meetup Group - We have a discussion forum online, but more importantly, we get together in person and have a great time together. It's a great resource for experience, information, and friends. You do not have to be American to join.
My blog - not exclusively about life in Denmark, but it certainly comes up a lot!