Many blogs are often criticised for only showing the happy side of life as if not talking about day to day stresses and those days you feel a bit down is wrong. The whole thinking behind this blog and my previous one, was to look on the bright side of life and especially the bright side of expat life.
For people who know me personally, they know that my time in Berlin was a struggle but the positivity of my blog and the research I did for it helped me look on life with a more positive framework. When I first returned to Copenhagen and decided to start writing this blog I planned to keep that positive vibe going. It was a lot easier in a city that I felt so positive about but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t days when I feel a bit low, or stressed or angry at life but having this space to go to and share happy things puts life into perspective.
I often joke that if it hasn’t happened on Instagram or on my blog reading list then I don’t know about it. This is a little tongue in cheek as I do follow current affairs but I often find that the world outside the shiny happy world of Instagram and blogs is a bit dark and depressing and frightens me about the kind of world in which I live and in which I have very little control over what happens. So I retreat into making one tiny corner of this world a little happier and brighter – for me and for my readers.
When I first started this blog, and before I had gained any real following or positive comments about the content, I was approached to contribute to an expat portal. I wrote an observational piece about life here in Copenhagen and it was rejected as being too positive and that by being positive I would be doing the readers of the portal a disservice. (I later published it here to a good response.) I wondered then, and still do, as to why something has to be negative to be valid? I realise that in reality there are good and bad things in life but by focussing on the bad it just gives it more air to breath. I recall speaking to an expat from Canada who was very happy with life here in Copenhagen – that was until she met with some disgruntled expats and she suddenly found herself feeling less positive as their negativity seeped into her mind. Happily she realised this and resisted it.
You can much more easily find negative thoughts about living in Copenhagen as an expat than positive so perhaps by writing positive things about life, bloggers like myself are actually the ones giving the much needed alternative view.
What do you think, is positivity underrated?
I so wish contact with the world and all that wonderful information out there had been easily avaliable when I moved to Geneva nearly thirty-five years ago. There were no computers, no internet, not even mobile phones! If I wanted information about anything I had to physically go out and search for it, and even then it was only avaliable in a language that I hadn’t used since my school days,
I was completely cut-off from the outside world, stuck in a small flat with two small children and thoroughly miserable and It’s only now that I’m faced with leaving and returning to the UK that I’ve realised I’ll miss what has become my home.
My OH is in Copenhagen for a couple a while and I was delighted when I discovered your blog (through the article you’d written in The Simple Things); the day-to-day aspects of normal city life you talk about make the place seem less alien and I’ve learnt a lot about the area he also now lives in.
Please continue, I for one love your positive blog!
I agree, I am often saying how life has been fundamentally changed by modern technology and I can understand how it must have felt moving to a new country with out it. It was perhaps a much braver move then. The internet is the first place most people go to to discover information nowadays. I am delighted that you enjoy my blog so much and that it has helped you and your partner and I hope you continue to enjoy it. I can honestly say your comment made my day! x
I live in Brooklyn but I love your blog. Negativity is contagious and life is too short of that. You can still talk about struggles but it can be written with positive solutions. It’s hard to find positive things in life as we get older and jaded, so keep up your positive blog. I, for one, enjoy it tremendously.
I am delighted that you enjoy my blog from such a long way away. I don’t often talk about struggles on my blog, purely because I have lived here a long time and the expat struggles (such as they were) no longer exist for me. I hope that the positive things I write about will give new expats hope that whilst the beginning can be tough there are also good things about living here.
I like to see and remember things, images and words of beauty…. in a world where there is enough negativity and darkness, I too like to see the brighter side of life in my musings and remind myself and others of exactly that. Negativity is contagious as is positivity. I’d rather catch the latter. 🙂
Of course we don’t all have great days but it is important to celebrate the good things, no matter how small or big.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. x
I like your positive attitude Melanie. But have you ever considered that Copenhagen is to some what Berlin was to you?
Just as you have had positive experiences in Copenhagen, is it not possible that some others have had negative experiences here that have affected them and that the places they have been in before have treated them better?
There is a lot of not so great stuff happening to other expats outside your shiny world of instagram and blogs. When bloggers like you only talk about the positive aspect of living in Copenhagen, you may very well be offering an alternative view, but it’s hardly a balanced one.
Of course I realise that not everyone has an easy ride of expat life in any place. However there are aspects of life here that make it a bit easier especially if you can speak English. Language can be a big issue if you can’t understand or be understood. Plus it is a relatively safe, clean city with a good infrastructure. These were some of the biggest issues for me in Berlin.
I can honestly say that any negative experience I have had living in Copenhagen has been down to specific people rather than the Danes in general and were things that could have happened anywhere. I share my personal experience of life here and I appreciate that others can do the same even if it isn’t the same as mine, thus providing the balance, perhaps.
This year has been a really difficult one for me in many ways. During a particularly difficult patch your blog really kept me going. It’s a little window to a place I love so much and as you are always so positive it’s an upbeat start to my day. Thankfully things are now getting easier for me, but I still check your blog every morning while the kettle boils! Sometimes life is difficult but I’d like to think I’ve stayed positive throughout – it’s the only way to get through – and that’s largely due to positive influences like this blog, and having amazing family and friends.
Elizabeth, this means a lot to me. I am sorry you have had a tough time but glad you have been keeping positive. Hope things continue to get better for you. x
Thank you x
I love your blog. There are enough negative blogs and viewpoints in the world, and frankly, it’s refreshing to have a different perspective. As an native Californian living in London, I fully appreciate how difficult it can be settling in to a new place. However, there are both positives and negatives everywhere, and it’s entirely our choice which to focus on. I agree with most of the comments here – I prefer to focus on the positive. Rock on sister, and please do keep up the good fight! x
Wow! Thanks for such positive encouragement. x
Thanks for the wonderfully positive comment x
[…] In recent years I have found September a month of change and at times struggles. Partly I think that it is the change in season, much as I love the autumn it does mark the end of summer and the acceleration of another year passing. Over the last five years significant things have happened in September from me going into labour unexpectedly on the last day of the month (2009), moving to Berlin, my son being taken to hospital in an ambulance (both 2011), starting to plan our move back to Copenhagen (2012) and my son taking the big step of preschool (2013). This year has also seen personal challenges. It is at these times that I struggle with my desire to stay positive. […]