A Dane Abroad: New territory, new possibilities – The Post

A Dane Abroad: New territory, new possibilities

You’re not going to wake up to this before heading into Rush Hour (photo: Kirsten Louise Pedersen)
August 26th, 2017 7:00 am| by Kirsten Louise Pedersen
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So, my forever evolving journey as a ‘global citizen’ has yet again taken me north of the equator. This recent change has invoked fresh impressions of how utterly quickly and deeply your life can alter by simply changing your geographical location. I find this notion incredibly exhilarating.

Life or university skills?
Years ago when I was still a high school kid in a provincial town on Funen, I remember hearing the minister of education urging young people to prioritise their education and hurry up and get to university instead of taking a sabbatical, or ‘fjumre år’, a ridiculous term that translates as ‘a year of faffing around’. What a load of bollocks, and what disastrous advice for young people! Once upon a time people travelled to learn about life. Some things can never be learnt by taking a PhD.

Some of the greatest perspectives and lessons in life are those I gained from what has come from the challenges of being abroad. Journeying beyond and, in particular, living in a different country is hands down the most enriching experience you can give yourself, and it will put your personal development on speed. Travel will open your eyes and mind and teach you more about life than any school book can ever do. The key, of course, is journeying beyond the familiar, whatever that is, which is done in many more ways than just physical travel. Physical travel simply facilitates and fast-tracks this process.

Energy follows change
It should be blatantly clear to everyone, particularly during these testing times of escalating global conflict, that we have never been more in need of people who can see and understand the big picture, relate to other (human) beings, communicate effectively, adapt to change and develop new ways of doing things better. I mean this in all its literal grandeur when I say: for the sake of humanity, travel beyond!

Zooming through the meadowy landscape of Denmark as I am now, sitting on a DSB train en route to Sweden to visit an old pal, I am acutely aware of how different my life suddenly is, now I’m back in this part of the world, compared to somewhere in the South Pacific. It fills me with a creative fire of excitement and curiosity. Change always creates movement, and movement always creates energy.

When the daily grind of usual gets too strong a hold on us, we become bored, uninspired and unconscious. Change, in any capacity, can be the catalyst for all sorts of wonderful, refreshing newness as adaptation brings fresh neural wiring to the dusty old pathways up on the top floor. Moving into uncharted territory – whether physical, mental, spiritual or emotional – can be nothing short of mind-opening, life-changing and, quite possibly, energising beyond belief.

Kirsten Louise Pedersen


Born and raised in Denmark, Kirsten jumped ship in her early 20s to spend the next 12 years living in New Zealand. A physiotherapist, acupuncturist, yogini and foodie, she has a passion for life and well-being. After a few stints back in the motherland, Kirsten is once again back living in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Follow Kirsten on Instagram and at Twitter.