We ventured out in the car to visit the grocery store in Denmark.

Not easy.

Living in Denmark has its challenges because the language seems hard to me. My limited experience with French and Spanish did nothing to help me with Danish. I didn’t really expect it to, but I was also not previously moved to learn Danish given that we would only be here a few weeks, many people speak English here, and we were swamped with a long to-do list for moving. I hadn’t made attempts to learn more than hi, thanks, and no thanks.

Silly me! 😳

Don’t know what I was thinking. I’m humbled. Learning a bit would have been useful for at least reading menus, signs, and buying groceries. It would be respectful, too. Asking someone if they speak English, in Danish, would make me feel better and more polite. That’s now on my to-do list. Learn a bit of Danish.

Challenges for the first grocery store visit:

  • Once we got to the grocery story, I felt a bit more stressed than I’d like, but we needed to buy food. I’m jet lagged, haven’t pooped in days from travel stress and feeling bloated as a result. It’s cold here for my Arizona blood and, more importantly, I was not prepared (enough) for the cold given my determination to pack only enough clothes to fit in a backpack. More on that in the next post. Basically, I started the grocery store expedition on the wrong foot.
  • When looking for groceries, I was able to recognize essentials like meats, eggs, butter, and cheese, but I had no idea what the brands or descriptions meant. At all. I didn’t know if the products were high quality or what the ingredients were.
  • The currency is Danish kroners, which isn’t super easy to convert in my head. I had an app which was helpful but constantly taking out my phone to convert was annoying.
  • My attempts to remain frugal… I haven’t figured out how to make the SIM card work in my cell phone; therefore, I was unable to translate words from no cell connection.

Let’s talk cheese.

The cheese area was indeed exciting because I figured they had to all be good cheese. Couldn’t go wrong? I repeatedly hear from world traveling friends that all the cheese in Europe is great (taste and quality). Once I was staring at the shelves, though, I found myself like a deer in headlights. What do I go for?

Cheese. I think.

After picking up multiple packages with words and letters I couldn’t decipher, with the intent to put them in my cart… I couldn’t do it. I went with something totally known and recognizable. I opted for frigging Kerrygold. Yummy and high quality, yes, but where’s my adventurous spirit to try something I can’t read or understand?

I was also not being mindful.

I was not enjoying the shopping experience like I could have. I felt rushed with my family in tow, as the store was quite cold plus the foreign language issues. The carts rolled sideways which made for an interesting experience as I tried my best to keep it from knocking over displays. And, I felt a bit defeated as my biggest goals are to remain frugal and carnivore (or very low carb at least), and I felt unsuccessful at both.

In the end, I decided it wasn’t worth too much stress in either getting the highest quality or the best price. I grabbed things that seemed good and decided to use Google translate on them when I got home for specifics. I figured eggs, butter, Greek yogurt, and beef were going to do us well even if I didn’t find the highest quality. I’d use this trip as a learning experience and be gentle on myself.

Check out my eggs…

Eggs in DenmarkGoogle Translate

Phew, turns out my eggs are good! I learned this when I arrived home.

I also found something that I could read in English: Ribeye. It was pretty pricy, and I rewarded my efforts with it. That will be next day’s breakfast.

Ribeye in Denmark - no doubt

I also found ground beef which was pretty obvious to me as ground beef and also not too expensive. Not as cheap as being in the United States though. I think (so far) I’d liken the prices to buying at Whole Foods, so it’s not sticker shock. However, prior to moving I didn’t shop much at Whole Foods (choosing less expensive competitors Sprouts, CostCo and Trader Joe’s) so it took a bit of adjusting.

So far my lessons learned traveling abroad:

  • Learn at least 10 basic phrases in each country’s language, even if only visiting a short time.
  • Spend money on proper smart phone connections to make shopping easier or have a calm attitude if opting to save money on that. With that, have proper expectations which will make everything better.
  • Meditate more.
  • Every time I feel my mind uncomfortably stretched I will remain grateful for the experience.
  • Be gentle on myself during first outings in any new country as I adjust to the new adventures.

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Where Was My Adventurous Spirit When Grocery Shopping in Denmark?

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