My dad’s grandfather came over from Denmark in the late 1920s. As long as I can remember, I’ve been told I take after this ‘Nielsen’ side of the family: tall with an athletic build, and thick and wavy light hair. I was excited to visit Denmark at the prospect of, for once in my life, feeling small.

Well, after boarding my flight from Ireland to Copenhagen, I got my wish. I didn’t feel small though really, just extraordinarily average. Never before had I been surrounded by so many other people with my same coloring and build! (My mom’s side has roots in what was once Czechoslovakia, with slightly darker coloring and slighter builds. Definitely no curly hair on this side!) For the remainder of my time in Denmark, this sense of belonging stayed with me. It was fun to imagine what life might have been like there for my ancestors…

(They probably didn’t eat as much candy as I do… Did you know they have salty gummies in Scandinavia? Mind blown.)

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