22 Jun

Two Weeks of Living Danishly

In a few short days, I’ll be heading to Denmark and Scotland and I’m a wee bit giggly about it. Like giggling out loud “hee hee” from time to time like Buster Bluth when he finds out the party will be off the chains.

“Ohhh, unlimited juice.” [finger tenting]

I must stop these Buster Bluth moments. He’s taking over.

So this is an almost-50-years-old gift to myself.  Yes, 50 and I’m often curious about how 50 can be both this immature and yet effective. Many people ask this and look at me like “He should know better by now.” Like the time I….., well nevermind.

Tangent ends. I’m about to embark on two weeks of living Danishly. (And a touch Scottishly.) Having read “A Year of Living Danishly” (TYOLD) I’m well-armed with ex-pat insights from the English author, Helen Russell, who lived (and now still lives) in Denmark.

Denmark also happens to be one of the happiest places on the planet according to the World Happiness Report coming in at number 2 in 2022. The Fins of Finland taking the happiness crown this year have been documented taunting the Danes with an indecipherable phrase comprised of almost entirely of the letters “S” and “K” and only the weird vowel “O” with a slash through it loosing translating too “We are the Champions! Now go away or I will taunt you a second time” or maybe something more foul whilst amazingly using only one vowel. Rhyming!


Biking! A sampling of mountain biking (Scotland) and a 7-day city-to-city tour around the island of Zealand (pronounced Sjælland) with my Special Lady Friend. She refers to me as her “Associate” because she says calling you my boyfriend sounds “childish” so childishly, I got her this shirt.

On my bucket list has been a visit to Glenlivet’s Distillery and while it was painful to deal with logistics and will include some driving on the left I know it will be worth the trip for some Speyside sips.

I’ll be watching for sign of Danish “comfort, coziness” employed to “enjoy” daily life and the long long (LONG!) winter nights and finding the good in every day life called “likke.”

And per TYOLD I’ll have my eyes open to what Denmark doesn’t get right (racism, xenophobia and feminism) and seeing how they’re working on these issues.


One of my talks “Crafting Happiness” is about the process I use daily to craft the life I want. I know (pretty well) what makes me happy now and how to build a day/week/month to make me happy now and think I have good ideas on what I’ll want in the next chapter of life. So, I’m hopeful for some big insights in my time overseas on:

  • Seeing how the Danes “do happiness” in everyday life
  • Paying attention to habits already part of my daily life
  • Crafting some new habits for little bumps in my happiness

So wish me “Held og lykke!” (good luck!) and “Sikre rejser!” (safe travels!).

Anthony Poponi is a happiness expert, energetic professional speaker, workplace consultant and founder of Focus on the 40 programs and resources. He specializes in putting joy in our workplaces and in our communities through workshops and keynotes that leave his audiences buzzing. Being a hard act to follow on stage is always his goal.

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