September was a belated 30th birthday excursion to the picturesque Nordic country of Denmark, with my little brother (the birthday boy). He chose Denmark because of it's popular history in design and architecture, shopping, and heavyweight culinary reputation, and I chose to go with because I needed a motherf*cking break.
We spent a full week walking (total of 40 miles) around the city, eating amazing Scandinavian food like smørrebrød and smoked fish, and shopping like it was a race to see who could empty their bank account first. Some things I learned along the way:
Bikes are better. The city is happy. There is never any traffic because everyone is biking or taking public transportation. It's quieter, cleaner, and easier to get around when there aren't so many cars in your face. This is a habit more cities need to pick up.
Eat (and drink) local, and organic. Almost every option for food is locally sourced, fresh, and organic. Even when ordering takeaway, you will find wholesome choices. There are no American style chain restaurants that sell you frozen fried chicken fingers and french fries. And... their wine is all organic and delicious! Less hangover!
Happiness is in your surroundings. If you haven't read the Architecture of Happiness I recommend that you do. It explains the "feeling of feeling" generally happier because you're surrounded by good design, whether you are aware of it or not. "Architecture is an eloquent reminder of our full potential." Says the author. The interior of all spaces I encountered made me remember my full potential.