I sit at the bar of a cafe. A tasty and well crafted spot called the Union Kitchen. The walls are packed full to the edges with patrons waiting for their Saturday brunch - not unlike the streets of Seattle on a grey weekend morn. I watch as the pile of raw sugar slumps slowly into my soy latte just delivered to me at the bar.
The nice thing about traveling alone is that you never have to wait to get into the most popular and well-demanded eateries. There is always one open seat at the bar, waiting to be filled by the lone chow-downer, the spends-their-morning-aloner, the I-rode-my-bike-across-the-city-and-am-grateful-to-have-gotten-a-spot-so-quickly-customer. My coffee is served promptly and I am free to take my time on my meal. No one is outside bearing the Danish fall weather waiting for my table, for this property of the bar is mine for as long as I need. Lonely is a freedom.
My time in Copenhagen has not been what I expected. I arrived in a flurry of overwhelm and overstimulation as I discovered my hostel was not the place for me. The solitude and quiet I had sought out in taking this journey would not be found in a 5-story building of teenage and young adult travelers, ready to be filled with wine and beer, simply happy scrounging a meal for 20DKK (about $2 USD - the cost of shared dinner at the hostel). They seemed happy, and I was glad for that. But after a (much needed) meltdown, I booked an Airbnb down the way and said farewell just hours after checking in. It took me $144 to learn what I needed and what I preferred. And that was okay.
Before I left, I met Dane. A fellow lone-traveler from San Francisco who needed to share an outlet. He was kind and sweet and, had we met two hours prior, probably wouldn't have chosen to sit next to the girl with stress in her eyes and tears down her face. He came at just the right time. We talked and shared a snack and he brought a calm presence that I very much needed on that whirlwind of a day. I like to think that it looked like I was keeping my shit together, but maybe he knew how much of a mess I was that day. Maybe he didn't. Either way, I am grateful for this passing friend.
Since then, I have spent my days in quiet seclusion - a state that I prefer compared to most these days. I am dwelling in the most lovely Airbnb (pics later), and have been riding my bike around the city in no particular direction (turns out it's really hard to turn left on a bike in Copenhagen??). I am sore and my face is wind-blown at the end of each day, but my solitude is blessed.