When I saw that my way from the south tip of Denmark up to Copenhagen would lead through `Fakse`, I was excited about the idea of spending the night in a village with such a cool name. Reality seems to be a bit less sparkling. There is not much to see in Fakse, neither are there many people to talk to. They all seem to have found there luck elsewhere at this time of year. Which leads me to today`s question: how do Danish people typically spend their holidays?
Most Danish youngsters only seem to join their parents for vacation until they reach the age of 15 or 16 years old. By then, they have enough guts to `fly out` on their own or with friends. Every age group in Denmark seems to have its own preferred type of holidays. It seems like every single Danish person finds somewhere to go in summer, whether that is the Danish beach an exotic destination at the other side of the globe.
`Most of the young Danes go on holiday for two things: partying and drinking`
Denmark has hundreds of kilometers of wonderful sand beaches. If the Danish weather was a bit more stable, those beaches would make a wonderful holiday destination for just about everybody. But Danish summer weather can change from one day to the other, or even: from one minute to the other. `Staying in Denmark for the summer holidays is like a lottery`, says Martin (18). `You will need boots and rain gear as well as a swimming suit and sun screen. Many families are willing to take the risk. They stay in Denmark and make the best out of the good moments. Those who want to improve the odds go camping in Germany, France, Italy or Croatia. `
Martin remembers spending most of his childhood holidays on campsites in France. `We also went to Spain once, and once to Italy, flying. But most of the time, we just went to France by car.` Casper (17) is planning to travel along with his mum this year: `We will go on the ferry to Norway and take the same one back. Many youngsters do such excursions because it will give them access to cheap tax-free alcohol. But I`m with my mum, so I guess we will just have dinner in the restaurants and do some shopping.`
Young Danes usually move out of their parental homes before they turn 20. At the age of 15, they already start to look for ways to spend holidays on their own. According to Julie (18), that also implies that the youngsters will have to appeal to their own bank account. `That is why so many young Danes work during the summer holidays. Most of them already have part-time jobs throughout the year. Then, during the summer, they will also work weekdays and save some money to go away for a week or two. To Turkey in my case, together with my boyfriend.`
Not every single Dane is ready to engage in hedonistic partying during his/her late teenage years, but many are. Jesper (20, photo) points out which destinations are popular for people of his age. `I have been to Lloret de Mar twice. Others go to Sunny Beach in Bulgaria which is similar but cheaper. It`s quite a basic holiday program: once you get there, the schedule pretty much consists of drinking and fucking. Boys will come back with stories about how many girls they have slept with. The girls will talk about the swimming suit they bought or maybe about the wonderful beaches, which in themselves are really nothing better than the Danish ones.`
Nina (21) thinks that it`s not really fair that boys are allowed to brag about their `holiday hunting trophees` while girls will be seen as sluts if they do the same. `Denmark is one of the most gender-equal countries in the world, but this bit has not been balanced out yet. But to be honest, I`d prefer the guys to shut up about it rather than having girls starting to brag about it as well. Anyway, most teenagers who choose to travel in this way, will only do so once, or possibly twice. After that, people find out that it`s actually not as fun anymore and they also start to wonder why they cannot have the same amount of fun back home in Denmark.`
Between secondary school and family life
Isabella (19) thinks that future students are faced with a pressure to travel before they enter university. `Many take up some time between gymnasium and university to go travelling to exotic destinations: interrailing in South America, making a circle through South-East Asia or working and travelling in Australia. Such big travels used to be quite exceptional a few years ago, but now you are almost expected to spend a part of your studying time exploring or gaining life experience.`
Danes between 20 and 30 can be found everywhere around the globe, whether for serious travelling or just for holidays. Their main motives to get away from Denmark for a while may range from relaxation to adventures. Many leave with the idea of getting to know new countries and foreign cultures.
For Camilla (22), this year`s holiday destination will be The Netherlands. `It`s not very far away from Denmark yet we know less about it then about other, bigger countries. I`m wondering what it will be like. For now, I mainly think of coffee shops and people traveling by boat. The Netherlands are supposed to combine everything that is good about Copenhagen, but dispersed over a larger territory.`
Michella (30) already went on summer holiday this year. `I was in Croatia, mainly relaxing. I used to like the adventurous travelling when I was younger: just going everywhere and see what happens. I`ve grown a bit more conservative. This year`s holiday was a package deal with a hotel. Comfortable and no packing and repacking all the time.`
Trine (31) who tells me that getting days off work in Denmark is fairly easy. `I have six weeks of holidays and I can usually just take them whenever I want. If I took them all at once, I think it would cause some problems, but otherwise: it rarely ever happens that my requests for holidays are not granted. My idea for this year is to stay in Denmark and hope for some nice weather. I also plan to visit family living in France.`
Sandra (29) is planning on a similar holiday in Greece, where she will spend fourteen days. `Between one and three weeks makes a nice average holiday time for Danes. Some youngsters will try to sneak away for longer, from one month up to six months depending on where they are going and whether they will work when they`re there. Sabbatical years are not common. Once working life has started, it is usually only interrupted by maternity leave, but that`s not the most suitable moment for travelling.`
Lars (36) and Dorthe (34) are spending a few days here in Fakse because of the archeological site in the surroundings of the city. `We are looking for shark teeth and snail fossils. That`s our hobby, so this is our holidays together. After that, we will take Dorthe`s kids to the North of Italy for two weeks of family relaxation`, Lars explains.
Danish people do not quickly grow old. Whenever they are done with family obligations, they usually re-expand their world and re-start travelling again. The children are not consuming the household budget anymore, which gives them more money to spend on their own activities. Another boost is likely to occur when they retire from work, aged 65. Provided that their health and financial situation allows for it, many elderly Danes are happy travelers who, regardless of their age, can be found scattered around the globe.
photo | Link
to this article