Today’s interview is with Keri Bloomfield, a New Zealand expat who is living in Denmark. Keri Bloomfield has moved with Danish partner and baby to Denmark’s capital city.
What is your full name and where are you from?
Keri Bloomfield, originally from Wellington.
What inspired your move, and how long have you been there?
I have a Danish partner who suggested it was time to move to Denmark. We moved here in March.
What do you do there?
As well as looking after our daughter I attend Danish language school and work from home for various organisations including perfecting English marketing material for Danish companies.
What are the greatest advantages to living there?
Aside from the pastries…childcare, cosiness and cycle lanes.
Childcare is approximately a quarter of the cost in New Zealand. Parents can also receive a total of 52 weeks of paid leave per child from the government.
Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) is a Danish word used to describe “cosiness”. The Danes are very good at integrating this into most parts of their lives. It’s a great excuse to slow down and appreciate what really matters in life – people.
And of course the cycle lanes – all 454km of them.
Income tax is high. In most cases around 50 per cent, which helps in part to pay for some of the great benefits like affordable childcare, free healthcare and free education. However it leaves you with a little less than normal in your pay packet which can take some adjustment.
A New Zealand driver’s licence is also not currently recognised in Denmark and as a resident I have to re-sit my licence at a cost of approx NZ$4000. Compared to my Danish partner having to pay just $30 to gain a New Zealand driver’s licence with no testing.
How expensive is it compared to New Zealand? How much is a beer?
Everything is expensive in Denmark. A beer is between NZ$8-$12. A latte (which is the real stinger) is NZ$8 a cup.
What do you do in your spare time?
We love to make the most of the extensive cycle lanes and explore different parts of the city with our daughter in her cycle trailer.
What’s the local delicacy and would you recommend eating it?
Pastries, and I recommend eating all of them. You’re never too far from a bakery in Denmark. In particular look out for Brunsviger & Kanelsnegl.
Easiest way to get around?
By bike. Nine out of 10 Danes own a bike compared to only four out of 10 owning a car (there is a 150 per cent tax on cars). Fifty-six per cent of Copenhageners commute by bike.
What’s the shopping like?
If you’re looking for some beautifully designed furniture, Denmark is your place to shop. Bring your credit card.
Best after-dark activity?
During the winter months a trip to the Christmas Markets or Tivoli, the second-oldest amusement park in the world, is a must.
Best time of year to visit?
A common saying in Denmark is that it has two winters: a green winter and a white winter. If you visit in the white winter you might be lucky to experience snow and Christmas hygge. Or if you come during the “green” winter (aka summer) you might get lucky and have some nice weather. Be warned that Danes like holidays so some places will close both in July (for summer holidays) and in December for Christmas.
What are the top three things you recommend for visitors?
Explore the city by bike. Visit Nyhavn at night. Hire a GoBoat and sail yourself around the canals of Copenhagen.
Besides family and friends, what do you miss most about home?
Variety in the supermarket and not being able to drive.
How easy is it for you to get back to NZ?
Singapore Airlines has the easiest route, to Auckland via Singapore. Although the new 17.5 hours Emirates flight ex Auckland via Dubai was an excellent route for us to fly with a 4-month-old.
For Kiwis looking to move there, which industries are seeking fresh talent?
The Danes love innovation and are well known for offering “flexicurity” in the workplace, a mixture of flexibility and security, resulting in great work life balance.
Published by “Stuff “