We’re delighted to share our interview with Zascha Friis, a twenty-something Danish girl who spent five years in England as an expat. However, she decided she needed something else instead of paying rent and working 9 to 5 – even though England was pretty great. So she decided to travel the world. She’s now on a trip around the globe and have no return ticket. She’ll go home when she’s bored.
Her biggest and most important goal for 2016 was to become location independent and she managed to do it in just 4 months. She now work from anywhere with just her laptop. Here’s our conversation:
Tell us a bit about yourself! Why do you love travel? How do you think travel unites us or teaches us more about the world?
Traveling has changed my life in so many ways and that’s why I love it. I used to be a bit shy and a bit of an introvert. But that has completely changed now. I’m no longer scared of what’s out there in the big world, I’m no longer scared of approaching strangers. Everything is so much easier now ever since I began traveling.
I also see traveling as the best form of education there is – I’ve learned so much about other countries, people and culture that I was never taught in school. If it wasn’t for me traveling I would probably still be slightly ignorant and oblivious!
Can you tell us something about the culture in your country and why did you decided to stay there?
I don’t live there anymore, but Denmark is a beautiful country. I feel blessed that I was born there as it’s a country that truly cares about its people and we are often named “the happiest people on Earth”. I’m proud of this achievement.
We like to “hygge” – I always hear people mention this word to me, when I travel abroad and I mention I’m from Denmark. It basically just means “relaxing” and being “cosy” with your friends and family.
I love our food, our Danish pastries, our way of celebrating Christmas (we dance around the Christmas tree while we sing Christmas carols!) and I love our royal family – the Danish monarchy is the oldest one in Europe, if I’m not mistaken.
Oh, and if you ever visit Denmark then beware of the bicycles – they rule the streets rather than the cars 😀
Which dish do you feel best represents where you’re specifically from? Share a picture and tell us why you love it!
Danish pork meatballs called “frikadeller”! My dad makes the best ones in the world. I don’t know why people are always so excited about Swedish meatballs, because ours are so much better (sorry, Sweden!).
Talk about the role of family in your life. What does family mean to you? Which family values are valuable to you?
I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my family. Despite my parents divorcing when I was about 3 years old, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have a family that really cares about each other. Even when I’m on the road I speak to my Mum every day and I send them all postcards from my travel destinations as often as I can.
I don’t believe that you must spend time with people constantly for them to know that you love then. I keep them in my thoughts and in my heart and I call as much as I can. They’re so supportive of what I do and they’re my biggest “cheerleaders”.
How important is spirituality and religion in your daily life? What do you do to celebrate the two?
To be very honest, it is not important to me at all as I’m an atheist. I’ve chosen not to let religion be a part of my life for many reasons. However, I still go to church for Christmas, weddings and christenings.
Languages not only give us the power to communicate, but also can unite us across cultures. What’s something you love about the multitude of languages spoken in your country? Share a favorite saying you have, or teach us something in your native language.
In Denmark we love to make visitors say “Rød grød med fløde.” It basically just means “Red porridge with cream” which is a bit silly. But it’s because we have some extra letters in our alphabet that non-Danish people can’t pronounce properly. So we kind of get a good laugh out of making people say it ☺
What local spot in your city/town do you love most? Why is it personally important to you?
I was born in Copenhagen – the capital of Denmark – but I grew up in a very small town where there was not much to do. However, if you went a little bit out of the town you’d get to a place called Gisselfeld. It’s an enormous park where there is a former monastery. There’s a lake, a fountain, a waterfall and a greenhouse. It’s gorgeous. My mum has brought me there so many times which is why it has become a very important spot for me.
Who is the most inspiring person in your life? In which ways does this person inspire you?
It’s such a cliché but it’s true. My mum. She’s the loveliest woman who has ever walked this Earth – at least in my opinion. She managed to bring up three children on her own while working full time and having Diabetes Type 1 as well as other health issues. We may never have had the newest toys or clothes, but we never went hungry and we always had a roof over our head as well as love and care. How she managed to do it, I don’t know. But she’s an impressive woman who deserves all the best in life.
Have you ever met a stranger during your travels who made an impact on your life in a certain way, or maybe it was you who helped someone else? Share the story!
I have met SO many people during my travels who have changed my life, who have made an impact on me, who have changed my way of seeing things, who have taught me things I never knew about. There are too many examples for me to just mention one. But I encourage everyone to leave their comfort zone and meet new people from all over the world. Yes, I travel to see beautiful places, but it’s the people that I truly remember.