It had been a fight to get to where she was today.
Johanna had battled her way tooth and nail in front of the entire country to try to earn the right to stay. Denmark felt like home now – how could she leave?
For months, Johanna had waited for acceptance. She’d hoped, wished, and prayed that her visa would be approved. Her fiancé was here. Her job was here. This was her world and she was desperate to feel comfortable calling it her own. Every day she woke up fearful of the mail. If a notice came, would it be a positive letter or would she be forced to leave her life behind?
It went on like this for eight grueling months. Then one day, it came. The letter she was so anxiously waiting for. She was accepted.
That letter should have let her breathe a sigh of relief, but something inside her changed. For the past eight months she’d expected that the government would kick her out. Now, she had their approval but was she really ready to stay?
That’s what she contemplated as she walked home from work.
“If I stay, can I ever be truly happy here? If I go, what will happen to the life I’ve fought so hard for?”
Now the ball was in her court. She didn’t have to wait for the government to decide her fate. She was back in power and ready to make the next big move in her world. What that move would be, she didn’t know.
Before she walked down the aisle, she knew she had to decide. Leave Denmark to return to the United States, or stay, accepting that she would always be a foreigner in her “home.”
She couldn’t go home with this weight on her shoulders. She had to think.
In the center of Copenhagen, she walked up the Round Tower. Here, she could breathe. Here, she could get a view from the top.
She scaled the cobble stone ramp up seven stories. When she walked through the opening at the top of the observatory, the cool wind hit her hard.
Johanna weighed the pros and cons.
On her pros list, she thought of a life filled with adventure and excitement. She loved living in a place that was so rich with history and had such a deep story. She didn’t want to give that up to return to the hipsters and hill billies in Texas.
On her cons list, she thought of her family. The flight home was a grueling nine hours. What if something happened to someone she loved? What if something happened to her?
The decision wasn’t easy, but as Johanna looked out over the copper spires and cobblestone streets, she knew what she had to do…
… it was time to go home.
View more beautiful photos of Copenhagen from Jim Nix.