Travel: The Viking Ethos

Part of a Viking’s life was to travel, explore, pillage and conquer.  Thankfully, my role in my job only requires a financial pillaging, something well respected in the trade of business development and sales.  The last 11 years of my career have involved, at times, quite significant travel, so it is nothing new for me.  What is new, however, is the urge to drop everything and drive the 4 hours to home to see my boy and just know that everything is okay.   How do other Dads do it?  What Would A Viking Dad Do (WWAVDD)?

Let me know in the below comments.

What Did A Viking Dad Do?

While one could research the actual comings and goings of Nordic lifestyle in the 800’s through until the 1100’s AD, I prefer to live life by the seat of my pants.  Yes, I know…the Viking transformation is already occurring.  I am so savage already.

If you take away the reprehensible things that a Viking is typically known for…. it doesn’t really leave too much more that we know about them. does it?  At least, in a cursory review of my friends and their Viking factoids, I would believe that this is a rather mystical group to try to model myself after.  However, I have a red beard.  And, at least 44% Scandinavian blood (with a healthy dose of Ireland/Scotland/Wales at 16% and Great Britain at 19%).  Throw in Western Europe (4%) and I feel that it is pretty clear to see that I am pretty much a direct descendant of Ragnar Lodbrok.  For the sake of this blog, we will disregard the remaining 17% of my heritage, which varies pretty widely….a potential smoking gun as to my Vikingness, considering how much those fellas liked to get around.

So, now that you know I am a true Viking in hereditariness, at least, lets move on to what else they were known for, and why I want to emulate them in a lot of ways.

  1. They were ferocious fighters.
  2. They were brave explorers.
  3. They had awesome beards.
  4. They provided for their family.

Okay, #3 may not be true in all cases, but it is certainly how we depict them, isn’t it?  Besides, if you only look at the 4 items I have listed, and forgot about the items that Vikings get smeared for, kind of looks like a Dad of The Year candidate, if you ask me.  Which, if you are reading this blog, I am guessing you are least kind of asking me, at least in some form of proxy way.

What do the 4 characteristics mean to me?  How can I relate to them in this modern age?  Well, I think it applies as follows:

  1. Take care of your family and fight for whatever it is that will keep them safe, happy, and fed.  Maybe that could mean asking my boss for a raise.  Or perhaps it could mean that I should be in better shape in order to be around and care for them.
  2. Be adventurous.  Don’t stick to the norm, unless it is best for you.  Never let fear guide your life in a direction that keeps you from being the best Dad you can be.
  3. Awesome beards are pretty much translatable across any language.  Majestic Man Beard equals Bad Ass.  I think it is in Article 2 of the Geneva Convention.
  4. Provide for your family, but not just with money.  Spend time with your family.  Make sure that they know that they come first in the hierarchy of your life goals.  providing with money is also a key ingredient, though.

I think that all 4 characteristics are related to each other.  Without one, the others are weak.  So, in what areas am I currently weak?


Why a Viking?

As a child of the video game era, (if you are reading this in the future, I am from a time before computers and robots bent on world domination started playing human games), leveling up seems to be in my regular vocabulary, having used it for various reasons, even before hipsters.  As a new Dad (2 weeks as of this posting!), it only makes sense to try to structure the challenges of being a new parent, into a fun and exciting game format.  At least it seems like it may be fun.  May just be the sleep deprivation talking.

This is a pretty big transition period in my life.  As a 39-year-old (former) world traveler, sleeping in 30 second increments and trying to change diapers without gagging (spoiler alert….I failed) is extremely new for me.  That doesn’t mean I have any regrets though.  While I cannot say that I enjoy poopy diapers, I get a kick out of hanging out with the little guy, and can’t wait to teach him all the things that he should know as he grows.  One problem though… What should I use as a guide on my path to being a great Dad?

I considered all of the games I played growing up, and none of them really scratched the itch of what I felt would be a great starter pack to being a Dad.  You know, get me up and running in the game while I learned the controls and menu options (or looked online for cheat codes).  But then, as I scratched my beard, I thought about the Vikings.  I considered the stories (sagas) they told.  I considered their family unit.  Their drive to explore.  And yes, their urge to pillage and burn villages.  All combined, it seemed like a great game to play, except with real consequences… so no burning villages.

This blog is my attempt to reach Viking Level in the Game of Dad.  Feel free to pick up a control and be Player 2 on this epic journey into fatherhood.  Mature Audiences only.


1_Viking Warrior1_PS4 Controller1_Lil Viking