I don’t know what the future holds. But I know this: When the time is right, I will leave my home shores and go Viking. In this blog post, I will try to explain what that means, and why you should go Viking too.
First of all: Going Viking doesn’t mean dressing up as a Viking. Going Viking has nothing to do with how you dress. Although, I must say that personally, wearing Viking clothes is my natural state and it’s when I have to look like a modern man that I’m «dressing up».
Going Viking doesn’t mean that you sail out to raid monasteries either. It could mean that, but last time I checked, it was sort of illegal. Going Viking means that you leave your home for an extended period of time and go in search of adventure. Yes, I know it sounds a bit romantic. But it’s the truth. Going Viking means just that. And I think everybody should do it.
Nothing good comes to those who live their lives in front of their tv. A great single-handed ocean sailor (I’ve forgotten his name) said that «The world is full of guys moving the lawn and watching tv. They’re already dead and they don’t even know it.» Read those sentences again and think about it for a while. We all know guys (and girls) like that. And it’s kind of sad to see how they’re wasting their lives.
I’m not saying that you should stop everything you’re doing, quit your job and run out your door. You might have children who need your presence. And you might want to do a bit of planning. But start planning now. Don’t wait. Start planning for that great adventure, and start now. Not tomorrow, but now. Today.
I know you might have read this before. I have. But there is more to going Viking than just travelling. If you go Viking, you are not only travelling. You are also seeking wealth. Yes, that’s right. You’re out there for personal gain, but Iet me tell you, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary. My ancestors here in Scandinavia went in search of «fehu» – wealth, a concept elegantly expressed by my good friend and neighbor who you might know as the man behind «Wardruna». Wealth usually meant valuable items back then, but there’s much more to it. We tend to look at the past with our modern perceptions, which is why our ancestors are often misunderstood. Fehu – wealth – does not have to be material. It could be spiritual or emotional, it could even be about gaining experience and becoming a wiser man or woman. The Norsemen did actually go Viking for spiritual wealth – the voyage across the seas was a spritiual thing back then. And many went looking for a wife. And by that I don’t mean grabbing the local girls by the hair and dragging them onto the longship. We must try to remember that the ocean connected people back then, and if you couldn’t find a nice girl in your local village, you would probably try at the other side of the ocean. And that was all about gaining emotional wealth.
Also, going Viking is different from just travelling. It is not globetrotting. A Viking will not necessarily respect the cultures and traditions he encounters. I know this sounds harsh, but stay with me and just think about it for a moment. For example, if you travel to a country where it’s common practice that the parents marry off their infant daughters, will you respect that? If it’s a tradition to torture animals to death, will you respect that tradition and the people upholding it? I don’t think you will. Respect is, for a Viking, not something anyone is entiteled to by default. It must be earned. And let me tell you this: The truth is that not all cultures are equally valuable. Some are cruel, sick and twisted. As a Viking, you have no tolerance for those.
I have been going Viking before. I sailed my yacht from the Mediterrenean, out into the Atlantic and up to Norway. I was mostly sailing alone, and it was a life changing experience. It added greatly to my «fehu» and I know I have to do it again, but next time I will sail to North America, maybe following the route of the Viking settlers.
What will be your great adventure?
-Bjørn Andreas Bull-Hansen
Read more: How to know if you’re a Viking