So there I was sitting in a café, contemplating how I’d spend my Christmas. It was December 20th, and the feeling of Christmastime seemed to engulf this small Mediterranean island as people popped in and out of shops to collect last minute gifts. As perfect and magical as Ibiza is, I was a bit bummed that I wouldn’t be able to spend Christmas at home with my family. Suddenly, my phone rang. It was one of my best friends, Paolo, who happened to be in Iceland at the time. And just like that, we decided we’d spend the winter holidays in Scandinavia.
“Who in their right mind would go to Scandinavia in the middle of winter?” asked any logical human ever. Someone who is training to become a real life Viking, that’s who.
In a matter of a few days, after a three-hour flight up north, I hopped out of the plane into the cold, winter air in Copenhagen. I met up with Paolo and announced the plan: It is time to become A VIKING. I said with enough enthusiasm to wake up everyone in our wood cabin-esque hostel.
Luckily, Paolo agreed. Our time has come.
Step 1 to becoming a Viking: refrain from describing everything as “lovely”. I failed miserably at this because look at this view (below). It’s lov…shit. See what I mean? Ok, from now on, when asked about the scenery, make manly grunting noises that translate to indifference. Indifference is the key, people!
When socialism meets Christmas spirit, there has to be at least one deliciously free Christmas feast to be found. And because any good Viking should be able to successfully forage for food, that was our mission for Christmas Eve in Copenhagen.
As we walked down the lonely boulevards (because apparently people have these things called families with whom they celebrate Christmas), I was beginning to feel like I was in a depressing Green Day music video. That’s when we turned the corner and saw a Christmas miracle. It was the most random renovated warehouse filled with long tables, decorative lighting, live music, gigantic cut-out ornaments hanging from the ceiling, and people of all ages enjoying a Danish feast. A FEAST, I SAY. And unlike almost everything in life, the food was free. Step 2 of Viking Training:
Next up, we made our way to Sweden via train. With the little sunlight that we had left, we noticed traces of snow on the ground on the way to Gothenburg. By the time we left for Stockholm, it was what any small-town Southerner would call an incredible winter wonderland. Or if you’re a Viking, it was “alright” because remember, indifference, people! Which leads me to my next point,
Viking Training Step 3: conquer the cold (and just about everything else). Do you think the original Vikings would’ve let a little bit of snow and soul numbingly cold winds get in the way of invading entire kingdoms? No. So that’s why I wouldn’t dare let the cold stop me from walking around mostly lost in the middle of a thriving city!
So, the moral of the story? Take it from the Vikings!
1. Be chill.
2. Always say ‘yes’ to free food
3. Push through those adversities, especially when it comes to snow/freezing rain/gail force wind.
This article is from a compilation of my Instagram photos and captions. I edited it for fluidity purposes, but yeah! For more photos and travel stuff, look me up on Insta: @thetruebravado.