The great migration of the Vikings
In the year 830 AD, a small oaken longboat was being ravaged by cruel winds and bitter seas, somewhere in the Norðrhaf.
Its crew had departed the south of Norway some days earlier, headed towards the isles of Færeyjar. However, the foul weather that had set upon their craft had other plans for the sailors, and diverted them much farther to the north.
Eventually, the crew of the waylaid vessel spied land on the horizon, knowing full well it wasn’t their intended destination. But with a dire need to escape the storm that had assailed them, they made to go ashore with plans to seek shelter, and to recover from their arduous experience at sea.
The crew disembarked to discover where they’d landed, and climbed a mountain to better survey their new surroundings. Expecting to spy herds of livestock, smoke rising from fireplaces, or other telltale signs of human settlement, instead the voyagers saw nothing but empty nature.
Upon returning to their ship for the evening, Naddoðr – the ship’s captain – noticed it had begun to snow. In honour of this sign from the gods, he named the newly-discovered land Snæland; or “Snowland“.
The crew would eventually leave the mysterious island behind. But before long, word had spread throughout the lands of the Norse of the uninhabited northern land the crew had accidentally discovered.
By the year 868, the first intentional voyagers would set sail to this new piece of terra firma. And only a few short years later, the first permanent settler – Ingólfr Arnarson – would make the island home.
Today, we all know the island by its modern name of Iceland.
For centuries, those from the nations of the Norsemen would make their way towards Iceland, with the intention of creating a new and better life there.
Some went to flee from high taxes, or from the oversight of jarls and kings they didn’t agree with. Others went to stake a claim to land of their own, and a smaller number went to escape the repercussions of crimes they’d committed in their homelands.
For almost all that ventured forth to Ísland, they went in search of greater freedom.
And with that in mind, I’m happy to announce that the Abundantia newsletter has completed its own migration towards more freedom — mostly however, in the digital realm.
As you may have heard, a little over a week ago I announced that this newsletter would soon transfer over to Substack. It’s a transfer that I’m happy to announce has now been finalised; so if you’re reading this, it’s coming to you via the new platform.
While this email is more of an announcement, we’re excited to let you know that our first major mailer on Substack will be arriving tomorrow. In other words, watch this space!
Also, just remember that the vast majority of our work here on our new home on Substack will still be free. But for those of you who want a little extra (or who would like to support our work here), you are now able to become one of our premium subscribers on Substack for just $9 per month (or at the discounted rate of $90 per year).
A premium subscription will give you access to occasional extra written content, audio versions of all our newsletters for those who prefer to listen, as well as short podcast episodes that will be exclusive to paid subscribers.
So, if going premium sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, you can go here to upgrade now.
Think of it like our version of a Patreon, just with much better additional content.
If you don’t feel like upgrading, that’s no problem. You’ll still be among the 50,000+ people that get our normal weekly story-driven newsletters, and everything you’ve come to expect from them thus far.
Not only that, but you’ll always have our eternal thanks for supporting us just by reading what we create here, and being a part of our freedom-driven community.
Much love to you all. We’re so thankful you’re here with us.
I’ll see you again tomorrow.
P.S. – As many of you may know, the nation that’s the focus of this newsletter has also been mine and Sorelle’s home for many years now. With that in mind, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you, Iceland. Thank you for everything you’ve given us so far.
Love the way you tie in a fascinating historical vignette into your own unfolding personal history. Keep it up!
Looking forward to many more wonderful writing. Always brightens my day. Thank you!