Nine Things I Learned from the Ninth Dad 2.0!

Nine Things I Learned from the Ninth Dad 2.0! — Casey with Canadian Chips
When you go to Dad 2, come bearing gifts!

The Dad 2.0 Summit is a different kind of conference. Sure, it has many of the moving parts that make a conference a conference, but they all come with a twist that makes them unique. Sponsor presentations like the man who understood how divorce and being there for his daughters made him a better Dad, or the company whose creative director went undercover as a teenage girl to ferret out sexual predators online. Fathers who’d take the stage and share what it’s like to lose a wife to cancer or the things they discover as they think about their children and the lives they lead. Each time someone spoke, it peeled back another layer, leaving hundreds of Dads forever changed by the time they found their ways back home.

But then, one might argue it’s a bit masochistic. That we convened from clear across the continent to face the parts of ourselves we couldn’t share in our everyday lives, and the demons we never seem to shake. That we come out knowing more of the things that go “bump” in the night and the dangers around each corner if we lose sight of our kids for a second. Why would anyone in their right minds want to subject themselves to this?

Because we must. Because it’s all important. And because if we dads with the platforms to share messages to the people who need them most can do a little more today than we could with what we had before Dad 2.0, then why would we not?

Let me show you a little of what Dad 2.0‘s all about.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The Road to Dad 2.0 and BEYOND.

And then in January 2018, I went and hit a wall.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The Road to Dad 2.0 and BEYOND. — Casey at Night in New Orleans v3

I looked good on paper. I’d just finished my best year yet as a blogger, already looking to take things a step farther with a retooled Tales from the 2.9. And adulting was alright, too—I had the routine down with the morning drop-offs, the house was kept relatively clean, and there wasn’t anyone clawing at the door for money. Life was good, and as my friends would point out, many would kill to be in my shoes—but don’t get any ideas. However, all that didn’t make for great storytelling, and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get my words quite right. The volume was there, but the tank was empty—it was time to look for some new inspiration.

And with that in mind, enter Dad 2.0.

Dad 2.0 — Why I NEEDED to Visit the Big Easy

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The Road to Dad 2.0 and BEYOND. — My Room at the Ritz-Carlton v3

The decision to go to Dad 2.0 wasn’t one made lightly. Fellow Canadian Dad Bloggers Buzz Bishop and Chris Read had been at me to check it out for years, but the timing never felt quite… right.

In 2014, my first was just a few months old, plus I’d just been to the North American International Auto Show the month before. In 2015, we’d just returned from a trip to Cuba with all of Sarah’s family, and I was sure leaving again so soon wasn’t that favourable an option. January 2016 brought my second son and the promise I’d stay put for a year, no matter what the #BloggerLife gave me. And with everyone else home all day as Sarah took extra time away from the office so we didn’t need to pay $3000 a month for daycare, being away in 2017 was not an option—who’d want to fly solo with two kids when you didn’t have to?

Enter Dad 2.018.

But 2018. 2018 brought the Dad 2.0 Summit 2.018, and it felt like I was finally ready. The kids were in all-day programs, the conference’s costs within my means. I could work remotely and go somewhere I’d never been before—it felt like the pieces had finally come together to make this trip my own.