Dad 2.0 2020

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.

Calgary 101: It’s More than Just the Stampede!

A Toronto does not a Canada make.

Toronto’s Cool, But What About the REST of Canada?

Ask most Torontonians what Canada means to them, and they’ll give you a perfect view that sounds very… Toronto.

Calgary 101 — The City that's More than Just the Stampede! — Toronto from AboveBusy and abundant with life. Representation from every corner of the world. It’s everything we big city slickers spout when we want to prove why our city is better than yours, but that’s from the same city who rarely explores their country east of Montreal or west of Niagara Falls. Instead, we hop on the nearest flight to the Dominican Republic or Cuba—after all, it’s hotter, cheaper, and it takes a lot less time to plan an all-inclusive vacation. But I’ll say the same thing about our country that I did about camping—it’s a mighty big world out there, and we’re doing ourselves a horrible disservice by not experiencing more of it.

Let me tell you some of what I’ve seen.

Welcome to Canada! Well… at Least SOME of it!

Calgary 101 — The City that's More than Just the Stampede! — Niagara Falls

At 9.985 million square kilometres, Canada’s the second-biggest country in the world, but much of it’s woefully underutilised.

I’ve seen a bit of it so far—plenty of Ontario through cottages and camping; weekend trips throughout western Quebec; and even some time on the West Coast lately.

But this isn’t the Canada I grew up discovering—it’s the 99.93% of the country that isn’t the Toronto area. The travelling I did with my parents was to see family—affording anything else simply wasn’t in the cards. But the travelling bug eventually caught me, and I realised how important it was to see more of my country if I truly wanted to call myself Canadian.

So on this journey to see the Canada everyone else sees so I can better understand it—and taking my kids along for the ride—I’d like to share some thoughts on this country with you from some of the people who live within it.

Our first stop? Calgary, Alberta—Canada’s great cowboy capital of the west!

Ricky Shetty | We Are the Sum of Our Experiences

It’s no secret that I’m busy. If I didn’t have Sarah and the kids to keep me grounded, I’d likely spend every waking moment thinking about content, always trying to find the best ways to tell the next story. But with all this thinking going on, people often wonder how I find time for it all. Where did I pick my skills up? How do I find guests for my podcast? How do I keep from falling apart?

The answer, my friends, is through Facebook Groups.

Facebook Groups are where I find my people. They’re where I learn. Many of the contacts I have and much of what I know today is because someone in the many groups I belong to pointed me in the right direction. And it’s through a group for podcasters who’re also Dads that I learned about Ricky Shetty’s new book.

Ricky Shetty — Author, World Traveller and One of Canada’s Original Dad Bloggers

Chatting with Casey 0008 — We Are the Sum of Our Experiences — Ricky Shetty Head Shot

Ricky and I have known each other at least peripherally for some years now—since branding himself as Canada’s premiere Daddy Blogger at the turn of the decade, it was tough to not enter the arena myself without knowing who he was. But it wasn’t until last year where we’d finally cross paths for his Digital Nomad Mastery channel to discuss Dad Blogging and everything that comes with it! (I’ll link it in the show notes, but I hope you’re ready for some crappy pre-Casey knowing what he’s doing headphone built-in microphone audio!) So we’d connected, but we didn’t speak a whole lot after that, because after all, Ricky’s travelling the world.

And that, my friends, is perhaps the most essential part of this entire story—Ricky, with his lovely wife Anne and their three young children, is aiming to become the first family to have visited everySingleCountry.

The 2017 100 Wrap-Up — 31 Successes.

Several weeks, a few dozen photos and four thousand words later, we’ve finally made it—the Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad 2017 wrap-up, filled with stories aplenty of 365 days spent in my not-so-orthodox life.

After wrapping the year up on a quiet note (because two sick children under five will do that to you), I still felt it necessary to do this. These year-to-year changeovers offer a lot of perspective for me—with so much happening all the time, I often forget what I had for breakfast, so I write everything down. And if the height of the pile on my desk is any sign, 2017 was quite the year. But it’s also the time where I’m the most transparent, looking back objectively at everything I’ve done and celebrating successes, owning up to failures, hoping all the while that I’m somehow growing from the process.

But yeah—let’s do this as we did in 2016: look at the year in excruciating detail, figuring out what’s worth taking with me into 2018 versus what doesn’t feel part of my world anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me present—the 31 things I did well in 2017! Let’s get it!

Ford Canada | #FordSummer (with Ford Canada’s SUVs in Muskoka!)

If I learned anything from a recent trip to the Muskokas, it’s that Ford is great at making SUVs!

It's a Ford. #FordSummer. (Checking out the Ford Canada SUV Line in Muskoka!) — The Ford Escape
The 2017 Ford Edge in full effect!

Sure, the Sport/Suburban Utility Vehicle might not be everyone’s first choice when shopping for a new ride, but if they’re not, they are missing out! SUVs are growing in popularity worldwide as drivers seek more flexibility and utility from their vehicles, no longer content with options that do the bare minimum. We don’t just want to get from A to B anymore—we’re doing it with our groceries. Our furniture. Our ski gear. And our babies. We need vehicles that grow with us—not ones left behind as our circumstances change.

And perhaps that’s why SUVs stand as the top-selling vehicle segment in Canada and the US—heck; Ford sold 1.7 million of them in 2016 alone! As the #1 SUV brand for seven years running (with an eighth hot on their heels), I’d say Ford knows what it’s doing—which is why they’re introducing five new SUVs by 2020, including the Ford EcoScport compact utility and the all-new Ford Expedition! With Ford’s global SUV sales growing a staggering 80% these past five years, ain’t no stoppin’ ’em now!

It's a Ford. #FordSummer. (Checking out the Ford Canada SUV Line in Muskoka!) — Casey Palmer Chillin' in a Muskoka ChairBut that’s only part of the story—I could go blue in the face telling you about the thousands of features that go into making Ford’s SUVs top-notch, but you don’t want stuff you could lift from a spec sheet… you want to see how they work in the real world.

And that’s exactly what Ford Canada challenged us to discover this past summer!