Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir, the “far traveler”:
According to the [Viking] Vinland sagas [1 & 2], 500 years before Christopher Columbus, a woman named Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir, the “far traveler”, sailed off the edge of the map, with her husband and a small crew, landing in what the Vikings called Vinland, and what is now Canada.
She lived in and explored Newfoundland, around 1000 AD,, and the surrounding environs, for three years, bearing a son, before returning home to Iceland.
Ultimately, she made eight crossings of the North Atlantic, and traveled farther than any other Viking, from North America, to Scandinavia, to Rome.
In both chronicles [1 & 2]
, Gudrid is born in Iceland
, sometime in the late tenth century. When she’s around 15 years old, she travels with her father, Thorbjorn, to Greenland
, where Thorbjorn’s trouble-making friend Eirik is busy setting up a new Viking settlement.
While there, Gudrid marries Eirik’s younger son, Thorstein. [you might know Thorstein’s older brother, Leif Erikson, as the first European to set foot in North America.]
Following in Leif’s footsteps, Thorstein also sets sail for this strange New World, perhaps with his young bride in tow, if Greenlanders 
is to be believed. In both sagas [1 & 2]
, Thorstein fails to make it to Vinland [literally “wine land”], the Vikings’ name for the evergreen peninsulas they encountered in North America.
He and Gudrid, if she was indeed with him, manage to return to Greenland
, just before winter
is a harsh one, and one by one, the people around Gudrid start dying. Thorstein is among the deceased, but his ghost, one of many to visit the living in both sagas, lingers long enough to suggest “that her destiny [will] be a great one.” Now widowed, she returns to the main Greenland settlement.
As a 17-year-old widow, Gudrid could’ve chosen where to live and whom, if anyone, she would wed next. Both sagas report that she decides to marry the Icelandic merchant Thorfinn Karlsefni, whose nickname means “the makings of a man.”
to the New World with Thorfinn. There, they have a son, Snorri, and after three years, sail back home. Though one saga has the young family
taking a detour to Norway
, both accounts ultimately find Gudrid back in Iceland, at a farm called Glaumbær.
It’s only in Greenlanders 
that we hear what happens to Gudrid next. Now a much older woman, somewhere in her 40s or 50s, she embarks on a pilgrimage to Rome, making the journey almost entirely on foot, before returning to her farm, to live out her days as a “nun and recluse.”
Archaeologists have excavated the Glaumbaer turf house, described in the sagas, as her final home in Iceland. The structure is unlike any other Viking age turf home in Iceland, most resembling one, built hundreds of miles away in a North American Viking settlement, the very settlement Gudrid and her husband, supposedly, built on the tip of a Newfoundland
The only known Viking settlement in North America, L'Anse aux Meadows 
, is located in the northernmost part of Newfoundland. A windy spot, the settlement was likely meant to act as a staging area, for exploration farther south. Carbon dating has placed its creation around 1000 A.D., give or take 20 years, which lines up with when Leif Erikson, and later Gudrid, would have visited the New World. Archaeologist Birgitta Wallace's team found proof 
, that at least one Viking woman, lived in Newfoundland, nearly a thousand years ago.
Gudrid’s story suggests that Viking women were as courageous, and as adventurous, as Viking men, and that there were far fewer limitations on the life of a woman, in those times, than we may think.
 “Grœnlendinga saga” ➥ https://notendur.hi.is/haukurth/utga...enlanders.html
 “Saga of Erik the Red” ➥ https://sagadb.org/eiriks_saga_rauda.en
 “L’Anse aux Meadows” ➥ https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/4/
 “A Viking Woman in America” ➥ https://nancymariebrown.blogspot.com...n-america.html