Oh travel, what have you done to my husband?

Its officially six months since we flew the coop, and we’ve been in SE Asia the whole time.   Something strange has started happening to my husband Chris.  It started with him shaving his armpits.  Then he started reading. You know, books.

First it was The Hobbit but then he moved onto, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin’s famous heart wrenching story of love, impropriety and highly complex, yet grammatically impeccable sentences.

Now he’s engrossed in Persuasion, and I found him checking ahead on Wikipedia, worried he wasn’t bonding with the main characters.  He was relieved to find they are considered Austin’s least likable.  After that, Chris watched Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightly one, with the oh-so adorable Mr Bingley.) Twice.

Whatever he’s caught is contagious. Snowy, who is but five, said to me;

‘Mummy, why did Darcy say just ten words to Elizabeth and then walk out?’

‘I suppose because he was feeling nervous and that made it hard for him to speak properly’

‘Oh’, said Snowy, ‘like Bertie in The King’s Speech.’

Yes, the period drama section of our traveling DVD collection is no longer a place I can go to hide by myself. Chris and all the children have been camping out there, learning words like ‘prevail’ and ‘condescension’ and wondering if the dresses were perhaps a bit modern.

When the Bintang ran out, my husband started drinking ginger tea.  He bought tempeh. (Like tofu, but even crunchier, in both senses of the word)

After that, Chris started writing down his dreams.   He said last night’s was really sad. Was he trying to reassure me when he said the sad bit was when an ugly brown Ford crushed his dream car, a green/grey EH Holden wagon and he had to tow if off with the Nissan Patrol?  There are no ‘real man’ cars in our life now.   Here, we have a teeny tiny little hire car.  Chris didn’t blink an eye when it came with two packets of incense sticks instead of a road map in the glove box.


Ten years ago, I sewed him a pair of fisherman pants.  He’s started wearing them.  And a funky bracelet. And a frangipani behind his ear. Everyday.


Just to fill you in, here is the person I married.

When we met he lived in a little house by the beach with a milk crate for a coffee table. The first meal he cooked me was mashed potato with sweet chilli sauce.  He played in a world music band.


He had a pony tail, and a few cardigans.

Here’s how we started out. Yes, that’s a real live orange 1976 kombi campervan. It’s name was Fergus.


Then these little ones turned up…

And Chris started to dress properly and go off to work, a proper job, with rules, and meetings and big machines and all that.

He looked like this.

and even this.


This went on for most of the last nine years. Don’t misunderstand me, he has always been totally lovely and wonderful … but now something has happened.

Enter: Travel. Slow…… slow…… travel.

Six months later I have a chilled out, tea drinking, friend hugging, bamboo-floor sitting, flower photographing, barefooted, singing, baby-sling wearing, blog reading, homeschool advocating, crystal deodorant using, sarong wearing husband who QUOTES Jane Austen.

No kidding, this afternoon, he  asked Sparky if she’d ‘like to take a turn about the room’ as ‘its so refreshing’

But I cannot laugh as loud as I am cheering.

He’s back!!!

With bells on.


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22 Responses to Oh travel, what have you done to my husband?

  1. Barbara June 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    I love it!

    (And Chris looks so young in that photo with the kids!)
    Barbara recently posted..Daycare Deja VuMy Profile

  2. Vicki June 15, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    definitely a keeper.

  3. Kylie June 15, 2012 at 10:33 am #


  4. Tez June 15, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    How wonderful! And what a hottie – that’s what I call a real man. Someone who reads, spends time with his partner and kids and is not part of the crazy, corporate world. Definitely a keeper :-)
    Tez recently posted..The Winter of my ContentMy Profile

  5. Lisa Wood June 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Oh I soooo need my hubby to read this one! Love your hubby style – what a great role model for your kids 😉
    Lisa Wood recently posted..Cape Hillsborough In The Eyes of A ChildMy Profile

  6. Kobi June 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    This is the Mr P who inspired me at school!

    • Adele June 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      I agree Kobi! I can never forget him singing to us in class and playing guitar…!

  7. Deb @ Bright and Precious June 15, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    What a beautiful man you have by your side. I’m cheering too.
    Deb @ Bright and Precious recently posted..Who are you?My Profile

  8. Aunty deb June 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    My brother is really cool what ever he is up to! Love you guys. AD

  9. Mary June 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    I love this! Congrats to you both:) The changes that happen through travel are just incredible!

  10. Gillian @OneGiantStep June 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    What a fabulous evolution!!!
    Gillian @OneGiantStep recently posted..Monday Moment: Sidestreet Market, Istanbul, TurkeyMy Profile

  11. tereza crump aka MyTreasuredCreations June 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    love the bells!
    tereza crump aka MyTreasuredCreations recently posted..Garden Update IMy Profile

  12. Jennifer Pearce June 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    What a great post! So fun to see the differences. :) Nothing like travel to bring about all sorts of interesting new developments in ourselves. :)

  13. Brandon Pearce July 14, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Love it! Nice to see someone who isn’t afraid to be himself. It’s great to see the old pictures of you and Chris, too. Hope we can meet up with you guys again soon.
    Brandon Pearce recently posted..Planning for the MomentMy Profile

  14. wandering educators July 22, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    LOVE it! it just goes to show you, we need to pull out of the rat race to find ourselves. yep.
    wandering educators recently posted..Heatstroke and the traveling petMy Profile

  15. kim at allconsuming October 4, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    bloody brilliant.
    kim at allconsuming recently posted..Lemon ricotta cakeMy Profile

    • Jill October 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      Thanks Kim!
      (and I really love reading your blog BTW)

  16. Alyson January 25, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    Love it! My husband has been known to wear a skirt while travelling. Isn’t the freedom wonderful !
    Alyson recently posted..Feeding George The GroperMy Profile

  17. Nicole March 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Love it so much! … with tears in my eyes…

  18. zachary March 17, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Your husband looks like he is very comfortable in his skin. 😀
    zachary recently posted..Bucket ListMy Profile

  19. Fe December 22, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    How delightful:-) I do especially love the photo with the babies—they are so recognisable as the children they are today:-)
    Fe recently posted..Putting Down Roots!My Profile

  20. Mark Grogan May 22, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    Wow! Someone on Facebook mentioned they’d seen Mr Palmer today, I dug deeper and found this. Probably the best blog I’ve ever read. A brilliant existence. Hello, from someone who didn’t get what you were about 15 years ago, but is starting to understand now.

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