Our one wild and precious life

There’s not much time til our 90 days in China is up. What are we going to do next?

We have some time in Kuala Lumpur, or we could meet up with a few traveling families. Or we could rest and catch up on a bit of homeschool. Or Chris could get stuck into setting up his online business.

After that, we have flights booked for India! This trip will certainly include camel treking and finding a place on the beach to rest up and eating all things spicy and delicious.  There are some therapy centres we want to visit with Sparky.

Oh, and we’d like to go to beautiful Udaipur.

We are very excited to be going home for Christmas, and just in time for a sunny summer. Maybe we’ll go down south and camp near the beach…

Maybe we’ll go to Europe in time for its summer and buy a cheap old RV and drive around a bit. We could put the children in a French school for a ‘language dunking’.

Although, we skipped over Burma and Lao and Nepal, maybe we could do an Asia part B trip….


When I start to think like this, like all we need is the air that we breathe and whats in our packs, and each other, and God and his big wide world, I start to feel a strange and exhilarating feeling that is a mixture of invincibility and fear and excitement and the deliciousness that comes from finding a rare and precious secret and being entrusted with it.

I am not against encumbrance, only that it must be for something and someone worth carrying. After all, I do worship a man who told me to pick up my cross and follow him.  And I will willingly carry my children.  But no longer will I carry regret, social pressure, undeserved guilt, or worry.

I think I think more clearly when the power is off, when I’m dry and thirsty and I’m surrounded by beauty. When I smell of ash and my children are rosy cheeked and clean from swimming in icy river water. When I’ve eaten hearty simple food in good company.

When the ‘heavens and earth declaring the glory of the LORD’ is my first thought in the morning, rather than ‘oh dear, I need three more hours sleep and a cup of tea’

I want to be with my children and cherish them, not just the four hugs a day for survival or the eight for growth, but myriad hugs so that we all thrive.


There is being content with the mundane, and there is thinking the mundane is all there is, and making it out to be more than it is. (and I realise that one person’s mundane is another person’s delightfully organised)   I think I believe in contentment, but not resignation.

There is fried bread and there are eagles, and warm fresh milk and sunsets and real butter and hot fires and hospitality beyond language. There is travel and there is family and there is lemon pudding and blue vein cheese. There is being loved beyond measure and there is being invited to join in a venture of eternal significance.  There is Dickens. There is green ginger wine. There are hot showers and cold beers. There is laughter. There are children.

Everyone has a God. Mine is a carpenter called Jesus. He traveled a lot and cooked fish on a fire like the Waifs.


I think I will climb a hill and sing badly from the opening of the Sound of Music. I don’t have the right dress, but my bad hair cut will give Maria a run for her money.

And I love that I don’t know where I’ll be in a few months, or who with, or doing what. I love it.

I’m pretty happy right now.


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22 Responses to Our one wild and precious life

  1. Vicki September 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    This one made me cry – I don’t know why – not in a sad way – but in a “how beautiful” way. How beautiful to be living your dream – to see the beauty of God’s creation in all its wonderment in so many amazing places and to be able to share that with those most precious to you. I absolutely love reading these entries – thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. You remain in my prayers and I look forward with great delight to your next entry.

  2. Alison September 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    Cant congratulate you enough – doing what most people would think was impossible ……….. and l am completely, sinnfully envious …………. to put it mildly.

    Ps l did write a response to Tintins blog, but l mustn’t have posted it correctly. l told him how his story reminded me of a film l’d seen on SBS recently centering on the chn of a Mongolian family. One of their jobs was to collect lots of that animal poo so it could be dried and used as fuel for their fires.

  3. Sam September 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    This is so beautifully written and so inspiring gill! What an amazing adventure you are having with the people you love. Thanks for sharing it with us all xx

  4. Heather Costaras September 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Like Vicki – this one made me cry. Beautiful.

  5. Ashlie September 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    As a fellow traveler with future plans to have babies (and still travel), I love reading your stories. I’m continuously amazed by your enthusiasm and energy. I think you are very special people. I hope we run into each other one day.

  6. Elisa September 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    Love love love it… makes me ponder if we should try a stint as a family at being more nomadic. Being a controlled, organised freak it would push all my buttons and do my head in a lot (the time I normally spend online accommodation hunting when we do travel for example would seriously have to be reviewed for example)… but this perhaps would be a very healthy journey to go on. Hope health and happiness continue to feature strongly in your wandering days… (And we too will be back for Christmas… maybe in small Perth we will cross paths… that would be great).

  7. Rebeca September 27, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    I love this… it makes me excited and happy and inspired. We just moved into a travel trailer with our four kids and are hitting the road soon, first America, then the world. Would love to meet up with you somewhere someday. Many blessings!
    Rebeca recently posted..Free to FlyMy Profile

  8. Tracey Mansted September 27, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    Wow Jill – fabulous post!
    What adventures await you on the road – more more more!
    Hope to see you in the wilds of Europe in 2013 : )
    Tracey Mansted recently posted..Happy Birthday Baby!My Profile

  9. Kara September 27, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    This post made me so happy to read. Beautiful. I did it once on my own and you inspire me to do it again with our kids. Thank you.
    Kara recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: SiblingsMy Profile

  10. Peter De Blanc September 27, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your journeys with us, beautiful photos and brilliant commentary. As we sat a browsed through your website we were struck with wonder and awe at the beauty of the places you have travelled and the beauty that shines through each and every one of you. I trust that the time will come that you will publish a book from this. Just a thought. Stay safe and travel well.
    Peter De Blanc recently posted..Our one wild and precious lifeMy Profile

  11. Bampa September 27, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    What beautiful sentiments, and how womderful to be so close to all your family for such an extended time. Looking forward to catching up at Christmas; maybe on the beach in Augusta.
    LOL Granny & Bampa xxx

  12. tereza crump September 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    your writing made me reminisce the time when I was free too. When I enjoyed the things you mentioned and felt happy. I am trying to get there again. Just today, as my DH and I and the children were walking in the park, enjoying the sun and feeling reckless (because everyone else was in school or work and we were at the park enjoying the sun), I said “I feel trapped by STUFF! Stuff is holding me back.”

    When I think of the things I need to get rid of so we can GO… my head spins and I get a headache. I have been telling myself “just do one thing at a time. Just get rid of one thing today.”

    Do you think I could get there again???
    tereza crump recently posted..Learning Log of August 2012My Profile

  13. Kylie September 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Awesome post!

  14. Carla September 28, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    Amazing post. We are dreaming of that freedom and as hard as it will be to cut ties with everything society recommends, I am looking forward to it as a cleansing of the soul.
    You guys are wonderful people and we hope to meet you on the road one day and share stories, laughter and cups of tea.
    Carla recently posted..{this moment}My Profile

  15. Trudi September 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Just need a big ‘like’ button, Gill! Yay you.

  16. E Wiebe November 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    You and your family are such an inspiration! Thank you for writing this, such a reminder of why we “sacrifice” to see the world! (Although really, I feel that living the “normal” life is a much bigger, not worth it, sacrifice!)
    I agree, what I truly need, I have already received when Yeshua died on the cross. I have my backpack, my husband and my bible, (not necessarily in that order!) Im set! Life is beautiful and short! Thank you for inspiring me, for encouraging me and helping reassure me that when the time comes to have babies, it will not restrict me to a 9-5 existence (Ive been insisting on that for years!!)
    E Wiebe recently posted..Just another day…My Profile

    • Jill November 25, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      Thanks so much!

  17. jade February 7, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    I have just recently discovered your site and I love it. Your family and your travel experiences are so inspiring. Thank you for sharing.
    jade recently posted..Walking: Moving To The Music.My Profile

  18. Deb @ Bright and Precious October 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    I love this post SO much, Jill. Don’t know how I missed it last year. I could go back to so many posts of your travels and read them over and over again. :) x


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