This was written in 2011 prior to a year-long backpacking adventure

So, what’s this trip really all about?

Are you escaping the real world?

There’s no such thing. We are choosing to leave the ‘work, school, debt, drive in circles’ life for a bit. That’s no more the ‘real world’ than what lots of other people choose or have thrust upon them. Really, people live very differently all over the place, they really do.

Are you feeling rejected?

Yes, a little. On behalf of our daughter. And in turn we are seeking to reject some things; systems that segregate, policies that stigmatise, people that have no interest in understanding.

Are you missionaries?

Well, not formally and not with any kind of agency. But we are no less and no more missionary minded than at home. In some ways its an artificial divide. Like all Christians, we want to live out our faith authentically in words and actions wherever we are.

Are you running away from responsibility?

No, we believe our chief task at this stage in our life is to raise and nurture our children well. Slow travel gives us both the opportunity to do this full time. Seriously, it will be 24/7. What a privilege! What a responsibility!

Are you skiving off and living on welfare?

Firstly, its not much fun living on welfare, Secondly, you’d have to live somewhere really cheap to manage it, like say, SE Asia. And thirdly, the Australian government will cut off payments to Australians who move overseas, say, to SE Asia. So that’s a no.  If we become elegible for support for Sparky’s therapy, we won’t say no, but with the anti-disability government and opposition in Australia, we aren’t holding our breath!

How are you going to afford to travel? Did you win Lotto?

No. Let us start by saying that Cerebral Palsy is considered the most expensive disability there is in Australia. We are used to money slipping through our fingers like sand. Travel, on the other hand, can be done very cheaply. Many, many people travel for less than the cost of rent alone. The answer is we have some savings and we intend to make them last. And we are learning to think carefully about what Sparky really needs.

How did you end up with so many children? And why three 8 year olds?

Tintin, Sparky and Meenabadeena are three surviving quadruplets. Our other darling baby girl quadruplet died in infancy, a heart wrenching, tragic devastating reality which has changed us irrevocably. We never, ever, EVER use the ‘triplet’ word.  Our kids are quadruplets and always will be. And then we had a couple more boys for good measure.

Are you going on a long holiday?

Well, Chris is taking a break from paid work, but no, this is not going to be an endless series of days by the pool, ice creams and theme parks. Actually, I don’t think we have ever been to a theme park. We’ll be working hard at traveling, parenting, home educating and blogging. Hopefully there will be opportunities for us to volunteer as well.

Are you experimenting?


Essentially we are testing a huge premise. The premise is that we can successfully regain a degree of control over own lives, live well and allow all our children to truly thrive.  We are stepping back into the driving seat of the parenting vehicle and turning off the default mode. Travel is the means to this end. There are other means, but family travel is the one we love.  The whole thing might fall in a heap. We risk failing spectacularly. Enthusiastic onlookers welcome. We reserve the right to make unannounced variations to the scientific method.

How can we keep in touch?  

Go to our home page. In the top right hand corner enter your email address and click ‘subscribe’. Every time we write something, you’ll get an email from us. (It won’t be more than twice a week)

Are you eating, drinking and being merry for tomorrow you may die?

Of course, tomorrow we may die. Thousands will. Lots of other bad things could happen at any time and probably will. So partly we seek to carpé diem! We’ll obviously try NOT to die.

But we are not just eating drinking and being merry. ( Although I’m pretty merry about not having to cook every night) We believe that world travel offers remarkable and unique opportunities for children to learn, families to bond and all of us to have our eyes opened and our ideas challenged.

However, there is an urgency about our desire to travel. Sparky may not always be so healthy and free of discomfort. She will certainly get heavier. And so now is a great time to be adventurous.

Are you looking after Sparky’s best Interests? Won’t you need services?

Let me tell you what Sparky needs:
(Apart from a couple of prescription meds sure to be cheap as chips over the counter anywhere in Asia)  She needs air, food, water, shelter, clothing, warmth, family, love, belonging, faith, purpose, and the opportunity to learn and contribute.

No, no services required.

See you later!

23 Responses to FAQs

  1. Erin Sheldon November 27, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    Gorgeous, beautiful, wonderful! I’m so excited Mary-Louise has shared a bit about your family and that I now have this blog to follow! You’ll be my first blog to subscribe to! I have enormous respect and support for what you are doing. We haven’t done the family travel thing (being immigrants in Canada has been enough for us; I have zero wanderlust) but we have done the “just say no to services” thing and its the best way to live. Good luck and God’s speed!

    • admin December 1, 2011 at 10:11 am #

      Hi Erin. Its great to ‘meet’ you. I have enjoyed your blog and a few forwards from M-L. ( I remember something you wrote about reverse inclusion, which mde me think)
      Thanks for subscribing!

  2. Bron January 24, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    Gill, I am thrilled to get access to your blog and read about your adventures. All your children are so grown up since I saw them last x What an amazing family and I wish you so well on your explorations xxx

  3. Jenny Mc January 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    It’s been a few years since we were together at ABR Clinic. I wish you wonderful times together on your travels.

  4. Deb @ Bright and Precious June 4, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Hi again Jill, Just letting you know that I mentioned your AMAZING self in a blog post I wrote last night. Hope you’re okay that I linked back to here? Love Deb x

  5. Akeelah July 9, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Wow – you guys seem like an amazingly tight family. What an inspiration you are! Best of luck to you. Continue to enjoy your travels & experiences! I look forward to checking back in with your blog.
    I found your blog through TravelWithBender blog on the Families on the Move Facebook page.

    Kindest – Akeelah

  6. joyce September 1, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    What I have read so far tells me that you are 2 people who care deeply about your children and will do anything for them. You have my utmost respect and admiration and I look forward to following your journey.


  7. Asha Mcglew October 2, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Hi coggiebee and ollibee every one @ school is missing u
    I hear u r cumming back now don’t go to 27doonan road cum to 30 Bedford st what is just across Stirling hw can’t wait to see u bye

    From ashiebeeeee
    Ps:I love the thing about sparky

    Have fun

    • Jill October 2, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      Hi Ashybee
      I can’t wait to see you again.
      Yes we are coming back and on Christmas.
      From Meena.

  8. Caroline December 10, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    It’s making me think.. We are a family of 6; 4 children aged 1-10 years and we have this mind blowing opportunity to take time out from the rat race and travel in January. We have no definite plans yet. I’m nervous and overwhelmingly excited all at the same time.
    I found your blog last night and have been consuming it’s contents. Thank you for your commitment to write. It is giving me the strength to be adventurous.
    We, too, can go anyway.
    Thank you so much

    • Jill December 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

      Hi Caroline, thanks for visiting! It is totally exciting isn’t it! Your kids will love it. And the one year old will open all sorts of doors for you!

  9. Elizabeth January 2, 2013 at 3:18 am #

    LOVE this!! We too fled the cycle, the treadmill. We found travel and our lifestyle to be the best way to nourish and nurture our growing family. Thank you guys for being such an inspiration!!

  10. Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com February 15, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    New follower here. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Toni Green March 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Just discovered your blog and love it… we are a family who love to travel too and CP is no reason not to travel, it just requires a bit more planning esp as your young person gets older….

  12. Duncan Edwards August 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    Your travels look inspirational! I have been to Asia and Australia twice and would love to return with my new family. I have a wheelchair using wife and a son with Dravet Syndrome and severe epilepsy.
    I am really looking forward to reading more of your blog for ideas.

  13. Matt October 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Inspiring stuff. You’ve shown great courage and will no doubt help others in doing the same.

    • Jill October 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      thanks Matt

  14. Deanne December 30, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    I would love to travel with my family one day, I have four young children. You have mentioned throughout your blog how people you have met along the way are living on $x a day. What is a realistic goal for a family of 6?

  15. Deanne January 2, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    I would love to travel with my husband and four young children. I have seen you speak throughout your blog about budgets of the people you have met along your travels. What would you suggest to be a good daily budget goal to aim for when you have a family of 6?

  16. Roko January 6, 2015 at 4:58 am #

    Hi! Just discovered your blog as looking for inspiration to break the 9-5 routine for a while with our 3 daughters. Think I found a great deal of it! Good luck wherever you wander

  17. Madeline Kruschke June 5, 2015 at 1:15 am #

    Hello, I just stumbled upon this blog, and boy, am I ever happy I did. I can’t want to read you stories and become more inspired to travel even more after university. That is, if I feel like finishing my degree. Who knows? Anyway, thank you for this site, you have a very beautiful loving family it looks like, and don’t ever forget how inspiring you are.

    Lots of love,

    Madeline (20, Canada)


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