My life is free, random and spontaneous. This in itself creates enormous energy and clarity in body and mind - Miriam Lancewood
Miriam Lancewood is a young Dutch woman living a primitive, nomadic life in the heart of the mountains with her New Zealand husband. She lives simply in a tent or hut and survives by hunting wild animals, foraging edible plants and using minimal supplies. For the last six years she has lived this way, through all seasons, often cold, hungry and isolated in the bush. She loves her life and feels free, connected to the land and happy.
This book tells her story, including the very practical aspects of such a life: her difficulties learning to hunt with a bow and arrow, struggles to create a warm environment in which to live, attempts to cross raging rivers safely and find ways through the rugged mountains and dense bush. This is interwoven with her adjustment to a very slow pace of life, her relationship with her much older husband, her interactions with the few other people they encounter, and her growing awareness of a strong spiritual connection to the natural world.
Miriam Lancewood was born in 1983 and grew up in a loving home in a small village in the Netherlands. Nature, theatre, art and music were the pillars of her childhood. At the age of thirteen, Miriam started pole-vaulting and, as a result of many hours spent training, she won a number of competitions. It was, therefore, an obvious choice for her to study Physical Education when she left high school. At 21, upon completing her Bachelor's degree, she set off for Zimbabwe to spend a year volunteering in a school. From Africa, she flew to India, where she met her partner and companion, Peter. Together they travelled for several years throughout Asia and Papua New Guinea, and eventually arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand, Peter's home country. Miriam and Peter then made the decision to live in the most primitive manner in the wilderness of the Southern Alps.