When we left home, it was raining, and we didn’t really have a plan except to head south. This seems to be the best way to travel — it allows us to make impromptu visits and unplanned stops that enhance our adventures!

Camping at home, December 2010
This is our rig, and we camped in it for our last night at home.

As we drove south down the Pacific Motorway, David and I had an idea to drop in and visit our friends who live just over the border in Tweed Heads. We last visited the Pritchards at the beginning of October.

We met Sarah and Jason at the unschooling retreat earlier this year. As well as being unschoolers, we share a common bond of faith. Like us, the Pritchards are confident that Jesus Christ is the saviour of all men and the condemner of none.

This unity of faith has blessed us with a depth of fellowship that we believe will be enduring. Because we share foundational values, our time spent with the Pritchards is always so encouraging and edifying.

With it being Christmas Eve, we were sensitive that others are sometimes using the time for exclusive family visits. However, when we called up Jason, he was very welcoming. We later remembered that — and like us — the Pritchards don’t celebrate Christmas.

Our quick visit stretched into a longer one, and we ended up staying for dinner, leaving our truck parked out the front of their house for the night. It was lovely to be with like-minded friends on Christmas Day, with both of our families completely oblivious to the biggest holiday in the Western world.

David cooking in the Pritchards' house, December 2010
David cooked his yummy burritos for dinner.

Sharing a meal with friends, December 2010
We loved catching up with Pritchards again.

David and Jason, December 2010
Whenever they get together, David and Jason spend hours talking.

Playing with Grace, December 2010
Our three daughters get along with the Pritchards' two girls. Three-year-old Grace plays nicely with Calista.

Parked outside the Pritchards' in Tweed Heads South, December 2010
We spent the night on the road outside the Pritchards' house. It rained most of the night and a lot of the next day too.

When we explained that we were heading south to camp at the burned-out house in Grafton, Jason and Sarah were eager to join our adventures.

After spending the morning packing hastily, we just needed to wait for their foster daughter Jess to return from visiting her family for Christmas. Then we both of our families set out in convoy to the Clarence River valley.

Wild chooks near the motorway, December 2010
Driving south, we stopped at a rest-stop to use the toilet and found a flock of wild chickens had made this place their home — right next to the highway!