This Gypsy Life

“This gypsy life must of necessity be a simple one”, A Thousand Sunsets, 1944, page 19

If you have been following our journey, you will know we just spent almost 3 years on the road in a 4×4 overlander motorhome. We traveled through 30 countries from North Africa across to the edge of Asia. Some people would call that ‘weird’. I thought of it rather as ‘economical’, ‘strategic’, ‘sustainable’, ‘itinerant’, and ‘thoroughly satisfying’. And its a journey that is continuing.

So you can imagine my joy yesterday when I picked up a book written in the 1940’s by a Methodist home missionary who also traveled 3 years across the dodgy mountain roads of  New Zealand . . . in a FLIPPIN’ CARAVAN!!!

Rita snowdon caravan methodist

Her name was Rita Snowden (1907-1999). She wrote a number of books on theology, devotions, literature, etc. But the account of her life on the road called “A Thousand Sunrises” is my favorite. She had the same habit I do of weaving theology and missions history to bear on her stories and events. Sometimes too much.

Quite a woman! She was awarded the O.B.E. in 1975. Once she found an old motorbike without an instruction manual. So she pulled it apart, put it back together again, and then rode it 20,000 miles.

She was a great writer. Her book is blog-like and, like the writings of Dorothy Day, a good model for bloggers.

“But you must know that this is not a guide-book, a travel-book, nor an autobiography. It is rather a book of the heart. I wrote it first for one only. But all beautiful things must be shared, she says. Accordingly, I offer you now something of my heart, my right hand, a share in my caravan, and nearly three years of roads” Rita Snowdon, Introdution, A Thousand Sunsets, 1944.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


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