This One Wild and Precious Life is my latest book, which took me three years to research and write (while hiking it!). Below you will find all of the details, resources, links and fun bits that you might need as a reader, journalist or otherwise.
In two sentences: I head off on a soul’s journey through the complexities of climate change, coronavirus, racial inequalities and our disconnection from what matters…to find a way back to life. As in, big, wild, vibrant, connected life, the life we feel we ought to be living.
As I say, I hiked around the world for three years to share this latest adventure, following in the footsteps of Nietzsche, my favourite poets, Heidi (the children’s book character) and First Nations people, sharing wild, hopeful wisdoms and vibrant solutions to arrive at a true path through the despair.
This One Wild Precious Life was published August 30, 2020 (Pan Macmillan Australia), November 29, 2020 (Harper Collins US) August 31, 2023 (Eye Books UK) and now available globally.
Buy the Book
Australian mates, you can buy the book here.
New Zealand crew, get it here.
If you’re in the UK you can order the UK edition here.
For those of you in Spain, you can now get a copy (in Spanish!) here.
You’re an audiobook fan…I read the book myself and you can purchase it here.
What people are saying
“I’ve encountered no other book that articulates with so much passion or clarity the unique feeling of this moment in history.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love
“Sarah has taken her pain and grief about our sick and troubled world and alchemized it into action, advocacy, adventure, poetry, and true love.”
– Oliver Burkeman, Author
“Sarah Wilson is a traveller of worlds – outer and inner. In the midst of the collective malaise, she zeros in on her determination to live her life, not someone else’s, and on the work to which we all are summoned if this species is to survive. Her work is, as the world is, both wild and precious.”
– James Hollis, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst and author
“Sarah’s courageous book illuminates a path to preserve and cherish this Wild and Precious life.”
– Dr Martin Rice, The Climate Council
“Sarah Wilson takes readers on a multiyear “soul’s journey” with contemplative stops at her favorite hiking spots, like an Eat, Pray, Love for COVID-rattled people. This may be one of the first books that culminate in the events of 2020 and offers a solution for moving forward…her stories are fascinating and her message is universal and hopeful. Readers with wanderlust will be inspired by her journey and calls to action.”
– Jennifer Clifton, State Library JournalThere’s a Hiking Guide so you can do all the hikes in the book
For extra fun, there’s a Bookclub program
I created this bookclub program so everyone can discuss the meaty issues in Wild and Precious out there in the world. You can download the Bookclub Guide as a PDF here and get started with a group of friends straight away.
Some basic questions you might have
So why did you write this book? Because I was feeling an anxious despair that went beyond my own internal anxiety and pain, which is what I had explored first, we make the beast beautiful.
I knew we were all feeling it, particularly around the destruction of our planet and life as we love it, and no one was really talking about it at a spirit/soul/nature level. We were talking about carbon emissions and plastic-free July and getting frustrated and devastatingly sad. This was not how life was meant to go! We are better than this! We have become “small humans” when we really want to live a big life!
I knew intuitively there was a better way… a wilder, more connected, #giveashit, more meaningful way and I wanted to find it.
Is this book a follow-on from First, We Make The Beast Beautiful? Yes. With Beast, I went inward to chat about our personal anxiety and angst. But since it came out a few years back, I realised we are feeling anxious at a collective level. Like, all of us. It’s a global fear and despair that stems from our disconnection. I decided it was time to take the journey outwards, into the world so that we can connect to each other and the planet and life as a whole again.
What techniques do you share for reconnecting with life? I try to make all the full-on information accessible by discussing it while hiking in beautiful places in the world – I head to Crete, Jordan, the Cradle Mountain hike, Sierra Nevada, the central desert of Australia, Japan and a pirate route in the south of England. One of the chapters is about becoming a “soul nerd” (how to dive into cool art and philosophical realms), and another is about learning to deep read again, as a way to get awake and alive to life. There’s a long chapter on how to consume less.
Read more of my answers about the book here.
What my publisher wrote
We live in truly overwhelming times. The climate crisis, political polarisation, racial injustice and coronavirus have left many of us in a state of spiritual PTSD. We have retreated, morally and psychologically; we are experiencing a crisis of disconnection – from one another, from our true values, from joy, and from life as we feel we are meant to be living it.
Sarah Wilson argues that this sense of despair and disconnection is ironically what unites us – that deep down, we are all feeling that same itch for a new way of living. this one wild and precious life opens our eyes to how we got here and offers a radically hopeful path forward. Drawing on science, literature, philosophy, the wisdom of some of the world’s leading experts, and her personal journey, Wilson weaves a one-of-a-kind narrative that lights the way back to the life we love. En route, she leads us through a series of ‘wildly awake’ and joyful practices for reconnecting again that include:
- Go to your edge. Do what scares you and embrace discomfort daily. Use it to grow into your Big Life.
- #buylesslivemore. Break the cycle of mindless consumption and get light with your life.
- Become a soul nerd. Embrace poetry, deep reading, art, and classical music to light up your intellect.
- Get ‘full-fat spiritual’. How to have an active practice – beyond the ‘lite’ ‘rainbows and unicorns’ – and use it to change the world.
- Hike. Just hike. Walking in nature reconnects us with ourselves and with our true purpose.
- Practise wild activism. If you can get 3.5 per cent of a population to participate in sustained, non-violent protest, change happens. We create our better world.
The time has come to boldly, wildly, imagine better. We are being called upon, individually and as a society, to forge a new path and to find a new way of living. Will you join the journey?
Want to check out the science and source references?
Find the whole lot, with hyperlinks and page numbers here.
Some great climate resources
I’ve compiled a bunch of carbon counters, online programs, apps that you can download immediately so you can get engaged in saving this wild and precious life today, here.
Your Wild and Precious ‘Get Involved Now’ Kit
I’ve compiled this bunch of carbon counters, apps, zero-waste online challenges, books, shopping guides etc. that can assist you and your household in making switches straight away. I’ve started with Australian resources for now but will update along the way. You can find it here.