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.