Escape to the Wild
A Family's Return to Simplicity

A family's radical decision to step away from life as they knew it.

Andrea Hejlskov was certain of one thing: life could not continue as it was. She and her husband had become disillusioned with their jobs and the pressures of urban living, their four children were spending too much time in their bedrooms with their computers, and conversations had become as elusive as their connection to a meaningful existence. For Hejlskov and her family, life had become too complicated; no matter how fast they ran they never really got anywhere, no matter how much they worked they never had enough money. Facing a constant feeling of failure and always falling behind, the Hejlskovs chose to bolt in the other direction. On a quest to find out what really counts, they made a bold move: they sold their house and parted with most of their belongings.

In the year that followed, the family built a cabin deep in the wilds of Sweden and conducted an experiment: could they live a fulfilling life while measuring their impact on a world desperately in need of change? What was meant to be a one-year experiment became a six-year journey that fundamentally changed everything in their lives.

ESCAPE TO THE WILD: A Family’s Return to Simplicity is the remarkable true story of a family that drops everything to start life anew. Both a poignant memoir and passionate critique of modern life, ESCAPE TO THE WILD is a reminder that we can choose to lead the life we live.


»With her thoughts and feelings, she creates a readable, modern sequel to Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, away from lust for land and the glorification of dreams of getting out.«
Karla Paul, Book Column

»A powerful story about how opting out of the world designed for you can help you come home… to yourself.«
Cait Flanders, author of 'The Year of Less'

»Andrea Hejlskov does not just write beautifully but also relentlessly and thrillingly about her old and new life – you can’t put this book down.«
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

»Andrea Hejlskov risks a lot. She tells her story openly and reveals her most intimate thoughts (…) It is the life of an authentic woman with real problems.«
Politiken, Denmark

»A story about new challenges and reconnecting to oneself.«

»With this book you learn how family functions, what being close to each other really means. Colorfully written, highly readable you find yourself thinking: Do I really need to shower every day? Do I need this fast car, this big TV, the latest phone? What I need is an axe for survival. And love and solidarity to my fellow humans.«
hr2 Kultur

»Despite living in a world of unlimited possibilities, growing up with the idea that we can be and do anything we imagine, it’s often far more comfortable and convenient to let those dreams fly on by. Hejlskov risks it all for what she believes in and gives us a rare and raw look at the fight it took to try and build a life in the wilderness.«
Nikki van Schyndel, author of 'Becoming Wild'

»She writes with brave humility, acknowledging her many doubts and revealing even the bad.«
El Asombrario & Co, Spain

»Not everyone can move to a forest, but everyoneshould read this book. 5 out of 5 stars!«

»This is real life, this really happens and it happens today. A story about the times we live in.«
Barara Stephensen, Danmarks Radio 2

»Fortunately, this is not a romanticizing drop-out book, not an agitating manifesto of the enlightened, but above all a multi-layered account of the emotional dynamics of a not-so-ordinary family.«

Original Language

German, mairisch

Further Editions

paperback - btb

Available Material

German pdf
English translation


on behalf of mairisch
World excl. Dutch, German, Portuguese, Spanish

Rights Sold

  • Caitlin Press
  • Czech Republic Portál
  • Netherlands Ambo|Anthos
  • Spain Volcano Libros

© Courtesy of the author

Andrea Hejlskov

is a Danish author and journalist living in the wild woods of Sweden, off grid. Since more than six years she lives with her husband and four children in the forest in Southern Sweden. Born in 1975 Andrea Hejlskov studied pyschology in Copenhagen, where she worked as a teacher. She was also managing director of a coaching agency and worked as a consultant. Andrea Hejlskov is the author of a children's book and holds engaging talks on the impacts of life-changing decisions.