We’re The Norman Family
We stepped off of the treadmill and sold everything we had to start a new-life of travelling the world on our family adventure
Sue is in her element when out walking, whether trekking in the Himalayas or walking around the local area.
She’s really interested in complimentary medicine and has studied Chinese Medicine and its philosophy.
Photography is a passion of hers and full time travel allows her plenty of opportunity to fulfil that.
She’s the organiser of the family but definitely not the planner.
Annabel is having a wonderful time travelling and being home educated out in the world.
She has a passion for acting and wants to be nothing more than a world famous actress or model.
Give her some paper and she’ll be content for hours, drawing figurines or writing stories.
She is a little adventurer and has completed some amazing challenges.
She is the wise one beyond her years and keeps us grounded.
If there is any travel plans to be taken care of then Stuart will be the one to deal with them.
As well as living his own dream life he loves helping other people realise theirs through Coaching and mentoring.
Stuart loves adventure and likes nothing better than trekking amongst the mountains.
He has a passion for the movies and sniffs out cinemas all around the world.
He’s the logical one but when it comes to ideas can have his head in the clouds.
This Is Our Story
We sat on the pile of rocks and prayer flags with the worlds highest mountains looming large all around us.
It had taken 15 hard days trekking to get to this point high in the Nepal Himalaya and the spot that marked Everest Base Camp.
The tents of the camp sprawled out around us as the icy wind whipped at our faces.
We were joyous but exhausted as we took stock of where we were and what had led us to this point in our new-life of nomadic travel.
We were on an amazing an adventurous journey and like any journey it can be hard to find the original start point as we could say our whole lives had been leading to this point but for the moment we’ll pick a time 2 years previous, March 2015 to be exact.
If you’ve ever been to the small town of Colmar in France you’ll know how beautiful its streets and medieval buildings are and how you can fall in love with its charm as soon as you set foot onto its cobbled streets, just as we did in that March of 2015.
The three of us loved it so much we even looked in the property agents windows curiously at the prices of some of the houses and an idea, very small at first planted itself in our minds.
Could we perhaps dare to dream about selling our home in the UK and buy somewhere here in this beautiful French town?
Like we say, it was just a merest glimpse of an idea but on our return to the UK and our home on the Surrey/ Sussex border the idea seemed to find somewhere to feed in our heads and it grew and as it grew it changed and evolved into something none of us could have imagined.
At this point, as in any good story you need to know a little back story, you need to know that we were just an ordinary, average couple raising our daughter as best we knew how but feeling a little discontented with life.
Not hugely unhappy or anything you understand but just as seems to be the case in so many peoples lives now days, a longing for something more had crept in.
We were self employed and had our own business but it seemed to us that we weren’t getting anywhere in life.
We wanted to live a bit differently as really, looking back we always had wanted to.
In our early years as a couple we had loved to travel and everything we earned went toward trips that got more and more adventurous over the years from travelling through Vietnam to trekking in Patagonia to exploring the wilds of Kamchatka to travelling the untamed lands of Yemen.
We loved the adventure and the culture of discovering new places and peoples.
All this was great but then a new longing appeared and in due course Annabel our daughter joyfully completed our family unit.
We still travelled when we could although with a child it changed the way and the type of trips we would go on but that was fine.
Looking back, we had, I suppose always wanted to live a bit differently to other people.
We weren’t content with life the way we are told by society we are supposed to live but we just got on with it, we carried on working, we carried on sending Annabel to school, things were just normal.
But then sometimes in life things start to change and those small changes lead to bigger changes and one of those changes was making the decision to take Annabel out of mainstream education to home educate her instead and although we spent weeks and months deliberating whether it was the right thing to do, as soon as we took her out it couldn’t have felt more right.
Although it was difficult at times trying to run a business and educate Annabel we knew deep down this is what life was supposed to look like.
What we didn’t know was that the idea that took hold of us on that weekend away in Colmar in 2015 was about to change our lives in an extraordinary way that we couldn’t have imagined because you see that idea grew and evolved into a new and improved mark 2 idea which in actual fact was more a question that appeared in front of us.
Could we sell everything we owned and travel the world??
Now I’m sure you’ve had plenty of ideas and most of them like us you dismiss or say to yourself yes that would lovely but….
This one though, it had taken hold and no amount of buts were going to get its way.
So we did the only thing we could and took steps toward answering the question.
We cleared, we sorted, we started selling, we continued selling and we worked toward the idea without really at any time saying this is definitely what we’re doing, but just heading in that direction and still giving it the chance to change into a different idea at any time, but it didn’t and after months of selling it was time to put the house up for sale and wonder what would happen…….
What happened was that we got a buyer a few weeks after the house went on sale but as happens so often, it fell through and although we were disappointed we knew what what was meant to be was meant to be and almost immediately a lovely lady appeared out of nowhere who loved the house and wanted to buy it.
So the Sold board went up and we prayed that this time it would stay up.
Weeks past while it was in the hands of the solicitors and we had the best Christmas we could have with as little belongings we had left.
The process dragged on but then we had a date and we exchanged contracts and suddenly we were going to have a new-life.
We had decided to drift in the flow of life and have no plan to our travel adventure so when it actually became time to step out of the house it was like stepping into the unknown.
We drove away in our car with our last few boxes of possessions and remember stopping at the end of our road thinking what now, we’re homeless and nowhere to go.
It was an odd and slightly unnerving feeling but it also felt like the most natural thing in the world.
All we knew was we had a few nights booked in a local Travel Lodge to whittle the few possessions we had left into an amount we could fit into three backpacks.
So as we took in the awe inspiring view of Everest Base Camp, just over two years since that spark of an idea crept stealthily into our heads we wondered where the journey really started and indeed where it may be going.
We have no idea but one thing we do know is that it feels so natural to be on this adventure together as a family.