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The cold wind bit at our faces and hands as, exhausted we took the last few steps toward the pile of rocks and prayer flags that marked our goal, Everest Base Camp.
It was April 2017 and after trekking unaided for 15 days the three of us working as a team had made it to the base of the highest mountain in the world.
We were surrounded by the snowy, majestic peaks of the Nepal Himalaya with its beauty and harsh environment, our bodies tired and suffering from the altitude but as we stood there what became obvious was how long the journey had really been to this wondrous place, not just the 15 days of trekking but back further to when this adventure had started for us as a family.
The Summer of 2015 had been a very different Summer for us since we had decided to sell all of our belongings.
Most weekends we were at Car Boot sales trying to earn as much as we could from our material things that we had acquired throughout the years.
We made a poster to stick up, to tell people of our plan, the plan that had hatched earlier on in 2015 while away on a long weekend in France.
If you’ve ever been to Colmar in France you know what a beautiful and stunning town it is with its picturesque medieval buildings and cobbled streets.
So taken with it were we that we even looked at prices of houses to buy there and thats kind of where the spark of the idea was lit.
Could we sell our house and live in Colmar?
Back in the UK we lived in the green belt on the Surrey/Sussex border and had our own business, our own house but we weren’t content.
It seemed to us that our money was always just being earnt to pay out on something else, usually bills and running costs.
We wanted more from life than paying the mortgage, car insurance, this that and everything else.
So the spark that ignited in Colmar was still burning brightly on our return home but over the coming weeks it grew and changed and it became an even bigger idea.
The idea of living mortgage free was tempting enough but could this be even more of an adventure than we first thought?
And there it was, boom, like a new star being born.
The question appeared from nowhere.
Could we sell everything we owned, including the house and just travel??
This was a biggy, but we knew in our hearts it was an idea we were passionate about so we followed the idea step by step.
At first it was hard letting go of our treasured possessions but as time went on it got so much easier to part with things because we started seeing it as just stuff, stuff that was going to earn us some money toward our adventure.
So the year went on and we got closer and closer to our idea until it was time to put our house on the market. That made it seem more real, having a for sale sign up outside the house and within a few weeks we had an offer made.
Unfortunately the first sale wasn’t to be and it fell through so we prayed for another buyer to come along as it was getting toward the end of the buying season but she appeared soon after and the sale was on.
After what seemed an age we completed the sale and looked forward to being homeless in mid February 2016.
Seeing the Sold sign outside was a constant reminder of what we were doing and it was scary but also very exciting and when the day arrived to leave the house we loaded the remainder of our belongings into our car and drove away but not without stopping at the end of the road and wondering where we should go.
We had no plan to our travel so we booked into a hotel for a few nights while we sorted out and donated the last of our possessions. Three plastic boxes would stay with a friend and what we couldn’t fit into three backpacks was given away.
Browsing the internet, we found some special offer flights to Singapore so we booked them and that decided our first destination.
So where was the beginning of our journey to Everest Base camp?
Was it when we decided to leave the UK, or even before that.
Have we always been on that journey and not realised it?
What we did know was that our life had changed dramatically in the year since leaving the UK.
We’d climbed volcanoes in Bali and Java, Road tripped and swam with whale sharks in Western Australia, lived at a Thai Chi school in Southern China, walked the great Wall, lived in Thailand for 5 months and now we were standing at Everest base camp after organising our own trek in Nepal.
We trekked for 30 days all in all and experienced the best of the high Himalaya, the people and the scenery are incredible.
We spent time in Pokhara, Nepal reflecting on our adventure and thinking about what might lie ahead.
The one thing above all else we love about our travel is the people we meet and connect with along the way.
Its truly beautiful to experience so many different cultures but wherever we are we’re always so taken with the goodness of people.
When we hear so many horrible things going on in the world in the media its easy to think its all bad but our experience tells a different story, its a story of friendship and hospitality, kindness of strangers, smiles and laughter.
After leaving Nepal and a quick visit back to the UK we headed to Mexico where we are now.
We’ll be house and pet sitting for the next few months while we continue to have adventures but also reflect on what we have done in the 18 months since leaving everything we knew back in the UK and wondering what adventures the future holds for us as we continue to RUN WILD.
Normans Running Wild are Stuart, Sue and Annabel (11years old) Norman
Stuart is a Transformative Coach, inspiring people to lead the own dream lives. Sue home educates Annabel and loves the outdoors. Annabel loves to read, make videos and act.
They are not only an adventure family but also a team working and learning together.