Freedom From ‘The Norm’

This is Norm:

cartoon doodle of a grey, hunched figure with a grumpy face

Norm is grey, frustrated and hunched from years of being worn down by stress and tedium. He loves it when people get stuck in a rut, because that is how he has lived his whole life and he doesn’t feel like anybody else should shine when he hasn’t been able to.


Norm has been ruling your life for far too long now. It’s time to step up and be uniquely, gloriously you. 


It takes guts and gumption to do things differently. It can be hard to step back from the conventional and say:




And Norm has a way of making you feel bad when you want to step out and be your own fine self.


The trick to defeating him is to do it anyway. 


Initially he’ll put up a fight and tell you are being reckless. Push against the tried and tested way of doing things and Norm will try every trick in the book to make you back down and disappear again.


Norm may cause well meaning people to say things like:


“What do you mean you want to live in a van? You can’t do that! That’s essentially homelessness!” 



“How will your children amount to anything if you take them out of school? You’ll RUIN their future!”


But the funniest thing happens. Keep doing things your way and after a while Norm won’t be able to touch you. And when all his influence falls away you become, wait for it… an inspiration!


People you have known for ages will start saying things like:


“Ooh, I wish I was brave enough to do that!” 



“I think it’s amazing the upbringing you are providing for your little ones – they are really experiencing life! Kids getting to be kids, I think it’s wonderful!”


And all this comes from the decision to just TRY.


I love to see people inspired and living their lives on their own terms, even those who are still unsure of which way to go – it’s the first little nudge that builds the momentum to keep going! 


Remember, the day you plant the seed isn’t the day you eat the fruit… if you have a vision, pursue it.



Whether it’s vanlife, a narrowboat, a tiny home, an earthship – the home itself is less important than the freedom these dwellings offer us.


Alternative home solutions offer us a place to express our individuality, a smaller ecological footprint, a more affordable way of life, a slower, simpler pace.


Unhurried, beautiful, your home as unique as you are, a reflection of what you stand for. 


The trouble is, you see these beautiful, unusual homes, which are often touted as being an affordable way to live, but when you look into it, it turns out the costs are higher than they are made to seem and the rules around living alternatively are confusing.


I believe that ‘home’ is more than 4 walls and a roof and I aim to simplify the uncertainty surrounding alternative accommodation. 


I am working on resources which address this currently, but in the meantime, feel free to take a peek at these alternative living posts for a little inspiration:

Know your options. An exploration of alternative housing solutions and the reasons why so many people are looking to live differently.

An interview with 3 vanlife families about the realities of raising children on the road and how it affects the family dynamic.

Learn how living small has changed us and why we won’t ever go back!

The main word of advice I can offer is really just to TRY it. I remember drawing up a huge list of pros and cons back in the day when we first decided to move out of our cottage. Our two options at the time were buying a motorhome or a static caravan and the lists I drew up for both held a terrifying amount of possible downsides. 


But in reality, it was as easy as anything and not nearly as scary as I’d feared. 


You become used to living in a way that has been laid out for you, and you are worried you’ll get it horribly wrong if you try to follow your own path; But there really isn’t anything to lose if your alternative is to remain stuck in a life which doesn’t fit.


Initially, I worried what people would think – because people don’t just “follow their dreams” in real life.


They have responsibilities.


But at the end of the day, your only responsibility is to know you did the right thing for you and your family.


(And y’know what? NOBODY cared half as much as I thought they would. )