So many people put off their happiness “until tomorrow” or “until retirement,” thinking they have all the time in the world to live the life of their dreams. But then… the years fly by and they come face-to-face with the cold hard reality: they’ve lived for everyone else, following along precisely with the expected, “normal” way of living, but never took the time to explore their own dreams. They never took a chance to think about their own priorities, goals, and passions – or what they truly want out of this too-short life.

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EXIT NORMAL tells the story of how my husband and I, along with our four kids, broke out of our “regular life” to take the time we needed to define our dreams. Inspired by a great life shake-up (three parents dying prematurely to cancer), we felt the need to take a break from everything we knew to be “normal” and give ourselves and our children the most wonderful gift of all: TIME. We traveled to the lovely and simple Belize, where we spent six months exploring a little of the world and ourselves. During our family escape, we reevaluated and totally transformed our lives – and now we want to inspire you to do the same!

EXIT NORMAL: How We Escaped With Our Family and Changed Our Life is an inspirational yet practical guidebook that encourages you to consider taking a temporary break from your life, your home, and your culture. Read it if you:

  • need time to reevaluate your dreams but lack the time to do so in your day-to-day life
  • need to be inspired to get out of your comfort zone
  • feel that life is too short to put off your dreams for another day
  • want to be reminded that YOU are the author of your own story
  • think that NORMAL life isn’t giving you the space you need to live fearlessly in the moment or the chance to navigate your own path toward happiness and joy.

If any of these describe you, maybe you need a break from your regular life, just as we did. This book will help you:

  • understand how a family escape can redefine your goals and priorities so much that your life will be forever changed
  • plan your break from “normal” with ideas on how long to go and location
  • gain clarity on how to rethink your finances to achieve your goal of travel
  • approach education in a creative and unique way so your kids get the most from the trip.

I’d be honored to have you share our story of taking a family escape for six months. Buy now on Amazon for just $4.99 by clicking on the photo above. At this point, the book is in Kindle format only, but you can download free Kindle apps for your Mac, PC, smartphone, iPad, or Android.   

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Writer, mother of four awesome kids, and free thinker, Domini Hedderman is the author of the book, Exit Normal: How We Escaped With Our Family and Changed Our Life, which tells the story of her family's six-month sabbatical in Belize. Since the trip, she and her family are homeschooling and traveling extensively. Her soul mission is to inspire others to live the life of their dreams. Check out her other website at

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14 thoughts on “The EXIT NORMAL book

  1. I am planning my retirement to Belize and look forward to your book. It always help to learn from someone else’s experiences .

    • Susan, have you done it yet? My husband and I have been corresponding with a number of Ex-Pats in Corozal; our “are we sure” trip is this February with a planned move time of May/June.

      Would love to share stories!


    • Hi Wayne,

      Thanks, will do. It should be ready this week and I’ll announce it on both this blog and I’m pumped for the launch! :)

      Take care,

  2. Hi Domini…
    I’m beginning to plan to travel around the world with my son next year, leaving September 2014, and I stumbled across your blog in the planning–its great to read your inspiring stories, which deeply resonate with me, as I feel more and more excited about the prospect of traveling with my son, who will be turning twelve when we head off on our journey.
    I very much look forward to reading your book when it is out!!!
    PS I’m also eager to do the blog & book routine…so any pointers in that direction would also be most welcome!

    • Hi Laura,

      Thanks for your note! The ‘blog and book routine’ is awesome and I feel I’m being led by a force stronger than myself in carrying out my mission. It’s really been an amazing journey, both on the writing and travel front.

      Awesome that you’re traveling with your son! Where will your travels take you? It IS so exciting, isn’t it? And completely life-altering…! :)

      Take care,

  3. Hello!
    Thank you for blogging & sharing your thoughts. I would so love to meet or chat live with you! All you write about resonates with me 100%. I too have The Power of Intention on my night side table! I think like you think.

    I am the mother of 4 ages 5, 7, 10, 13. The 7 year old is a girl, the other boys. My husband is a chiropractor & I am a stay-at-home Mom/Office Manager for his practice. This past year has been the longest stretch for me staying home more than going into work. I have always been “in” the office in all the other years. For the past 1.5 years we have been talking about & researching moving to Central America for at least 1 year. We live a crazy busy lives here – running a successful & busy practice, taking kids to multiple activities, doing homework, instrument practice, friend play dates, etc. Our children have grown up very privileged & blessed. They have everything they can imagine (which sometimes to them isn’t enough!). We want them and us to experience something completely different. I know we could in theory “change” or simplify our lives here, but I can’t see that happening.

    We are saying we will go for “1 year” as then it gives us “permission” to come back home or do something else. It sounds less scary somehow. Plus I was thinking of how this is going to work with the children’s education.

    We would go now but we have our business to worry about & our house to sell. I don’t know if it would be possible to rent it or if I would want to. We at saying we will go in 3-5 years but somedays I wonder about going sooner.

    I am so looking forward to reading your book and spending more time in your blogs. I love for you to share any advice for us. We have been looking into Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama and Mexico. How can I get a copy of your book?

    Thank you again for inspiring me.
    Melanie Engel

  4. I’m so excited to have found you. My husband was badly hurt in a work accident a few years ago, which has been our catalyst for reevaluating our lives. We have actually been looking at rentals in San Ignacio. I loved your article on the children’s school (that’s how I found you). Glad to see an example of our dreams already working. I’m heading over to Amazon to buy your book right now :~) Donniel

    • Hi Donniel,

      I’m glad you found me, too! I loved San Ignacio. If you end up moving there, let me know. I can introduce you to some of our friends living there. Very, very friendly community of both expats and local Belizeans. It was awesome sending our kids to the local school. Despite some discrimination against them (we were one of the only outsider families attending), I believe they learned a lot and look back on the experience with humor. Thanks for buying the book, and for reading along! :)

      Take care,

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