Featured Interview With Domini Hedderman
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
My home base is near Lake Erie in Pennsylvania; however my husband and I travel as often as we can. Since we’re both self-employed, we take as many trips as we can with our four children, who we worldschool all over the world. So far, we’ve taken long, slow-travel-kinds-of-trips to Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, France, and Italy. In addition to travel, I am an avid reader and writer and I love yoga, meditation, walking, and time in nature.
So that’s the sanitized version of the bio. The more raw version is this:
I’m a pretty weird person in that I do what I want, even if it doesn’t follow along with the typical norms of society. There was a time when I followed along with everything culture told me to do: get the degree, work the job, enroll my kids in the right school and sign them up for the right sports and activities. I volunteered in church and sat on the school board. I was a good little girl.
But then I received a wake-up call in the form of my 65-year-old mother dying of lung cancer. After her death, which tore me to ragged pieces, I took a new look at my life and realized I was living very appropriately but not passionately. I was making many other people happy while ignoring my own needs and desires. As I struggled through the grief of my mom, I also found myself growing stronger and more resilient, like a phoenix rising up out of the ashes. And maybe even just as beautiful.
We only have one life to live and I want to live mine with authenticity and intention. My mom’s death gave me new life. I am now more likely to have a real smile on my face than ever before because I’m living life on my own terms.
I write about topics such as this on my blog, Exit Normal, which has really been a catalyst for launching me into the wonderful life I have now, which is full of love, laughter, writing, abundance, travel, friends, family, and positive experiences.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve identified with being a writer. As a young child, I wrote little stories that I sold to my family for a nickel apiece. In second grade, my teacher told me that if I didn’t someday become an author, she would haunt me from her grave. Okay, that’s good and creepy, but it did the trick.
I wrote for many years as a freelancer and technical writer. A few years ago, I published Exit Normal: How We Escaped With Our Family and Changed Our Life; plus I’m working on a second book about how (and why) to take a family travel sabbatical. I’m also dipping into fiction and am in the final stages of editing my first romance novel! Life has been very exciting for me as I fulfill my desire to write, learn, and grow every day.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I read a little of everything. I particularly enjoy reading spiritual nonfiction that empowers me and makes me feel good and full of potential. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, C.S. Lewis, Thich Nhat Hanh, Eckhart Tolle, and Thomas Moore are just a few of the authors on my shelf.
I also enjoy more contemporary nonfiction on topics such as productivity, writing, lifestyle redesign, self-publishing, happiness, positivity, education, travel, simplicity, and self-improvement.
I love all kinds of fiction, but particularly enjoy historical and romance. My favorite authors in these genres are Philippa Gregory and Nora Roberts.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Exit Normal: How We Escaped With Our Family and Changed Our Life tells the story of how my family and I took a family sabbatical to Belize for six months. We lived first in an off-the-grid, seafront home that was only accessible by sea. We lived there for six months and then moved into a small town for the other three months.
When we planned the trip, we expected it to be the first and last experience of its kind. We fully expected that we would ‘take a break’ from regular life and then go right back to our suburban, ‘normal’ life. When we got back home, though, we realized that we didn’t want to go back, at least not in the same way. So we pulled our kids from the school they’d been attending, making the decision to homeschool, then planned our second trip: a 2-month RV trip across the U.S., which was rich in educational opportunities for our newly-minted world schooling family.
Exit Normal is more about a new way of life that we’ve discovered for ourselves–a NEW normal for us that includes as much travel as we can pull off, tons of family time, a wide-eyed way of looking at the world, a counter-cultural way to educate our children, and living our lives on our terms.
This book describes our travel story and helps other families understand why they should consider breaking away from their normal life to travel with their kids. It offers advice for people who are considering a family sabbatical and shares inspiration for stepping out of the rut of normal culture to take a trip like this for themselves.
Connect with the Author on their Websites and Social media profiles