A year ago, we rolled into the French town of Les Gets with our 7 year old daughter, 4 year old son, a van crammed full of stuff and nowhere to live! Our ‘Up-Stix’ adventure was well and truly underway!

We had just driven all the way from the North of England after selling our home and stuffing the rest of our worldly belongings into a storage unit before packing the van and heading for the French Alps.

After years of dreaming and months of action, we’d finally made it here to start our new family adventure. Our plan was to find a place to live, get the kids in school, settle into the community and spend two winters and two summer seasons boarding, skiing, biking, hiking, exploring, eating, drinking, learning the lingo, making new friends, travelling, having a ton of new experiences and as much fun in the mountains as possible!

We’re several months on now and this experience is totally exceeding our expectations. We’ve had a few ups and downs along the way but so far, we are having a blast!

Click on the image slider below to view lightbox slideshow.


Nina and I met many moons ago, on our first day at university to be precise. We ended up sat together, at the back of the room, after both turning up late for our first ever lecture…Oops. Nina lent me a pen and we hit it off straight away! We were great mates for a couple of years before finally getting together and when we did, we spent the next few years doing loads of fun stuff together, including realising another dream and spending a winter season snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies. When we got home, the plan was to earn some money and head off again as soon as possible for more of the same…

That never happened.

That was 12 years ago and since then we got married, built a house and had kids. Our semi-nomadic existence solidified into normal life: nappies, sleep deprivation, work, school runs, PTA etc. etc. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a brilliant time, made some great friends and we’ve been lucky enough to do loads of other things on our lives’ ‘to-do lists’ but the wanderlust has been simmering beneath the surface the whole time. It’s risen its head a couple of times only to be thwarted by “not being the right time”. We couldn’t sell the house, Nina was pregnant, we had a young baby, we wanted the kids to settle in school or we simply had too much in the diary to even consider making it happen.

That was, until our holiday last summer in Spain… With time and space to relax and think, we realised that the diary was clear for a few weeks and that NOW was the time! The urge to make a change had grown so strong that we arrived home, rang the estate agent, booked an appointment, got the kids back to school and spent the next few days painting and fixing up the house. One week later it was on the market. The next day we had 3 viewings and a few days later an offer over the asking price! DEAL! Time to start planning.

Up-Stix - Les Gets
Les Gets – Snow and blue skies

In fact, the planning started a long time ago. We’ve spent years mulling over where we’d go and setting things up so that when the time came, we could earn while we’re on the move. There was always a chance there’d be a few twitchy patches but sometimes you’ve just got to take a leap of faith and go with the flow.

We hope you enjoy reading about our adventure and if you’d like to stay up-to-date, please subscribe to our email list, follow us on social media and stay in touch. Likes and shares are greatly appreciated.

Cheers, (or should we say Santé!?)

James, Nina, Iz and T.


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