Normandie's parents moved him from Vladivostok, Russia, to Bozeman, Montana (USA) a year after birth. His parents wanted to pursue economic opportunities in another country but did not want to place the family in an area that is too urbanized. His father imprinted a deep love of the outdoors on him at an early age by taking him hiking and camping often, which has remained within him and had great influence over his life and his perspective on the world. Normandie excelled in academics as a young man and attended university in Montana for applied mathematics. His true passion, however, was philosophy. After working as a professor for a few years, he quit his job, took his saved money, and bought a plot of land in the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains where he became entirely self-sufficient and off-grid, growing all of his own food and securing his physical necessities with what he had around him. It was here that he further matured his philosophy, and became sure that he must find a way to return to the wilderness and live as a part of the functions and processes of nature. After long consideration, he spent a few years practicing his bushcrafting skills and decided to return to the east where he was born, living as a nomad in the forests.