I gave up my life to marry a traveller – I can't work and have to do all the cleaning but it's worth it

A WOMAN has told how she gave up her job and life in her family home to live with her traveller husband in a caravan.

Non-traveller Sam Norton, who was a 17-year-old barmaid when she appeared onChannel 4's hit series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding in 2011, explained that she had known her gypsy boyfriend Pat Lee – a 20-year-old tree surgeon – since childhood.

"I don't see it as I'm not a gypsy and I'm marrying a gypsy," she said. "I just see it as he's my partner and I'm marrying him."

I've known him for a long time and he was like my best mate when we started hanging around with each other."

We got on really well and then I didn't see him for ages, and then I see him again and then we just started going out."

Sam was then asked whether she thought she'd still get married young if Pat wasn't a traveller.


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"I don't know," she admitted. "Most couples, instead of getting married they start living together and things like that first."

But we can't live together because they don't believe in living together before you get married."

I know he's the one I want to be with for the rest of my life so we may as well get married and then live together."

For Pat, marrying a non-traveller meant he defied traveller convention by falling in love with an outsider.

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Speaking of the reaction he received from friends for going out with a non-traveller, Pat said: "Everyone was like, 'what are you going with a non-travelling girl for?' I'm like 'it's my choice, it's my life, I can do what I want.'"

He added: "There will be some travellers thinking, 'I don't know how you can possibly done that, marry someone from a non-traveller community, but if anyone's got a problem with it, they can feel free to come and say something to me."

"It's not going to change my plans for the future."

To keep traveller culture alive, if an outsider marries into the community, they're often expected to discard their own lifestyle and to adopt gypsy ways.

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And Sam, who was seen caravan shopping on the show, revealed she was giving up life in her family's home to go and live with Pat in his caravan.

Asked about people who may think she's crazy for living in a trailer, Sam responded: "They're crazy because they've never tried it. I don't think it's a big deal really. It's like going to look for houses really."

During the show, the pair tied the knot, with the most memorable part of the big day undoubtedly being Sam's 20-stone pink dress which was adorned with butterflies and fairylights, which she illuminated for her first dance.

Speaking to The Mirror six months after tying the knot, Sam – who gave up her job as a barmaid – revealed the daily cleaning routine she follows while husband Pat is at work.

“When someone walks on your floor, you have to wipe it straight away," she explained. "…I’ve got to do the floor six or seven times a day. I don’t want a mark on it in case someone comes in and sees it."

“People like to keep their trailers clean and tidy.”

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Sam and Pat have since had a child together, with Sam even releasing a book called "Gypsy Bride: One girl's true story of falling in love with a gypsy boy."

However, there has been some speculation that the couple may no longer be together.

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