Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family's Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island

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Overview

"A suburban family discovers that trading materialism for a simple life on a tropical island helps them reconnect in unexpected ways."
What do you do when life in sunny Southern California starts to seem plastic, materialistic and just plain hellish?
For Sonia and Duke Marsh, the answer was to sell their worldly goods and move to an unspoiled, simpler life with their three sons in Belize, Central America, a third-world country without all the ...
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Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family's Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island

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More About This Book

Overview

"A suburban family discovers that trading materialism for a simple life on a tropical island helps them reconnect in unexpected ways."
What do you do when life in sunny Southern California starts to seem plastic, materialistic and just plain hellish?
For Sonia and Duke Marsh, the answer was to sell their worldly goods and move to an unspoiled, simpler life with their three sons in Belize, Central America, a third-world country without all the comforts and distractions of life in the developed world.
Sonia hopes the move will bring her shattered family back together. She feels her sons slipping away from her, and her overworked husband never has time for her or the boys.
Instead, things begin to go wrong immediately. The home they initially rented isn't available, so the family is forced to take up residence in a primitive, bug-infested shack. Duke's telecommuting plans prove impractical because of unreliable Internet access, and he loses his job. Middle son Alec - always a conscientious, polite, tractable child - misses his friends and has trouble adjusting. As the days turn into months, Sonia finds herself questioning the family's decision to move on a nearly daily basis.

This is the story of one family's search for paradise. In this memoir, Sonia chronicles a year of defeats, fears and setbacks - and also the ultimate triumph of seeing once-frayed family ties grow back stronger from shared challenges and misfortunes. For Sonia, paradise turned out not to be a place, but an appreciation of life's simple pleasures - a close-knit family and three well-adjusted sons with a global outlook on life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780985403911
  • Publisher: Gutsy Publications
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 1,414,524
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Escaping from the stress and materialism of California to a bug-

    Escaping from the stress and materialism of California to a bug-infested
    hut in a third-world country is really getting away from it all. I
    enjoyed following the adventures and drama of this family of five and a
    dog as they learn to adapt to the slowness and surprising complexities
    of life in Belize with impoverished natives and super-rich expats and
    panoramic ocean views. Mom Sonia tells the story with total honesty,
    wondering and worrying if this was the right move to get her family back
    together again. Will the sons adapt? What about school? Will the
    marriage survive? Who's going to catch that scorpion on the bed? Each
    short, well-written chapter has its own excitement and drama with drops
    of humor and bad wine that kept me intrigued to the end. I liked
    learning about Belize and what it's really like on an island paradise -
    very eye-opening. I save the 5-stars for my favorite literary authors,
    but this is way up there on my enjoyable reading list.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 13, 2012

    I had been looking forward to reading this book by Sonia Marsh f

    I had been looking forward to reading this book by Sonia Marsh for a few years now. And I must say I found this book "Freeways to Flip-Flops" an exciting book to read from the first page right to the end. It is filled with her year of adventures in Belize with her family. She chronicles all her experiences of living in a third-world country including the many ups and downs they experienced, especially living in a different culture, and way of life in Belize.

    I found it interesting how when Sonia and Duke begin to plan their adventure of moving to Belize, they were hoping to find the 'Paradise' they were both longing for. However, as they slowly found out, to much of a good thing doesn't always make a 'Paradise.' It was refreshing as time went on they became closer as a family, and I especially liked the fact that as more time went by they came to realize that 'Paradise' isn't a place, but a state of mind, and 'Paradise' can be found anywhere you live, if you set your mind to make it so.

    I really enjoyed reading this book. And my thanks to the author Sonia Marsh for providing me a copy of this book to read and review for an honest opinion. Thanks Sonia.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2012

    It Sticks With You

    Sonia Marsh’s memoir, Freeways to Flipflops, gripped my attention from the first sentence and held me spell-bound through the last word. Lots of people dream of escaping to live on a tropical island. Few actually do. Author Sonia Marsh and her family did just that for a variety of reasons. The adults were suffering career and California Lifestyle burnout. One of their sons was heading down a very bad path. In desperation, they heeded the call of Belize, selling everything and moving to an island along its coast.

    The sailing was anything but smooth. Their first bug infested shack was a nightmare, but they managed to find a more satisfactory one to buy. Or so it seemed. Until they ran afoul of local culture and got snarled up in island politics. Over the course of the year, Marsh gradually unwound; then the tension began building again. The subtitle of the book gives the ending away. They only lived in Belize for a year, but it was a transformative year, and the family who returned to the fringes of their high-rolling former neighborhood was not the family who had left it.

    Marsh has done a superb job of crafting this story. While she writes of feeling mellow and discovering, for example, that she can, after all, meditate, she keeps the story pace moving so there is no chance readers will fall into a trance along with her. Her details are chosen with surgical precision, each serving a purpose, and her descriptions are often sublime. She doesn’t pull any punches. If she was as outspoken about Belize’s inbred politics and tourist-fleecing practices while there as she is in the book, it’s no surprise the natives closed ranks. Neither does she spare her family. A visit from her husband’s mother and aunt … I wonder if Marsh is still welcome for Thanksgiving!

    The magic in the book is the way she ties the tense moments together with off-beat humor. Who would expect to smile at a description of spreading gumbo-limbo bark gunk on a boy’s back to cure a flaming case of poisonwood tree rash (worse than poison ivy)? Thanks to her deft description, I did just that, again and again.

    This book has totally altered my outlook, at least my outlook on life in the tropics. From now on, every time I think about tropical islands, I’ll think of Freeways to Flipflops and wonder how closely life there resembles life in Belize. It’s that kind of book. It sticks with you.



    This review was originally published at StoryCircleBookReviews

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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