- Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family's Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island
- How I Built A $K/Year Online Flip Flop Shop - Starter Story
- Flip Flop Philosophy
- Want to start your own business?
Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family's Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island
Seems like a pattern a lot of people repeat here. I think I suffered through the insufferable author because I love Belize that much. Apr 26, Sandra Bornstein rated it really liked it. I couldn't wait to read her memoir. I wondered what would cause a family to uproot themselves from the comforts of Southern California and move to a Third World country. I also questioned what this family hoped to gain after they relocated to an unlikely location, Belize.
The opening chapter provided a taste of what they encountered in Belize. I immediately knew that life would be more difficult than they had ever an After visiting Sonia Marsh's website, Gutsy Living, I was intrigued. I immediately knew that life would be more difficult than they had ever anticipated. Unless the conditions changed, I immediately sensed that whatever they hoped to gain would be an upward climb.
I predicted that they would return sooner rather than later. The second chapter started to answer my first question. Sonia openly starts to discuss the dynamics of her family and her fears.
- Polly, Band 01: Das Leben ist keine Keksdose (German Edition)?
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Surprisingly, she doesn't shield any of her minor children from the possibility of embarrassment. Sonia talks freely about her eldest son's inappropriate behavior and the fact that materialism and entitlement issues were wrecking havoc with her household and that her husband needed a slower paced legal position.
After coming to grips with the dysfunctional nature of the Marsh family, Sonia shifts back to life in Belize in the next chapter. Additional hardships prevail. From this point forward, the reader follows the family's adventures as they learn to live outside their comfort zone. Sometimes the stories mirror the trials and tribulations of living as an expat in a foreign country and other times the tales are unique to the Marsh family.
The story occasionally reverts back to their life in the United States so the reader can have a better understanding of their decision making process. The pace of the book is inconsistent. Sometimes it flows freely and other times it drags. I was content to put the book down when I started to lose interest.
Having lived as an expat in a foreign country, I can relate to some of her cultural struggles and apprehensions. Most people would do thorough research regarding, neighborhoods, schools, medical providers and business opportunities before moving in the states or abroad. Before I relocated from the Midwest to a mountain state, I did my homework and checked out schools and health care.
For whatever reason, she preferred to punt. Perhaps, that was an intricate part of her desire to escape the comforts of American society.
How I Built A $K/Year Online Flip Flop Shop - Starter Story
Anyone reading the book will see why few are willing to leave behind an American lifestyle for an unknown Third World environment. Those willing to gamble have mixed results. Some end up disillusioned and return home while others learn to adapt and figure out how to fit in. In this particular case, the Marsh family was able to benefit from their time away and drew closer as a family, but at the same time could not adhere to their new community's ways. Their inability to conform ultimately sent them packing.
Much is to be gained from an expat experience. Living outside their comfort zone had a profound effect on Sonia's family. The lessons that she learned from her adventure will hopefully help others who face a similar situation.. To up-sticks and abandon the luxury of life in Orange County, California in favor of a beach front shack in Belize, taking three teenage boys with you takes a lot of bottle.
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To do this with relatively little consideration and planning, as Sonia Marsh and her husband Duke did, is either foolhardy or very courageous. With their hand slightly forced by the teenage troubles of their elder son, they took a bold leap into the dark, sold up and moved, lock stock and barrel to a Caribbean island communi To up-sticks and abandon the luxury of life in Orange County, California in favor of a beach front shack in Belize, taking three teenage boys with you takes a lot of bottle.
With their hand slightly forced by the teenage troubles of their elder son, they took a bold leap into the dark, sold up and moved, lock stock and barrel to a Caribbean island community. Amazingly it worked. The adventures described in Sonia's brilliant book Freeways to Flip-flops share the intimacy of their thinking and let us feel the pressures that pushed her and Duke to take radical action, forsaking the luxury and daily pressures for a more self sufficient life style.
And Sonia's descriptions of Belize and their new environment offer enough interest to excite and delight even the most reserved reader. Inevitably uprooting a family from the fast moving prosperity of Southern California is going to create some sort of backlash. So it was no surprise that that they all experienced a degree of culture shock. Finding one thing after another they had previously taken for granted was either unavailable or didn't quite work the same way, they also had voracious mosquitoes to cope with and locals who held very different attitudes.
Each member of the family struggled in their own way to come to terms with the differences and some bits never gelled, but eventually they all found a new equilibrium. One can almost smell the smells, taste the fresh fish and feel the warmth of the Caribbean as you read this book.
Flip Flop Philosophy
The frustrations are almost tangible and the family's successes made me want to cheer. At the same time, little vignettes about the local culture offer insights to a new and exciting environment along with reflections on the family's reasons for going in the first place and their slowly changing dynamics. Their return to Orange County after a year was in no sense a failure. Despite the fact that Belize is an English speaking country, unfamiliarity with the local culture and the economic environment meant Duke's efforts to develop profitable employment were mostly doomed to founder.
Nevertheless, the family achieved an evolution that was worth all the pain and which has been sustained since their return to California. Freeways to Flip-flops offers a sense of excitement at new horizons. At the same time it can be tense and strained then laugh out loud funny. But all the way through it is engaging and compelling reading. Honest, inspiring and easy to read and become absorbed in, this is superb memoir writing. It is a book anyone thinking of moving to another country should read and anyone whose family dynamics are upset can learn from.
Jul 28, Kathleen Pooler rated it it was amazing. In her first chapter, she pulls me right into her story with a harrowing scene of the first storm encountered since uprooting her family to an island in Belize, Central America. Once I knew she had uprooted her family, I wanted to know what ever possessed her to make such a drastic decision.
She immediately answers this question in the next chapter as she weaves in the circumstances that have led her and her husband to sell everything and move to a tropical island. Through honest reflection, excellent character development and well-paced scenes filled with just the right amount of sensory details, I see a family burdened with societal expectations, materialism and a teenaged son who is going down the wrong path. I feel the desperation of this family to make a change and by the time they are closing the door to their Orange County,California home,I am relieved and excited for them.
Her story moves along smoothly through vivid scenes depicting the lush tropical surroundings, the laid back local people, the relatively primitive housing arrangements and lack of amenities that the family has to adjust to. The writing is crisp, and engaging and continues to make me, the reader, feel involved and invested in the experience. Sonia weaves in her reflections masterfully and honestly which adds both depth and clarity and makes me empathize with her.
I found myself putting myself in her place and rooting for her. I feel her discomfort while sensing her resolve to make it all work for her family. She crafts a compelling turning point when a business decision on the part of her husband wreaks havoc for the locals and clouds their vision of the paradise they thought they had moved to, leading the family to make a decision about their next step.
Then she brings us full circle to a satisfying conclusion which signals growth and transformation for this family. Through it all, we see a typical family who set out on an adventure and return from it changed and renewed. This stunning memoir with a solid story structure, authentic characters and a universal and believable message left me feeling entertained and inspired.
Want to start your own business?
Jul 28, Doreen rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorite-nonfiction , favorite-memoirs , nonfiction. Throughout my read of this captivating memoir, a question continued to sit with me. Sonia and Duke did not do a trial run in Belize, a third-world country that is without most of the comforts of home. Their gutsy move involved the sale of house, car, furniture, appliances and most of the comforts that living in a more civilized country has to offer. For this family of 2 adults and 3 sons, everything had to fit in 10 suitcases. The snafus regarding airline accommodations for Cookie had me clenching my hands as Sonia jumped through tons of hoops in order to later get her dog on board and keep her safe.
Stories of adventure are my favorites.