That alone would be worthy of a story or two. But, the reason for the abrupt change of lifestyle makes Sonia's tale truly compelling: to save her marriage and her family.
Duke was a stressed out, over-worked, over-committed lawyer who had little time for his family. The three boys were becoming products of an Orange County culture that stressed acting privileged, experimenting with drugs and teenage sex, and weakened family ties.
After serious warning signals that all was not well in the Marsh household, Sonia and Duke took the radical step of selling all their possessions and moving to a hut in the jungle over 2,000 miles away.
Freeways to Flip-Flops is the story of one year in their lives. It is the story of their struggles to adapt to a completely foreign culture and environment. There were moments of pure terror during storms. The frustration of having extremely limited food choices took its toll. Living conditions were primitive. At times fleas were washed off that evening's pasta so dinner could be served.
Attempts to earn extra money for the family were thwarted by the locals. Duke lost his telecommuting lawyer job due to poor Internet service and the constant hassles of just getting through the day. A move from their first house (a shack, really) to better conditions came with unexpected hurdles and costs.
Through it all, the family not only survived, but began to grow closer. Their self-centered, indulgent lifestyle was slowly replaced with one of concern for each other. Rebellion against the limits placed on life in a third world country evolved into acceptance and then preference for a simpler lifestyle.
A year later the Marsh family returned to California, changed and matured in a very fundamental way. The search for paradise became not so much a place but a state of mind and an appreciation of the beauty of simple things.
Sonia is a blogging friend who has worked hard on this book and establishing herself as a gutsy lady. She was born in Denmark, lived in West Africa and Paris, and attended college in England. She has lived a fascinating life, but nothing could have prepared her for a year in Belize. I highly recommend this book. It is available at Amazon.com.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.