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The Family Freedom Project

The Family Freedom ProjectBy Jim Parisi

Liisa Vexler is a conundrum: she is an engaging mother of two boys, Dexter & Charlie, happily married to their father, Derek. They are a family unit who enjoy doing things together: a classic family unit. I know these people. Liisa is a no-nonsense, down to earth realist. And she has a quick wit, along with a sense of adventure. She takes chances, but calculated ones.

She is also an author, her new book very aptly titled “The Family Freedom Project” and even in that title, the dichotomy comes out. Liisa takes chances.
Jaime Peligro Books and Music

The book is an instructional guide for parents looking for a change for their family life, a step toward more happiness, and yes, more freedom. Liisa chose the word “project” appropriately because she tackles everything in the book as such, prompting the reader to follow suit, follow her example and make a change toward a more fulfilling life. Do not go looking for a smarmy story about moving to Costa Rica and all the quaint vignettes that occur along the way. There are some of those in this book, but it is more about making appropriate, realistic lists and then setting  out to accomplish them.

Liisa and her family are living proof that her methodology work.

Having lived in Costa Rica almost thirteen years, I was pleasantly surprised to find information that was new for me in Liisa’s book, stuff I have actually been curious about and even some things of which I was not aware. I thoroughly enjoyed her chapter about earning an income abroad, for example. The detail and insights are invaluable. I also appreciated her chapters about a means to decide on education for your children and choosing the right healthcare for your situation. She’s obviously done her homework and offers a plethora of options.

Liisa is directional. She knows how to accomplish her goal and she shares that enthusiasm in this book. She gives the reader lists to accomplish, explains how she did so, presents a blank copy and practically puts the pen in your hand to complete your own list.

This practical project concludes with experiences from other ex-pat families: what they did correctly and what, in hindsight, they wish they had done differently. Experience, of that of others, is a very good teacher. Liisa and her family’s own experiences are also weaved into the entire book, beginning with the honeymoon she and Derek had here and their practical, incremental move from Ottawa to Playa Tamarindo. I feel Liisa’s personal recounting is beneficial to anyone considering any kind of a move or transition in their life.

If I was to add anything to the book, it would be to suggest that once you have relocated, get involved in your new community. Liisa and Derek have certainly done this; their participation in their sons’ school has been commendable at the very least.

Planning to move? Check The Family Freedom Project out. It’s now available on Amazon.com as well as at both Jaime Peligro book stores, in Playa Tamarindo and Quepos.

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