Life was good in the States. We had a big house, two cars, and a community of friends in our Pennsylvania hometown. We had meaningful work and our weeks rushed by in a whirlwind of activity for both us and our children. We espoused the American view of “work hard, play hard.
But something was missing. The lifestyle we were living was too stressful, too busy, too unhealthy, and too expensive. We found ourselves accumulating—and worrying about—unnecessary stuff. We felt we were running on a work-and-spend treadmill that didn’t get us anywhere and left us exhausted. In the name of living the good life, we felt we were actually losing ours.
So last winter my husband Kevin and I decided we needed a break—a family escape —from what we knew to be “normal.” We realized we couldn’t stay where we were with our four kids and find the change we wanted.
We focused on Central and South America because of their proximity to the U.S., their warm tropical climates, and their low cost of living. We spent many hours online researching and talking to expats who lived in the countries we were considering: Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, and Ecuador. We paid flying visits to several places to see in person if we would like it there.
Ultimately, we decided on Belize, nestled between Mexico and Guatemala and facing the morning sunrise over the Caribbean Sea.
A sparsely-populated country of around 300,000 people, Belize is English-speaking. It’s also very affordable and would allow our family of six to live comfortably, even without selling off everything we owned in the States.Read on…