Taking the Plunge into a New Life in Belize

When I announced over the dinner table that I’d decided to sell my business and move to Belize my family wasn’t a bit surprised. After all, I had been threatening to do so for years. But, this time, I followed through.

Now I plan my days around dozens of tempting distractions and work only when the mood (or inspiration) strikes. I attend yoga classes three days a week—a healthy habit I never seemed to find time for back home. I’ve met many expat friends while practicing my poses in a breezy palapa (a sort of thatched gazebo) or sipping a fruit-filled smoothie after class.

For years I’d dreamed of exploring the world and indulging in my life-long passion for underwater photography. However, I was lucky to take one, maybe two, dive trips a year. So naturally, one of the main reasons I moved to Belize was for the exceptional scuba diving. Now my gear is always ready for a diving adventure and the reef is just a five-minute boat ride away. Since moving to Belize’s tropical island paradise, Ambergris Caye, I’ve photographed sharks, eel, turtles, squid and throngs of graceful spotted eagle rays.

At first, I was a little worried about moving to a foreign country as a single woman. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded. Not only do I feel safe, but I have met plenty of other adventurous (single and married) ladies. We get together for dinners, painting and cooking classes and wine-tasting events. My favourite is our weekly Sunday afternoon ritual of dancing barefoot in the sand to the tunes of a local rock band.

When I’m not diving or socialising, I’m out exploring my new island home. Getting around is done by golf cart, which is not only fun, but inexpensive. The downtown area of San Pedro is a bustling hub of restaurants and shops. I can grab lunch from a cart on the street for less than $7 or head to my favourite place on the beach and enjoy a huge vegie burrito. I wash it down with a Belikin (the tasty local beer) for about $15 in total.

Belize

Today, I’m working from my laptop in my ocean-front home on Ambergris Caye and enjoying a view of the sparkling Caribbean Sea. My rent is $1,500 for a fully furnished, two-bedroom villa. At first, I wasn’t sure if I had the expertise needed to work from my laptop. After some research and the help of a business coach, I was delighted to discover that I already had many skills I could translate to my new location-independent business. With new confidence, I launched an online lifestyle coaching business which I aptly named “A Passionate Dream Life.”

Last year’s dinner declaration has become a blurry memory, replaced by crimson sunsets and balmy breezes. I feel lighter and more alive than I ever have in my life. My biggest dream has always been to travel the world. Now I know that wherever I wander, I can work—as long as I have an internet connection. But today? I think I’ll go scuba diving.

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