My wife, Suzan Haskins, and I have been a lot of places in the 12 years we’ve been abroad, but when I daydream about the beautiful spots we’ve explored, I find that I’m often daydreaming about Belize.
When I’m looking for a stunning beach to go to in my mind, as often as not I’ll end up strolling north of the split on Ambergris Caye, watching the waves break out on the reef.
When I’m feeling like a boat ride, I often imagine running full throttle across the wide, placid bay in front of Corozal town.
If I’m reminiscing about ancient ruins and cultures, I find I’m harking back to San Ignacio and the Mayans who still run the rivers and farm the fertile hills there among the ancient, half-buried cities of their ancestors.
And when I’m fantasizing about owning a little beach bar somewhere and just letting the rest of the world take care of itself, I’m usually pushing ice-cold Belikins to customers across a rough plank bar in Placencia.
So much variety for such a little country. And English is the national language to boot… although even the way the Belizeans speak English is exotic. It leaves you with no doubt that you’re in what amounts to a Caribbean island paradise… albeit one firmly attached to the mainland of Central America.
Belize is the place that made the phrase “No shirt, no shoes, no problem” famous, and as the many expats who’ve made Belize home can testify, it’s truly a way of life there. I can’t think of a more proudly relaxed, laid-back, and unhurried place to simply enjoy life.
Suzan and I try to get there as often as possible. There are happy memories for us in virtually every corner of Belize, and every time we go we make more. Can you ever really have too many fresh fish dinners, cold pina coladas, amazing reef dives, concerts at pier bars over the clear Caribbean water, or breezy afternoons swinging in a hammock under a palm tree?
I don’t think so, and neither do most of the folks we’ve met over the years who discovered Belize for themselves and made it part of their lives. We’ve visited with and interviewed so many of them that getting back to Belize is like visiting an old friend.
Has it changed over the years that we’ve been going there? Certainly… San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye is spreading out and getting more upscale. Placencia has condo and housing developments now. Even the mountains and rivers of the Cayo district are being discovered.
But the feeling of relaxation and peace never really changes. There are just too many little fish shacks and beach bars and jungle lodges to find and enjoy. Even one trip there can build a stockpile of great memories. Just imagine living in Belize.
I do it regularly. In fact, I’m doing it right now. Again.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about Belize and other countries in IL’s daily postcard e-letter.Sign up here for these free daily postcards and we’ll send you a FREE report – Belize: The Top English Speaking Retirement Haven in the Caribbean
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