Because I blog on Belize and wear a lot of summer clothing with Belize this or that emblazoned on them, I frequently get asked if we own property in Belize and when I reply in the negative the follow up question usually is, “Why not?”
In this blog, I intend to address these questions. But first, an anecdote that influenced my decision not to retire in Belize.
Years ago, we met an American couple from Alaska who had been vacationing on the Caribbean coast of Belize for 12 or so years. After their first few visits, they purchased a tract of land on a river that emptied into the Caribbean. Then, year after year for a month or six weeks, they built their dream bungalow with the help of local labour when required and local tradesmen. When the work was completed, they returned to Alaska, gave their employers notice, said goodbye to family and friends and returned to Belize and their retirement home. 4 years later they were back in Alaska.
First and foremost, I would say, they didn’t do their homework. They didn’t realize that there are seasons in Belize. (We have found that the weather that suits us best runs from Feb. to April. Not surprisingly that’s also prime tourist time. Nov. and Dec. can be hot. January can be cool. May to November, hot and humid with heavy rainfalls. The hurricane season is between August and October). Consequently, they were not psychologically prepared for weather that at times even Belizeans cannot endure.
Also, he was an avid fisherman, she not so much. In the good weather, he’d fish from dusk to dawn with a fishing buddy. She’d stay at home. She liked to read but began longing for company. When we popped in to say hello she was super-excited though we were by no means good friends. She said she missed her family and friends back home and kept in touch with them through social media but it wasn’t the same. During the very hot, wet days, her husband had to stay at home and groused about till he could go out fishing again.
She said she felt secluded because they had settled outside the nearest village but truth to tell the villagers were not of much interest to her. She complained of the long nights (Belize is roughly 12 hrs. day, 12 hours night all year around. T.V. reception was problematic . They played cards and sometime drank a cocktail or two more than they should have and so on and so forth.
So, it didn’t work out and they went back home. And that one word, ‘home’, is at the heart of why I would never contemplate retiring anywhere other than where I worked all my life. I’ll write about that in my next blog in November.
Happy travels, Brian
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