Although my personal tropical getaway will not likely be the country of Belize, sometimes I wish it were.
I visited the former "British Honduras" in 1994 and 1995 and had a fabulous time. On my first visit, a buddy of mine, Scott, and I flew into Cancun, and then took a bus up to the border. From there we went to the interior of the country, a place called San Ignacio, where we had a fabulous time traipsing through the jungle and taking a small skiff down the river.
The following year, I met my mother and some of her friends for a trip to Caye Caulker and San Pedro. This was also quite relaxing: the signs read ‘No Shirts, No Shoes…No Problem”. I especially remember “the Split” in Caye Caulker, and I recall a local resident telling me about a research biologist who had developed “chronic fatigue syndrome” and decided to do all the writing up of her studies from the safety of her hammock in Caye Caulker.
The beauty of Belize as an Expat destination is easy to see. You get the best of many worlds…the island life for beachcombers and scuba divers and plenty of jungle hikers and campers. Furthermore, the native language is English (even though the local version may be challenging to understand at times) and the country is sparsely populated, meaning very little traffic and few crowds Finally, Belize is blessed with a stable political democracy, unlike the surrounding countries in Central America, and is friendly to ex-pats and foreign investment.
The only negative about this wonderful country, at least at the time I visited, is that the capital, Belize City, is regarded as crime ridden and dangerous compared to the rest of the country. For what it’s worth, I wandered the streets of the City for a day or two and never felt threatened, though I did get a couple of surly looks. But fortunately, the rest of the country is nothing like the capital, so you can avoid most of the problems of this country simply by staying away from Belize City completely.
Even though I probably won’t expat myself in Belize, the place I am planning to live in shares many similarities. Therefore, I am interested to find out how American expats are doing in Belize. My first discovery was the aforementioned Pat Stiley. Now a Google search has uncovered another American that has made a successful transition to Belize.
Alex and his wife decided that life was too short to be stuck in big city traffic. After visiting Belize for several years, they moved to Caye Caulker in 2005.
Way to go Alex and wife! Although they are not technically telecommuting, it’s probably the next best thing. Hopefully, one day I will be able to have a short interview with Alex and see if he has any tips for those of us who wish to follow in his footsteps.