5 Ways Belize is Beautiful


Belize is a beautiful country well worth exploring. It's simple, natural, and full of many kinds of friendly people who all seem to get along, despite their differences. And, beyond all of the theoretical reasons Belize is a great country, it's just simply fun with new adventures around every corner.

Sunrise, Belize

Sunrise, Belize



We wanted to give our kids a break from the consumer-based culture in the States. We wanted to teach them that stuff is not as important as experience and that material objects only weigh on your soul. We could think of no other way to do this, as Americans, than to move to a country like Belize for a short time.

Our desire to pare back our belongings as well as teach our children about the trap of stuff led us on this journey. We are in Belize for six months to take a break from America and the 'more is more' mentality.

In Belize, progress is coming at a slower pace than we're used to in the United States. People live a simpler life, for a variety of reasons, but the end result is the same: less stuff and more soul.



Belize is a natural wonderland. Visitors in the south are charmed by rolling mountains that ripple the otherwise flat plains and Mayan villages that dot the countryside. The South is an area of thatched houses and little shops, where time is so slow it is almost meditative. Foreign drivers on the highway are often astounded by the number of women carrying babies on their backs and water vessels in their arms. Or the men riding their pink bikes with 50-pound sacks of rice or beans balanced on the handlebars.

Also pleasing to the eye are the beautiful turquoise waters, which are sheltered by the coral reefs off the coast and dotted with numerous mangrove-covered cayes. These coral cayes protect the shore from the rough sea and provide lots of opportunities for snorkeling, sailing, and diving.

Temperatures in Belize also bring the term 'paradise' to mind. The average temperature all year hovers around 82 degrees. Since we've been here, we haven't had too many nights that were too hot to sleep. Every day is the ideal summer day.

Jungle, Belize



Another beautiful aspect of Belize is the friendliness of its people. Crime outside of Belize City is relatively unusual, and even in the city crime exists in a very small pocket of people. As a guest here, I haven't once felt threatened by anyone in any part of the country. Of course, just like anywhere else in the world, you will find a few bad eggs. But, overall, Belize seems to be a safe country.

We've had many experiences where locals and expats alike have come to our aid. When we broke down on the road to Placencia one hot Sunday, two expats came out of their homes to see how they could help. And once, while out shopping in town, we mentioned to a Belizean that we needed to buy some long-sleeves shirts for our toddler, who is too fair for the tropical sun, and she sent her 10-year-old daughter to take us around to all the shops that sold clothing. Both the girl and her mom call out a hello to us, even remembering our names, every time we pass them in the street.

When we visited San Ignacio in the northern part of the country and decided to move there for the next several months, a whole handful of residents asked how they could help. We had questions about home rentals, the local school, climate, shopping, and how to get utilities turned on. Everyone we ran into was more than willing to help us learn about their beloved town.



And the people are not only friendly but also quite diverse. Belize is a melting pot of sorts. When you ask "Who lives in Belize?" the answer would be, "Who doesn't?"

The original inhabitants of Belize were Mayan Indians, who still live here today. When the country was a British colony, it was a population of British colonists in the lumber trade and their slaves. Belize also has had immigrants from the neighboring Spanish-speaking countries of Mexico and Guatemala.

Today, all kinds of people live here in Belize and all seem to get along, despite significant differences in background, language, and customs. Belize is home to Creoles, Mestizos, Garifuna, East Indians, and Caucasians (Americans, Brits, and Lebanese).



When you combine these factors - a naturally beautiful, welcoming place that focuses on simple living and good experiences - any visitor to Belize is bound to have fun. Most Belizeans love their home country and are happy to show it to you, whether that is through tours or just friendships you make with people.

You can spend years exploring all that this country has to offer. And, no matter what your interests are, you're bound to find something to love about Belize. Active outdoors lovers can swim, kayak, sail, snorkel, dive, hike, and bike here. Naturalists can learn a lot through birding, visiting sustainable farms, and exploring the many ways people are working on innovative ecological solutions here.

But if sitting on an adirondack chair, soaking up the rays, and watching the butterflies float by is your thing, Belize is also the place for you.

Mountains and water, Belize


I love Belize. To read more about my experience living here, and follow our family's journey, see http://exitnormal.com/

All photos courtesy and copyright Domini Hedderman


Feature photo: Vegetable market, Placencia