We move in one week…thoughts on leaving Belize

Home in Belize.

Home in Belize.

We’re leaving Belize. We’d like to stay a little longer, but the timing is working out this way. As much as I’ve given San Pedro a hard time, we’ve enjoyed it a thousand fold times more. We love it here and knowing that we will be leaving in one, short little week we’re feeling a self-imposed sadness and a relished enjoyment during the last few weeks here.

One week left. What?

We have met so many people that come back to Ambergris Caye every year, some have been coming for more than 25 years. At first I thought “How strange – wouldn’t you want to go see other places?”

But, now I get it, whatever it is. The island starts to call you – the sunshine, water, sand or general vibe. It’s relaxing and addicting. Ambergris Caye is a Paradise. It is comfortable and just the right size. It is inexpensive – Ambergris Caye is the third least expensive island in the Caribbean. It is undoubtedly beautiful with great water activities. It is cultural – Guatemalan sellers, Mexican, Mayan, Creole, Rasta and North Americans all share this island. The island is relaxed – there is no dress code here, you don’t have to wear shoes and whatever you are wearing is fine – no one cares much. And the weather is just about perfect with awesome sunshine and welcome breezes.

We are counting down our days, embracing the gem that is Ambergris Caye and missing it already – even though we haven’t left yet.

I'll miss walking along the beach road to town and yoga

I'll miss walking along the beach road to town and yoga

The white sands, blue waters and green palms of Ambergris Caye make for a flawless kaleidoscope that the eyes just want to rest on forever.
-S King

The diversity that is Belize

It’s not just this island. We’ve traveled throughout Belize and have savored the unique and vastly opposite cultural mix that this tiny country of 300,000 people has. We have devoured Garifuna hudut, lived in a Mayan village for 4 days, learned a few Kriol words, met lots of Canadians, and backpacked with people from all over Europe. Belize is a tiny country, but it’s BIG on variety of culture.

We’ve had a ton of adventures: made corn tortillas, explored sacrificial caves, kayaked to the second largest barrier reef, learned to scuba dive in one of the premier locations in the world, explored ancient Mayan ruins, hiked in the jungle, ate jungle plants, went deep sea fishing and ate the best, fresh fish we could.

And there is so much that we didn’t get to do, but we can’t do it all. Our intention is not to check-mark off every site, but to create a balance in traveling and living in different places.

Six months of growing

We’ve watched our two children grow up in the six months we’ve been here.
We’ve lived on the beach, next to the Caribbean ocean and have been outside for a majority of the day, playing in the sand and spending at least 3 hours in the pool everyday. My children have transformed into fish.

G, our calculated risk taker, now jumps into the water from the side of the pool, swims underwater and makes up all sort of new things to do underwater. I love going under with him with goggles on. He looks like he’s in a perfect Zen mode.

Jumper "G"

Jumper "G"

Miss I is not yet 2 years old and swims circles around us in her water wings. She goes underwater, lets Daddy-o throw her into the air and comes up from the water with wide eyes and a large smile. During our time in Belize, Miss I has learned how to speak in 3-4 word sentences, says her ABCs, sings Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and has developed her beautiful ray of light that shines from within to be an obvious, radiating luminescence.

The light that is Miss I

The light that is Miss I

I can tell both of my children are proud of their abilities and I am relishing in their pleasure. They are awesome, easy going kids that remember their friends fondly, even those they only spent a week with.

And Mr. King and I have learned how to ultimately relax. So much so, that we’ve barely worked on our business. We need to get away from this island to get some work done…we’ve been way too social and way too relaxed…and we’ve loved every minute. It makes it hard to leave. We are extremely torn about leaving, but it’s time to get uncomfortable again.

So…where are we going next?

What a decision we had to make! When most of the world is available to you, the choices are vast. The idea of staying within Latin America to further solidify our Spanish and enjoy the Latin culture is appealing. We looked at Antigua, Guatemala and there are a lot of reasons to move to Antigua. It is a beautiful city with so much culture and history. I was sitting in the McDonald’s in Antigua, one of the most elegant McDonald’s in the world (I’m not kidding). It had a beautiful courtyard with a water fountain in the middle and felt like a European cafe. I was pondering moving here and it had quite an appeal. Guatemala is beautiful with volcanoes and a colorful culture. We imagined eating at the delicious restaurants, strolling among the interior gardens and being very happy here. We’ve lived in Latin America for the past 2 years. We’re pretty comfortable here. We speak the language, expect its inefficiencies and are familiar with the food. Moving here would be easy.

But, that is also the reason that we are not going to move to Antigua or stay in Central America. It’s comfortable for us. We’re ready for a change, a different experience, a new panorama and new growth.

Getting uncomfortable, again.

We don’t grow when we are comfortable and complacent. To grow we need to challenge ourselves. There is a small sense of security in comfort, but that security can also turn into fear of the unknown and encompass you in a bubble – which, as you may guess – is not my style.

I love the experience of a new experience.
– S King

Getting uncomfortable and reaching for new, interesting experiences creates a completely different mindset, one in which we’re eager to move in, create from and grow with. Many of us are so comfortable in our lives, we’ve forgotten the joy of transcending an uncomfortable experience. Comfortable experiences don’t inspire growth, they encourage complacency and stagnation.

So, we thought about a place that is totally unfamiliar to us: Asia. Wow – that would be quite a move! Asia appeals to us because it is SO different than what we are used to. We love Asian flavored food, but that’s about all we know. It is completely foreign to us.

And that is why we are going there. We plan on spending a few years traveling throughout, but our love of island living is strong and we’ll start our journey with at least six months in….(don’t hate us because we’re going and you’re not, because you can always come and visit)….Bali.

On a dock in Belize

On a dock in Belize

Random pictures from Belize

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23 Responses to “We move in one week…thoughts on leaving Belize”

  1. Rachel Denning May 2, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Sweet! Bali!

    I totally understand not choosing Antigua because it’s too ‘comfortable’. I was wondering why, but this makes sense.

    Enjoy the adventure! We’ll miss you guys in this side of the world.

    Love ya!

    • S King May 3, 2012 at 6:59 am #

      Hi Rachel. Antigua was beautiful, and while we were there we thought ” yep, this is the next move” but when we thought about what we wanted to “eventually” get to…Asia kept coming up. Since we are motivated to go to Asia now, Antigua would have just been a holding pattern for us.

  2. Emily May 2, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    It has been a real pleasure meeting you here in Belize, and your adventures and philosophies are truly inspiring. I can hardly wait to read your “Bali blog”, as I am sure it will be fascinating. I’m not sure how much more work you will get done there than here, though. Godspeed to you and your family!

    • S King May 3, 2012 at 6:56 am #

      Very true about the work, Emily. We’ve had SUCH a GREAT time in Belize. I loved sharing Saturday Yoga with you.

  3. Susan May 2, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Oh, I’m so sad that we won’t see you here in Mexico this summer. Especially sad for the boys, but I know you’re excited about this new adventure. Give everyone a big hug from all of us! Can’t wait to see pics of Bali with your family in them!

    • S King May 3, 2012 at 7:01 am #

      Perhaps we’ll meet up in Asia somewhere….

  4. Brandon Pearce May 2, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I’m glad you could have such a great time in Belize! Every place we live changes our lives in some way, especially if it’s a little different and takes us out of our comfort zone. We’ve really been enjoying Japan these past few weeks and part of us doesn’t want to leave here either. But another part of me is definitely ready to go back to Bali. It’s another world, and a beautiful one. We’re so excited to see you there!

    • S King May 3, 2012 at 7:02 am #

      We are looking forward to it!

  5. Emily May 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    I’m curious — what are the other two least expensive Caribbean islands you allude to? I find Ambergris Caye to be rather expensive, though there are certainly ways to keep costs moderate. Thanks!

    • S King May 3, 2012 at 6:55 am #

      I think the lesser expensive islands are Utila and Roatan…in Honduras.
      I hear life is pretty expensive in the Virgin islands and Grand Caymen.

  6. Amy @WorldschoolAdventures May 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Fan-Freaking-Tastic! You are going to LOVE Asia. Bali is a really interesting place and I hope we can come and visit you there!!!!!!! Just be aware though….although it is an island the beaches are not great there. But the culture makes up for it!

  7. Lisa Wood May 2, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    OH I am so jealous!! You have lived in Belize, and ahared your love for the island so much so that I would love to take a trip there..and now you are going to Bali – Oh my gosh talk about Living the Dream.
    Looking forward to seeing your new journey – and its so true…about getting comfortable. We have returned to Mackay, we used to live here about 13 years ago – and its a place that feels like home.
    Now I am keen to explore the area and visit places we dont know about – and re-visit places we used to take our boys to when they were little 🙂


  8. Catherine Forest May 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    I totally relate to this bittersweet feeling of leaving for a new adventure. We just left Costa Rica… I can’t wait to follow your Bali! Bali is in our plans for 2014! So glad you are going to places we are planing to go before us!

  9. Martin Pietrzak May 3, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    Thanks for sharing your Belize adventure. We are thinking of doing trip around the Caribbean islands as we really loved Barbados. We are sure you will love Bali. We had a blast even if only for a few weeks. Ubud is truly amazing and mystical. Cheers and safe travels.

  10. Katie Maxson May 4, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Hey We are going to miss you guys here but I think you will have fun in Bali

    • S King May 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      Thanks Katie….we’re going to miss you as well. It has been a pleasure to get to know you and your parents!

      • Katie Maxson May 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

        Great to know you too!!!!!!!

  11. Gordon May 5, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Good luck on your move. I found your site by chance. Ironically I am moving to Antigua for the very reasons you aren’t. Everyone is wired differently so there is no universal correct answer. Comfort is one of life’s greatest pleasures and does not promote stagnation. Stagnation is the result of personal decisions. When the environment is harsh and uncomfortable, I produce less rather than more. Putting out fires, experiencing stress and being let down all the time does not inspire growth. It demoralizes and takes time and energy away from productivity and learning. That is the case for me and we are all different. Regardless, I understand where you are coming from and if I were wired the same as you, I’d be doing exactly as you are. Bali sounds like a great place to live and explore.

    • S King May 6, 2012 at 7:29 am #

      Gordon, I have no doubt you will enjoy Antigua. It’s beautiful and the food in delicious. It’s a haven and we would have moved there had we not spent the last 2 years in Central America already.

      There are growth opportunities everywhere, in stressful and comforting situation, but I believe that most (not all) growth happens when you are uncomfortable, when you lack a little knowledge and seek it out, when the experience is new, when you overcome an obstacle.

      I do not have a concern for production – other than the production of my family’s colorful life and an open mind. For us, the opportunity to visit totally new cultures and experience new things is one of our greatest pleasures. If we have to forgo the comfort of familiarity for that, it’s worth it to us.

      We also love the maturation from new & uncomfortable to familiar & homelike.

      Enjoy exploring Antigua, it’s the jewel of Central America.

  12. Paulette June 12, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Thank you for your posts. We moved to ambergris Caye 11 months ago, and are wondering what you intend to do when you children are high school age. We have a 12, 9, and 6 year old and are beginning to consider college and late high school decision. What are your insights? Thank you again.

    • S King June 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

      Hi Paulette…thanks for reading and enjoy the little piece of paradise of Ambergris. We loved it there! We’re very fluid and observant with our children, so we don’t have a plan on what we will do once they reach high school or college age. At the moment, they are nearly 4 & 2 and high school seems eons away. I imagine that I’ll know when the time comes what is best. I typically follow my intuition.

  13. barry March 15, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    I’m about to head out to Belize for the first time and I came across your site. Thanks for painting a picture of Belize for me so that I have a context for my own appreciation of the country.

  14. Molly Skinner March 22, 2014 at 2:47 am #

    First time in Belize. Where can we stay in San Pedro that is moderately priced. Like you, when we travel, we do budget hotels or at least hotels that offer the most for our modest budget. I think you would be the best person to ask since you have lived there. Any recommendations? We will arrive in Belize City in late April. Thanks for any info you can share. Molly

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