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Macarena Rose of Rainforerst Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Macarena Rose in San Ignacio, Cayo district Belize talking to bicylist downtown – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingFor me, personally, being a mother moving to Belize, I was very pleased to find out that Belize was a community that was accepting of me as an expat. I never left the US for any other reason than I just wanted something different, which included a change of cultural experience for my children. I can say that that was an incredibly wise decision. My kids have benefited from seeing other cultures and how they live.
 
Belize is so diverse, we are talking about many different cultures: from the Mayans, to the Mestizos, the Spanish, the Belizeans, the Garifuna, the Creole, etc. There is everything here in Belize.
 
Living in Belize is like living in a global world, but with a very small town feeling. That is what the whole country feels like.
 
(Macarena Rose in San Ignacio in the Cayo district of Belize talking to bicyclist downtown, pictured.)
David Berger of Tradewinds Hospitality at Orchid Bay – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Orchid Bay, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingBelize is very different than the US. I personally love it because it’s a tropical paradise. It is always warm; it’s beautiful.
 
The US has taught its people to become very dependent on things. Everything is so easy in the US. It’s so easy to shop at one store and get everything you need. Moving to Belize is sometimes frustrating for expats because they are not used to what it’s like here. Moving to Belize is more of like how it was a long time ago in the US when our parents and grandparents had to buy from the farms and buy the meat from the butcher shop, buy eggs from the egg man, etc.
 
That is kind of how we live here in Belize. Some people enjoy it and some people get frustrated by it. I enjoy it. I think it is how the world is supposed to be. We’re not supposed to get strawberries every day of the year. The US has kind of created this falseness of how the world should be. It created this perfect world but it’s not real. Here in Belize, we only eat food that is available when it is available. We don’t import stuff just to have them on the shelves. 
 
Everything moves a lot slower here in Belize. It is hard to get used to the fact that we are so bred to be on time and to hurry and make an appointment. That is not the culture here in Belize at all. Things go wrong here. People leave when they are ready. If they are late, who cares? It is not a real on demand place. Moving to Belize is healthier for our minds. We were raised to be such machines in the US and worry and hurry but I think stepping back and realizing that, I see Belizeans are all happy. You will see people here who are really poor but they are just happy. It says something about their culture.
 
(Orchid Bay, Belize, pictured.)
Mark Leonard of Paradise Found Belize Real Estate and Development – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Man in Belize looking at ocean – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingLet’s put it this way: I am not coming back to the US. 
 
Living in Belize is living in freedom. It’s like living in the US in the 50’s or 60’s when nobody bothers you. You have friends if you are friendly. If you are an idiot, you’re an idiot and you’ll find that you don’t want to live here.  
 
When you live in Belize, you are going to stress out 3 times a day. You are going to stress out about what you are going to have for breakfast, you are going to stress out about what you are going to have for lunch, and you are going to stress out about what you are going to have for dinner. If you can live with that, you would probably be fine. It’s that easy! 
 
In Belize, you do what you want to do. If your hobby is gardening, garden. If your hobby is painting, paint. If you want to fish, fish! If you want to have a cocktail, have your cocktail. It’s really up to you. You drive where you want to drive, you go where you want to go, do what you want to do and the weather is great. The rainfall in the north is like Florida, 60 inches a year, whereas down south, they get three times that amount of rain.  
 
The weather here with the year round warmth, seasonal climates is awesome. I tried living in the Cayo area, but it was way too hot for me. I need that sea breeze, so living on the sea is my personal choice. There is a very varied mixed culture in Belize. Belizeans are really into their families, although they may have extended families. Their families are very large and many families are related. Many pretty much just get by.  For them, it’s not like, “I need to have this, I need to have that.”  
 
In a wedding here, you could wear shorts and sandals. I own about 4  pairs of long pants and I could count the times I have worn them on both hands.  
 
There are zero demands put on you by the culture here in Belize, compared to the demands put on your by the culture in the US.  
 
If you want to be involved, you can.  We help out at the school and events. We do so because we want to. You are not told, “Oh you need to contribute" or, "you need to be here for this.” We may contribute money to build a bathroom or something along those lines, but you don’t have to. Property taxes are nil. Roads can be a tad rough. 
 
If you like to fish, go fish every day.  
 
It’s pretty cool. 
 
(Pictured: another stressful day in Cerros Sands, northern Belize.)
Phil Hahn of Carmelita Gardens – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
girl riding a horse in Cayo District, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingFor me, living in Belize is a lot of work, but that is what I do. Wherever I am, I spend a lot of time on the computer, working. I’m a little bit different than most people here. For most people, what attracts them and one of the reasons why they live in Belize is the freedom. It’s just so free. For a lot of people, that could be a good thing, but for some people it is a dangerous thing. Too much freedom and to think that there are no rules could be intoxicating . There are traffic laws and speed limits, but not everybody abides by them. In the last couple of years, they now have police SUV with sirens, so they are out and about, but they never used to be.  
 
That is an example of life in general in Belize. There are rules and laws to abide by but people love their freedom. They go about their daily life without worrying about someone looking over their shoulder all the time. It is the freedom to be who you are when you are a young beautiful woman or an old man or a transgender. People here in Belize don’t judge transgenders. They see them and they are who they are. There is machismo in Belize, so I am sure there is some snickering, but then again, you are going to find that wherever you go. But in general, I just find that people in Belize just let you be who you are and they like that freedom. 
 
(Girl enjoys riding a horse in the wide open spaces of the Cayo District, Belize,pictured.)
Jaseth Bassaragh of The Alpha & Omega Group – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
My personal experience of what it is like to live in Belize vs the USA weighs heavily in favor of Belize.
 
Most people want quality of life vs shopping and high- rise buildings. Clean air, potable drinking water every day that does not come with a high price tag. Consider the benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables at ridiculously low prices. Belize is the place to be.
Boris Mannsfeld of Boris Mannsfeld & Associates – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Sidewalk in Placencia, Belize, next to a canal – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingBelize is a safe and relaxing place. It is adventurous but at the same time, it is relaxing. I think overall it is pleasant.
 
You make a lot of friends here.  There are lots of people from all over the world here in Belize and these foreigners, generally, are here for the same reasons. They want to meet new people, make new acquaintances, and make new friends. Everybody is very open.
 
Living in Belize is very easy. It is on “island time” so things are slower, people do not stress out about the small things, and you get back to the basics. Living in Belize is like living in the US 20 or 30 years ago, where it is not so crazy and hectic and everybody is running around trying to “one up” each other. Living here is more of a pleasant lifestyle.
 
I am in the business world so my lifestyle is a lot different but if you are an expat here’s how your day may go.  The sun rises early, so you can get up in the morning whenever you like. There are plenty of people here who are ready to do stuff. If you want to, you can call a few friends to go fishing or you can sit around and read a book. The jungle is just 30 minutes away so you can go hiking or go looking for birds.
 
We have great food down here in Belize. I know many expats who get together for lunches or they have a weekly or monthly night out. They meet together at a restaurant, drink beer, drink wine, and eat pizza. There are a lot of great restaurants here so there's no lack of nice food. I think people just hang out with their friends like anywhere else. People also have a few chores to do around the house, here and there and just try to enjoy what they can out of life.
 
Many expats do get together at restaurants for dinner and go sailing. Occasionally, especially some of the women get together in a group of five, six or ten and drive up to Cayo for the weekend, spend the night at the hotel and just have a little friendly weekend. They can even go up to Mexico sometimes or they go to Cancun for a long weekend. Guatemala is right here, Honduras is a direct flight, too. There are lots of things to do so people here are very active and they make the best of the day.

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