I don’t miss a thing in Belize other than every now and then, pizza!
I did have a friend who came in about a month or so back and he said, “Mark, you have helped us with so many things and I know you have gone beyond the call of duty. What can we do for you?” I said, “Double-stuffed Oreo cookies.” And they said, “What? Come on!” And I said, “No, really, that’s it. Double-stuffed Oreo cookies!” They bought me four packages of Double-stuffed Oreo cookies and I rationed them!
That gives you an idea of the differences for me.
I have everything I want here in Belize. My wife Francesca has adopted, along with the Belizean style cooking, the American standard medium rare beef, which I like and is unknown to most people in Belize. I have everything down here that I need. The only thing I probably want is if somebody could open a decent pizza joint. Turns out a buddy of mine is trying. That is probably the only thing that I miss.
If you are coming to Belize then you probably already have the money so that you can have whatever you want. If you want a boat, have a nice boat. If you want a car, have a car. You just need something to get you around. Just get a boat that fits your needs. If you want a motorcycle, buy a motorcycle. If you need some fishing equipment, and you can’t find it in Belize, you can send for it or buy it in Mexico.
When I visited the States recently, all the items I ordered that I was asked to bring with me to Belize were sitting on the floor. I had special face powder for Kayla and some rubber golf tees for my driving range. I had a bingo set for Francesca. No visit to the States is complete without ordering from Victoria’s Secret. There is no Victoria’s Secret in Belize. If you have a wife or a girlfriend and you don’t bring a Victoria’s Secret present you might as well not go back because they know you came here. I bought some parts that are hard to find for a Toro lawnmower. Some equipment you may have a problem getting a part for, so just call, order it and have it shipped to Belize, and you will have it in 72 hours if you really need it that fast.
It’s really not so much about what Belize can do for you. It is more of what do you want to do. You don’t have amusement parks. We only have a little museum, which is not much at all. So if you really want to see cultural plays or if you are used to going to the opera, you might as well forget all that. Belize does not have that. However Belize is rich in culture and tradition. The local festivals and events are a lot of fun to attend. With about 350,000 people in the entire country, the economics are not there to support a lot of things, but as far as outdoorsy stuff, it’s all here except there is no snow skiing. You can water ski. You can fish and it is great fishing. It really depends on your hobbies.
If you move to Belize then first of all, everything but gasoline costs a lot less. The weather is nice and warm. The culture is very accepting of you doing whatever you want to do so you don’t have a lot of peer pressure or societal pressure to conform in any way. So if you are a free spirit, Belize is a great place to go.
As far as being outside, if you want to do anything active, whether it is kayaking, boating, fishing or riding your motorcycle, or having drink with your friends at the local watering hole, it is a great place.
If you have to shop, at least if you live in the Corozal area in northern Belize you have access to Chetumal (a city in Mexico just across the boarder with Belize that has malls and big box stores), otherwise you will give up major mall shopping. If you are in other parts of Belize, you can still get to Chetumal because it is not hard to do. If you really feel that you need these things, you can take a trip to the US to get them, but by and large, once you start living in Belize, your need for these types of things that you thought you needed before that were important to you in North America just aren’t as important.
The living cost in Belize is very reasonable. You will find staple food items to be a bit cheaper. A toothbrush is about 60 cents because it is a necessity. Beans, sugar, flour, and rice are a staple so these are kept at a standard pricing schedule.
If you want to buy a jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce, you probably are going to wind up paying a US price for it or maybe a little bit more. On the islands, you are going to pay a 25% premium because items have to be shipped there. If you want dill pickles made by Vlassic, you will find them, maybe a bit more expensive, but not dramatically.
(Pictured: having a nice meal in Blackbeard's Beach Bar, Belize.)