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Melisa Ayala of Grand Baymen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Sitting near a dock in Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are a lot of people who have come here to Ambergris Caye from the States. I met a person who lived in New York all their life and the first time she came here, she didn’t like it. She said, “Oh my God, what am I going to do all day? Where is work, what do I do? How do I do it?” Most of the questions that people ask when they first come here is “What is there to do?” “How many people live here?” “Why are people here so laidback?” “Where’s the nightlife?”.  When they get used to all of it, they say, “I don’t want to go back to the States.” 
An expat recently told me that he doesn’t want to live in the States. He said in the States, you wake up, drink a cup of coffee, get ready for work, go to a subway, and repeat the same pattern. It’s always busy, everything is time constrained and you’re always late. Here, you’re always early for everything, because we are on Belize Time.  You’ll be on time for what you’re used to, and Belizeans will be late, so you’ll actually be early. 
We are pretty laidback. At first the people moving here are hesitant. There are people who want to retire in Belize and they get a vacation home or a vacation rental for some months and see how it turns out. Most people fall in love with it.  
In order to give you a contrast of how a native Belizean looks at other place, I went to London recently and saw that bananas were very expensive. Here, I could get five bananas for $1 Belize (50 US cents). When you come here, if you want fresh fruit, you’ll have it. If you want fresh fish, you’ll have it. If you want any type of meat, we have it here, too. 
In Ambergris Caye, you will see the mayor every day. The mayor is my neighbor. There is really nothing to worry about. The authorities here are just like anybody else who is from here. There is nobody who you cannot reach, as opposed to how it is in the States. The government system in the US is more complex.  Here, my representative is my half cousin, and you could see him every day. The people in the government and other places of influence or authority really stop and talk to you and make you feel welcome. You have a relationship going on and that goes for anybody who comes to live in Belize. You can see the mayor today. You can talk to them in the middle of the street and nobody will tell you that you can’t do that. It’s pretty laid back. You could pretty much do anything that you like.  
Bob Hamilton of Century 21 Coral Beach Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Office Bob Hamilton, San Pedro, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingLiving on Ambergris Caye is very relaxing. I worked a bit too hard for twenty odd years in suits and ties and had stress living in Canada. I used to have a 25-minute commute in my car to go to and from work in traffic. Now, I am sitting here in my office barefoot with short pants on. I jump in my golf cart and drive back and forth for about 7 minutes from where I live.
We are getting more traffic here because there are now taxi vans and other modes of transport here in Ambergris Caye. When I came here 15 years ago, we had all sand streets and nothing was paved. You could walk out of the bar and right on the street without getting run over. Now the traffic is getting a little bit worse but we are trying to deal with the infrastructure for the traffic. 
Living here in Ambergris Caye is stress-free. I have friends back home in Nova Scotia in suits and tie jobs who complain about stress. I tell them, “I have stress, too but if I want to get rid of my stress, I go to my office, get a rum and coke, walk 50 feet, and sit under a coconut tree on the beach.” That is a lot better than the stress I used to have in Canada. 
The sun comes up at around 5:30 in the morning and it starts to get hot at around 10 AM  or 11 AM. The temperature fluctuates anywhere on a mean average of mid to low 80 degrees Fahrenheit this time of year. We have days when we are in the mid to low 90 degrees. It’s a little warm but we have the breeze coming off the ocean all the time. When I walk out my front door, which is on the main street along the beach, it might be 92 degrees off my front door but if you walk 50 feet to the beach and sit under a coconut tree, it’s like 82 degrees.
Everybody here is more laidback. Nobody is rushing around. I don’t have a Day Timer anymore. When I was back in Canada, back in professional jobs, I was a healthcare CEO, I was a professional manager, etc., I had a Day Timer that controlled my life. Every morning, I would give it to my secretary for her to update. That was how we lived. There were times when I even had to refer to my Day Timer to figure out what night I could meet a girl and take her to dinner. Life’s not like that here in Ambergris Caye.  
(Tropical vibe of Bob Hamilton's Century 21 realty office in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, pictured.)
Allan Lima of Blue Tang Inn – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Living in Belize is different from living in America. Life in America, based on how I see it and based on what people tell me,boy on dock in Ambergris Caye – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living is very fast paced. Americans spend so much time getting to work and getting back from work that life becomes a routine of  work and home / home and work, and they hardly have any time for themselves.x
Here in Belize, people work normal hours, but they also have time to read, and to lay around and do nothing. They have enough time to go out and about and mingle with the rest of the world. Here in Belize, you have a lot of time to do more things because life here is very laid back.
Belize is a small place so you do not have to worry about taking the Metro or taking the subway or driving in your vehicle for half an hour to get to work. Life in Ambergris Caye and in Belize, in general, is very laid back.
Kate Corrigan  of Georgetown Trust – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Ambergris Caye blue green water – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
The sunrise here in Ambergris Caye is phenomenal, and the sunsets are beautiful every single day. The water is a stunning color of azure blue and it is always warm to swim. I know people who came here with bad arthritis, psoriasis, and asthma and the humidity of the climate here seems to cure those illnesses. I am not saying that this is a magical island; I am just saying that it is moist and people find it easier to live here. I am not a physician, but I have seen people who haqve gottem well here on Ambergris Caye. There is less stress and the environment suits a lot of people.
It gets dark pretty early here on Ambergris Caye, usually dark at 6 or 7 PM.  It gets light between 5 and 6 AM. People get up early and enjoy their days. Most people get up and walk on the beach to see the sunrise.
Ambergris Caye sunrise over the water – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAs an example, here’s what I do.  On Tuesdays, I get up early and buy vegetables from the Mennonites who come from the mainland on their boats. You can buy vegetables in stores, but if I go out on a Tuesday and buy it from the Mennonites, who are selling vegetables fresh and in sacks, I get to see my friends who are also doing the same thing. It’s a real adventure once a week and I get to save probably 1/3 of my own fresh produce shopping. I also do a 20-minute run every morning and swim at the end of the dock with the stingrays.  It’s beautiful. Today, I saw two stingrays and there were lots of shellfish. There I was with my goggles on, doing my laps that most people do in their pools, back in their own jurisdictions. I do it in the Caribbean ocean, five minutes away from the second largest reef in the world!
After that, I come home, get my coffee and take my daughter to school. Then I walk along the beach to work. I spend my day in the office, get a friend out to lunch. I finish at 5 PM and go home to make supper. Sometimes, I go out to socialize. There are live events every evening here in Ambergris Caye.
On the weekends, I hop on a boat and go to any of the surrounding islands.  Sometimes my friends and I go golfing. There is a golf island close by. My friends actually go golfing once or twice a week. You can hire Hobie Cats to sail up and down the island. It is very easy to do and not overly expensive. I like to dive every Sunday morning. There is just so much to do here in Ambergris Caye and life is just how you make it. 

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