There is a really broad range of expats who come here to Belize to work, to retire, to run to something and run from something to know what the next stage of life is going to be.
I know a guy who came down here 15 years ago after retiring as an oil executive. He went back to his native Canada, spent his first winter and he realized that he wanted to go to somewhere warm. He came to Belize and bought 100 acres of land and started planting 5,000 teak trees every year. So many years later, he has some 50,000 teak trees and he is approaching 80 years old now. He did it as just a past time, but it is now a legacy of investment for his children. He is a happy guy and a wonderful human being. That’s his story.
I met expats who went down to Belize after they went through a divorce or a business partnership breakup and they are bitter, and so they spend most of the day drunk. I also met other expats who are everything in between. It’s hard to just really pinpoint what an expat’s lifestyle is. It’s really up to the individual. It’s as the joke says, “Wherever I go, there I am.” It’s who you are and what you bring to it.
If someone asks you “How are the people here?” a good answer would be a question in return: “How are the people where you’re from?” If they tell you “The people where I’m from are jerks”, you should answer “Oh, you’ll find that here, too.” If they say that the people are great where they came from, that’s what they’ll find here. It’s really about what you bring to the table. You are going to find expat circles that are really just what you are looking for. There are expats who are in organizations, there are Rotary Clubs. There are people who are affectionately referred to as the “Airy Fairies.” There are old hippies. They get together and have vegetarian potluck, lunches, and dinners. It runs together.
(Former software executive and Belize expat, John McAfee, pictured.)