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Why I moved to Belize

Why I moved To Belize?
Sharon Hiebing

Ever since I left the United States and moved to Belize permanently, people are constantly asking
me, “Why Belize?” I believe they are really asking two questions.

First, what in the world made you relocate to another country? After all, how many people do you know who have done something so drastic? Among my family and peer group, I was the first.

And second, I think they do have a genuine interest in learning more about Belize, either because
they really have never heard of it and want to learn more, or maybe they’re thinking about moving to another country and want to check it out.

So answering the question is not as straight forward as you may think. The road that led me to choosing Belize was a long one. I did not wake up one day and say to myself, “Hey, I’m gonna move to Belize!” Instead, I had a goal of moving to another country one day because I wanted a change of pace, and because I wanted to experience a different culture, before I was too old to do so.

The saying is true, “Life is Too Short!” For me, to one day wake up and look back on my life and realize I hadn’t accomplished this goal would have been unacceptable.

So I moved because I wanted to learn another language, specifically Spanish. I wanted to be in control of my destiny, something that I felt was impossible in a country so full of rules and regulations (and getting worse every day).

I wanted to live where the water was a different color blue than I was used to (I’m from the San
Francisco Bay Area). Where people looked each other in the eye and greeted one another instead of
looking away or down.

I wanted to leave behind 30 degree winters and wear tank tops every day. I wanted to shop at a local market away from the glaring lights. I wanted lobster to be as common as hamburger. I wanted to be closer to other countries that I could travel easily to.

Belize offered me all of these things and more, unlike many of the other countries I investigated.

I am an American Dream Devil who put her whole life in three suitcases and did what most people
would never dream of doing. I am an example to everyone that you truly can have anything you want. It’s useless to wish that I’d done it sooner – I’m just glad that I did.

Where do you dream of living, and are you working on making it happen?

Sharon Hiebing is an American Expat living in San Ignacio Town, Belize. She is the founder of Wealth Ships’ and offers Expat Relocation Consulting Services via email, phone and one-to-one at affordable rates. She also owns the only property management company in Western Belize, Red Roof Property Management. She wrote an e-book, writes a weekly blog, and posts tidbits daily about her life and work on Facebook. She’d love it if you came and got to know her.

[today's pics are all about the new roadwork being done in Boca Del Rio area. The road is starting just past the turning circle and I would imagine they will make it all the way to the Bridge eventually.]

10 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing my experience with all of your readers, Taco Girl. I hope it entices them to at least make a visit to Belize so they can experience it for themselves!

    Sharon Hiebing
    Relocate Witihout Rose-Colored Glasses

  2. Thank you! You have put most of my reasons into words! Especially about regulations and markets!

  3. Americans move to Belize because they hate America. Canadians move there because they hate winter. After 6 years what I found through living there is that apart from bananas, sexually transmitted diseases and Marie Sharp sauce Belize has few exports and relies heavily on tourism. It is difficult for a nation with the sexual voracity of a mink in a Viagra factory to get around to work much, and Belizeans tend therefore to prefer work they can do while relaxing in a hammock. Since lying down is an activity that can be combined with their other favourite activity( and mine) Belize has billed itself as the biggest brothel in Christendom. Thats what I miss. .

  4. Great story Sharon! I wrote a story a while back called “Nesters and Explorers”, it takes both to make the world go around. I am definitely an explorer like you are. I was born and raised in the land locked state of Kansas and hand coastal aspirations. So I moved to southwest Florida without knowing a soul. Best think I ever did! I’ve been here almost 10 years now and still love it, but some of those Caribbean island have started calling my name. Who knows what the future holds, but its good to know that you have the courage to follow your heart.

    Again, great story, and thanks for posting TacoGirl!

    Cheers!

  5. I lived near Russell Kansas from 94 to’01. Loved it. Big sky, nice people, meadowlarks and great chicken fried steak. And the home of Bob Dole. Water is overated.

  6. I have enjoyed reading your blogs..and until recetly never knew blogs would have been so helpful with a subject that I have thought about for over a decade.

    Four years ago I was ready to make the move with my family and they were very excited. As time got closer I found that more and more reason not to leave came around. Belize was placed on the back burner and eventually tucked away in a dark closet. I thought it was all lost and I was soon back to the day to day grind of policing our streets……. Until—–>

    I recently was offered a job as Deputy Chief of Police with a department about 70 miles away from my home. A great chance to enhance my career…but…I would have to sell my house and relocate. Well, to shorten up my story… While I was searching the web for houses, I clicked on a Belize Real Estate site (on purpose) and began wondering why did I really back out.

    After much soul searching and talks with my wife and our 10 year old son….the dream was taken out of that closet and brought back to the table.

    We are currently working on a time-line and I am shooting for late 2012 or early 2013. I think that is reasonable and should allow us to pay off the few debts that we have.

    Keep on blogging——> it is one of my motivators

    Thanks

  7. By the way, I turned down that position as Deputy Chief. I figured “why should I sell my house, uproot the family, buy another and add more expenses —–When—-> I would only be staying there for a year or so.

    We fully intend to take an extended stay in Belize for at least a year, then after that we will know if the lifstyle change is right for us. If not, we would have only spent a small portion of our modest savings but will have gained a life of memories. …and who knows we may stay.

    ONLY TIME WILL TELL

  8. Nice peter. Glad you pulled your dream back out of the closet and are making plans to see it through.

  9. Great inspirational piece! I’m landlocked in Canada but plan on residing in Belize several months of the year.

  10. I know a few people that enjoy Belize from 3 – 6 months a year AJ and t seems to be working very well for them.