I am overdue for a Spotlight and I decided since many of you who read this share the same dream of moving to a new country and starting new life – I decided to feature someone who has done just that.
I know you wear a few hats – in your words who is Sharon Hiebing?
Sharon Hiebing is the life of the party, driven, organized (my closet is color coded), honest, loyal and can keep a secret better than anyone you’ll ever meet.
After going through the experience of moving to Belize, I have become quite passionate about helping other future Expats. That’s why I developed my Wealth Ships’ Expat Relocation Consulting Service.
I am also a passionate real estate investor, so when I moved to San Ignacio, Belize, and realized there was no one exclusively specializing in property management (something I’ve been a client of for years), I decided to open my own firm, Red Roof Property Management.
I also am a writer (working on my second e-book now), hiker, and traveler.
What led you to move to Belize? Was it love at first site?
Previous to Belize, I owned a high-stress service business in California. I felt my life was passing me by, and I definitely wasn’t getting any younger. I did not feel in control of my destiny in the States. Through all my years of travel, I had developed a strong desire to live in another country. After researching many possibilities, Belize was the perfect choice.
I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight – it was more like confusion at first site. With so many different things to offer – ocean, rivers, rainforest and ruins – it was so hard to pick where in Belize I wanted to live. That’s why I’ve already moved once since coming here.
How do you feel personally that living in the Central America has changed your life?
I’m much calmer and relaxed than I used to be. When I look at how some of the locals here live, I feel so grateful for what I do have in my life. It’s hard to complain about anything when you wake up to singing birds, palm trees and the shining sun every day. And when I do get a chance to visit the ocean, I have to pinch myself that I’m lucky enough to live here and see that gorgeous blue color! Belize is giving me an opportunity to do things I’ve always wanted to, like learn a new language (Creole and Spanish), start two new businesses, and shop in an open air market.
Three things / places you would recommend people see do or eat when they come to Belize.
1. You must go visit one of the Cayes and experience island life – especially the turquoise
blue waters – it’s indescribable!
2. You must go visit one of the ruins and step back in time, seeing how the Mayans lived.
3. You must eat from one of the street vendors (they’re in every village or town). “Street
food,” as we locals call it, is some of the best food I’ve ever had!
What are your thoughts on success in relation to people and ideas?
I believe that if people have a big enough “Why,” they can do or be whatever they want. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to identify what their why is, and therefore spend a lot of time and money spinning their wheels on things or people that were just never meant to be.
I also believe that people are too willing to be conditioned by the society they live in. They go along with the status quo far too easily. Anyone who up and moves to a new country is by definition adventurous, but I don’t think we’re necessarily risk takers. I think we just aren’t afraid of change and doing something that is outside the norm for most people. If more people had a sense of adventure in their lives, I think they’re idea of success would be redefined.
What’s your claim to fame? (Someone recently told me theirs was eating 16 American style in a row)
I’m very adept at reading body language. I can instantly tell if someone is lying to me or holding something back. Usually my first impression of someone is correct. This talent of mine freaks my friends and family out!
What are 3 things that can always be found in your refrigerator?
Cranberry juice, water, and whole-wheat bread.
One book or movie you recommend everyone should read or watch? Both if you like.
To this day I still love the movie “The Sound of Music.” It’s fun, has a gorgeous setting, is historical, and is a fascinating study of family dynamics. Plus the music was amazing!
For a book recommendation, I still think one of the most life-changing books ever written was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” by Robert Kiyosaki. I simply don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t been given that book to read ten years ago.
If you could be doing anything right now what would it be?
Hanging out with my grandkids – I miss them terribly since moving to Belize.
One last question – What advice do you have for anyone considering making a move to a new country.
My advice for anyone moving to a new country is to research it thoroughly. Too many people move on a whim, and then find out later they hate something about it – the climate, the language, the cost of living, the lack of access to certain amenities, etc. By doing your due diligence, as well as making one or more trips to the country you’re considering, you can avoid that happening to you. Oh, and bring a big supply of “Patience!”