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Living in Belize

Spotlight Sharon Hiebing

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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!”

Links to Sharon’s business websites and facebook fan pages.
Wealth Ships
Wealth Ships facebook fan page

Tropical Storm Richard Belize

Belize Rivers

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7 Comments

  1. Renee June 5, 2011

    I’d really like to live on Ambergris Caye and I certainly wouldn’t mind living in town so I’m glad to hear it’s possible. Thanks so much for the information!

    Reply
  2. tacogirl June 5, 2011

    Renee we paid $450 usd for a one bedroom apartment in town [electric and water were extra] when we first moved to AC so it is possible. Placencia another area to look at for beach.

    Reply
  3. tacogirl June 5, 2011

    You got me on Horton’s Al that could be my care package lol LCBO not so much missing that.

    Reply
  4. Renee June 5, 2011

    Laurie & Sharon–I’m hoping to move to Belize in a year or so. I’m looking to rent a one-bedroom place for about $350 to $450 usd a month. If that’s not possible on Ambergris Caye, what other “beach area” of Belize would you two recommend?

    You both have wonderful blogs; thank you for all the useful information!

    Reply
  5. al salter June 5, 2011

    It is very refreshing to read Ms Hiebing’s non rose coloured glass reports on Belize. Like crummy mattresses, office supplies, and most importantly the absence of decent wine and vodka at affordable prices. God created Chetumal however to reduce this pain. And now Laurie I am going to Horton’s for bagels and the LCBO for dry red Pelee wine for $8.95 and a bottle of Grey Goose for $24.95 Wanna care package?

    Reply
  6. tacogirl June 3, 2011

    Anytime Sharon

    Reply
  7. Sharon Hiebing June 3, 2011

    Thanks for the spotlight, tacogirl! I’m happy to answer any questions folks may have, either publicly or privately, so feel free folks!

    Cheers!

    Sharon Hiebing
    Relocating Without Rose-Colored Glasses!

    Reply

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