Travelers to Belize often find themselves experiencing a mini culture shock when they first arrive. The stark contrast of how most Belizeans carry themselves as opposed to what they are used to is a refreshing welcome for many. Not only on the diversity of food and cultures, but also in choosing what to place value in when it comes to one’s way of living. In fact, it can be argued many of these values have led Belizeans to live a rather more relaxed or carefree lifestyle. If you are searching for ways to enhance your journey through life, feel free to steal these 5 life changing habits from Belizean people.
Repeat visitors – and honorary Belizeans – are quite familiar with the act of slowing down when in Belize. Caye Caulker’s ubiquitous “Go slow” motto wasn’t picked at random. Belizeans are known to be more laid-back than their North American friends. Where North American culture may be more go, go , go, (especially in big cities) Belizeans take their time in almost everything. Sure, they rush from time to time when deemed necessary such as important appointments or meetings. But most of the time the locals in Belize have learnt to not take life too seriously, as the most important thing that matters is your health and well-being.
Sustainability may have risen as a trend in the past decade or so, but in Belize that never was the case. Being sustainable was the default way of living for most of the locals for decades. There are no labels for farm-fresh eggs, grass-fed beef etc., because that’s already the standard for most of our produce. Eco-resorts and lodges in Belize have also worked farm-to-table cuisine into their culinary pursuits, like that of Copal Tree Lodge, Blancaneaux Resort and Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve, to encourage this green initiative to all incoming guests.
Much like in Europe, for many Belizeans work stays at work, with time carved out for recuperation. For many Belizeans, work and careers are not at the center of their life. Instead, most focus on spending their free time with family and friends, stoking the bonds that matter most. This is not only important for one’s own mental health, but to dispel the idea that people’s worth is based on their career, which should not be true. By adapting a healthy work/life balance, you will notice the significant weight lifted off you, leading you to a happier life.
And we’ve since embraced that habit: Umaya Resort in Southern Belize’s Placencia Peninsula popped up during the pandemic as a utopia for remote workers, Belizean or not.
4. Make friends wherever you go.
In that same vein, Belizeans are the epitome of the phrase “strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet.” When a local asks how you’re doing, they genuinely want to know how you’re doing. Belizeans are simply friends lying in wait, and all you need to do is share a joke while waiting in line at a breakfast joint to gain a newfound Belizean friend to hit up on a return trip.
5. Live in a vacation destination.
Less of a habit and more of perhaps a long-term life path, you could always become an expat in Belize! Locals in Belize have the privilege of hashtagging their photos #WeLiveWhereYouVacation. You can, too, if you decide to move to Belize and live out the rest of your days on the beach (or in the jungle.) With a lower cost of living, a more minimalist lifestyle and a thriving expat community, moving to Belize should definitely be on your list for life-changing habits to adapt from Belizeans.
When you’re ready to make your move, start here.
Header image courtesy ROEming Belize
Editor's Note: This article was first shared on August 24, 2021.