Three Unexpected Things That Have Happened to us Since our Relocation to Belize
When planning and working towards something as major as relocating from one country to another, it’s safe to say that Kaila and I had a vision of how things were going to play out as we dove head-first into our new lives abroad. While some aspects went exactly as planned, others took us by surprise. Many of you can probably relate to this experience—expecting one outcome but encountering something quite different. Perhaps it was for the better, or perhaps it was for the worse. Either way, the lesson we’ve learned is to acknowledge how you think something is going to go but accept the outcome if you are completely off. In this week's newsletter, we’re going to dive into three things that have happened to us since moving abroad that were completely unexpected and how we’re trying to navigate these realities.
The first thing that has surprised us since our relocation is the fact that we thought we’d have more time to connect with family and friends. We are busy! Most mornings, we wake up earlier than we ever did in Ontario, yet it feels like every minute of the day has a dedicated purpose, and before we know it, it’s dinner time. The days feel like they are flying by, and very little time feels wasted. From our therapeutic walks along the beach, managing our careers, nourishing our marriage, ensuring we get our physical activity, continuing to learn and understand the culture of our new environment, fueling our bodies with proper nutrients, maintaining the friendships we’ve made with locals and expats alike, making sure baby J is receiving the love he deserves, and many other things that require our attention, often our days are full before they’ve even begun. As busy as we constantly are, we wouldn’t have it any other way! We understand how blessed and fortunate we are to be able to exist abroad next to the person you love. And despite how difficult it can be to connect with our loved ones back home, it brings us great pleasure to be able to do so right here through our newsletters. Thank you for your continuous support. It means everything to us!
Another thing that has unexpectedly taken center stage since our relocation to Belize is the daily battle we face in trying to understand if Belizeans truly want us here, in their country. We have met and made friends with many Belizeans who are grateful for our presence here. They understand that we landed here with an open mind and are continuously trying to learn and adapt to THEIR culture. It’s been brought to our attention that far too many people come to Belize and expect things to be how it is in their home country. Or they try to influence the people and culture of Belize to be like how it is in their home country, whether it’s USA, Canada, Australia, UK, etc…
If that’s the attitude you decide to come down here with, you won’t be received very well by the people of Belize. It’s also painfully obvious that with more and more foreigners investing in Belize and relocating here from other countries, this is causing the prices of real estate to become far too expensive for Belizeans to afford, leading many to be displaced from their homes, so foreigners can come in and build something bigger and far more expensive. It’s happening every day here on our tiny island, with Belizeans having to retreat to the mainland, where prices are much more affordable. It’s a sad reality with no signs of slowing down. This island and country are “booming,” but with that come consequences, and sadly, these consequences are being felt by the people who have always called this country home. How do we not become a part of this problem? That's the challenge set forth in front of us.
The last thing we’re going to discuss in today's newsletter that we did not expect to happen when we relocated here is the love/hate relationship we have with the dogs on this island. On one hand, you can’t help but fall for some of the stray dogs that roam the sandy streets on a regular basis. Take our friend, Mr. T, for example. Mr. T is the sweetest, most gentle boy that truly makes your heart melt when he looks at you. Mr. T gets along great with Jameson, and if you know Jameson, then you’d know that this is RARE. When we’re out for one of our walks, and Mr. T finds us, he’ll often continue walking with us. Not begging for food or anything, just walking side by side until our walk is done. It’s the cutest thing.
On the contrary, we have the unfortunate reality of living next to a yard that houses five or six dogs that live outside, that at times can be incredibly vocal…at ANY time of the day or night. On the worst of nights, one or more of these dogs can bark on and off all night long. The frustration is real. Imagine you’re just about to drift off to sleep and then *BARK BARK BARK* for the next fifteen minutes…This part of our journey has been difficult to adjust to, to say the least.
All that being said, we’re grateful for the position we’re in, and we count our blessings daily. Nobody said moving to Central America was going to be easy, and at the end of the day, we’re fortunate to be able to experience everything that has come our way so far. Our journey continues with our minds open and our hearts full.