Ah, Belize, . . . summertime and the livin’ is easy . . . . err, that is, if you’re a teacher who has summers off.
Next week, my husband and I will be jetting off to a Caribbean island known as the world’s second largest Great Barrier Reef – Ambergris Caye (pronounced “key”), Belize. It’s a place where life is a bit more laidback than what we’re accustomed to in the States.
According to what we’ve read, the typical modes of transportation on the island are walking, bicycling, and golf carts. We’ll fly into the capital, Belize City, and then take a boat or small plane to the island.
Ambergris is known for water sports, hammocks, mild temperatures, white sand beaches, and sparkling turquoise waters. We are looking forward to the Caribbean lifestyle, that’s true, but we’re particularly interested in the trip for a couple of other reasons.
The first reason is that we’ve never been to Central America before, not even to see the Panama Canal. We’ll do some exploring, enjoy the Caribbean cuisine, and relish in the tropical paradise.
The second reason for this trip, which is the most important to us, is to determine if Belize would be enough to our liking to be our next part-time residence. Like so many others who yearn to experience other parts of the world, we’ve decided to forego a daily routine of long hours, stress, daily meetings, and corporate red tape in exchange for travel and the opportunity to do our “own thing.”
Stepping Off the Edge
Right now is the first week of June. The school year has just ended . . .
It was just a few short months ago that I had to decide if I would sign my teaching contract for the 2017/2018 school year.
Long story short, I didn’t sign it.
After much soul searching, I submitted a letter of resignation instead. I decided that if I simply cannot live without a schedule, I can always go back to my job as a special education teacher.
When the Travel Bug First Hit Us . . . .
But, I’m getting ahead of myself so let me back up a few years.
When we first started thinking about the idea of traveling, both of our children were pretty much on their own. Our daughter was newly married and living in another state and our son was attending college and living across town. We were going through the very real phenomenon of the “empty nest” syndrome and it was very especially difficult for me.
So, in a somewhat haphazard way (at first), my husband and I decided to transition to more of a “lock-and-leave” lifestyle. To started to look for ways to simplify our lives sans children.
But wait . . . we still had to spend our Saturdays on household chores, and mowing and pruning the yard, and cleaning the swimming pool, and the garage. It seemed like we lived to maintain what we owned instead of enjoying it – especially now that the kids were gone!
But that was only part of it. In reality, we’d lost touch with our sense of adventure because we simply didn’t have time for it.
As happens quite frequently, people become so entwined in their daily routines that their dreams are tucked away in the hidden corners of my minds. (I think there’s a song about that.) Pretty soon, the cob webs come in, we have new stressors, and our dreams fade. As time goes on, we may even forget our dreams. Or they just get rusty or seem foolish.
Maybe it was sports, but now we’re a little older so in no shape to play. Maybe it was a talent, but since we had no time to paint or play an instrument, we no longer are able to I’m talking about doing whatever it is that your heart desires. And whatever it is that your mind dreams. It means having the freedom and the wherewithal to make your life your own.
Our Latest Plan . . .
We’re ready to see new places and precious European favorites. With several trips planned for this summer and early fall, along with a couple of photography assignments, Ron and I are looking forward to fulfilling what has been our dream – to travel for several months at a time.
So, this is the year that we’ve made plans to do something different. We’re excited and anxious at the same time, but we want to try our hand at living somewhat on the edge.
We’re blessed with good health and steady minds and a sense of adventure for the unknown.
Looks like we’ll be accumulating a few travel miles on our reward cards . . . . and we’ll let you know how it turns out!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain