Guest Blog - The Life of an Expat
Living in Belize as an Expat - Part I
By Ron Delvalle
The total population here on Ambergris Caye is about 20 000 people, we (the Expats) make up about 15% of the people living here in San Pedro. What is an Expat you ask? It is a person or persons who live outside their native country. Here on the Caye, the Expat community is made up with Americans, Canadians, Asians, and some Brits. We love hearing from our community, here is a story of one couples’s journey to Belize.
Ron and Annette Look for Paradise
So, you visited San Pedro on vacation, fell in love and want to retire or work here in paradise. The story has been repeated many times over by those that have gone before you and my wife Annette and I are a living example.
When we moved here in August of 2017, as we started making friends we would often ask what brought you here to San Pedro? The answer nearly always had the same message, we came here, we fell in love and we moved. That’s what happened to us beginning with our first visit in February 2016.
Having married in Jamaica nearly 20 years ago, vacation always meant somewhere in the Caribbean. On one particular trip to Cozumel, I discovered that staying at an all inclusive resort cost about a third of living back home in Atlanta. Upon returning, I subscribed to International Living magazine and embarked on a sales campaign to convince my lovely bride that Mexico should be our retirement destination. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in the market at the time.
Trip to San Pedro
In 2016, we decided to try San Pedro Belize and stayed at Ramon’s Village. It was in the center of town and allowed us to explore on foot so it seemed like a wise choice. As we walked the beach to dinner on our first night, Annette turned to me and said “I love this place”. I went diving the next day on a trip to the Great Blue Hole. When I got back, I had been duly impressed with the world class diving. As the trip continued it just kept getting better. The cool laid back vibe and the warmth of the local English speaking people just kept drawing us in.
After returning home some months later, we spent an evening watching House Hunters International and they were running an episode on San Pedro. Half way into the show Annette turned to me and said, “I can do a year in Belize”. That was it. The deal was made and we began preparations with another survey trip the following February in 2017 staying at a condo for 2 weeks trying to get a sense of what life would be like as an expat. We moved here August 28th of the same year with the intent of staying one year. It has now been two years and we are looking for a new place to rent for another 2 years at least.
Two Years and Counting….
Life here has been amazing and keeps improving as we keep adapting. In my next blog, I’ll share some of the things we learned along the way and how we’ve adapted to living in a foreign land. It’s a big adjustment and not for everyone but it has suited us well and we are extending to soak up more of living in this tropical island paradise on the Caribbean Sea.