Mistakes expats make in Belize

Hello everyone,

Did you make any mistakes when you first moved to Belize? What were they?

How did you address your mistakes? Did you learn anything from them?

With hindsight, what would you do differently?

Are there any tips you could give future expats in Belize to help them avoid these kinds of mistakes?

We look forward to hearing from you!


Moderated by Bhavna 2 weeks ago
Reason : Off-Topic
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OH my. So many mistakes. My friend Craig likes to tell newcomers, your plan is crap. You can be a really smart person who's done lots of research, planning, and visits, but it's never gonna go how you plan. It's just hard to predict. It's sort of like having a kid. You can only prepare so much. You just can't know what you don't know sometimes.

More planning is definitely better. Plan on spending twice as much as you think you'll need. Have enough to live for at least a year while you refine your plan if you want to start a business here. Be really clear about why you want to live here - that helps when it's hard. Don't come here to run away from something. Come here FOR something. Connect with Belizean. Don't isolate with expats. Put an effort in understanding the culture. Get involved in your community. You can also see the packing thread to read my ramblings on what I wish I hadn't/had packed.

Yep that is pretty succinct.
I specially agree Belize shouldn't be somewhere you go to run away from something else.That can be some part of the reasons the oft quoted numbers about expats leaving within a year or two.
After traveling the world and living in in 26 homes in 9 countries, the one saving grace when we were someplace I was not overly fond of there was always an end date.
If you are not 100% sure that Belize is going to be your forever home give yourself an end date, or decision date for when you will decide on if it is right for you or not, and do not sink all your income/savings into a place you are not 100% happy.
If you do not know  ( that week  of vacation time does not really count) Belize do not buy before  or instantly you arrive. Renting is so easy here.

There is so much I can share. There are days I considered myself lucky having being able to live in Belize. Then there are days just the opposite.
Having a large property and having a large labor force is not really a plus.
I love farming ,so I close my eyes on losses and screw ups. Unless you have a strong reason to be in Belize the disappointment factor will creep in. Belize is not US and vice versa .

My advice?  I lived there for a year.  Don't move there.  It's a horrible place to live.  And getting on and off Ambergris Caye is the worst.

HarleyMan501 :

My advice?  I lived there for a year.  Don't move there.  It's a horrible place to live.  And getting on and off Ambergris Caye is the worst.

Your opinion is valid and appreciated. But without some context it is more of a rant than useful information to help someone that wishes to make an informed decision on whether or not to move Belize. 

Where is there (that you wouldn't move to)? The whole country, or just Ambergris Caye? I lived on Ambergris Caye for a year and a half before moving inland. Regular daily/hourly Water Taxis and airplanes make getting on and off the island if required quite convenient. It can be expensive if you do it a couple of times a week, but if you need to spend that much time off the Caye then why live there in the first place. Ambergris Caye is getting busier all the time but that too is relative. Some argue it has lost its charm of thirty years ago, but first time visitors depending on where they have lived previously can still appreciate and find the small town atmosphere.

Many people end up leaving Belize within their first year, some more remain trapped here in misery. There are many reasons why people don't last, and yet no single answer to why, especially since "the reasons that many of those people leave, are ironically the exact same reasons that the rest of us stay".

Anyway, I'm not trying to be argumentative. Just hoping for a bit of context to your comment to help others decide where your perspective based on experience might fall into their reality, and if they would be among the 50% that would leave, or the 50% that stay.

I agree, Bill. There are many of us who stay, so obviously some have a different experience than HarleyMan. I stay because I love the land, people, and cultures so much that the stresses, challenges, and hassles are worth it. But it's way different than vacation. All that said, I wouldn't want to live on ambergris either. It's too touristy for me, but some people dig that. To each their own. Just be sure you're where you want to be before you invest big $.

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