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#517182 - 08/30/16 02:58 AM Relocating to Belize
Ryan B Offline
Greetings!!!

I've been doing a lot of research on making the move to Belize since I visited way back in 2011, and even more so in the past year. From what I'm able to gather based on reading this blog and others - someone like me is almost always discouraged and advised against moving down there.

First, a little about myself : I am working as a full-time bartender at several busy comedy clubs on Long Island, New York, and I'm also a New York State Licensed Massage Therapist working freelance. I'm big into the outdoors - enjoy hiking, kayaking, music, culture. I have an Associate's Degree, and some (not a lot) money to sustain myself if and when I make the move.

I understand obtaining a work permit could potentially be quite a hurdle, aside from obtaining a job itself of course. But bare in mind, I plan to live VERY modestly....

Most of what I'm reading seems to summarize in saying, "If you don't bring hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings (i.e. retirement) or plan to start your own business, don't bother coming down here." Quite frankly, even if that is informed advice, it sounds rather standoffish.

Would an attempt at moving to Belize be completely futile for a person of my ilk? I am a native New Yorker and have always considered myself to have an innate sense of cynicism (although genuinely retaining a positive outlook on life) but I can't help being taken aback when reading through many of these blog postings. It seems that if I'm a gringo who doesn't have a healthy 401k, successful online business, or trust fund, I'm not wanted. Is this true?

Any and all feedback is appreciated
Thanks for reading,
Ryan

heart

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#517185 - 08/30/16 10:27 AM Re: Relocating to Belize [Re: Ryan B]
ragman Offline
Ryan, Belize is a country of less than 350k. It has laws which are in place to protect it's citizens. If these laws where not in place, an Island like Ambergris Caye would have very few jobs for Belizeans. I can't think of a single gringo bartender in San Pedro but I don't really know about Massage Therapist although I can guess that there are none or very few.

Areas of Belize like San Pedro are expensive to live in for Gringos. It is a simple supply and demand. Good climate and friendly people so foreigners like to visit and live there. If you lived in some of the other areas of Belize it would be just as tough if not worse to earn a living because Belize is a poor country.

It may sound "standoffish" to you but the laws protect the locals as they should. It isn't that you are not wanted (well maybe). It is that you are not wanted if you are going to take the living away from a Belizean family. You should come down if you haven't already and stay for a while to get a feel for what I'm trying to convey. There are a few back packer type places where you could live relatively inexpensively for a while. I'm not sure if you would want to live that way for an extended period but you have to come down to understand the situation. Good Luck
_________________________
Jim
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

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#517206 - 08/30/16 09:08 PM Re: Relocating to Belize [Re: Ryan B]
Shyboy Offline
You are welcome.. The posts that seem "standoffish" are from people who have been down there for years ( not me)and have seen too many people with "dreams" crash and burn. Yes without a source of income you are going to crash also. The advice above is best; come down with 6 months worth of living expenses and make up your own mind.
_________________________
A little known fact... Women who are overweight tend to live longer than men who mention it...

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#517207 - 08/30/16 09:29 PM Re: Relocating to Belize [Re: ragman]
Ryan B Offline
So basically, Belize isn't a place where a person such as myself should come to live (very) modestly, I should just come down as a retiree? That's the only way it's possible?

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#517208 - 08/30/16 09:33 PM Re: Relocating to Belize [Re: Shyboy]
Ryan B Offline
Originally Posted By Shyboy
You are welcome.. The posts that seem "standoffish" are from people who have been down there for years ( not me)and have seen too many people with "dreams" crash and burn. Yes without a source of income you are going to crash also. The advice above is best; come down with 6 months worth of living expenses and make up your own mind.


That's exactly what I plan on doing - I would be renting with a 6 month lease while looking for a more permanent living situation and finding a job - but I guess the answer I'm getting is that I'm pretty much guaranteed to get my heart broken, and have to pack up and leave once my lease is up?

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#517209 - 08/30/16 09:39 PM Re: Relocating to Belize [Re: Ryan B]
Ryan B Offline
Thank you guys - -

I do value your advice very much - while these posts may not reflect it I can actually be very pragmatic. I don't think these are "lofty goals" but it's ambitious in its own way - a more idealistic commitment than I've ever made before, I must admit. Chances are, I will be staying for the 6 months. I can only hope I'm able to figure something out in that time, but I'm realistic.

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#517216 - 08/31/16 01:33 AM Re: Relocating to Belize [Re: Ryan B]
Shyboy Offline
We all hope that you will prove us wrong and get a work permit and a good paying job... If not, you can give some heartfelt advice to a similar thread as they appear all the time.. Your answering post may start" been there, done that.........."
_________________________
A little known fact... Women who are overweight tend to live longer than men who mention it...

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#517218 - 08/31/16 09:29 AM Re: Relocating to Belize [Re: Ryan B]
ragman Offline
Ryan in your original post you didn't state that you would come down for 6 months and (my words) get the lay of the land. This I would encourage highly. There are a lot of differences here than where you live and your first goal should be to see if you actually like it here and if there are possibilities for you to stay. Many don't stay after a while believe it or not because life will be quite different than you are used to.

If you do the above whether you decide to stay or not I doubt you will regret the time spent here. Who knows you may find a way to make it work. Good luck.
_________________________
Jim
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

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#517313 - 09/03/16 02:33 AM Re: Relocating to Belize [Re: Shyboy]
Ryan B Offline
I can only hope!! I would love for it to be sooner than later - like within a year or two, but if it takes several years & many trips prior to the final move, than so be it.

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#517314 - 09/03/16 03:03 AM Re: Relocating to Belize [Re: ragman]
Ryan B Offline
Oh yeah I know I would have to "get the lay of the land" I already got the ball rolling on that - I should be staying from April to October this coming year. I was originally hoping to make the move permanently some time soon after that, but that would necessitate that I accomplish everything I need to do to make that sustainable within that 6 month timeframe, which may be unrealistic. It may take a few years, and a few "reconnaissance missions"... Unfortunately I'm simultaneously experiencing the conditions of being a New Yorker and being still somewhat young, which means a double dose of impatience (I know that won't fly down there!!!). But as for "what I'm used to" - I understand people from Long Island somehow have the international reputation of being uppity trust-fund babies in sweater vests and golf gear - that's not where I come from, and that's not what I'm used to. wink That being said, I know it will be a huge adjustment, but it looks like I'll be taking multiple long-term trips to get acquainted with everything and eventually "getting all my ducks in a row" so to speak. So I was looking to be making the move permanently by the end of next year, but I'm now realizing it may be a few years off. No rush (I have to keep telling myself)....

Thanks for taking the time to read all this - I appreciate all your advice & expat insights

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