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Advice on moving to Belize and making friends

Posted By: moloneymb

Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 02/16/16 08:51 PM

Hi folks,

I am looking for a change of scene and Belize is looking like the best place for myself and my gf, weíre both 30. Iím an applied researcher in Big Data and Machine Learning. Itís a pretty good gig which I can do from home anywhere in the world. Currently Iím based in San Francisco but tax combined with a very high cost of living and constant visa issues (Iím Australian and visas get in the way of contracting) are all conspiring to make living here less than ideal.

What Iíd like to get a sense for is if I could fit in with the expat community in San Pedro. Iím looking for feedback to help me set my expectations, and Iím looking to make friends who share some similar interests and hopefully hit the ground running.

So for my expectations of San Pedro; at a minimum Iíd be happy with an air-conditioned room with internet (even slow and intermittent) where I can work, study and save money. With the money saved I could attend tech conferences around the world and be much more plugged into the tech scene than I am now living in the center of SF. So even if there isnít anyone that shares my interests at this stage I think moving to Belize would still be a good move.

But ideally what Iím looking for are for people in San Pedro who share similar interests to me to work with, hang out with and go on trips with. I'm into tech, flying, kiteboarding, traveling. I have equipment for fun outings that I'd be happy to share.

[<Edit: Toning it down a bit>]

My girlfriend shares many of my hobbies but is also really into Yoga and rural retreats.

At this stage my plan is to go to San Pedro for a few weeks as a sanity check and if it works out Iíll move in April.

Iím really looking forward to it.

Cheers,
Matt
Posted By: Wizardofaahs

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 02/17/16 03:00 AM

Visit. Then choose somewhere else to live and base from. I cannot imagine you will find a peer group much less mutual ground for you interests in the older expat population. Immigration issues, work permits, all those things are costly. Probably not the placem for you. Do some more research.
Posted By: t42

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 02/17/16 03:37 AM

Look into Caye Caulker sounds more your like what you might be interested in.
Posted By: moloneymb

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 02/17/16 05:09 AM

Thanks guys. That's why I do these sanity checks. I'll check it out.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 02/17/16 12:02 PM

I think you will fit it very well! There are lots of people your age with shared interests in San Pedro. Don't look just to the expats for friendship. Integrate with the community.
Gf will find many yoga groups and you will probably find the internet service very adequate to your needs.
Posted By: collyk

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 02/17/16 12:19 PM

There's a pretty good scene here now of people in your age group. There has been a change since I've lived here from older retirees and snowbirds to younger, creative and a more adventurous crowd (not to say that there aren't some pretty adventurous and creative people in the older crowd either). Definitely come and do a reccy. I suspect you may find the sort of scene you are looking for.
Posted By: AustinThomas

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 06/14/16 12:45 AM

Hey Matt,

My wife and me just came back! Have you guys moved?

Thomas
Posted By: KeyWestMike

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 08/22/16 03:04 PM

Hey man, just popped in wishing I could help....but...I just posted pretty much the same add as u. So, I thought if we get linked into someone that is willing to take time to share some insights/info I'll share with u and u share with me. I'm in Key West my handle here is KeyWestMike my email: [email protected] smile THX
Posted By: KeyWestMike

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 07/05/17 09:30 AM

Hello. I'm looking to move to Belize this fall and was wondering if there is a A Belize type Craigslist. I don't see an actual Craigslist site, --i'm wanting to review private rentals. Anybody care to enlighten me? THX
Posted By: dabunk

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 07/05/17 01:04 PM

There was a facebook buy and sell site for Belize but it got so cluttered with junk I dropped out last year.
Posted By: katzgar

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 07/05/17 04:15 PM

Originally Posted by KeyWestMike
Hello. I'm looking to move to Belize this fall and was wondering if there is a A Belize type Craigslist. I don't see an actual Craigslist site, --i'm wanting to review private rentals. Anybody care to enlighten me? THX


anything online will be over priced. figure out your area and ask around, stores. Looking for stuff like CL in Belize shows you have a lot to learn about Belize so take it slow.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 07/05/17 07:29 PM

From someone who actually lives on the island... There are plenty of Facebook Groups that sell anything and everything, I've sold countless items in the various groups.
Posted By: katzgar

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 07/06/17 02:50 PM

From someone that will never live on the island. I've had expats in Belize tell me that something like 40 to 60% of expats return back north. rent until you decide if you like it. The best price I have heard of in San Pedro is from a family in the US that pretty much dumped a place after the expat died of a heart attack. I really like Belize but my heart issues make living there unwise given the poor health care.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 07/06/17 06:44 PM

Foreigners move to Belize for a variety of reasons - mainly a full change of life style and/or the climate.

We have a small number of foreign criminals who move here to avoid justice in their homeland. Many are returned north in handcuffs. Some still live amongst us but justice or karma will catch up with them eventually.

Many younger retirees leave to take care of ailing parents. Older retirees return home for better or supplemented health care reasons.

Younger folks move here for the lifestyle changes and enjoying their youth in a fairly carefree society that promotes entrepreneurism. They often leave when they feel it is time for their kids to get an education overseas.

In regards to owning property here, if you buy a home or condo it will likely take a year or so to sell if you price it at market value. It will sell faster below market value and if it is above market value it may take years to sell.

Renting when you first arrive is wise to ensure that you are really ready for this huge lifestyle change. Once you take the full plunge you are committed for usually a few years.

No matter how you find your way here and how long you stay here, you will leave forever changed, or you may choose to never leave.

Make you decisions with your eyes wide open and do not burn bridges at home. Leave a few doors or windows open so that you can return north if living here doesn't suit you after a while. But while you are here, enjoy and embrace the customs, traditions and alternate lifestyle that Belize has to offer you.
Posted By: dabunk

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 07/06/17 10:54 PM

Excellent advice plan to rent for a minimum of 6 months to a year. There are so many differences that are cute at first but after a year will make you crazy. We were given that advice before we moved and found it to be the most important tip.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 07/07/17 11:43 AM

My two cents .......... random bits and observations .......
Trust your gut just a bit more than the judgments of others.
Listen more than talk.
Don't do the "I'm here I am and I'm important" thing. It offends and backfires.
Slow down.
Remember that advice given bars is usually from people under the influence and that often drama trumps fact.
Remember that in most cases the real-people you want as friends probably already have friends and settled lives and aren't out there desperately courting your company. Pretty much any time somebody rushes you for new best-buddy status they are on a hustle for something. Over time you will meet people that are genuine and caring. There are many here.
Even though this is an English-speaking country, many times the language is used differently than where you come from. Assume that you might not understand and clarify communications.
Be glad when things happen on time. Don't get mad when they don't.
Don't wear a bikini walking down Middle Street.
Enjoy the beauty, the weather, the people, the place ...........
IMHO Belize isn't perfect, but it is a good place and a healthy place and for me it is home. It may be the same for you............






Posted By: Shyboy

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 07/07/17 02:33 PM

To emphasize Diane's forth sentence above... SLOW DOWN............."Island time"
Posted By: dabunk

Re: Advice on moving to Belize and making friends - 07/07/17 02:59 PM

Excellent advice Diane
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