The Beginning... how an extended family of seven dreamed of moving to Ambergris Caye, Belize

Island of Ambergris Caye

It was August 2020.  Jordyn and Jaden had come to visit for the summer from Georgia.  Zachary had just spent his 21st first birthday at Hooters, a complete let down to the 21st birthday celebration our family had planned for him prior to COVID.  It had been about 5 months since the pandemic put us in a state of isolation and we were going bat-$%$ crazy.  Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort had re-opened in July.  Gemma, who not coincidentally owns a travel agency, suggested that there likely would not be another opportunity for the family to visit Orlando Theme Parks with such low crowds.  It didn’t take much convincing.  You’ve just spent 5 months at home in isolation, what are you going to do?…… “We’re going to Disney World!” Well… Walt Disney World AND Universal Orlando Resort, to be exact.

This vacation was the first that we had taken since our family cruise in December 2019.  As a family who normally travels together 5 to 6 times a year, this gathering of all 7 of us was long overdue. Our “togetherness time” always sparks lively conversations, and 2020 provided us with plenty of interesting and controversial topics.  Jaden, our Tiny Toucan, was at the center of many of our conversations.  We all wanted him, and any future children/grandchildren, to grow up in an encouraging, constructive, and positive environment, not only from within the family, but the community as well.   It was during one of these “spirited conversations” that Gemma had an epiphany – let’s just pack up and move to Belize.

Our family, and extended family have visited Belize, and more specifically Ambergris Caye, many times over the last 10 years. As tourists, we appreciated the beauty of the island, the friendliness of the people, the sense of community, and its laid-back culture. And let’s not forget that English is the official language, and Ambergris Caye has beautiful weather year round.  As we looked more seriously into relocating to Ambergris Caye, we found even more enticing reasons to move.  Here are just a few of them:

  • No restrictions on property ownership
  • Annual property taxes for a (comparable) house on Ambergris Caye were less than one month of property taxes on our house in Texas
  • Monthly tuition for private school was about the same as one week of daycare in the US
  • Golf carts and/or bicycles are the primary source of transportation on the island
  • Access to adventures including the Mayan Ruins, wildlife reserves & natural forests, cave exploring, and unlimited snorkeling and diving opportunities, just to name a few.
  • Affordable healthcare, no insurance required!
  • We are close to “home” – It is only a 2.5-hour plane ride to Texas or Georgia

It would take some additional research, but perhaps this dream of moving to Belize together wasn’t as far-fetched at Gemma thought, after all.