Disconnect to Reconnect—With an Escape to Belize
It can sometimes feel like our lives are little more than the aggregate of our social media presence — but if you’re tired of meticulously grooming your LinkedIn to expand your network or gauging your self-worth on Facebook likes, it may be time to unplug and get back in touch with yourself. Because while the internet may have helped connect us to the rest of the world in ways that we never have, it also has a way of making us forget about the natural world around us.
In Belize, people take things a little bit slower. That’s not to say that you won’t find Wi-Fi or the other amenities that are considered so crucial in modern life. It’s just that you won’t find the people around you caring nearly as much. Cars are refreshingly uncommon in many of Belize’s settlements, and even the bigger tourist towns tend to have the vibe of a fishing village. That’s because when the tourists have left, that’s the business that they revert back to.
That’s not to say that the locals aren’t friendly. While there is plenty of nature to dive into both within Belize’s interior and off of its coast, the diverse cultures and lifestyles of Belize are just as worthy of your attention. Hopkins Village is home to the Garifuna — an Afro-Caribbean ethnic group exclusive to Belize. But you’ll also find a Mennonite settlement within Belize as well as a decently sized Chinese immigrant population here. It’s a diverse population of people, and it’s the type of experience you won’t have with your eyes locked on a phone screen. While the people of Belize are as varied as can be, there’s something to learn in their more naturalistic and less work-driven approach to living. And that manifests in the form of song, dance, and food.
Of course, you don’t have to spend all of your time in the company of strangers. Whether you’re going on a romantic honeymoon, a solo vacation, or a meet-up with your old college friends, there are plenty of adventures to be had in Belize. The jungle itself is home to a surprising number of Maya ruins as well as countless jungle parks — one of the most notable being the jaguar reserve known as Cockscomb Basin. But the interior is also home to ATM Cave — a vast network of underground tunnels that’s frequented for cave exploration.
If you wanted to, you could enjoy your time in Belize without ever stepping foot into the jungle. Over 400 islands are scattered off the coast of Belize, and Belize City offers a water taxi that leads you directly to the major islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. That puts you right where you need to be for scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing off of the Belize Barrier Reef — but no one will call you out if you decide to spend your time just sprawled out on a splendid Caribbean beach.
The best part of traveling to Belize is that it’s beautiful all year long. Whether you’re caught in the middle of a summer heat wave or a winter snow storm, the moderate climate and beautiful environment of Belize is tailor made for escaping the demands of modern life.