It took me a while to figure out what exactly it is that sets Belize apart from many other travel destinations.
Some of you may think it’s the beautiful Cayes, where the Caribbean Sea washes ashore to sandy beaches and the cool shade of palm trees. That suggestion sounds likely, after all, Ambergris Caye, Belize’s most popular destination has consecutively been named the best island of the world but thousands of TripAdvisor users.
Others may say the beauty of Belize lies in the great adventures such as scuba diving great sites, swimming with whale sharks, exploring caves that hold sacred Mayan relics and sacrificial remains, and discovering unique wildlife creatures such as birds. Again, these suggestions are all serious contenders but the answer is never quite that simple.
The best thing about Belize is its people and the way of life.
It’s how everyone looks for ways to connect with each other. A day doesn’t go by without someone telling you “Gud Ma’ning/ good morning” or “Tek Care/ take care”. You may think that’s not a big deal but it is proven that something as little as a smile from a stranger can set off a chain reaction of positive feelings. As humans we yearn kindness and when received, we are more likely to reciprocate it and in the end, feel better about ourselves.
Certainly not every Belizean will treat you with courtesy but I can bet you that the majority will. I can confidently say that no one visits Belize and return home without making friends. And by friends I mean genuine friendship. You will have photos of this person and keep in touch, even if it’s only via Facebook. But why would you add a stranger to your facebook friend’s list you may ask? Your societal rules don’t apply here you idiot. So relax.
Here’s an example of how simple interactions are different: When a Belizean asks you how was your day, they aren’t asking because of conversational politeness, they are genuinely interested in hearing about it. And if you’re out having a drink and you want to talk about work, they’ll say to you: “Stap yu rass”, let’s enjoy the music, dance all night and be merry.