Sure, when most people hear our story of our world travels they think, “How fabulous! You’re going on a perpetual vacation! How exciting!”
Yes, it is exciting and we are fortunate for this amazing experience. But, it’s living life in a new environment every few weeks or months (as few as thirteen days in Dubai in May 2013 and as many as five months in Hawaii in 2015).
If there were no bags, no laptops, no vitamins, no prescriptions, no digital equipment, no camera, no cords, no toiletries, no documents, no shoes, no clothing and boots for Africa for going on safari, no clothes including dressy clothing for formal nights on six more upcoming cruises, no bathing suits, no Pouchong tea, no Crystal Lite, no bug spray and on and on, it would definitely be easier.
The reality? We need these items. As we’ve traveled thus far, we find that we can’t even buy many basic grocery items, let alone any of the above items we’ll use along the way. A can of Crystal Lite Iced Tea priced at $2.99 in the US was $12.50 in Belize. We’re glad we brought a small portion that will hopefully last until we get to another country.
We don’t eat snacks or junk foods so the few food items we brought aren’t taking much room: Tom’s little packs of sunflower seeds (to help keep him smoke free), a few bars of sugar free dark chocolate and a few packs of gum.
We also packed a bag of coconut flour, a jar of coconut oil and baking powder in a tiny container so we can have our GF Coconut Flour Pancakes (the recipe can be found by typing in the “search” box on our homepage) which I made for breakfast yesterday. I used these ingredients plus the lightweight measuring cups and spoons I’d packed. They weren’t stocked here in the little house.
Luckily, I found the unsweetened coconut milk for the recipe. Belize is known for its coconut groves. The other ingredients were not to be found at the Maya Beach grocery store where we stopped shortly before arriving.
We have no means of transportation. We’d hope to rent a golf cart twice a week but the facility is so far away, one has to figure out how to get there to pick it up and return it. When we booked this property, I checked on the location of the golf cart rental. They said they were walking distance from our beach house. Well, its five miles each way. Hardly a short jaunt in 90 degree weather.
Rental cars are $3500 a month, for the smallest sized car. Golf carts were advertised online at $10 for a half day to find out they are $58 including lots of state and local taxes, ending up over $75. A cab ride to downtown Placencia, the five mile ride, is $40 each way plus tips.
There’s bicycles here but I haven’t been on a bike in 50 years. Do I dare upset the delicate balance of my new found pain free existence with a potential fall? I hesitate to try. Then again, part of me, wants to give it a whirl.
Tomorrow, we’ll take the bus for $1 Belizean (about $.50 US) each to downtown that runs twice a day, walk the world famous beach side sidewalk, check out the local sites, dine in a highly recommended restaurant and end up our day with grocery shopping in the bigger grocery store.
We’ll haul six jugs of purified water and all the groceries back with us in one of our wheelie duffel bags and several of the nice cloth bags my niece in San Diego gave us when we stayed at her home for two days before boarding the Celebrity Century on January 3rd. It seems so long ago.
We’ll boil water in a giant pot to use for washing dishes. We use our bottled water to make ice in the little ice cube trays I packed that held my costume jewelry while in the bags. We’ll brush our teeth and wash our faces with bottled water.
Yesterday, with poor water pressure it took nearly all day to wash two loads of laundry. There’s no clothes dryer. We hung our clothes outside on the clothesline provided using weathered clothespins (hadn’t seen those in years) while standing in sand, a few feet from the sea. They were wrinkled but smelled good, taking almost all day to dry in the humid weather.
There’s no AC. There are numerous fans. We sweat during the day. We sleep through the night. Surprisingly. We sit outside by the sea all day, walk along the beach, playing with the dogs. By 5:00 pm, we have to come indoors. The no-see-ums arrive in swarms. They can whittle their way through the screens. We shut all the windows, awaiting it to get dark to reopen them. They fly across my computer screen as I write this.
Theft is a problem here. We have to lock the doors when we walk the 50 feet to the water. Computers and all types of electronics are often stolen out of houses including in this resort town. We’re being very careful.
During the first 36 hours, we often looked at each other wondering if we’ll be OK. As I write this tonight, Thursday, its 48 hours since we arrived. A few hours ago, while hunkered down inside away from the bite of the bugs during dusk while sitting on the uncomfortable sofa, Tom writing in Facebook, me reading reviews for restaurants downtown, our fingers touched.
He said while squeezing my hand, “We’re going to be OK.”
“Yes, Honey,” I said squeezing back, “We’ll be OK.”