Moving to Belize

Barton Creek Outpost

Our daughter rope swiging at our swimming hole.

Barton Creek Oupost

Barton Creek Outpost

In 2004 my wife and I sold our stuff, packed up our 2 children, ages 6 & 3, and moved to Belize without ever having visited here. Six years and another child later we are still here. Most days we still love it.

Our good friend in Florida had purchased beautiful property in western Belize, commissioned a few structures to be built here and offered us a chance to come down, start a business and live in the Belizean jungle. We didn’t immediately jump at the chance but pondered it for some time before making the leap. Jacquelyn and I had both spent much of our lives on the water and were, in fact, navy deep-sea divers for 10 and 12 years, respectively. At the time we got the offer we lived on a small island in southwest Florida where we lived right on the water and I was a charter captain taking people fishing & island hopping. Belize sounded ok but the jungle? What about the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world? You sure you don’t have anything available closer to that? In the end we went all in and here we are 6 years later.

Today we operate the business we founded called Barton Creek Outpost (www.BartonCreekOutpost.com). The Outpost caters to backpackers traveling through Belize, we offer free camping, rent tents and work with local tour companies showing people the amazing sites in this area. I won’t say we’ve got it figured out but we’ve received quite an education since we’ve been here and know a helluva lot more than the day we arrived. In the months following our arrival I heard from a few sources that we wouldn’t make it here and God only knows what tomorrow brings but here we are, still slugging. Floods, thieves, dengue fever and serious financial hardships aside we enjoy the amazing setting, our lifestyle, the people we meet and a country that is at once refreshing and exasperating.

Like many people who live away from their extended families our friends have become our surrogate families and we are blessed with great friends, most of them ex-pats in the same boat. While we are here year round several of our friends go to the US for the slowest part of the year, usually August – November or so.  We miss them!  The ex-pat community here is large, active and growing. Belize, being an English speaking country with favorable laws regarding land ownership and rights, is an easy place to relocate.

We home school our children, spend many days together as a family (even if we are working) and even make it to nearby San Ignacio for some occasional R&R.  I think raising our children in this remote spot in the jungle might be easier than raising them in a more traditional circumstance. It doesn’t “take a village”, it takes our direct involvement and with our lifestyle we are more able to provide that. Homeschooling can be a challenge when we are busy with the Outpost and I admit to counting my time in their presence as quality time when I shouldn’t but I am very happy with where my kids are socially and, maybe only slightly less so, academically. I still have exposure to children raised by their teachers, babysitters & TV and I feel fortunate that we are able to raise them this way.  I hope time proves that we have made the correct decision in that regard.

I am new to blogging in general but look forward to posting more in the very near future. My postings will mostly center around our experience here in Belize and what we have done to carve out a life here. I look forward to sharing our experiences.

Jim

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About BelizeBritts

Jim and Jacquelyn moved to Belize in 2004 after spending much of their adult lives as US Navy Deep Sea Divers. Jacquelyn specialized in the Navy's Marine Mammal Program handling sea lions and dolphins with the US Navy's Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) as well as conducting underwater repairs on navy ships. Jim was a Navy Chief specializing in underwater repairs to ships and submarines as well as operating a recompression chamber for the treatment of injured divers. They moved to Belize in 2004 from Pine Island, Florida where Jacquelyn is a 4th generation native. Jim is from all over but calls Nashville, Tennessee home. In March 2013 they moved back to Pine Island, FL to spend more time with their family.
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8 Responses to Moving to Belize

  1. MeL & Chuck says:

    Awesome blog Jim, very inspiring! You’re a great writer, who woulda thought! lol
    We look forward to your future posts!

  2. Sherm says:

    That was great enjoyed reading it and very well written. If anybody could make it It would be you I’m very very proud of you all

  3. belizebritts says:

    Thank you guys. You are both very kind to take the time to reply here.

  4. kaitlynbritt says:

    wow, dad it’s great!you are a really good writer and the blog is wonderful!

  5. This is so inspiring to read and we love your pictures! We have two kids, 9 and 7, and have been seriously contemplating the idea of moving to Belize. We don’t have connections down there like you did when you moved there, but it seems like a do-able thing with some planning and preparation.

    I plan to bookmark this blog and check it out often, thanks for sharing your adventures! 🙂

  6. Trudy & Ray Norsworthy says:

    We haven’t visited Belize yet feel I have lived there through your Blog.You are an excellent writer and think you should write a novels.I can visualize your jungle and smell the flowers,but don’t like the feel of the blood sucking bug’s dung on my face!
    My husband and I are expats who lived and worked in the Middle East for some years.we are looking into a place to retire where life is slower and living on our monthly retirement is possible. Not sure if fighting thieves,snakes and bugs in our late 60’s is possible. What’s your feeling of beach living but not crowded condos or million $ estates? Just a couple of old fearless adventurers ready to relax on the minimum the B. Govt requires.

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