New Beginnings in Belize Part 2: Getting Settled In

FullSizeRender (7)

I’ve officially been in Belize for 3 1/2 weeks. I forget what it feels like to be cold. I’ve been doing a lot of running around, getting settled in, and making new friends. Honestly, it has been a little hard to believe that I’m actually living here! I meant to take more pictures, but it seems like every time I see something beautiful my hands are full of groceries or I don’t have my phone with me. Today I plan on taking a walk for the sole purpose of taking pictures.

We’re still at the end of summer rainy season here, so it’s been pretty easy to stay inside and keep on track with my work. I also got a new client this week who I am super excited to work with! There is no lack of inspiration here, no lazy days under a blanket by the fireplace. I am full of energy and I’m surrounded by beauty all the time. I can’t explain what that does for my work ethic and my creativity level. It has been a balance between wanting to go out and explore everything San Pedro has to offer- and wanting to get as much work done as possible. The rain kind of makes that decision for me.

FullSizeRender (3)

It hasn’t been without some really fun times so far though. I’ve met some really nice, fun people. Got drunk on the beach. Fell asleep in the sun. Took my dog on his first boat ride, and today we’re heading out to get some snorkeling gear! It’s crazy, but we haven’t even been in the ocean yet!

FullSizeRender (5)

Look out for some underwater videos and photos coming soon as we head out to explore the reef! For now, it’s back to work for me! Can’t wait to see how this new client’s branding & website turns out. I’m like, way too excited about work right now- which is never a bad thing!

New Beginnings In Belize Part 1: The Trip

IMG_1364

IMG_1365

After a long, stress filled trip, I’m sitting on my couch, the Caribbean in sight outside the window next to me, and I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.

What I learned:

1. I learned that when traveling with 4 suitcases and a large dog to a foreign country, there is no time for selfies.

2. There is only time for jumping through the hurdles that airline employees set for you, who (I swear to god) make it their mission to fuck up your day. And I’m not talking about TSA or customs- we were in and out of security in two minutes.

IMG_1363

Airport 1: Cleveland

We arrived at the ticket counter, luggage and dog crate in tow. While the woman at the desk glared at us with a subtle smirk that said: “I am going to make you cry today.”

Well, she failed. I stared at her with a stone cold confidence as she tried to tell me that my dog did not have a reservation.

I continued my stony gaze after she found the reservation, and proceeded to tell me that my dog was too large for this plane.

I held my head high as I explained to her (again) that we double- then triple checked that we reserved the right plane for our dog.

I smiled with victory as she got off the phone with the manager, who told her to check our dog with the bags.

Airport 2: Atlanta

Uneventful. We made it to our gate and they started loading passengers immediately. The man at the gate even took the time to let me know that my dog was successfully boarded onto the plane.

Time for a mimosa.

If you’ve never flown first-class before, may I strongly suggest it? Awaiting us in our seats were pillows and blankets. Once we sat down, we were offered mimosas. Like, for free- before the plane took off. Flight attendants are nice to you. Whaaaat?

Things were looking up for this trip, we’d made it through…. or so I thought.

IMG_1335

 

Airport 3: Belize City

Quite a few people on our flight arrived to find that their luggage was lost. Thankfully, we were not those people. (I really hope they found their luggage, I feel for them!)

Got through customs with no problem, and people were friendly.

Pet inspection with BAHA went great. They didn’t even take him out of the crate. They looked over his paperwork and vaccine records, saw it was all in order, and charged us an import tax. Done and done.

Time to load the next plane to San Pedro. Uh Oh.

5 minutes before boarding, they decide to tell us that the captain did not bring the plane with shelving for dog crates that we reserved. That plane wasn’t going to be available until tomorrow- “But it’s ok, you can just leave the dog here overnight,” they assured us.

And that’s when I lost it.

I actually yelled at someone- and made a scene in public. Fully understanding that the people standing in front of us were just the messengers, and that the person I talked to on the phone (who was conveniently not in the room) was the one who actually screwed up. But I had had it. Enough hurdles, we were 15 minutes away from Sand Pedro, and my dog was going to get there. I ran over to the counter for the only other airline that flies to San Pedro, bought Guy a ticket on their plane, and boarded our original flight.

Once we got to the island, it was obviously time for a drink. No more customs, no more flights, just about 45 minutes to kill before our dog arrived on the other plane. We headed to the bar across the street from the airport and bought a beer- and then another.

My poor scared puppy arrived safely, along with our taxi. We made our way to our new home. Everything since that nightmare of a trip has been a dream!

When I look back at the day, I realized that I made a rookie mistake. Thinking that a trip this complicated would go off without a hitch was my downfall, and when I look back, it really wasn’t that bad. I think the stress and guilt of putting my dog in a crate and having him hauled off to the luggage compartment of an airplane really got to me.

Belize Life So Far

Ah-mazing.

So happy and grateful to be in my new home, sitting next to my dog (who seems to really like it here!).

The contrast between life in Ohio and life in Belize is already pervasive. I have so much energy, yet I’m 100% relaxed. I actually went for a run last night. I haven’t run in 2 years.

I ate fruit. Fruit! (that’s relevant because I’ve been living off of junk food and naps for the past couple months)

I’m not on vacation here. I am ready to work and use my new-found energy to my advantage. I’m ready to start earning, living healthier, and creating with more passion and enthusiasm.

I’m ready to develop some amazing products for you, and work with some amazing new clients.

I’m ready to write.

I’m also ready to snorkel, eat seafood, and walk around barefoot. Stay up late, drink beer, swim, and eat some more seafood.

IMG_1359 IMG_1360

Phew. This post was more long winded than I thought. Glad you hung in there.

I can’t wait to share more about life in Belize here on this blog regularly. So many readers have been so supportive and curious, so I figured I would make this a regular thing. Since starting The Blog Loft where I blog about business and blogging, I am thinking about taking this blog back to a more semi-personal place. I want to write about life in Belize and my design work here. I want to see what happens, and go with the flow a little. You can look forward to a site re-design, a new portfolio, and a few new client projects that I’ll be sharing soon on this blog!

At The Blog Loft, you can look forward to more designer and creative interviews, guest posts, and weekly forum chats where we get together and chat on a certain subject! Join us this week!

 

When: Thursday: Oct. 9th at 3:30pm EST 

Where: www.TheBlogLoft.com

Topic: Making Connections

Looking forward to meeting everyone who attends, I hope YOU will be there!