I know I promised you trip updates while we were in Belize, but we ended up being sick the first two weeks and the last thing I wanted to do was work! We’ve been back for a couple of weeks now and I’m ready to tell you about our trip and share a huge announcement with you as well!
The Hungries are moving to Belize! Woot! ? ? ☀️ ? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Yes. That happened, and we are super excited about it!
We knew when we went to San Pedro for three weeks that we were going to scout it out as a possibility. Mr. Hungry is almost done with the project we moved to NY for, and we haven’t committed to a location and bought a new house yet, so we thought why not live abroad as a family for a year (or more) first?
Belize was an easy choice because they don’t require a Visa, just a monthly stamp and fee while you’re in the country for the first year. It’s also primarily English speaking, which is great since our plans to learn Spanish haven’t gone well so far. The cats will come with us and just need a certification that they are rabies free 48 hours before we enter the country. Easy peasy.
While in San Pedro, I scoured the island for markets that could provide ingredients I need to to continue blogging low carb, Paleo, and gluten free recipes. I found that while the selection was much more limited than in the US, there is plenty there for me to work with – beef, chicken, pork, fish, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, even cauliflower – though I’ll never complain about US prices again – yikes!!!
Obviously there is lots of tropical fare to be found, but since I want the recipes to be accessible to all of you, I won’t post anything too crazy or hard to find. So no worries about whether or not I’ll continue blogging – I’m on it and IBIH will be business as usual as far as you guys are concerned!
We scored an amazing condo with a dream kitchen RIGHT ON THE WATER and I couldn’t be more excited to move into it! I’ll be sure to post better pictures once we are set up! Our unit is the one on the bottom right!
Our lease starts on May 1st, so I’ll be packing and tying up loose ends like a maniac over here in the meantime!
I do have some recipes lined up to start posting next week and I’ll try to post 2-3 per week as per usual through the transition, but depending on our schedule there may be a few lapses until I get settled so I hope you’ll be patient with me!
One of my favorite things about the island (besides the incredible views, weather, snorkeling, fishing, food, etc.) is the friendly people. After just three weeks there we already feel like locals.
While we were sick, the charming Maria from the produce stand across the street from the Yacht Club where we were staying sent over a concoction of fresh ginger and some dried herbs for me to make tea with – her foolproof remedy they said and it worked! There was no charge and she and her son JJ who runs the stand with her asked almost daily how we were feeling.
This is a photo of Maria – handing over one of her famous (and really hard to get because it sells out FAST) containers of guacamole! That and her salsa are some of the best I’ve ever had!
We got the same kind treatment from so many of the people there that we spent time with, and they were all excited to welcome us to the island as residents rather than vacationers. It’s a nice feeling and we we already can’t wait to go back and see them again.
While island living can get a little claustrophobic, the upside is that you really get to know people and it feels like one big neighborhood. Instead of 15 – 20 checkout lines in your local Target (I’ll miss you Target!) or grocery store, you end up buying from small places and really getting to know the people who own them. It’s a nice perk for sure – in addition to all of the other great things about it.
The downside is that it’s hard to find merchandise as there are no big department stores on the island. Advance planning is going to be key. For example I brought a pair of my favorite black sandals on our trip and the first day I went to wear them they were broken! I thought “No biggie, it’s an island there must be sandals for sale everywhere.” Well there were, but not sized for my giant feet! I wear a size 10 and went to every store I could find that sold sandals and nobody had larger than an 8.5! One tiny old Mayan woman giggled out loud when I asked her if they had any size 10’s! “Oh no lady! Tee Hee!” ? ? ?
Note to self, pack lots of giant shoes.
I’ll also be shipping essentials like my trusty Vitamix, Instant Pot, Magic Bullet, Global knives, etc. since you can’t buy those on the island either. Amazon will ship certain things Internationally, but from what I understand Belize will tax it heavily on the way in, so it’s not practical unless you really need something.
The good news is that Chetumal, Mexico has a Costco and every other store you could need and they are less than two hours away by water taxi. We can also get a flight to Miami out of Belize City in less than 2 hours so it’s not like we’re completely cut off.
Anyway, enough blah de blah for now – I’m sure I’ll have lots of stories to tell as we go through the process!
Meanwhile I’m posting some more photos of the trip below, so you can see why we fell in love with this incredible island!
This is one of the views from the small plane on the flight from Belize City to San Pedro…
Sunrise from our little apartment at the Yacht Club that first morning…
Our wheels the first week – everyone gets around by golf cart or bicycle as there are very few cars on the island and only a few paved roads as well.
This is the beach in front of Estel’s, one of our favorite breakfast joints on the island – the Mayan eggs are fantastic!
We chartered a boat for deep sea fishing one day, and while the weather was great and we saw dolphins, a turtle, and some flying fish – we never caught any of the monster Wahoo, Sailfish, Dorado, or others that we were looking for! Got a small tuna and a good sized barracuda and that was it. Still a fantastic day on the water with Freedom Tours who we highly recommend!
A friend of mine and her daughter came to visit us the last week and we went reef fishing (again with Freedom Tours) together – got plenty of snapper and the kids had a blast on the boat.
In addition to the snappers we got lots of lobsters thanks to our guide Josh and Mr. Hungry who got right in there and helped fill the boat!
Keep your flowers, I’ll take a bouquet of lobsters any day!
After we fished the guides brought us to a beach park and made us this amazing lobster and snapper stew – it was one of the most delicious things we ate on the entire trip! This giant pot is the LEFTOVERS after we’d already eaten as much lobster as we could stand! Amazing!
Another of our favorite spots was Secret Beach – a 45 minute golf cart ride out of town through crocodile infested lagoons on sketchy dirt roads! Totally worth the drive – a true adventure and a spectacular beach where you swim among small barracuda and needlefish right under your feet! You can wade out hundreds of feet and still only be chest deep in crystal clear water.
Secret Beach is also a great place for kids and beginner snorkelers to see lots of fish and to get comfortable before going to more challenging locations like the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, where we went later in the trip.
I posted some you tube videos of our snorkeling highlights with turtles and nurse sharks for the curious. No fancy editing, just raw footage we took with the little ActionPro-X camera that we bought for the trip! It worked great!
On the way back into town from Secret Beach there is a cool place called the Truck Stop with a bunch of food trucks set up and a lounging area in the back with a fire pit, hammocks, a big deck over the lagoon, and even some games for the kids to play. Great food & drinks, and a hip island vibe!
We saw this guy at the Truck Stop with a baby raccoon he’d rescued! Squeeeeeeeeee! Now I want one!
Our new favorite Mexican restaurant on the island is Caliente – great food, frozen Sangria, and just look at that view!
Breakfast and great coffee on the beach – it really doesn’t get any better than that! San Pedro has their own coffee roaster called Caye Coffee Roasters and they make really fantastic coffee – another important factor in my decision to move or not ha ha!
What we’ll be seeing pretty much every morning from our condo in San Pedro – not a bad view to wake up to amiright??
So there you have it, some highlights from our trip and photos of the place we’ll be calling home for the next year or more depending on how things go! Exciting, right???
We are thrilled and I’ll continue to keep you posted on our progress!
Meanwhile we are back to our regularly scheduled programming of delicious low carb recipes starting Monday! Thanks for your patience and have a great weekend Peeps!!!