Updated: Jul 7, 2021
WE MADE IT to Belize on July 1st after what felt like a grueling few months where minutes seemed like hours. There was a daily fear that somehow "the other shoe would drop" and derail a very major life change that both of us were beyond excited about. The first hours of travel day were very focused on managing logistics so that we could make each mode of transportation (2 planes, a shuttle, a water taxi, and regular taxi), because unlike Manhattan, San Pedro isn't a city that never sleeps.
Once we got on the water taxi from Belize City, it was a one-and-a-half hour ride to San Pedro. Dani, beaming with excitement, spent the ride taking photos for her photography business (Her IG is @photographee_by_danee) and trying to spot dolphins (we saw one). Meanwhile, next to her on the very uncomfortable bench, I had some time to finally start to process everything about our journey and this major life decision. As I watched the ferry moving further and further from the mainland, the magnitude of this move hit me in a very surreal, hard-to-explain way. These feelings became even stronger about an hour in, when we stopped in Caye Caulker (Caye is pronounced "key", by the way). It's there that we saw a large bag of potatoes being hauled off the boat and Dani, who thought it was strange, commented on it and took a great, artistic picture capturing the moment. Until that moment, my city girl had never encountered the need to understand how a bag of potatoes would get to an island that doesn't grow potatoes. For her it was a fleeting thought until the next new stimuli took it's place. For me, it was a reminder that living where and how we have lived, it's more than easy to take for granted so many simple little things like the journey a bag of potatoes go on to end up on our plates.
That whole ferry ride was what I would call eerie excitement. As I stared at the waves behind us made by the ferry, I felt that they reflected our past--a past that was helping launch us into our future. Watching the waves, I remembered the oracle card that I kept getting as I asked the Universe for signs about this next chapter for us--Waves of Prosperity. This card only started coming up for us as we inched closer to Belize and as our project ideas began to grow. The message on the card was that this new chapter would bring about wealth, abundance, and overall prosperity. It's a card that set my mind at ease. I believe that this card is a direct answer from God about our new business ventures (The Red Beanie Travel Guide, this Blog that allows me to embrace my love of writing and hopefully inspire others, my PT Business--Escalate Personal Training, my Career & Leadership Consulting Business--Escalate Strategies, and Dani's Photography Business--Photographee by Danee). I believe that our Waves of Prosperity will come from the success of these ventures--a success that's defined as much, if not more, by life fulfillment as by monetary returns.
We've spent our first 5 days here navigating a new world acting like tourists on vacation, but with a healthy dose of recognition that we are not. My background in Anthropology and my experience across my travels has equipped me with the tools I hope will lessen the impact of the inevitable culture shock phase that will follow in the coming weeks. I've already been preparing for this, as I want that phase to be as painless on Dani as possible. She's already met friends that live on our street--one who apparently has a crush on her and she on him (something I'm so not ready to hear yet!). She even went to play at his house yesterday night with another neighboring kid and as it was getting dark, I began to get anxious. But, then I remembered that that's how we grew up. Kids played outside until the street lights came on. That's the world I want her to grow up in. A world where 'screen time' isn't in our vocabulary and she can enjoy real life, real in-person experiences. So last night for me, was yet another validation for this move. So every night when we say our prayers, we start with an expression of utmost gratitude <3<3<3