Belize: Authenticity of the Destination
Posted by: Las Terrazas Resort
If you are anything like me, you love to vacation abroad but are easily turned off by the sights and sounds of typical tourist attractions. You know the type: the ones with all too many people, double decker tour buses, a plethora of themed restaurants, gimmicky experiences, and souvenir shops to name a few. It's human nature to be drawn to that which boasts of being the biggest and the best, but it often leads to great disappointment. Often, the experience we wished for was only a mirage, where the destination no longer resembled anything of it's true self but was instead transformed into something else completely... something tacky and dripping with consumerism.
Enter Ambergris Caye, Belize. Situated just a few miles off the coast of mainland Belize, Ambergris Caye is one of the most authentic vacation spots one can experience. While it's true that this island is one of the more popular tourist destinations in Belize, it has managed to stay true to itself and its natural charm is enough to delight residents and tourists alike. Unlike many other island destinations that are over commercialized, packed full of tourists, or have traded the view of their natural landscape with that of high rise hotel chains, Ambergris Caye offers instead a more laid-back approach to vacation. Its natural beauty and low key feel inevitably draw visitors back to the island time and time again... oftentimes, for good.
Just what makes Belize such an authentic land? Perhaps we should be asking what doesn't make it authentic? From the nation's roots, to the people who dwell in it, to the island's attitude, the language, and the seemingly unlimited amount of time that island life has to offer, this is a place that is sure to stir your affections and rejuvenate your spirit. Below are just a few small glimpses into the authenticity of Belize, but beware: to read on will surely capture your attention and lure you in for your next vacation spot.
With Belize being just 36 years old, she is still a nation that is young at heart. Rather than being marked by the pretension and hustle and bustle of big city life or the competition and desire to keep up with the Jones', Belize is instead comprised of quaint villages, charming towns, and small cities, making everything and everyone feel familiar and comfortable all throughout your vacation. There is a genuine sense of community among Belizeans, with the "everyone knows everyone" and "it takes a village" mentalities permeating across the nation. And instead of this feeling like an offense, there is a charming quality to it making everyone - residents and tourists both - feel like they are all a part of one big happy family. And I can assure you that this is a family that you will want to be a part of! Truly this is a place where you will never meet a stranger. Instead, you will make friends and be welcomed into a family that you didn't even know you were looking for. They are a people you will never forget.
As previously mentioned, Belizeans are known for their laid-back approach to life. They are a happy-go-lucky people who take life in stride and rarely let things get them down. This plays itself out relationally in that Belizeans are likeable, friendly, genuine and kind. Rather than averting their eyes or becoming awkward at the slightest onset of eye contact, they meet your gaze with a greeting and a smile and are eager to engage in conversation with you as though they have known you forever. Their jovial sincerity proves to be contagious and will soon have you smiling and greeting everyone you pass on the street as well! Your guard won't help but come down as you encounter the sincerity of the Belizeans.
Speaking of greetings and conversation, the official language of Belize is English, making it an easy country for outsiders to visit on vacation. But even more delightful is the local language known as Kriol, common amongst the islanders who live there. It is an expressive, albeit casual, form of speech full of euphemisms and peculiar expressions that are sure to bring joy and light-hearted fun to your day. Is not "Gud maanin" just the cheeriest way to say "Good morning" that you have ever heard?! And, instead of resorting to talking about the weather, something we are prone to do when conversation grows awkward or boring, Kriol offers a plethora of more interesting greetings, phrases, and conversation starters all promising that you'll never grow bored in conversation on the island! Lest you be intimidated by the prospect of a new language to learn, rest assured that Kriol is derived from the English language, making it easy to both pick up and understand. Don't be surprised if you head home from vacation with the emphatic gusto of this language lingering on your tongue ready to both delight and surprise your friends and family back home. Charm them with a simple "Lesgo Bash!" (Let's party!) and go out on the town to tell them about the wonder that is Belize.
Lastly, while Belize has nothing short to offer by way of attractions and experiences, what it really boasts of is its genuine island feel; the slow pace of life, the ability to stop and smell the roses, to go about your day unhurried and unhindered, to slow down and enjoy. We live in a day and age where it is all too easy to fill, waste, and squander our time on things that have little to no value, but the genuine island life that Ambergris Caye has to offer is one that will cause you to stop and reflect, to learn to sit still, to find peace and quiet, to think, to read, to journal, to converse, to seek, to discover, to reflect, to meditate, to explore, to play, to pray, to simply enjoy. Time is a gift and on this island in particular, it is one that you will want to open again and again.
Truly there is no place like this place. Let Las Terrazas Resort be your place in Belize.
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