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Belize 1997 – our first escape from the American Dream

How we escaped the American Dream and moved to Belize twenty-five years ago.

Bob and I escaped the American Dream twenty-five years ago by selling our little horse farm in Williamsburg, Virginia, packing up the kids, and moving to Belize.

Bob on the balcony outside our bedroom, boldly inhaling freedom from corporate America
Molly, Emily, Amy, and Domino kitty
Camille, living the dream

This week—thanks to the generosity of our friend, Lyle, who has secured a gorgeous beach house in Placencia—we will revisit our old haunts for the first time since 1998.

Camille and her journal

To prepare, we have been reading the journal I kept while managing a remote jungle lodge in the Cayo district. Mountain Equestrian Trails specialized in horseback riding tours to pristine swimming holes, Mayan ruins, and stalagmite caves with ancient pottery, so there was plenty to write about during the fourteen months we ran the lodge.

One of the cabanas
Emily and baby Sol

Here is an excerpt from a piece we published on our website in the early days of our adventure:

Our life in Belize is good and the pace of life is refreshingly slow. The people here are friendly, mind their own business and have very few expectations. We rarely hear anyone blame someone or something else for their position in life. Since nobody owns very much, there is nothing to insure or buy alarm systems for. People spend a fair amount of time working with and talking with their families. Most Belizeans don’t work outside the home. They have a simple, easily maintained lifestyle – with lots of time to enjoy family, friends and nature. Homes are built from material available in the forest. No one has a mortgage. Few Belizeans own vehicles, which eliminates the need for car payments, insurance and gasoline. Family milpas (gardens) are common and therefore the grocery bills are low.

Read more here.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

10 replies on “Belize 1997 – our first escape from the American Dream”

Should be interesting to hear your take on the changes there. Obviously a lot more expats and construction. Have fun!!

For one thing, I hear the Southern Highway has been paved as well as the Chiquibul Road. Thank you for all your thoughtful tips. I’ll be posting photos to Plastic Farm Animals!

What a joyful read…..hard not to fantasize about cutting our chords free here and running to those jungles with the kids.

It was a bold move, but heck, we were young. We do feel the kids benefitted from their time in Belize, exposed to a different culture and valued as essential help in hospitality. They entertained guests, did laundry, shuttled food back and forth from the freezers to the cantina kitchen, learned a little Spanish, and helped care for the horses with plenty of time for swimming, hiking, and riding.

Thank you, Kathryn. We are all packed and ready to rock and roll! Stay tuned for photos.

It seems there is so much I don’t know of your history Bob and Camille ! Do enjoy your travels! Love Fred

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