You may be wondering about the strange title for this article – the concept of time when living in Belize? What’s she on about? Well, the fact of the matter is, in Belize time is taken less seriously than in the UK, time is languid and laid back, and barring all emergencies, you need to get used to everything taking a lot more time and there actually being less time in the day to achieve your list of many things to do once you move to Belize!
The Belizeans are a laid back lot and this is all to the good – you should get used to being more relaxed about life if you’re planning on retiring to Belize or moving there to work and raise a family. But there is a huge cultural shift required between your current high pace lifestyle and the one you will have to adapt to once you move to Belize. In this article we look at ways to cope!
You may think that the concept of a laidback community is ideal, that you will naturally adapt and have no stress at all. You may have already holidayed in Belize and have experienced what it’s like to wait all day in a bank queue just to change some money or make a payment. When you’re on holiday, issues like this are no great shakes because you have all the time in the world. But something in us changes when we go back to our daily lives and all of a sudden time becomes precious once again! Free time is a valuable asset that we don’t have enough of – and it is changing this mindset when you move to Belize that is important.
You are probably moving to Belize to enjoy more of a relaxing life – so relax. Relax in the knowledge that time is far slower in Belize. Don’t try and achieve more than a single chore in a day because you will frustrate yourself, you will upset those around you, you will bemuse and even possibly offend those you are dealing with and what’s more, you won’t achieve more even if you do hurry and pile stress upon yourself.
Opening hours for shops and offices and government buildings can vary depending on the time of the year, the day of the week and the whim of the decision makers. Meeting times for friends, professionals and even strangers about to enter into a business transaction are loosely set. Don’t be frustrated if someone arrives an hour late, don’t be frustrated if you go to the bank and it’s closed for a long staff lunch. Try and understand that because time is not important, achieving everything you set out to do in your day isn’t really that important either!
You will find it hard at first and frustrating at times…but the more you give in to the Belizean way of life and get used to living in Belize as the Belizeans do, the happier you will feel, the healthier your attitude to life and the later you will arrive at every future appointment!