Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Go with the flow

Last Friday as I was preparing to leave San Diego, I was feeling pretty anxious. Anxious about being back on the road, living out of a pack, not knowing what was going to happen from moment to moment, day to day, week to week. But then I got to Dallas, spent a few days catching up with friends, and forgot all about the anxiety...until Tuesday morning when I found myself packing...again...this time for the real deal.

And although my flight was an hour late taking off due to mechanical issues which meant that I arrived in Belize City an hour late which then meant that I missed the last ferry and had to make a last minute decision to stay a night in Belize City after all - the "plans" have already changed, practically before they even had a chance to get started - all of that, and yet all of my anxiety melted away as soon as I stepped off the plane. It's kind of strange how it all just came back to me. This is what traveling is all about for me - rolling with the punches and not letting anything bother me.

So I grabbed my bag from the carousel, bought a bottle of tequila for my first couchsurfing host, and skipped the long "nothing to declare" line in favor of the much shorter "to declare/duty free purchases" line and was quickly through customs. I consulted my travel guide and chose a guesthouse almost solely on its near proximity to the marine terminal.

At the North Front Street Guesthouse, I was lucky enough to snag a triple room all for myself. Bathrooms were shared and cold water only, but I've never been so grateful for a cold shower after the humidity that greeted me upon arrival. I found out the guesthouse has been in the same family for 38 years - apparent from the way they treated me just like family almost from the moment I arrived. I settled in, asked for a restaurant recommendation, and ended up at Nerie Restaurant II, also family owned and operated.

Again I asked for a recommendation and I wasn't steered wrong. I had a whole fried snapper (caught fresh that morning), stewed beans, white rice, coleslaw, and fried plantains with a fresh watermelon juice to drink. It was a-maz-ing. SO good. I ate until I couldn't eat anymore. And...then I ate some more. :-) My server was a sweet gal who asked me if I lived in Belize. "No, I actually just arrived for the first time, oh, about four hours ago. Why do you ask?" Apparently, I look Belizean with my style of dress. Now THAT takes talent! Less than four hours and already being mistaken for a local!

After getting a second watermelon juice to go, I headed back to the guesthouse with the intention of sitting on the back porch, soaking everything in, and maybe reading a bit. What I ended up doing was spending hours talking to one of the family members, Briony, and one of the long-term guests, a retired Canadian army vet named Norms. We chatted, shared stories, listened to the lizards croak and watched the bats fly, and ducked for cover when a super strong, super quick thunderstorm poured in.

As I finally was saying goodnight and turning in, I couldn't help but think: "Ah. This is what I've been missing."


  1. I love it! The class I taught this week was titled go with the flow. Sometimes you have little choice but to flow. You could get angry and sulk, but what fun is that?

  2. Aw, so glad to hear you are right back into that swing. Sounds lovely. And yummy, too. Can't wait to hear more. :-)

  3. I miss you! Be safe and hurry back (just what did you expect your dad to say? (-: )

  4. Alright - trying again for the 3rd time to comment today....

    Glad to hear everything is going smooth and you're able to find that groove again. Love ya!

  5. Thanks for all the comments, everyone! I'm on Caye Caulker now, but heading to San Pedro today for lobster fest this wknd. ;)

  6. Excellent! The best plan is always to move and roll with the punches.

  7. Mistaken for a local or waiter fishing for a better tip... Glad to see you've arrived. And what better way to be greeted than an amazing meal!

    1. That would be the cynic's approach, Abe. How does that approach change when you hear that tipping isn't really a thing in Belize, hmmmm? :p