I told myself last year that in 2018, I'd take even more risks and do things that absolutely terrified me. The thought of traveling alone never scared me though--it was more so a build up of excitement for all the adventure that I knew would come out of it. I was just ready to get up and go explore instead of daydreaming about all the places I wanted to go.
So, I did that.
I took some days off from work, booked a flight, then viola. Ya girl was in Belize.
The whole time on my flight, I was still in awe that I was really going out there by myself. I kept trying to avoid thinking about it so I didn't overwhelm myself, but that didn't work. My mind was literally all over the place. I kept wondering if I'd be lonely, if the people would be friendly, would it be obvious that I'm alone, etc. Basically, I was worried about a bunch of shit I shouldn't have been, because Belize was absolutely wonderful.
I will say, Belize City itself wasn't too appealing to me. It's a small and cute town that's still developing, but I had the most fun out on one of the islands that was about a 45 minute water taxi ride away. If you plan on traveling alone and want to easily get to the beach, bars (happy hour, woo!), party, etc., don't stay in Belize City. Opt for San Pedro or Caye Caulker. You can definitely look forward to endless beautiful views and a good time with those two.
I arrived midday Saturday and was pooped from the flight, so I really didn't feel like getting dressed to go anywhere and explore like I initially planned. I ended up just walking around the neighborhood where I was staying and I went to get some pizza and fries from Moe's Pizza which was about a three blocks away. I came back to my room and cozied up with a beer and Netflix on my laptop. #relaxed #perfect.
The next morning, I got up pretty early to catch the water taxi to Caye Caulker. That island is about 45 minutes away from Belize City and was $28 USD for a roundtrip ride. When I was sitting at the dock waiting for the taxi is when my nerves started to kick in. I was alone and didn't know what to expect. I saw groups of girls snap pics together, families using selfie sticks to get a shot with their numerous kids; I felt lonely af for like 10 minutes, y'all. I didn't let that get to me though. I quickly shook the nerves because that was the point of the whole trip: experience, excitement and change. I put my shades on and got ready to go on an adventure.
My first stop once i arrived in Caye Caulker was Brisas Del Mar. It was one of the only open restaurants at the time, so in typical Lyndsey fashion, I made my way to the bar and got my life with a rum and coke. I also ate breakfast here. I got simple scrambled eggs, toast and fruit. The bartender hooked me up with more rum in my cup as my drink got low and gave me extra toast and eggs. Nom. I shall be eternally grateful for free food. Always and forever.
After breakfast I went for a walk along the beach. The weather was absolutely perfect and everything was so vibrant. There were quite a few local vendors open where they sold handmade trinkets, jewelry AND most importantly, food. I can't even tell y'all how many grills filled with all types of meat I came across. The vibe was lovely and for a while, I forgot I was even out there by myself. I met other solo travelers (women at that) and some locals that were open and willing to give recommendations for things to do, see, eat, etc.
Sadly, I didn't take as many pics as I wanted to on this trip. I was so caught up in the moment and that felt better than reaching for my camera most times. The rest of my time in Belize was soooo chill. It was great way to get away from the city for a few days and take a break from work. It was Mardi Gras time back home and I conveniently work right in the midst of the madness. I really wasn't looking forward to maneuvering through the traffic and crowds, so getting the fuck seemed like the most logical thing for me to do.
I randomly ended up meeting some girls from Hawaii that were staying at the same hostel as me. We talked over brews on the deck then decided to go downtown for dinner the next night. After two failed attempts of getting to some restaurants we'd been recommended by locals because they were closed, we ended up at this little outdoor restaurant/bar near the ocean. I wanted to get traditional Belizean food on this trip, but only one of my meals was, and that was the meal my host prepared for me the night before.
The next couple of days were spent catching buses to different parts of the city, walking around and just absorbing as much of the atmosphere as I could. I remember one of the days, I didn't even bring my camera with me and my phone stayed deep down in my bag.
One thing I really love about traveling alone is being completely in control of plans. I woke up one morning, decided I didn't feel like going on the tour I planned on and stayed in bed with a beer and a good book. Around 1ish, I got up and just spent the rest of my day at the beach. I already love doing stuff alone, and now I can happily add travel to that list. It was so peaceful and a perfect way to self reflect. If you're thinking of taking a solo trip, DO IT. Absolutely do it. Brandie over at theoddlyducklingtravels definitely inspired me to get up and go; even if that meant going alone. Last year we talked about the importance of seeing as much of the world as possible. If you missed that post, catch up here. She gave great insight and has tons more on her site.
Overall, I have three tips for y'all based on my experience:
- BRING & USE CASH. It just makes everything easier. Also, you'll be able to trade out USD for BZ$ if you want. Plenty places accept USD, so it's up to you if you want to make that trade. The ratio is $2 BZ for every $1 USD.
- LOOSEN UP & HAVE FUN. Don't be uptight and stay open minded. Relax, you're on vacation. Enjoy yourself!
- CREATE A FLEXIBLE ITINERARY. Plan things, book tourist-y stuff, but don't be hard on yourself if you decide to do none of that shit when you get out there. Lol. Do a day of organized activities, then the next, just chill and explore at your own pace. Whatever you choose, just make sure you have fun and get the most out of the experience. That's the whole point.
peace and blessings,