“Time to Share!”
“Timetoshare” is my twitter ‘handle’ and is an appropriate title for this chapter in my book as it will contain factual information and advice direct from ‘the horse’s mouth’ so to speak! No one is paid to contribute; no one is trying to sell you real-estate or a membership plan – just honest individuals offering a firsthand insight to their personal experiences on making the decision to move to Belize.
Meet Kendall Beymer –
I have in Kendall’s case copied and pasted his reply to my questioner so that any of you out there who have yet to submit your story will have a firsthand guide to ‘how it should be done’. In my book these will be presented in an edited form (but with NO changes!) NOTE the last question - •
12. May you be contacted by perspective visitors................. (Required - email is OK)
To which Kendall replied -
Of course – email@example.com
Your Name...........Kendall Beymer.................................................
Business (if you have one here) .....Ecologic Divers & Ecologic Cats
Family members and children's ages (if applicable) ..Co-Owner – Easton & Sue Beymer (Father, Mother); works in business – Eric Beymer (younger brother); no involvement – Shawna and Lindsey Beymer (younger sisters).
Address ....(withheld by author) my email – firstname.lastname@example.org phone – (BZ phone) +501.626.0414...Contact details (phone/ email etc.)
Do you have pictures. .....attached them for our owners – Easton, Sue, Kendall (me)........................
1. No more than 500 word background story. (education, work, home town, family etc.)
Kendall (me) – Texan by birth, Coloradan by rearing…with a couple years in Las Vegas are for a job, and 4 years in Flagstaff, AZ for an amazing college experience – I studied Hotel Administration.After using that degree for 15 years and achieving more than I had dreamt at graduation I was in a spot.My marriage was over, I didn’t want my job, or my boss’s job.My parents said they wanted to bring the boats on the dive shop dock (as we have them leased for a long time) and fun the show ourselves.I agreed, sold my life and moved down to operate the business and by their boots on the ground.I bring years of data analysis and operations management experience for them.I am the logistical thinker that can help to see their visions become realities.
Sue and Easton (parents) – My mother is a teacher originally, and southern Belle. My father is the guy that barely survived college, only to ACE his Masters program as he finally found Computer Information as a trade. Mom is from Texas, Pops from Kansas – but the majority of our family years were spent in Woodland Park, CO. As I left the house for college they picked up and went to Boulder City, NB. My mother and father have worked together as long as I can recall. They owned a computer software business in the 80’s and 90’s; and my father wrote programs that worked to automate the efforts and accounting systems for legal firms. As he stopped doing that business and after a family (minus me as I as out of the house) to Nevada my parents took a trip for a week on a catamaran; and feel in love. Shortly thereafter they bought one; then another. After a few years in the British Virgin Island they wanted to make the move to Panama and start a sailing charter business to explore the virgin Las Perles Islands. VERY shortly after getting there they realized this wouldn’t work; saw a dive shop for sale in Belize, and the rest is history.
2. At what stage of your life did you consider relocating and what were the motivating factors.
Parents (original founders) – retirement age (60’s).My parents aren’t the “retirement” type; they fell in love with sailing and diving on a vacation.Wanted an excuse to spend ½ the year doing that
Me – Originally considered in 30’s, finally came on in mid 30’s.I long achieved my original goals, plus several in my field (hotelier).I looked at my boss’s job, and quickly realized I didn’t want them. I was in the process of a divorce as well.When my parents approached me yet again about taking over operations, I jumped at the chance to reset my life; joining my family in growing our “empire”.
3. What prompted you to consider Belize
Plan A (Panama) was an absolute belly flop…and there was a dive shop for sail in Belize…so why not?!
4. Had you considered any other locations - what was the deciding factor.
We wanted to start a charter business in Panama.The 15 foot tides, very poor water clarity, and lack of marine infrastructure drove us away
5. When did you move here.
Parent have lived here 6 months of every year since ‘09
I moved in Sept ’14 to live full time
Brother in Oct ’14 to live full time
6. How many times did you visit before making the move.
Once (five years ago for me).My parents came down after the first trip; roughly 6 months later.
7. What unexpected surprise did you encounter (if any)
Paperwork, residency issues, policies at local banks that make accounts difficult to establish/manage.
Difficulty of getting boat parts!
8. What would you change in Belize if you could.
9. What do you like most about your new 'home'/ business venture.
Feeling of community among the businesses owner; both same industry and not.
10. If you had to give one piece of advice to a perspective retiree/business owner - what would it be.
If you want to be an absentee owner you need to spend 10x more in hiring your manager than you expect; and be ready to offer percentage of ownership – will make a big positive difference.
11. Short conclusion/statement.
Belize is an amazing place – like no other in the Caribbean we’ve been.The people truly make you feel an incredible welcome.Community is still very important; and that makes living and working, and owning a business extremely rewarding.
12. May you be contacted by perspective visitors................. (Required - email is OK)
Of course – email@example.com
Stephen & Laurene Honeybill.
Business: The Crimson Orchid Inn
Address 59 Pescadores Park, Orchid Bay, Corozal District.
I am a native of England that like many of my fellow countrymen have traveled the world with my first distant venture being 40 US states as a hitch-hiker. At the age of 18 I was admitted to The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and graduated 2 years later. By which time I had some considerable experience in The West End of London. At the age of 23 I became the youngest Company Manager in the West End. Shortly thereafter I joined The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and went from a lowly Assistant Stage Manager to Production Manager in under 3 years. The call of the sea and foreign parts then beckoned me on adventure in a small sail boat some 10,000 miles from Hong Kong to Sicily, Italy. Late in my 26th year I had settled in upstate New York. After a winter running a snow making crew at a mountain in Upstate NY I joined a public television station in Schenectady, NY where I went on to become Senior Producer. My career span a number of genres, but somehow I managed to tie in international travel a great deal. After retiring at 55 from my first career I started my own small construction company to keep busy. By 2010 I decided that life was too short to work all hours and so started investigating opportunities overseas. Having traveled to a number of countries in Central and South America previously and understanding the difficulties of blending into their cultures, I was heartened by my discovery of Belize. People understood me (I speak only English) and I discovered a culture that was an amazing blend of all the different cultures that have been melded together of centuries. The Queen of England still adorns the money and business, banking, legal matters, politics and the TV is all English. I had come home to a place where the weather is always great!
2. At what stage of your life did you consider relocating and what were the motivating factors. In late 2010 I discovered Belize when I took a trip to Belize from an International Living Conference in Tulum, Yucatan.
3. What prompted you to consider Belize. Weather, weather, English speaking and the laid back atmosphere.
4. Had you considered any other locations - what was the deciding factor. Costs and Language had equal weight.
5. When did you move here. January 2011
6. How many times did you visit before making the move. Twice
7. What unexpected surprise did you encounter (if any). The warmth of the locals and their acceptance of foreigners in their homeland.
8. What would you change in Belize if you could. The general educational level needs to be raised so that the country will prosper.
9. What do you like most about your new 'home'/ business venture. Running a Bed & Breakfast allows me to meet new and adventurous people every week bringing the world as a whole to my door (without the bias views of television).
10. If you had to give one piece of advice to a perspective retiree/business owner - what would it be. Spend time here to learn about the benefits and pitfalls from those that have gone before – never assume anything!
11. Short conclusion/statement. Belize and specifically Orchid Bay offers the perfect opportunity to be a part of a growing and thriving first world community(within the 3rd world) where the sky is the limit!
12. May you be contacted by perspective visitors......YES
I grew up in upstate NY in a town called Scotia Glenville. Graduating from Scotia High school I decided to go to Austin Beauty School in Albany NY to follow my dream to be a hairdresser! I married my husband Stephen and I have a stepson Lance and a daughter Morgan.
I was a very successful hairdresser for 30 years with a large clientele working for several major hair companies as a platform artist and also makeup and hair for television studios. Although I loved what I did I always longed for a change. I was listening to my spiritual side and somehow knew there was more to my life than being a great hairdresser
One day I was going through e-mails and I noticed that there was an article on retiring early. It intrigued me. Over the years we had invested in real estate in beach locations including our much loved Lake George New York in the Adirondacks. The problem was that my husband and I would have to wait until the appropriate age of 75 years to make a dream come true. The e-mail I received was from International Living and I immediately subscribed and received the periodic magazines and articles they wrote on many different countries. I was fascinated and somewhat unsure that what I was reading was actually true. How can you retire and live the dream when you are still in your younger years? I started to study and discover the many wondrous countries like Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil and so forth never dreaming that 3 years later, after repeated nagging to my husband, we would start our research in Costa Rica. After making a trip and seeing what we thought was a beautiful country, it seemed like we missed the real estate market. Not speaking the language of Spanish very well we decided to check out Belize and in particular Orchid Bay. We decided to purchase a lot and build the first B&B in Orchid Bay Belize. Well I must say that the articles were true and we are living the dream!
The hardest part for me was that at the time my daughter Morgan was just starting high school, so we decided it was best for her to continue going to school in upstate NY in the town of Niskayuna. My husband Stephen moved to Belize to help out in Orchid Bay with development and sales and starting the task of building our home and business. 16 months later it was finished and it opened in December of 2012 without myself being able to live my dream until my daughter Morgan graduated high school in 2014. I came down in August of 2014.
Belize is full of opportunities and its country is rich with magnificent raw beauty and the people of Belize are welcoming. Living in Belize feels like going back in time but in a good way! The roads are not the best and sometimes it’s hard to find everything you want but you can always get what you need. If I had to sum it up I am In Love! (with Belize?.....Editor)
Next meet Martin Thomas
Moncho's - When you need value, reliability and quality, talk to us, a specialist in Golf Cart Rentals. Guaranteeing the
best rates from the longest established Company on the Island. Renting from hours to weeks or more.
Moncho's Golf Cart Rentals.
11 Coconut Drive, San Pedro, Belize. (Right outside the Tropic Air terminal!)
Contact details (+501) 6109944
I was born to working class parents of British and Jamaican descent. I grew up and studied in South London. From a
young age I soon learnt that I had a strong business mind and always seized opportunities to embrace and grow my
entrepreneurial skills. My first business venture was one I began from scratch and was a Dance Music Retail store selling
both Music and eventually Event Promotions. With success, I was able to grow, hosting large events of 5000+ and
established the store to become one of the largest Dance Music stores in UK Outlets. This desire to own and run 'start
up' businesses lead to my ownership of several small businesses within the UK, in varying fields over the years. Alongside
my business growth I also suffered with the rising and falling tides of the British economy. Keeping a vigilant eye on
profit margins and ever expanding taxes, I have always kept a shrewd eye on financial markets outside of England and
knew I was not afraid to venture abroad, at least whilst age was on my side!
During this time, I began courting my then girlfriend and now wife in 2002, who had just returned from a family trip to
Belize that September. Looking back, I secretly had a burning desire to visit and explore this beautiful Country upon
hearing of all the cultural riches and beautiful untouched nature. My wish was soon granted as in 2005, we made my
first visit and I was not disappointed. Over the years, I made several more trips to Belize, each trip strengthening my love
for the Country. My wife and I got married in Belize in 2010 and by then we had decided to take the plunge, invest in a
Business and begin a new chapter on our very own Isla Bonita in San Pedro, Belize.
2. At what stage of your life did you consider relocating and what the motivating factors were?
Over the years the adventure of travelling and relocating grew and eventually became satisfied once I found the right
location and chose the precise time to move my family. The timing majorly relied on choosing when to 'opt out' of the
recession in England and thereby take a gamble with pastures new.
3. What prompted you to consider Belize?
My wife had family from Belize and it was a culture steeped in old British Colonial values hence it was a Country that felt
like home away from home plus having spent lots of time in Jamaica it was the natural alternative to the land of my
mother. Plus a major bonus were the blue skies of Belize overshadowing that of Englandâ€™s grey and dreary ones.
4. Had you considered any other locations - what was the deciding factor?
Spain and Turkey during a period when I was investing in the property market in Europe and; Jamaica due to my family
links. I had spent the most time in Belize and had built up firm affiliations on my visits.
5. When did you move here? December 2012.
6. How many times did you visit before making the move?
Since 2005, I travelled to Belize at least two to three times a year, staying for a duration of 1 month to as much as 3
months, every year up until my final move in 2012.
7. What unexpected surprise did you encounter (if any?)
As it was not a relocation I did on a whim, I expected teething problems but probably was not prepared for 'Caribbean
timing'. Patience was a skill I needed to grasp immediately. I also needed to trust in the fact that everything would be
done when it was meant to be, even if it was started the night before! I was once told that 'a party could be organized
the very same afternoon on a whim and by the time it started, it would be packed and organized like weeks of planning
had taken place'. I saw this may times which helped me to understand the inner workings of this place. Also, although
Business and Legislation was similar to that of England, there was a definite humbling process getting to grips with
mounds of paperwork and hence 'no pace' so to speak, having being accustomed to the digital world.
8. What would you change in Belize if you could?
From a business point of view ONLY, to improve the Nations Internet speeds; digital and; banking technology to allow
Belize to better compete and synchronize with the global market. Otherwise, Belize is the Jewel of the Caribbean, an
untouched beauty with vast treasures and should be kept that way.
9. What do you like most about your new 'home'/ business venture?
Moncho’s Golf Cart Rentals is the oldest and most established Company on the island of San Pedro with a rich history
spanning back over 16 years. My role in owning the Company has simply been to further grow and expand the business
in a more competitive market. I have enjoyed introducing more proactive techniques in engaging potential clients also
adding new creative design to Golf Carts/Vehicles on the island hence relaunched the brand, thereby clearly
distinguishing us from the rest. The natural rewards lay in the knowledge that the business is dynamic with a vision to
venture into the tourism sector; we are exploring several avenues to promote the scenic and idyllic ever present natural
heritage of Belize.
10. If you had to give one piece of advice to a perspective retiree/business owner - what would it be?
Visit similar businesses in Belize and where possible Government Organizations that relate to your venture in-person. I
cannot overemphasize enough the need to gather precise information and prerequisites that cater specifically to your
needs. A lot of time and energy can be saved as although there is abundant information it often is 'generalized' and
'non-specific'. Choose your work force carefully, they could be the difference between make or break and pay well. The
age old saying you get what you pay for is ever true here and when you find the 'right people' hold on to them.
Whatever venture you enter into, remember the Countries population is small (approximately 400,000) with less than
20% paying tax so choose wisely and test your market.
11. Short conclusion/statement.
Belize is a Country that remains widely unknown. Belizean's as a whole are progressive minded people who are keen to
develop their Country. Belize allows many foreigners a unique opportunity to become infused within the economy and
thus contribute to the growth of the Nation. Living and owning a business here has allowed me to specialize in a niche
market, grow my business and also venture into other trades of business whilst forming strong alliances and business
links within a very small reachable group. The access to decision makers here is very real and possible, far more than I
could have 'reached' in the UK. Belize offers an experience like no other, a beautiful land with a chance to live, work,
relax and reap the rewards of your labors.
12. May you be contacted by perspective visitors.................? Yes,
Meet David & Damaris Berger
Tradewinds Restaurant at Orchid Bay
I moved to Belize 2 years ago after traveling and exploring Mexico most of my life. I had always thought that I would
move to Mexico, but after growing up and realizing that Mexico doesn’t make it easy for Americans to move in, work, or
start a business, and after realizing that I would still need to work or run a business to have income, I realized that Belize
was a better fit for me. Belize makes it easy for Americans to enter and it’s easy to start a business. I had never been to
Belize before I decided to pack it up and follow my heart. I drove to Belize (with my dog, Fox), and my first stop was
Orchid Bay to visit my friend Dean Helmick, who was now living here full-time, and I knew from Oregon. He had been
back and forth for a few years and has told me a lot about the opportunities at Orchid Bay. I reached a point of my life
where I was ready to make the change. So when I pulled up in his driveway, he had my first Belize opportunity so far, his
wife was leaving town for a month the next day, and he was hoping I would stay for a month and help him (his wife does
a lot for him). I had nowhere to be, so I accepted. Keep in mind, when I left the U.S. after a career of running
restaurants and managing people, I convinced myself that I was just going to take a job, and not run a business right
away, as I felt I was exhausted and needed a break. After about a week of staying at Orchid Bay, the Tradewinds
Restaurant opportunity came up, and I jumped right back into it, despite planning to do anything but that. I have had no
regrets that I followed my heart. I met my wife, Damaris here, Damaris was born and raised here, and together now, we
run the restaurant. We have been able to watch the community develop fast, not with just buildings, houses, and
people, but a real sense of community has developed here. It’s truly a special place to be. We are very excited to be
here, and are trying our hardest to provide a great restaurant for anybody to come and visit. We are open 7 days a week
for lunch and dinner, and Orchid Bay is really getting noticed as an awesome beach destination. There isn’t any place in
the North that you can find the sea as accessible and a beach as clean as here. Damaris and I are really happy here, we
have a simple life, we love our little casita, and we believe in the future that Orchid Bay is creating. There are still
countless business opportunities for others to create here. Our little “village” is going to need so many other essential
businesses that other ex-pats will be able to follow their dreams and create. When I first decided that I was moving to
Belize and told people back in the U.S., most people told me I was living their dream. I just don’t understand why more
people don’t try and live their own dreams. This may be the only chance we have!
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or if we can help in any way at all,
David & Damaris Berger