If you live in Placencia for longer than six months, you’ll realize that, in order to live here long term, you’ll have to find something to do with your days (other than sampling the local cocktails). When I was freezing in Canada and dreaming of living in sun-kissed Belize, my perfect day consisted of sitting on a beautiful white beach all day, swimming in the Caribbean whenever I wanted to, sipping rum-spiked drinks with umbrellas in them, and meeting people who were doing the same thing.
But somewhere deep down inside, we know that we can’t sustain that lifestyle every single day for any length of time. And nor would we want to. Our brains will turn to mush from inactivity and our livers won’t be able to keep up with endless (affordable) supply of rum-spiked drinks.
Believe me when I say, EVERYONE falls into this trap in the beginning.
Once you’ve done all the things that Placencia has to offer – sitting on beautiful white beaches, sipping rum-spiked drinks and getting a beautiful tan, snorkeling, diving, doing all the tours, and you’ve met all the people and formed some friendships, there seems to be little else to do. A lot of people get very disheartened and start to question their decision to live in Placencia long term. But, there is a light at the end of this particular tunnel.
It’s essential to settle into some sort of rhythm of life, immerse yourself into the community and make an actual life for yourself where you don’t feel like you’re on permanent holiday. I realize that that was probably the whole idea of moving to Belize, but, believe me, it loses it’s lustre very quickly.
The good news is, there is something for everyone here – you just have to know where to look. Meeting and finding like-minded people here is fairly easy. Being a part of FaceBook is a must. It’s the only platform that tells you what’s happening here. Groups like Placencia Daily, Placencia Expats, Placencia News and Happenings. You can ask questions there and you’ll always receive a helpful answer. Having said that, here are a few things that will keep you from packing up and going back “home.”
Pickle Ball is very popular here and there are several groups that play a couple of times a week. It’s a great way to keep fit and meet a variety of different people.
Every Tuesday, a group of men, including Michael, in the village head out to Inky’s and play miniature golf. Anyone can join, it’s certainly not an exclusive club. All you need to do is show up at 8:30 am and you’re in. Wednesday mornings is when the women play. Another great way to meet new people and have some fun at the same time. For golf enthusiasts, a new 9-hole golf course is being developed right across from the Naia Resort & Residences and the Villas at Cocoplum, and will provide a welcome addition to the list of activities in the area.
Diving & Snorkeling
If diving is your thing, the reef just offshore of Placencia is full of top-notch diving sites, including places that are perfect for beginning divers. Top spots to dive on the Placencia Reef include the Turtle Canyons (where hawksbill and loggerhead turtles hang out), the North Wall (popular with reef sharks), the White Hole (which swarms with stingrays and nurse sharks), and the Pompion Canyons (where crabs and other creatures hide in the nooks and crannies of the reef).
Games & Crafts
A lot of the local bars have started to include games or crafts. The Flying Pig is well-known for this and they have something different every night – Triva Night, Shuffleboard, Name That Tune, various crafts that are fun. Other bars offer something similar including poker afternoons at The Pickled Parrot, various games at Strange Brew Bar & Grill, and Triva at Yolis’a. Here’s the result of one of the craft days I attended at The Flying Pig. A work of art they are not, but it was great fun.
Hang Out At the Pool
If pool loungers, free towels, a sparkling pool, and food and drink are your thing, The Placencia Beach Club is the place for you. You can sit and read, hang out in the pool and meet different people, eat and drink at the swim up bar or in the restaurant, and generally relax and enjoy the day. It can get extremely hot here and this is a perfect way to keep cool. They don’t have activities as such, but if you love to read, this a lovely spot to do so.
Rotary Club of Placencia
If charity work is what you like to do, then there’s the Rotary Club of Placencia. They have many programs mainly involving improving the lives of the local children in our area. Check out their FaceBook page to learn more.
The Placencia Humane Society
If you love animals, The Placencia Humane Society is a great organization to get involved in. Join their Foster Program, or volunteer to help in any way you can.
Start Your Own Group
We are part of several ‘groups’ that grew from a need to connect with people without perching ourselves on a barstool. One such group we formed grew out of being invited to drinks on a Wednesday night by acquaintances who quickly became good friends. When we got there, there was about 8 other people – some we knew, some we didn’t. Everyone brought a plate of something, even if it was just peanuts, and whatever they wanted to drink.
I loved the no-pressure, relaxed atmosphere so much that I suggested we do this on a regular basis and have it at each others’ houses (I’d had several glasses of wine by that time), “We could call it The Roaming Veranda Club,” I said jokingly. But somehow it took off and we all agreed to meet once a week at each other’s houses. Some people even refer to it as The Roaming Veranda Group! Hahaha. Whoever hosts that week invites some of their own friends and this way we get to know a wide variety of people I would not have otherwise met.
Our group expands and contracts – a few people go back to the States and England for their summer with the promise of returning in November and continuing our get-togethers, and, sadly, one of our group left Belize for good. We vowed to travel to Tuscany next year so they can fulfil their hosting obligations!
Over the last year, I’ve become involved in various groups who like to do different things. As you can see from some of my posts, three other ladies and myself done a number of day trips to various attractions – Bocawina National Park, Ya’Axkin Butterfly Farm and Hopkins Village, River Tubing at Maya King Waterfall, Horseback Riding with Outback Trails and a Chocolate Farm and Spice Farm. These outings are the highlights of my week and a lovely way to see different parts of Belize.
I recently joined a writer’s group and met some lovely new people. I learned that many people craft and sew and I’m sure friendships could be formed around those things.
So, when the “honeymoon’s” over and you find yourself questioning your decision to move to paradise, all you need to do is ask around and you’ll surely find something that interests you.