Have you ever been somewhere that was so incredibly far from civilization and the things that reminded you of your life that you felt like you were maybe a different person? This was Belize. Or rather... an hour and a half boat ride away from Belize.
We had decided to take a snorkeling tour the day that we were in port in Belize. The sun was shining, and there were only a few scattered clouds in the sky. I had my mask and snorkel in my bag ready and waiting to be used. Unfortunately, they put a perimeter around us, out of which we were not supposed to swim. After getting into the water, what did I do? Yep, I swam as far as I could away from everyone else. The perimeter wasn't very clearly marked, so I just kept swimming and looking at all of the fish and vegetation on the reef. One of the Belizian tour guys came sea kayaking in my direction because apparently, I had gone a little too far. Oops.
Actually, there were a lot of fish and other life within the perimeter they had made. We only had an hour to spend in the water, but it seemed more like a half an hour to me. I wasn't done snorkeling yet by the time they came to get me. I hadn't taken enough pictures. I felt like my life vest had restricted me a little from diving down into the clear water to take cool enough pictures. I seemed to be able to float, no matter how much air I emptied out of the vest. I hope that the pictures turned out okay, but I know that they will never truly capture what I saw or how I felt.
Our next destination was a remote island with a few hut-like structures and some palm trees. The white sand was laden with broken seashells, but my feet survived. The water was clear and paradisical. We played some volleyball. White sand, hot sun, delightful water, and playing volleyball with humorous and talented Belizians equals bliss. This is the true meaning of vacation.
And I have something to say about the Belizians who met us at the port after we had tendered into civilization: why can't all people always treat each other this way? They were so complimentary and polite. Sure, they were trying to sell us something because as you know, vacationers are there to spend money, but ... well, I enjoyed the flattery. I also enjoyed being told that if I ever came to live in Belize, I would be able to get a good job because I am bilingual. Technically, I think that I am 1.5-lingual, whatever that would be, but ... it's good to have people tell you that some qualities and traits that you possess are valuable.
I don't mean to sound like I'm selling Belize, but if you ever have the opportunity or desire to go to Belize and go snorkeling, I recommend it. That was a fantastic day, and I felt so calm and happy in Belize. I want to go back and take a little bit longer to see the sights, like the ruins and associate more with the residents there. I Belize in Belize.