From Bainbridge to Belize

 Becoming a world traveler and being able to share the experience with my children has always been a goal of mine; this year I made that goal a reality…

People thought me insane to travel to a foreign land alone with five children, but me, I am tough and forever will I take the road less traveled.  So in February of this year, I booked a spring break trip for my brood and me to travel to Belize.  Initially, the plan was to stay the entire summer, but with my daughter’s summer cheer and basketball schedule, we had to cut it down to two weeks.

 At the end of June, I loaded my kids into the car and we drove 7 hours to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, (Hey, that was the airport with the best deal, so it was worth it!) We made it there without a hitch and slept overnight in a hotel. The next morning we got dressed, had breakfast and traveled to the airport.

 I was freaking out inside because I was afraid that I had cut the time too close; we still had to return the rental car, check in for the flight, have our passports verified, and check in our bags.  After standing in the line for nearly an hour we made it to the counter and we were informed that we were, indeed,  too late to check our bags!  We would not be able to board!! The only thing that the airline would be able to do was to book us on the next flight, THE NEXT DAY!!!  EEK!  (insert: MINI SCREAM! )

 I had a brain lapse and internally, I was freaking out. What was I going to do?  I had just returned the rental car, we had no transportation and we knew NO ONE there!  WOOOSAH! I took a few deep breaths,  moved over to the side to sit with my kids and I reassured them that everything would be fine.

  I was kicking back into super mommy mode!  I pulled up my Hilton Honors app, made a reservation to a hotel nearby, called them for the hotel shuttle details and off to the hotel we went!  We weren’t heading to Belize that day, but we got to spend a full day in sunny south Florida enjoying the hotel’s pool and the nearby shops and restaurants!  My kids were having a blast and we weren’t even officially on vacation yet!

 

 When we did finally make it through the check-in process and security the next day, we were all very relieved!  We were really on our way to Belize! We made it there without a hitch and got settled into our Airbnb.

 

Being in Belize reminded me so much of the days of my youth: growing up without a whole lot, but not truly realizing the struggle because we were so happy; this is exactly what we saw in Belize, people who had very little but seemed amazingly content with what they had.

 In Belize, we were able to blend in with the locals because of our dark skin tones and we took advantage of that to immerse ourselves in the local culture.  We ate fresh fruit and food from the local street vendors; the kids enjoyed walking everywhere sans shoes (without judgment from others) and in our swimsuits.

 

 We were able to go out for at least one (most times two) meal per day because the currency is $2 BZD to $1 USD  and they even accept USD throughout the country.

 

 Being able to truly relax, unwind, and immerse in the local culture was an amazing experience!  The kids and I both can’t wait to get back to Belize!

 

 

About the Guest Blogger: Shanta Reed
Shanta is a high school English teacher and single mother of five active scholar-athletes.  She enjoys traveling with her children and also empowering women to take control of their lives in various aspects.  Shanta can be found on her
Instagram: @the_single_moms_guide
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