Why do we live here on Caye Caulker?
My family and I meet many people here on the island and the conversation starts the same way usually.
Us: Where are you all from?
Them: Toronto (or some other wonderful place in the world).
Us: How long are you here for?
Them: One week (or some other very short time).
Us: Well you should try this, or go there or enjoy that while you're here.
Them: Thanks, where are you from?
Us: We live here on Caye Caulker.
Them: What? How?!?!?
We then start a conversation about how we got here and when but really deep down they want to know why we choose to live here. I got us all together tonight and asked everyone to chime in on a reason to live here on Caye Caulker, in Belize.
1: Small Town Feel! When I was a kid my family and I knew all of our neighbors and they knew us. We looked out for each other, rarely with judgment. As I have grown to adulthood that community desire has really changed and often today a person doesn't even know the name of their neighbors. For some people that ns a choice but for us, we wanted to live in a place where everyone looked out after each other and here on Caye Caulker that is the norm.
2: Variety Of People! I know this sounds contradictive to my first point but here on Caye Caulker it is very true. We are a tourist location here and that means there is a constant flow of new and exciting people coming to our island. We have met amazing and friendly people from just about every country on the planet. Want to meet an Italian, Canadian, German, Australian, Russian and/or Rastafarian? Just walk down Front street!
3: No McDonalds! This is my wife's favorite reason. The food here isn't all good for you but none of it is processed to oblivion. Eating healthy has never been so easy because of the variety of fresh food that is available here on the island.
4: No Cars (or very few)! We don't own a car here on the island. Many folks own a golf cart but frankly, as many just own bikes (we are part of the later). If you ride a bike every day to the village and back multiple times you will by default become healthier. Don't even get me started on the cost savings of having no automobile.
5: Vitamin D! It is rare we don't see (and enjoy) the sun. We do have rain here but it is rare that we have a storm go more than a couple of days. Truth be told, it usually rains at night and we get to enjoy the sunshine during the day.
6: Fresh Seafood! There is a fishing co-op here on the island and a fresh catch comes in every day. We get to enjoy lobster, conch, snapper and lionfish that were caught the very day. This also makes the seafood very affordable, but that is for another discussion.
7: Streets Belong To Pedestrians: When you stay here for very long you realize that although there are some vehicles on this island the streets primarily are designed for pedestrians and bikes. In any place in the " States" you hear of people being hurt or killed in auto accidents every day. Here if two bikes run into each other it is a funny story, not a tragic one.
8: Artist Concentration: I know that in almost any place in the world you can find artists in the community, but here on Caye Caulker there is an unfair concentration. For such a small island I am always amazed at the music. I can go listen to live music almost every night somewhere on this island. If you walk down Front Street you will see an artist producing and selling their wares every 50 feet.
9: Diversity! My friends here on the island run the ethnic gambit. Every color and creed you can imagine and on a daily basis I forget to notice that an individual is not the same color as me. My granddaughter's best friend is Philip. He is a little Mayan boy who has grown up on the island. Tonight I asked her to describe Philip and his family and nowhere in the conversation did the color of their skin enter her description. My granddaughter is growing up color blind, how cool is that?
10: Random Acts Of Conversation! The island has an amazing power to let you talk to any stranger. Sitting at a restaurant or just walking down the street we are often stopped and asked if we are from Kansas City (because we wear our Royals gear in the summer and Chiefs stuff during the winter). The small vacation setting makes it easy to start that conversation and that tends to lead to amazing friendships.
Bonus Reason: The Reef! We live in eyesight of the second largest barrier reef in the world. It is literally our back yard and we get to enjoy it. When I snorkel the reef here is is almost a religious experience. I quickly realize that this earth is special and we must take care of it.
Well, those are some of the reasons we live here and would recommend it to many. Ever want to talk about it? Come by our place and we can enjoy a beer, watch a sunset and experience the reasons to live here!