When it comes to holidays, I am a pretty spoiled girl. I live on the beach, in a spring-like weather country that many are dying to go on holidays to. My hometown is Paris, capital of the country that receives the most tourists in the whole world. So when we went to a tropical island in Belize for new year, a destination honeymooners rave about all the time, close to the world’s second biggest reef barrier after Australia, I was happy to go, but not really impressed. See, at home I actually charge people to come holiday in my little guest house. They happily fork out $100 a night to get to be me for 24 hours.
In Belize, it was like I was seeing the whole thing from a new angle: that of one who lives full time in a holiday destination. I saw the cheap, temporary solutions they offer to cater to tourists, so they can close them six months a year, while they try to make a living during the other six by overcharging for everything. I already disliked holiday destinations for that, people trying to make off you in one season enough for them to live for the full year.
I get that prices may seem cheap from a US or Europan point of view, but when you live in the country next door, you get a rough idea of what things cost, and being charge 5 times more is hard.
I still decided to try to make the most of it. I’d go for early morning runs around the island, which was nice, but then I thought the island would have sandy beaches and there were mostly decks like I have at home, the water was dirty, is was the sea so you had to shower after to get rid of the salt, when at home it is clear water, and you had to run to the breakfast place to be served in a timely manner before they got their morning rush. At home, we’d eat whenever we please with a panoramic view over the lake.
I guess this holiday made me realize how lucky I am to have my own beach and little holiday paradise, but when it comes to picking up the next holiday destination, I come up pretty empty. I like to be home now. I used to love traveling on a budget, eating food on markets, camping or sleeping in basic hotels, and now that we went on a 3 days trip to Belize that cost more than 2 weeks on the road, with a nice hotel and three meals a day in restaurants, I don’t really see the value in it, as I got better quality at home.
Since I know I’ll get the travel bug again sooner or later, the next destinations may be:
Skiing. Something I haven’t done in a while and radically different from what I get here. Snow sports are fun, it is a healthy holiday where you come back exhausted at night and enjoy the fresh air.
Somewhere cold. Every time I go to Guatemala City, temperatures drop about 10 degrees Celsius (30F), and it feels really good to leave the heat for a while. Somewhere cold would be nice, not too cold unless there is skiing involved, but where you enjoy a feather duvet at night and a sweater by day.
A city break. I quite enjoyed going to Miami after that as we would go shopping for things unavailable in Guatemala (100% cotton underwear, needed for the heat) or overpriced (I got a new laptop), and it was nice to spend two weeks in one city, after traveling around Europe for 6 months and changing city every 2-3 days. We discussed going to NY and Boston.
A European road trip. I get to see my family for a while, then grab my motorcycle and go riding for a while. I miss riding bikes, and there are lots of cool cities all around Europe to visit. Talks have been about Ireland and Scotland, although I am more partial to Spain or Southern Italy.
A diving trip. If we are going back to the beach, the only thing that would keep me entertained is diving. Maybe passing one more PADI exam, and diving twice a day. That is pretty much what would make it worth my while, otherwise I’ll stick with my lake, thank you.
Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says
If I will live on the beach, I would definitely try other places like skiing, museum-hopping, and other activities or going to another beach. It is really boring when it’s holiday and you just stay at home. I’d try something new and more exciting.
good point, but for me it has to be something that feels different from home.
I would definitely house swap with you! However, I live in St. Louis and no one vacations here haha.
Love the picture in today’s post. Beautiful.
Thanks! Maybe when you move to Colorado 🙂
Will - First Quarter Finance says
I do like my 4 seasons that I get on the high plains of the States. Once I start to get bored of one season, another is on its way. I’ve never tried beach living, though. Maybe I’d love it!
And you are spoiled. But you got there largely by your own doing so that’s GREAT you’re spoiled! 😀
So, you’ll have the beach immersion and cowboy adventure package :)?
I like seasons too, autumn is what I miss most. Here it is hot, hot and dry, hot and humid, a little less hot. People have the same wardrobe all year long, they own maybe one coat. Guatemala is “the land of the eternal spring” but my region is hotter than the highlands so it is 80-100 all year. Sometimes I just feel like spending the whole day in a hammock because it is too hot to be productive. I like waking up early when it is still cool and get things done. It is a whole other lifestyle.
LOL both packages sound perfect.
Jen @ Save to Splurge says
I’m from Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, born and raised! Three months ago my husband and I moved to New York, so we are in for a surprise when winter comes along! We used to live 15 minutes from the beach, but never quite took advantage of it. Skiing and/or snowboarding are on my list this winter while we are up north!
Strange how you don’t take advantage of what is near when you live somewhere for a long time. I hope in NY you enjoy the sights and nearby activities! Winters have nice sides to them, like when it is all snowed and white. Going to work in the dark and getting out in the dark, pretty depressing though.
Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says
I’ve heard Belize has some scariness to it… did you have problems while you were there with crime?
I love both the water and the mountains. My favorite area though has to be the Rocky Mountain area from Colorado to Alberta. I had never seen beauty as seen in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. If you haven’t been to Calgary before, I recommend it as there’s plenty of skiing nearby. My family lives in Jackson, WY so there’s good skiing there too, although it’s steep and catered to more advanced skiers. Good luck on the next destination choice!
I haven’t, aside from corrupt police officers. The mainland and Belize City in particular are pretty uninviting. The islands are ok I guess but I would recommend people go to Yucatán or Honduras instead. Or Guatemala!
I visited Glacier, Banff looked amazing and was the next stop but we didn’t make it to Canada in the end. That’s on my list!
Tonya@Budget and the Beach says
I’s house swap with you but you;ll be trading one beach for another. 🙂 Well, lake versus ocean, and I don’t live right on the ocean, but 1/2 mile away. I think that’s the one reason why it’s sort of been OK not having traveled much since I started freelancing. I mean I’m at the beach just about every single day. It;s not the worst compromise. 🙂
You have the beach and the city and the mountains and… I’d take that swap!
Lance @ Healthy Wealthy Income says
These are the good type of problems to have…just like having too much money for retirement.
Yes, no complains here!
Jay @ ThinkingWealthy.com says
Living on the beach, you have to go skiing next! Get away and experience some crisp air. Nothing beats that first crisp fall morning where the air is cold but it feels so good!
That sounds lovely. I just need to put together a group of 3-4 people who are up for it, it is one of the few holidays I wouldn’t take alone.
DC @ Young Adult Money says
I don’t think I’d get “bored” living on the beach full-time, but I would probably want to go travel and do other things, kind of like how you said you wanted to go to a city or ski. Because I don’t live anywhere near the ocean, the main thing I look for in a vacation is going somewhere warm with a beach!
The grass is always greener…
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
We should definitely chat house swap! Not sure when I’d be able to take a break but if you have any interest in NYC, I’m up for figuring it out!
oooh exciting! yep, totally up for NYC 🙂
I will certainly get bored living near a beach. I remember running Brighton marathon and looking at the see for five hours – it was probably one of the most boring marathons I’ve ever run. I love mountains and I need variety. So, Pauline, I have an idea: when I get a really great place in the mountains we can swap for some of the year.
How about it?
Sounds like a plan!
What a wonderful description!
It inspires me to embark on a journey.
I am pretty stuck when it comes to spending quality time on holidays.
However, you have mentioned much that gives me a lot of options.
Thanks for sharing your ideas.
Best Regards to You