The start - imagine this
March 11, 2000 - Saturday
American Airlines Flight 1674
Depart Seattle 11:55 pm
March 12, 2000 - Sunday
Arrive Belize City 12:51 pm
March 27, 2000 - Monday
American Airlines Flight 2104
Depart Belize City 2:20 pm
March 28, 2000 - Tuesday
Arrive Seattle 12:28 am
Early January 2000
Susan C:Susan and I have traveled together before, to the Yucatan. It was her first real international trip and it was fun to watch as she very nervously wiped down the tables and utensils with antibacterial wipes, refusing to eat the local food, pretending she wasn't hungry. By the end of the 10 days of sweaty travel in a Mexican-made Volkswagen bug, and several nights' stay in questionable hotels, she was eating whatever looked good, sitting on dirty park benches and thoroughly enjoying herself.And that trip has served as the basis of her itchy feet.
Mine have been that way for as long as I can remember, with travel posters stuck all over my bedroom walls when other girls had pictures of Elvis. So when I moved back up to the Pacific Northwest, and the gloom and cold of winter were rearing their ugly heads, the question was raised - where shall we go? Costa Rica, Guatemala or - Belize?
With lots of snorkeling and manatees and birds and tropical rainforests and, yes we are thinking on a grand scale for granadillas.com, offshore business and retirement in the tropics, Belize was our obvious choice.
Neither of us is independently wealthy so this has to be a budget trip. Our first decision had to be when? January and February are traditionally the yuckiest months up here so we thought that we would most likely be ready in March. Then the dates - Susan had to tell all her daycare parents that she would be gone for that time. I have to tell my people at the telecommuting job I do that I will be gone, which is no big deal.
Susan M 1994, August. My dear friend Susan C. had an assignment in Guatamala, which later turned into the Yucatan Peninsula and she asked me along. I freaked - how could I say "No" but how could I go? Mucho dinero, lack of potable water, sinister banditos.
But I went and was forever changed. Now, I travel as much as I can. After Susan C's magical intro to travel, I have even convinced others to go with me--Dan, the kids and I've even gone alone.
Susan is intrepid where I am fairly timid and a worrier (understatement), she is light-hearted where I have rules--like hand-washing. But, hey! - I have a day care. She is very patient and smart and has gently nudged me toward these and many other awarenesses: With ONLY 10 days to experience the area, the people, the food, you have to go for it. Period.(translation "Forget about bacteria or you'll perish from malnutrition." OR "Go into the restroom, turn right, enter the first stall and go pee. Do not, under any circumstances look under the stall partitions") I had no idea spiders grew that large. Aarrgh!
And for this one I will be eternally in her debt. When you put a snorkel on, you'll enter a world apart...something so delicate, beautiful and rare, you may become hopelessly addicted.