Our New Year’s resolution

By M Langan

My family is so excited about a new year’s resolution we just made that we want to share it around.

At the dinner table the other day we were talking about the new year and what it had in store for us, and the discussion got around to New Year’s resolutions. As usual with my teen son and daughter, they began challenging each other to come up with the coolest, most do-able resolution for 2012, and without noticing, we parents were soon drawn into the contest.

OK, who is going to come up with the coolest New Year’s resolution for 2012? The usual suspects – losing weight , writing a novel, posting a You Tube video that goes viral, learning a new language, increasing grade point averages at school all came up and were quickly dismissed as “booooring”.

We adults also realised that we’d already given up most vices, so even that tried and true avenue was closed. My son’s suggestion that I take up smoking again, so that I could give it up again received less enthusiasm than he hoped for.

Wow. Maybe we have become boring, I thought.

We do love a challenge, and soon the new year’s resolution turned into resolving to find a new year’s resolution. Over dessert we took the challenge to heart and actually began making a list, writing down the essential elements for a good NYR. After some to-ing and fro-ing, we short listed

  • Doing something as a family
  • Healthful
  • Learning something new
  • Travel

Our daughter’s remark that, “We better think of something soon – isn’t the world supposed to end in 2012 or something?” put us off topic for a moment to discuss the movie 2012 and ancient Maya prophesies, and then the light bulbs went on over each head, and “Let’s learn about the Maya!”  quickly moved into “Why don’t we go see the ancient Maya Temples. “

Plates still on the table we were soon huddled around the computer, Googling the Maya, and before the night was out we decided that we’d further investigate Belize because:

It’s called the Heartland of the Maya. It’s only a few hours away by air. English was the official language. Their money is pegged to the US dollar, so you got two Belizean dollars for every greenback with no need to hassle with conversions and daily market rates. It looked absolutely beautiful. It was a completely new concept.

It was great to see the little family unit suddenly so galvanised, and within a few days our minds were made up. We’re going to Belize this year!

Our further research showed that it was definitely on the doable list. We looked at what our annual vacations within the States cost, did some calculations, and worked out that it really wouldn’t cost much more to go to Belize this year. We then started looking at various resorts and tour websites and then found the Lodge at Chaa Creek and their all-inclusive family vacation and Maya vacation packages, and that did it for us.

A lovely looking eco Lodge in a 365 acre private nature reserve in the middle of a pristine rainforest with a big lazy river and a veritable wealth of activities, from guided nature walks, canoe trips and tours to do your own thing activities like mountain biking along miles of jungle trails, horseback riding, canoe trips down the Macal River to a little town downriver, a Natural History Centre that sounds interesting, dozens of Maya archaeological sites right on the property and the big ones like Caracol, Xunantunich and Tikal close by. Not to mention a pool, spa, a beautiful looking restaurant and all the amenities.

We contacted Chaa Creek and they couldn’t have been more helpful. Yes, it is easy and safe to rent a car and drive all over the country, which is small enough that just about everything can be explored in a day trip from Chaa Creek. They have sister resorts out on the cayes, Belize Barrier Reef and Caribbean coast, and arrange surf and turf packages that are making it worthwhile to spend a few days splashing in the Caribbean.

The only question remaining was do we go in the slower summer months when the weather’s actually cooler than back home, or make it a winter vacation to take in what sounds like incredible 2012 Maya Winter Solstice celebrations. We’re so excited that the kids want to save their money and do both.

Anyway, we now have a 2012 New Year’s resolution that ticks off all the boxes and is something we’re really looking forward to. It’s certainly not boring, and I don’t even need to start smoking or gain weight again.

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