The conversation around work-life balance and mental wellness has been on the rise as more folks begin to prioritize their mental well-being in a time of pandemic-induced stress. Travel has always been an escape, and with 2022 lurking nearby on the horizon, the need for the occasional break from every-day life is stronger than ever. Not only because we spent most of 2020 indoors, but because it seems traveling to far-flung places often improves one’s mental health.
Belize is one such place that continues to be sought after due to its affinity for wellness and conscious travel. While most travelers venture to Belize for some beach bumming or to complete an adventurous itinerary, there are other reasons why traveling to this tropical destination is beneficial to your wellbeing.
1. Chance to connect with nature
More than half of Belize is blanketed in thick jungles, forests and nature preserves. In fact, the country has 103 protected areas, many of which are available for exploration. Take Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, for instance, which is only about two hours away from the town of San Ignacio. A vast forest reserve spanning more than 100,000 acres, it allows you intimate contact with Mother Nature that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. With waterfalls, natural pools and open caves, the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve offers great hiking trails and spots for slowing down.
If you’re looking for the same type of immersion but without the trek to the mountains, Chaa Creek offers on-site nature activities for guests. The San Ignacio resort is home to a vast trail network to the many areas of their 400-acre forest reserve. Here, you’ll have a chance to fully embrace the rainforest, medicinal plants and exotic wildlife. You’ll immediately feel a sense of calm and tranquility just by being in the presence of so much green.
2. Immerse in new experiences
Being a part of both Central America and the Caribbean, Belize is not your typical vacation destination. It is home to a cultural Mecca, an eclectic mix of adventures and unique attractions. Traveling to a place like this opens up your mind to experiences that lead you to become a multifaceted person of the world. Visit the towering Maya ruins like Xunantunich or Caracol, learn how to master farm-to-table cooking, or practice the art of chocolate making. All of these provide a new outlook on life, an encounter you didn’t know you needed.
Going through the motions of our everyday lives can turn out to be monotonous, slowing our mental and spiritual growth. There are so many things to see and experience that propel us into the highest state of being – and Belize is one of them.
3. Try your hand at Deep Travel
When it comes to traveling, there are more motives than simply trying to have an interesting Instagram Feed. There’s the enrichment aspect, the sustainability angle and the hope of leaving a place better than you found it. Deep Travel goes a step further, focusing on that interconnectedness with not only the destination, but its people. By choosing profound activities versus just “top 10 things to do,” you learn more about what makes the country tick.
Belize is an ideal candidate to try Deep Travel, with many cultural experiences going further than simply watching a performance or taking a tour. You are pulled in alongside the artisans, either swaying with the Jankunu Dancers of the Garifuna culture, or being subjected to an authentic Mayan healing bath in San Antonio. That’s not to say there are some must-dos every new traveler to Belize should tick off their bucket list, but don’t be afraid to pencil in adventures that stretch and challenge your ways of thinking.
4. Embrace total mindfulness
When it comes to managing our stress and anxiety from our worldly worries, mindfulness plays an important role. Sitting down with our thoughts and meditating become so important to our well-being, it’s an act that deserves to be practiced often. Belize already has the eco-first travel nailed down, but what about wellness initiatives? The destination is no stranger to the concept, and in fact many yogis and mindful travelers seek Belize for this very purpose.
Luxury lodges and resorts offer stellar spa services to put your mind and body in its very best state. There is an annual yoga festival where both national and international yogis participate. Not to mention, the seclusion and privacy many hotels across Belize offer. Imagine pausing to take a deep breath of the fresh jungle air in your Tree-top Villa at Chaa Creek. Your past stays where it is, and your future is far from your mind — only the present remains. Ambiences like these are the ideal cultivator to reach mindfulness in a place like Belize that breathes contentment.
5. Gain new-found inspiration
After focusing much of our energy on the distress of 2020, it’s not uncommon to find our creativity stumped. Whether in our work, our personal lives or our hobbies, the redundancy of staying home day after day had a glaring effect. With Belize being open and having thorough precautionary measures in place, you can now reclaim the joy and passions lost.
Just by flying into Belize you’ll be inspired by all the shades of greens and blues greeting you hello from below. There’s no doubt the creativity juices will start flowing again after seeing the vibrant Keel-Billed Toucan in person at the Belize Zoo, just about an hour away from Chaa Creek – where indeed you will see toucans in their wild habitat. There are many more awe-inspiring attractions and experiences in Belize to help reignite your thirst for inspiration in any area of your life.
You simply only need to look.