One of the dreams I had as a teenager was to travel the world using photography to connect people, to help them explore and see the connections we share, the wonder and the perspectives that come when you enjoy another culture. A couple decades later, and here I am a business photographer enjoying solopreneurship. It provides me flexibility to spend time volunteering with our children's school, and it helps me use my skills and talents to support our family.
Who would have guessed that this combination would lead me to exploring this flickering dream while doing both? Our middle schooler and I traveled with the World Travel Club to Belize in April. We stayed at Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, which is an Eco Lodge and Educational center. Their guides and program aids coordinated details for our group, and it was the kind of trip these students will remember forever - from a Cave Tour, a Mayan Ruins trip, Service Project at a local school, and even snorkeling at the Belize Reef off Caye Caulker to name just a few! Each day was filled with learning and exploring.
The Monkey Bay Eco Lodge is a welcoming home base for a group such as ours. They also have accomodations for smaller groups and individuals. From a single room a short walk to the toilet or a shower to a cabin style space with air conditioning and private bathroom, I was impressed with the variety of spaces and places they offer for visitors. Add a touch of humor and positive messages with signs around the property, and it is a learning opportunity for all! We enjoyed a couple off the schedule learning opportunities from a bird walk for those of us willing to get up and out before breakfast, and a garden walk to explore native botany.
Having already traveled to Honduras and Costa Rica in the past, I can honestly say while Belize may share some similar weather, flora and fauna, it is unique and worth the visit. It was such a pleasure to see such a variety of natural wonders and meet so many people proud of their home. As cliche as it sounds, I think Belize is a magical place - as they say on shirts and souvenirs: "You Better Belize it!" Please enjoy the slideshow I made in an attempt to share the essence of the trip: