I research travel a lot. I read all the glossies, follow (with jealousy) travel photographers and (ah-hem) influencers. I keep up with all the lists and must-see destinations. For me, travel is everything. So when Placencia, Belize topped lists last year, I was excited to welcome 2017 at the beach.

Nestled between Mexico and Guatemala and surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, Belize is a small country with a diverse culture. Perhaps best known as a destination where North Americans live out their retirement dreams, Belize has recently become a major travel destination thanks to accessible flights and affordable prices.

What’s most interesting about Belize given its proximity to Mexico and the Caribbean is that there are no chain hotels. You won’t find a Barcelo or Club Med in sight! I stayed at the lovely Robert’s Grove Beach Resort, where my room was spacious, the beach glorious and the staff – among the most friendly and helpful I’ve ever encountered. I stayed in Placencia, what was once known as a sleepy little fishing town.  And let’s be real – it’s still a bit sleepy. But after packed itineraries in Portugal and New York, it was the perfect place for me to just relax and be for awhile. Reflect on the year that was and make plans for 2017.

There is much to do in Belize – from diving to jungle treks. I did none of that, but I can’t wait to go back and revisit those beautiful beaches and the most epically blue waters I’ve seen since travelling Asia.

My travel bug is biting…where should I head to next? Canada is way up on the list of places to see in 2017 and I’m thinking that it may be time to do a little exploring. After all, this year the parks are free and there will be a ton to see and do. More on that later though. 

Right now I’m remembering fondly my last trip to the beach.