It is hard to believe how many years ago that I was in Belize. What a life changing and wonderful experience. I was able to go to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve and to the coral reefs to help with research for Marshall University in the summer of 2009.
The things I learned while in the jungle are: you have no idea about bug bites until you have been in the rainforest, there is nothing more beautiful than unspoiled nature, howler monkeys are terrifying at night, and that sometimes when you get outside your comfort zone you are most the comfortable.
From the jungle, we went to the coast which is home to the worlds second largest barrier reef. The fish and wildlife we saw there were incredible. “Roughing it” on the beach was much easier than doing the same in the rainforest.
I grew so much because of this trip, it really changed me as a person. I became more interested in a natural lifestyle, I learned that I was capable of way more than I ever imagined, my eyes were opened to differing lifestyles than mainstream United States culture, and I saw some of the most beautiful and unspoiled nature. When I look back, 2009 was a year of hardships for me: I was diagnosed with Graves disease, had a very turmoiled relationship, and found out quickly who my true friends were. Despite all these things unfolding, the one thing I think impacted me the most was spending the summer living in a remote area with no internet access, no communication with the outside world, and really connecting with the environment. No matter how many places I go, Belize will always hold a special piece of me.