Lara Goldman is the embodiment of what most people think of when they think of escaping the 9 – 5.  She left a uber corporate life to relocate and live in Belize, Central America.  Talk about escape!!! Lara was a Vice President of Human Resources for an internationally traded (NASDAQ RMH) company.  “We grew the company from 2500 to 14000 people in 4 countries.  Once we were big, we were bought.  And thats when things changed.  I interviewed with commensurate positions nationally, but one day i realized the next idiot i work for will be me”.

So, Lara opened a small antique shop on the Mainline of Philadelphia, where she was born and raised.  After 2 years of that, she literally just realized one day, she was all done.  “Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVED Phila, but my 34 years there had been enough, and I was ready to move on”.  Lara heard of Belize while talking to a friend, and 2 weeks later she was on a plane and bought a house.  That was the end of that!

Before starting her business, Romantic Travel Belize,  www.romantictravelbelize.com  she spent nearly 5 years traveling the country and just EXISTING in this new, exciting, tropical, exotic location that is only 2 hours from Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Miami.  This time of year, there are even direct flights out of Newark, NJ for those cold east coasters!

“I’ve realized in my time here that there are so few people that come to Belize, and there is so much to see and do, I decided to put together my top picks of the businesses here.  I only work with the vendors that i know will service my clients to my own personal, very exacting, very east coast tastes and sensibilities”.  Its not really work when you live in a place this small.  Lara knows everyone, so you know who you can count on and who you cant.  No one takes a morning meeting, and lunch time is a good time to go for a swim in the ocean.  They don’t do 9 – 5 in Belize…unless you are considering the number of beers you might have during a 5 hour period (9?) 🙂

For Lara, escaping the 9 to 5 has given her the ability to say “YES” to the most amazing opportunities.  “Want to go take the catamarans down the Rio Dulce, Guatemala?  YES!  Want to go climb a ruin? YES!  Want to go to El Salvador for the weekend? YES!  Want to go sailing on a sunrise cruise?  YES! ”

One of the keys to a successful escape is to truly know yourself.  This isn’t an extended vacation, this is a lifestyle.  It is different than what you are used to, but then again, isn’t that what you wanted?  It is also important to know your “bottom” in terms of accommodations, transportation, food, social networks, shopping, etc.  When you escape, you need to make adjustments since you aren’t enjoying that 9 – 5 income anymore!  “Anyone who knows what they are doing in 6 months is nothing but a fool, and since ‘fear’ isn’t a reason to do, or not do, something, may as well just go for it”.

Romantic Travel Association of Belize – www.romantictravelbelize.com