Happy New Year from Belize

When reflecting on your past year, what words come to mind? If I could pick two, they would be: focus and faith. I pushed  myself harder, trusted in my abilities and believed – really believed – that the sky is the limit. I know you all think I did that before, but not quite to this extent. I traveled with more purpose and meaning, attending conferences from coast to coast in the U.S., where I met some fantastic fellow writers, photographers and dream chasers. I signed up for valuable workshops and learned from the best in the business, including travel editor and author Don George and photographer Bob Holmes. I read more, focused, pitched more, applied for opportunities, and trusted that all would work out. And it did — when I was selected as a Moon guidebook author in September 2012, the very thing I dreamed of while sitting in the audience during TBEX’s closing keynote in June, listening to award-winning travel journalist and guidebook author Christopher Baker, wondering, how do I do that?

From there, I headed to Belize in October to begin updating, writing and making Moon Belize 2013 my own. I completed my first chapter end of October, and received all around positive reviews from my team at Moon.

Three months have passed by and I have one district left to revisit. The most memorable part of the last twelve weeks of traveling across Belize? The people.  Reconnecting with friends, and meeting new folks – the hotel owners, the fellow journalists and writers, the artisans, musicians and painters, the chefs, the drummers and even the tourists who gave me feedback on their guidebook use and vacation planning. The images below are but a snapshot of all the wonderful folks who have made my long hours 100% bearable. The help and assistance from everyone across the districts has been overwhelming as I attempt to make this the best guidebook to Belize there is (hey dreaming big, remember!). I’m grateful beyond words for how it has all come together and for having a family back home who understands and supports me, even if they worry too much about my nomad ways.

So hurrah to 2012 and hello 2013! I’m looking forward to completing this book by my March deadline, by God’s grace, and reaching even higher for my dreams and goals. I can only hope that my experiences continue to inspire others to do the same. Life is short–do what makes your heart smile, learn new skills if you must, be thankful for the smallest of successes and most of all have fun.

Happy New Year to all of you and thank you so much for following and supporting my work.



  1. Your work is magnificent, and you are truly inspiring.
    Onward 2013.

    Rob / Caye Caulker

  2. Thank you Rob!! Happy 2013 to you and much success!

  3. I really enjoyed reading this introductory piece on Belize. I was particularly struck by your comment, ” The most memorable part of the last twelve weeks traveling across Belize! The People.” I first traveled to Belize in 2006 and was struck the same way and, as a result, I ended up buying a place there so I would have many reasons to go back again and again. What a wonderful people they are! I hope you found your way to Placencia, which is where I ended up buying. Really looking forward to seeing the final copy of your work.

  4. Hi Larry, really great to hear that! I did make my way to Placencia earlier in December and stopped by Chabil Mar as well. Hope to meet you next time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and for the vote of confidence!

  5. Great job Lily!!! Also, thnkx for these very appropriate and timely words of inspiration as I continue my struggle to stay focus and keep the faith! God bless.

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