The Crazy Canucks Beach Bar Story

crazy canucks

Kelly German

When most people hear about others taking their lives to Central America, they generally think they are only there for a vacation, or they’re looking for a more affordable retirement location. That isn’t always the case though. It is true that a number of Central American countries run on the tourism industry and it’s also true that the area becoming a rising hot spot for retirees. However, it’s very possible to relocate to one of these countries and find work. As long as you do the right research, it’s not as hard as you might think. We often hear about success stories from happy couples who made big steps in relocating, and we’re always happy to share them with you.

Meet Rob and Krista Burrows. Rob comes from a management consulting background, and Krista was a college volleyball coach. Rob is in his early forties, and Krista is in her thirties. They are both huge sports fans from Ohio who love the ocean and all the activity Ambergris Caye has to offer.

They moved to Belize a few years ago and took over Crazy Canucks Beach Bar. Since their big relocation, Rob and Krista have been enjoying the island lifestyle, the bar’s business is thriving, and they continue to do what they love on a daily basis.

Why did you decide to leave the USA and move to Belize?

We basically looked for three years to find a business in the Caribbean. We decided on the Caribbean after our second vacation to the British Virgin Islands. We realized we were working fifty weeks a year in order to get two weeks in the Caribbean. Living here would give us ten times more days off on the beach. So we tried everything out. We looked at Barbados, Jamaica, Cozumel, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas….

The search came down to finding some place not over developed like Cozumel or Cayman, but not too poor like places like Jamaica. After about two years in, I got frustrated and typed, “Cheapest f-ing place in the Caribbean” into the search engine… up popped Belize. We didn’t know anything about this country, but it has some major positive aspects. It had an island, it’s an English speaking country, relatively inexpensive, well-traveled by tourists, and it seemed to have a good reputation.

We decided to take a trip, we found a great deal, and we moved…. it’s just that easy.

Why did you decide Ambergris Caye was the place for you within the country of Belize?

We knew we wanted to be on the water. That really narrowed it down to Caulker, Ambergris, or Placencia. We wanted to live on an island, so we chose the bigger one.

In looking different businesses to buy here,
what appealed to you about the most about purchasing the business, Crazy Canucks?

My wife and I both enjoy the fun party atmosphere of a bar. In a tourist location, a bar is always a thriving business. Crazy Canucks was a great deal and we enjoy managing it.


Crazy Canucks Staff

 

What are your goals for Crazy Canucks and for yourselves living here?

We want to enjoy the Caribbean while not working the rat race lifestyle. We want to continue diving, boating, fishing, and spending time with our friends on the island.

We want to enjoy the Caribbean while not working the rat race lifestyle. We want to continue diving, boating, fishing, and spending time with our friends on the island.

What have you enjoyed in your first year living & working here
and what have you not enjoyed about the experience?

Getting to live the island lifestyle has been wonderful. It’s great not having everything planned out every day. We like being able to go fishing at a moment’s notice… and maybe what we enjoy most of all is being part of all the good times as you join in on everyone’s amazing vacations.

On the flip side… since it’s a smaller community, the island does lead to some petty gossip and stories that simply aren’t fun. There’s not really much you can do about that, but that kind of thing isn’t an exclusive part of this island. Thankfully, this has only been from a small group of people.

From your perspective, what are the most critical steps for an expat to have a smooth and organized transition for leaving the USA and living in a foreign country like Belize?

Expats need to do their research… it is there and it is specific. Before they get there, they need to know what they will need for licensing and approval. There are several books specifically about Belize and you can never be over prepared before you get here. We meet people every month that move here on a whim. Honestly, that’s just not a good idea.

What was the best advice you were given for getting settled into your new life here? Also, what advise could you offer to other potential entrepreneurs who are considering moving to Belize?

1. If you want to be successful, you have to be on the beach.
2. Find someone you can trust and find them quickly.
3. Everyone here is friendly and is willing to help, but make sure you don’t lose your own vision in the process.

How long do you expect you’ll be here living and working here and
what do you predict is in store for the future of Ambergris Caye?

I see big growth here in the future, but I am hoping that is still done on a small scale. We know the island will only continue to develop. The natural resources in Ambergris Caye are simply that amazing. We really don’t expect to go anywhere soon. We signed up for a long term commitment and we only plan on renewing it. Ambergris Caye has truly become home for us.

Rob and Krista’s story is just one of many examples of what can be done as an expat in Central America. Whether you’re interested in working, finding a new retirement community, or even a change of scenery, there are a lot more opportunities in the area that are still undiscovered. Over the past decade, this region’s infrastructure has seen a great amount of development and modernization. The first world is making its way to Central America and we highly encourage you to take advantage of it while you still can. The demand is only going to continue rising, making property more expensive and less available.