International Tourism in Belize – It is 12:00am, April 28th, the first hour into my final day in Belize. The buzzing song of jungle cicadas streams into my small wooden cabana. I have propped myself up on my bed, first aid supplies strewn about, while looking at my damaged feet with nothing but the light of my head lamp. I open another alcohol swab and begin to lance a large blister. Reality begins to set in. I cannot possibly go on the planned excursion to Actun Tunichil Muknal. I can hardly walk. I try to convince myself that I have around 6 hours to sleep this off, but I know better. It is just not enough time. With a huge lump in my throat I turn my headlamp off, and try to sleep.
Daylight arrives, and nature calls. I pull my feet out of my “bug proof” sleeping liner and take a look. Well, at least my blisters wept enough for the both of us. I carefully stuff my feet into some socks and use a pair of sneakers like slippers. On my trek to the restrooms and I encounter Michelle, a faculty member from Akerly. “Is Tara up?” I ask with a mix of fear and reluctance. Tara is my own faculty, and I always look for her opinion on important matters. “Yes, she is Morgan, why?” I sigh, “I have to show you both something.” I quickly finish up at the washrooms, and painfully hobble back to the cabanas. Thankfully, we were neighbours.
I throw my toiletries on my bed, and leave to meet Tara and Michelle. They are both standing outside, concerned. I start by peeling off my socks, “Don’t freak out, but look at my feet.” I say, hopping up and down a bit on one foot. Collectively they both shriek, and contort their faces. “Morgan what happened!?” I start to explain my theory about how my Keen sandals are a little too big for my feet, and all the water and hiking on our cave tubing trip yesterday caused the problems. I look up at Tara, and ask a question I already know the answer to, “Can I go to the ATM cave?”
After my pitiful attempts to try and go to the ATM, I accepted defeat, and joined the other students who opted out of the excursion. Mid-afternoon, I am lounging poolside at a Belizean resort, reflecting on the day, and trip on a whole. I had so much to be grateful for despite this one hiccup. I got to spend ten days in a foreign country and learn how different tour companies operated. Nothing in a textbook could compare to touring a dive resort on a private island, and learning how they turned sea water into fresh drinking water for guests. I picked at my plate of nachos and fondly went over conversations with our guides in my head. I could not wait to bring this Belizean enthusiasm I experienced back home to Nova Scotia.
Tourism Management Student
NSCC Kingstec Campus