Thinking it over

I'm trying to decide whether to sell everything and go for it or come for a visit first to Nicaragua.

Its a tough decision to make. Especially because I'm not faint of heart and love a challenge.

The thought of selling up and being free is really appealing. But the thought of having nothing to return to is a bit frightening. I would be giving up my security blanket.

I live a long way from Nicaragua and the flights are not cheap. So to come for a visit would be expensive.

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In retrospect ...

When I lived in the US I thought it was the best place to live (because people told me that) and I could not get residency anywhere else. Now that I know both are BS, things look very different.

Having been in Central America for the last 2.5 years has made me 100% sure that I will never return to the US. There is just so much more here--more culture, more opportunity and more fun. When you see dirt-poor people that are happy and compare that to rich and unhappy city folk in the US I know I have a lot to learn.

I learned a lot in Costa Rica--some of which prepared me for being in Nicaragua. Nicaragua may be my final destination or maybe it will be Bolivia or Ecuador. I don't know but I do know I am finally moving forward in my life--I just wish I had done this 20 years ago.

I don't know your situation but if you are confident that you are in the wrong place and can afford to be "unsettled" for maybe six months, I would go for it. Being tied to something you don't want to be tied to makes it hard to exercise opportunities.

Coming to Nicaragua?

I left the US almost 20 years ago to come to Central America and although times got tough now and then, would not trade the experience for anything. For me it was fairly easy, with family connections and basic Spanish skills when I arrived. Anyway the decision is yours to make, pro or con. I always remember what my Uncle told me in Guatemala almost 17 years ago "smile and keep smiling" no matter what....

Central America Language Tours Your Vertical Portal to Travel, Trade and Language Study in all of Central America... www.centralamericalanguagetours.com info@centralamericalanguagetours.com

My situation is similar to Jultime's

And having researched Nicaragua, Ecuador and Panama for the last three months, I would very much like to hear your take on those things about living in Nicaragua that you DON'T like. I saw the photo of your house, very nice, but it still really bugs me that you need bars on your windows. Is it just me? Surrounded by poverty, do you feel guilt for being able to go to the market anytime you like and can you enjoy a steak on the grill without feeling like a 'rich american'? I remember going to a museum in Guadalajara back in the 70's, an artist's works by the name of Jose Clemente Orozco caught my eye and has never left my mind. He showed, in pencil and charcoal, rich americans in suits and gowns, cameras around their necks, noses in the air, with poor Mexicans on their knees with outstretched bony hands. His depictions were circa 1940's. I wonder, even if our attitude is totally different, and certainly our dress and sans Nikon camera, if the 'air' still exists around you. How can it not? My choices for an 'early retirement' and escape from the materialism and bullsh*t politics that has turned my stomach since the 60's, has dwindled down to Nicaragua or living on a boat in Southeast Alaska. Ecuador was inviting, but considerable political tension (mail bombings of american interests and kidnapping of foreigners) negates the qualities. Panama also looks nice, but the 41 day quarantine of my little mutt T-Bone is unacceptable. So it boils down to, not something as simple as wanting to be warm or cold, but whether I wish to be a 'poor' american in Alaska, or a 'rich' american in Nicaragua. I very much appreciate your blogs, extremely informative, and look forward to your response.

I've thought also about being

I've thought also about being a "rich gringo" in a poor countryand wondered what those folks in Central America must think. Gringos are nuts for leaving our "perfect" countries. My thought is that when we go to a developing country whether on vacation or to live that we have obligations to those people.

If you can afford to hire a housekeeper or gardener, hire one or both. Give someone a job, support the local economy, get involved with the community.

This is how I would justify moving to some place like Nicaragua. I would feel better personally living in Nicaragua and employing someone rather than living a poor life in Alaska and not being able to help anybody.

Volunteering

There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities available in Nica. and the rest of Central America. Everyone has some skills they can share from teaching ESL and Computer basics onto agriculture and home economics, etc. Many organizations provide free room and board to volunteers, most are known as NGO's or "Non Govermental Organizations". If you must learn to speak Spanish, then find someone to barter with giving them English lessons and vice versa. I just went on Nica's own "Google" site http://www.google.com.ni and typed in "Volunteer + Organizations + Nicaragua" and got 38,000 listings, you may contact some these "Orgs" and see if you are right for each other. Just a suggestion.

Central America Language Tours Your Vertical Portal to Travel, Trade and Language Study in all of Central America... www.centralamericalanguagetours.com info@centralamericalanguagetours.com

Hey: I am in the same situ

Hey:

I am in the same situation as you (kind of). I am also a Canuck who is looking to the southern climes. I am going for an extended visit first (November 2004) and then if the first impression is good I am going back for a 3 month stay. At that time I will make my final decision although I am sure that I will be migrating back and forth as I love the weather where I am in the summer.

If you are looking for another Canuck to bounce ideas off of drop me line.

Iain