We’re Leaving Our Babies

We’ve lived in Nicaragua on and off since 2004, and for the past six years we have been here permanently. We decided this year that we are going to wean ourselves off Nicaragua for six months a year. It is time for a change, if only temporarily.

We have had a love/hate relationship with Nicaragua for many years. The hate part is mainly because of the unreliable infrastructure and the brutally hot and dry months. The love part will always be the people.  Yet, as we age, we realize that maybe Nicaragua isn’t the best place for us to age gracefully year-round. After much thought, we decided to scratch our gypsytoes by traveling six months of the year.


Our sweet bananas are ready to be harvested by our house sitters.

The best of all worlds is possible. Our goal was always to make Nicaragua our home base and travel extensively. But, that has not happened as much as we would like because we  built a thriving life in Nicaragua by planting many varieties of fruit trees on our property, rescuing dogs and cats, and developing a children’s library.


The baby breadfruit tree needs TLC during the dry season.

The only way we can fulfill our passion for travel is to find reliable and responsible house sitters. Throughout the years, we have had good and not so good experiences with house sitters. But, now we have our selection system honed and refined to meet our needs. The key is to try to plan for the unexpected because nothing is ever “normal” or expected here. Contingency plans are a necessity in Nicaragua.


Did you know that if you let a pineapple sprout grow, it will take less time to produce the pineapple, than if you plant the top of a pineapple?

It takes a tremendous amount of planning to prepare for our travels. Not only do we need to plan for our trip, but we have to prepare for our house sitters. There will be plants to water, bills to pay, workers to supervise, and our cats and dog to watch over.

We are leaving our babies, and it is never easy.


The Jack Fruit tree should be ready to produce our first jackfruit.

We are starting our new journey next week. This time we will be off island for the month of November. Next year, we are planning a three-month trip during the worst months of March, April, and May.

So, while we are gone, I won’t be posting on my blog. I will leave you with some of my favorite posts. Check the menu Rewired and Retired Greatest Hits at the top of my blog.

We are headed to Fiji and New Zealand. They have been on our bucket list for years. Here is a map of our itinerary in New Zealand.

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-9-36-22-pmNow, if my cold weather clothes will dry in this super rainy weather, we will be all set!

It is possible to have the best of all worlds. We are living examples of that. Meanwhile enjoy some past posts on my blog. I will return in December with many new stories.

50 thoughts on “We’re Leaving Our Babies

    • I don’t mind you asking at all. We live a comfortable life on Ometepe Island and it is very inexpensive to live here. So, with the money we save, we can travel often. We are retired teachers with good pensions and we live a simple lifestyle. We have never lived beyond our means, always shop for sales and cheap flights, never buy new furniture or new cars, pay off all credit cards monthly, and have made it a goal to live debt free.
      Truthfully, our lifestyles have not changed because of living abroad. We have always lived a simple lifestyle and I think that is the key. Maybe I should write a post about how we do it because when I was working, I always wondered how people could afford to travel all the time. Thanks for the question. It has given me food for thought for a new post. 🙂

  1. Have a great time! You will love New Zealand and Fiji. My hubby traveled there years ago. Take lots of pics you can share with all of us when you return. Looking forward to hearing all about it. Stay safe.

  2. Got got back from a little over a week in Mexico City. Highly recommend it if you avoid the tour touts (easy and safe enough to take cabs and Metro buses, no personal experience with the Metro itself). The two best months to leave Jinotega are October (the rains) and April (the heat). A friend wants to do something in January but that might be too soon for me, and good weather here. We don’t have as much heat here as you have there, but it can get down right chilly here. I want to see all of Nicaragua before I get too old to travel, too.

    Enjoy New Zealand — a friend was there several years back (over a decade now) and liked it quite a lot.

    • Rebecca, we are hoping to spend a couple months in Mexico…preferably next March and April. The last time I was in Mexico, I went to see the Monarch butterfly migration. It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.
      Glad to see that you are traveling. There are still so many places we want to visit in Nicaragua, but those can be shorter trips.
      It is chilly here tonight. Brrr…must be in the low 80s. lol

  3. Happy New Journey ! We will be traveling Nicaragua in November. As always, I will enjoy hearing about your new adventures in December!

  4. Safest of journeys to you both my friends. You will love NZ… travelled through both islands back in 2000. Wellington countryside is much like Western Canada…. except for the ocean shore of course. Enjoy and be safe.

  5. Have a beautiful and blessed journey, I loved Fiji, and also went to Tonga and all around that area .
    I move December 11 th to San Miguel in the Azore Islands, so if you ever visit Portugal , take a plane to the islands of Portugal…the AZORE ISLANDS!!!
    May the hand of God guide your adventure and open your hearts to paths inside and out!!!!
    Light ,

  6. Fare thee well, oh Brave Adventurers. I already knew about the NZ and Fiji trip. (NZ may be the most polar opposite culture to Nicaragua, save for Switzerland.)

    But leaving Nicaragua for 6 months of the year is an astounding but an eminently rational idea. Go for it!

    When will you visit us again, here in Michoacán, México? March, April and May are also the hottest, driest months here, but never extreme, thanks in part to our altitude of around 6000 ft + a.s.l. Not to forget higher latitude.

    Don’t forget to go caving in NZ. There are some semi-wild tours available, one of which, if I recall, is called “Blackwater Rafting”. Check it out. http://www.waitomo.com/black-water-rafting/Pages/default.aspx

    Don Cuevas

    • Never fear, oh Great Adventurer friends of mine. We are headed your way next year. But, we haven’t had time to plan yet. When we return, I can start working on our Mexico adventure.
      I am super excited about visiting Waitomo Caves. But, I think our spelunking days are over until my dislocated knee heals completely or I can turn back time and crawl through tiny spaces discovering “alien eggs” deep in the bowels of a cave. Lol
      We’ll talk soon dear friends. Hugs.

    • My camera is charged and packed. I ordered a pair of compression socks for our long flight. My Tiger Balm is packed for my knee, and my blue jeans hanging on the line are almost dry. Ron’s shingles are almost invisible. These two geriatric people are ready to escape. Lol

  7. Oh, oh, OH! I am so excited for you and your new adventure! I know I was born with “gypsy toes” too and I think that change, new places and a variety of experiences are important to have as priorities. It’s just difficult to juggle them while you’re managing the day-to-day responsibilities that life presents. However, it sounds like you’ve got that part covered so you can take off for a while and goooooo! Is Europe on your radar at all? Hope you’ll keep in mind that there’s always a place in Portugal for you to visit too!
    What fun and I’ll look forward to reading about your thoughts and experiences when you return to Ometepe! Anita

    • Anita, there is a great repositioning cruise to Lisbon at the end of May. I think it is the same cruise Eden and Denny took. For $125 we can travel to Lisbon and come visit you. We are going to look into that for next year. The only problem is that it leaves May 25 and we have to be back in Nicaragua to renew our residencia by the first of July. I am not sure how long the process takes, but if we miss the deadline to reapply, we have to start all over again from scratch.
      I think we have worked out a way to have a permanent house sitter here for us when we need one. That is the biggest challenge.

      • Awesome! We’d love to meet up with you so consider yourselves invited! We had Eden and Denny as our housesitters here in Portugal when we went to the US (it really is a small world) and are now planning on visiting them in Thailand. If you can find some good housesitters you’ll have so much more freedom to come and go. 😀 I’m doing the happy dance thinking about you guys coming our way!

  8. Best wishes from us and your adventure. You have inspired us and really looking forward to meeting you in January. Your work in coordinating our donation to La Paloma library though Go For Hope is to be commended and recognized. You have done so much for the people and island of Ometepe. Have a great Kiwi Trip and see you in the new year!!

    Verne and Mary Rainey

  9. Wow Been reading your stuff for a few years You are very wise.. and oh my.. I think what you write is soooo true Thank you for being so open with your life ENJOY YOUR TRAVELS! KJ

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