“If all you do is think about what you need, you’re no better than an animal in the woods, and no smarter either. To be human, you’ve got to want. It makes you smarter and stronger.”
― Dan Groat
Ron is always telling me I want too much. But, I agree that to want makes me human. It makes me smarter and stronger. I remember the argument we had about buying an oven when we moved to Nicaragua. We both like to bake, so why was it so difficult to convince him that I wanted an oven?
Now, I do understand the difference between wants and needs. Yet, as an expat there are 14 things I can’t live without. Tropical Storm Nate convinced me that my wants usually lead to my needs.
We’ve made a comfortable boomer nest in Nicaragua. But, when Nate roared through Ometepe our roof struggled to maintain its composure. The old tin roof tried its best over years with fruits pounding on the hot tin and constant leaks during the rainy season. But, it is time for a new roof.
If you watched our House Hunter’s International show, you know I like “funky”. A new roof is a ‘need’, but I have many ‘wants’ to paint, redecorate, and spruce up our little nest. We are still debating on whether to sell our place and move to more adventures. Meanwhile, I want a comfortable, low maintenance home base. And if we do decide to sell, our beautiful property will be ready for new owners.
2. Gravity-flow running water
Several years ago, we were tired of hauling water from the lake to flush our toilet when there was no power. So, we installed a 600 gallon gravity-flow water tank. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. Be sure to check out Raising the Water Tower. It was a remarkable feat!
3. An Oven
Of course, I had to add the oven to my top 14 list. Without an oven, it wouldn’t be easy to make my rico cream cheese, sour cream, chocolate chip banana bread.
4. A bidet
Visiting our son in Yosemite National Park in May, we became addicted to his bidet. I know it is a strange addiction, kind of like my kitchen appliance addiction. Yet, a bidet is a wonderfully handy and environmentally friendly thing to have in Nicaragua. We can’t flush toilet paper down our ailing sewage tanks. UGH! The thoughts of nasty toilet paper filled containers makes me sick to my stomach. Enough said about that!
Oh, the creative ways I have tried to get a better internet signal at our house. Check out My Woktenna.
6. The Rainy Season
Since we only have two seasons in Nicaragua, wet and dry, I look forward to the rainy season because everything comes alive and flourishes!
Cory, our son, and Ron my husband. Without these amazing men in my life, I would be lost. Truthfully, without Ron, I don’t think I would be able to live in Nicaragua, especially not on our finca. He is the fixer, the analyst, my comforter, and the ying to my yang. Tomorrow we celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary. What an incredible ride it has been with the loves of my life.
8. My taxi driver and good friend
Francisco and his family have been a part of our lives for many years. Lately, he has driven me to Managua once a week for my eye check-ups. His family has become a cherished addition to our lives. Check out Guide to Taxi Service in Nicaragua
9. Service to others
My list is getting less tangible, but these things are very important to me as an expat. I believe in the trickle-up economic theory. Trickling Up: An Expat Economic Theory.
I believe in helping others when I see a need. I believe in investing in the future of my adopted country.
When we can’t find what we want or need, we creatively come up with a solution. Without the ability to creatively think outside of the box, I don’t think I could survive in Nicaragua.
Two of my friends had birthdays and I wanted to give them something special. So, I made wire-wrapped pottery shards from Ometepe Island to give as gifts. Aren’t they beautiful?
I have always been an activist. My motto is Do Something! I realize I am a guest in Nicaragua, so political activism is out-of-bounds here. However, I love my home country and will always be politically active when I see a need to Do Something. I attended the Women’s March in Los Angeles and flew the Nicaraguan flag in solidarity for women’s rights all over the world. I fax my representatives daily when there is an issue that deeply affects me. I am preparing a blog post about Why I Left the United States, but it isn’t political, although political activism for one’s home country can take place anywhere in the world.
Expats understand the passion for travel. Because the cost of living is about 1/4 of that in the United States, we can afford to travel and return to our home base in Central America.
Our next trip will be Uruguay and Argentina. We have our house sitters lined up, and are researching and saving for our next big adventure.
Set your life on fire! Other like-minded expats and travelers fuel our flames for a passionate life. We have the world arriving at our doorsteps everyday! Diversity, passion, and creativity are invaluable in my expat life.
I can’t live without sunsets, and Ometepe Island has some of the best! There is a sunset every evening and they are absolutely free! Every sunset reminds me that I have lived a full day and fulfilled my goals of living the best life I possibly can live.
What can’t you live without?