When we made the decision to move to Central America it was not a spur of the moment decision. From when our first child was born in 2014 we started discussing options for our family. Our main discussion for the first 3 years was around school. We knew right from day one that we didn’t want to send our children to traditional mainstream public school. So being in Alberta that left us with Private School, Catholic School or Homeschooling. These were the options we had so we researched them all.
When we started looking into potentially homeschooling we were reading articles that documented things like ‘Homeschooled children are more prepared for life’, ‘Homeschool children are more adjusted and have less anxiety and depression’. These things were not only alarming but also made us really get into the root of why we didn’t want a mainstream school for our kids. My husband and I both grew up in the ‘go to school, get good grades, get a good job’ era. However, that mantra in school never dove into the ‘you better like what you do because you have to do it for 40years and retire’ except school didn’t teach us how to prepare early for ‘retirement’ and in this day and age the age of retirement has extended because inflation has caused such an increase in the amount of money you need to survive.
Aside from the idea that mainstream school only prepares you to work a job and not plan a life we started discussing things that we wanted our children to be able to learn. Things like life skills, communication, human interaction, compassion, creativity, imagination, commerce, financial knowledge, future planning. When you compare the education system in North America to those of places like Sweden, Norway or China, North America is seriously lacking in the adaption of changing times and society. We are behind the times and the core of education doesn’t match the needs of the upcoming generations anymore. Just look at the generation of Millenials who are internet sensations… They sure didn’t learn those skills in school. (Not saying every kid needs to be full of some of the nonsense displayed on the internet). We just wanted more for our kids. The idea of homeschooling opened up our options and our minds a little bit more.
We sold our house in Alberta and when we started looking at where we were going to live we couldn’t in good conscience say we wanted to spend the next 40 years stuck doing the same mundane things we were currently doing because all it had gotten us was debt, stress, and unhappiness, along with some physical ailments.
So we started looking at alternatives. I transitioned to online business and we looked for somewhere we could start our family journey. My husband is able to work seasonally in Canada so we wanted somewhere that we could live better but for less money. When we were researching we found that on paper Nicaragua seemed like the best start. Despite some recent Political challenges the country itself was beautiful, warm all year round (We hate snow lol), there is a decent healthcare system, cost of living is significantly lower than Canada, the town we decided on had multiple options for school for the kids should we decide not to homeschool, AND a flight from Alberta to Nicaragua cost the same amount per person as flying from Alberta to Ontario!! (that, however, is a whole different rant) So we decided to check it out.
We spent 6 weeks in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. In San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua (the town we wanted to try our for staying) we found an incredible community, an amazing international school and we all felt like we were supposed to be there. When we returned from that trip we already had a rental in place for 2 months later and we knew it was exactly where we were supposed to be.
Bottom line for why we wanted to move is we wanted more QUALITY time with our children. We wanted to be present for them. We wanted to be more present with each other. We wanted to give our kids’ life experience instead of ‘things’. We just wanted MORE.
So here we are… preparing for a serious life change. Downsizing our lives, packing our bags and moving our life to another country. One where we need to learn the native language, we have to get used to the wildlife, and we feel is the perfect place to start our journey. Our family may have started in 2014 when our daughter was born… but our adventure is just beginning and we can’t wait to share it with everyone. The struggles will be real, the experience will be exceptional and our future is a trail to be forged as we go. We hope you can come prosper with us.