Before moving to San Juan del Sur, I was lucky enough to make a connection with a woman who had made a similar transition to Nicaragua, with her boyfriend, just a few years before us. Her advice on what things to bring to Nicaragua were invaluable. In the same spirit, I’d like to pass along some of her words of wisdom, as well as a few of my own regarding preparing for the big move:
1) Bring creature comforts that will help ease the transition – photos from home, your favorite tea, books, etc.
2) Good linens are expensive in Nicaragua – they can be purchased in places like Pricesmart (in bulk), but I recommend bringing a set or two of sheets and towels.
3) Flip flops! I rarely wear any other type of footwear.
5) Electronics are worth bringing if they are things you use regularly, i.e. laptops, iPods, etc. Appliances are more expensive in Nicaragua, so at some point, you need to evaluate what you need from home or what you can live without. I’ve learned to toast bread in our oven and defrost food in the sun.
6) Headlamps are a great investment (and actually very inexpensive). When the power goes out, you will be happy to be hand’s free.
7) Medication that you require and you can’t get in Nicaragua. It’s helpful to know the generic names of your medications, as well as the dosage, because you can often find more common ones in pharmacies in Nicaragua.
8) Shorts – might seem obvious, but I never wore shorts when I lived in the States. I always stuck with capris, etc. However, it gets hot down here and you will appreciate having lightweight clothes.
9) Clothing in general: bring breathable fabrics – cotton, linen.
10) Raincoat – stay away from heavy, unbreathable gortex. It stays pretty hot when it rains and you don’t want to sweat under your coat. It’s also worth investing in a looooong raincoat that falls below your knees. In heavy rains, your lower half will get soaked in a waist-length raincoat.
11) My husband can’t live without his Goldbond powder – it helps to ease the chaffing during the really humid days 🙂
It’s also helpful “to reevaluate what your “needs” are and simplify them. Once you’ve spent some time among Nicaraguan families and seen how much they are able to do with so few resources, you might reconsider some things you previously thought were indispensable. This is highly personal, but you might very well discover that in your new lifestyle in Central America you can live more simply than you’d expected.” borrowed from Transitions Abroad.
Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.