What it took for me to succeed

    By felipe

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    It all started for me in the 1970s. I could write a book about this but, for now, a short blog post seems in order. Hopefully it will encourage you to learn from your mistakes and not give up.

    • Early 1970s -- Bought a 7-acre farm and proved what two people, both with "day jobs" can't really do more than get stressed.
    • Late 1970s -- Bought 30 undeveloped acres. Same stress issue plus way too much government regulation.
    • 1980 -- Moved to "the city", started a business and had no spare time for 20 years. Oh well.
    • 2002 -- Escaped from the rat race moving to Costa Rica. But, no land and still a "day job" running the business.
    • 2004 -- Moved to Nicaragua. Quit my day job, had "an idea" (that involved others who really weren't going the same direction as I was), bought land, ...
    • 2012 -- Moved to Guatemala -- a step in the right direction.
    • 2015 -- Bought a small B&B in a primarily indigenous town with virtually no tourism and on a fair chunk of land.

    While I am far from back to nature, I am making real progress, doing what I want and not listening to other's ideas other than those of my daughter. (The photo that labels the group was taken from our deck.) Here is why it seems we are on the right track:

    • The temperature is between 10C and 30C, 24/7/365 and the building has thick adobe walls. Thus, zero energy for heating or cooling.
    • Free irrigation water (and city potable water).
    • In Guatemala, you can become an "auto-producer" meaning that you can sell power back to the electric grid -- at retail. Thus, you can get your electric bill down to almost nothing.
    • We are in a farming region so that which we don't grow we can buy locally at low prices.
    • As there is no "summer" or "winter" -- just wet and dry season, there is fresh local fruit available year round and there are three or more crops of corn, beans, onions and such per year thus keeping prices down.
    • There is close to no government "intervention" in your life.
    • Local labor is inexpensive meaning you can afford to hire someone and doing so makes you an asset to the locals.