Nico is a communications specialist with 9 years of experience as a journalist, editor, teacher, and leader.
Nico has worked in USAID projects and most recently worked as the communications manager on the largest Feed the Future project in Africa. We asked Nico some questions:
How would you describe yourself?
I am a journalist turned NGO writer, a climber at heart, and best friend with my canine companion, the Mino Man. I am currently raising a small family of Chilean and Utah roots.
We have tried living in several countries, drawn to the immigrant lifestyle and experience of being ‘not from here’. I came up in the world of foreign languages and lived in Europe before giving in full time to newspaper reporting. After layoffs and reductions, I realized this profession was doomed and started Nico Tours, a fully loaded, adventure tour outfit in Santiago, Chile that allowed tourists to follow me and Mino around the Andes Mountains. After Chile, I moved to Ethiopia and then Liberia, and in these places I increased my focus on writing, documenting and ultimately storytelling. We are currently in Colombia.
What do you notice first in the other people?
When I meet a person, I notice first the sound of the language spoken. An accent, a tone, a lilt, a stammer. The voice will never betray your history. As much as you want to transform yourself by living in another country, your voice is one of the last things to change.
What is the hardest part of living abroad or moving all the time?
There is a certain loneliness involved in moving around. You leave friends and friends leave you. The first The hardest part is the beginning when none of those friends are around to fill the void.
How could your day be “perfect”?
Climbing all day. Sunshine. Nature. Companionship.
What aspect of your life do you feel more grateful for?
Due to moving? You appreciate your mother and father. For one, they made you.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
How do you define crazy? Like working in a job you hate, that’s crazy.
Back in 2003, when Bush Jr had sent the US military into Iraq, anti-Americanism was at a high, and a local TV station in Barcelona was looking for US citizens to strip down and say things like Fuck You Bush and Suck A Dick Bush in Catalán. It would have been crazy to not do it.
Of all the places you have been to, which one is your favorite and why?
Might be Chile. Each place you live ends up being your favorite for different reasons. Germany for the freedom. Spain for the struggle. Texas for the comfort. Chile for the rock. Ethiopia for the culture.
What are the reasons for choosing your next destinations?
You either choose a place or a place chooses you. It’s healthier when you choose.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Somewhere in the desert, hopefully spending more time outside than in.
You may also be interested in this article by Nico "Conceived in Ethiopia and Born in Chile"