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Choosing a Country

Posted in: Everything Expat, Living in Ecuador

Our journey started long before we ever set foot on the soil of Ecuador.  For about two years we did research and preparation.  First we had to decide which country we would be moving to.

Our initial dreams were of sandy beaches and hot weather, but the more we tried to really visualize ourselves in our new location the more we realized that hot humid weather was not for us.  A two or three week vacation in that type of tropical climate would be heaven, but week after week, month after month, year after year would just leave us hot, sweaty and exhausted.  Not to mention that where there are heat and moisture there are bugs, lots of weird creepy crawly bugs.

There were other things to consider as well, like the infrastructure.  What kinds of health care facilities were available?  How hard would it be to find all the things we would need?  Grocery stores, health food stores, pharmacies, shopping centers . . .

Choosing a CountryLanguage was another factor.  We wanted a Spanish speaking country because it is so widely spoken; we felt this would open up a world of opportunities for our family.

A low cost of living was a must.  After everything was said, done and sold, we were figuring we could make it for three years if we could keep our expenses low enough.  And if we came up with a means of income during that time “bonus” we would stay longer.

Safety was very important to us as well.  We have a young child, and that brought many considerations into the picture that may not have been important otherwise.  Crime rate statistics became a constant point of focus for us.

We looked into many countries, Dominican Republic, Belize, Mexico, Margarita Island Venezuela, Dominica, to name just a few.  For one reason or another we decided against them.  We were determined to do our best to make sure that once we relocated to this foreign country we would be able to sustain our stay for as long as possible.

Up next was Ecuador, too hot on the coast, but wait what was this, the Andes Mountains?  A city called Cuenca?   The check list was on fire!  Infrastructure, health care, spring like climate, low cost of living, no malaria, hardly any critters, Spanish, no weird natural disasters reported thus far.  That was it, we had our sights set on living in Cuenca, Ecuador.

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Meet the Author

Since moving to Ecuador in 2009, Dena and Bryan have made their living as bloggers. Dena is a partner at Storyteller Media, a content marketing company for Canadian travel brands. She is a contributor to Bryan Haines and is co-founder of Click Like This - a photo tutorial blog.

7 comments… add one
  • mark Feb 9, 2011, 2:36 am

    I loved Cuenca: highlight of Ecuador.

    I appreciate knowing (as we talk about family) how rich it can be to share with your children. It will make me reckon with my selfishness a bit more!

  • David Bailey Dec 5, 2010, 4:17 pm

    Getting the message, loud and clear. Thanks for the information.

    • Dena Haines Dec 6, 2010, 1:40 pm

      Hi David,

      Thanks for reading the blog. It's a big decision, and we're happy with ours.

      Hope all goes well with you as you consider your options.

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