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 . . .
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.