GringosAbroad Ecuador

GringosAbroad helps expats and travelers navigate Ecuador. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Ecuador Expat Profile: Liliya Bykova Living in Quito

Posted in: Everything Expat, Expats in Ecuador, Living in Ecuador, Quito Ecuador

This is part of our Ecuador Expats Series.

Ecuador Expat Profile: Liliya Bykova Living in Quito

The Expats: Liliya Bykova and Leo


Where are you currently living?

Quito, Ecuador On and off since September 2006 Permanent since July 2008

What’s Your Story?

I was born in the USSR, Republic of Belarus.

Went to school, college, got married/divorced, have two kids born in USSR/Belarus as well.

In 1993 we emigrated to Minneapolis, MN, my kids and I.

History repeated itself – I went to college again (Hennepin technical college), became a computer programmer, got married/divorced again. My kids, daughter and son, got their education in Minneapolis.

When and where did you get the idea of living in Ecuador?

In 2003, I found myself unemployed (laid off from my well-paying programmer job). I was lucky, the townhouse I bought in 1997, doubled in price and I almost paid it off.

My kids were grown and out of the house. I sold my townhouse in 2004, downsized to a small condo and tried a few other professions, like tax preparer and accounting clerk.

It didn’t work out, too much work for too little money.

In 2006 I decided to move out of the USA. I still had money left from selling the townhouse. There were a few candidates: Panama, Chile, Ecuador. Panama looked like hot, humid and expensive. Chile – expensive. Ecuador looked really good and had a thriving Russian-speaking online community.

I met Leo in 2007 and he was up to the task of moving to Ecuador. In 2008 we got married in Las Vegas by Elvis impersonator and off to Ecuador we went in July 2008

How’s your Spanish?

I didn’t speak Spanish before arriving. Now I know enough Spanish to function in Ecuador, but not too much. At home we speak English and with my girlfriends I speak Russian.

What do you do?

Leo has a retirement income and my dream from 2003 was : I want to live on Easy Street. I found it in Ecuador. I live on Easy Street.

I cook, exercise, read books, forums, and write my blog. We also have a dog (a westie called Sashka). We have rental properties in Centro Historico, Quito and in Minneapolis, MN.

How do you find the cost of living in Ecuador?

It is not just the cost of living but the perpetually good weather, good and cheaper food, nice people, and my friends.

You might also enjoy:

Check out our guides:

Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

8 comments… add one
  • Beth Lane Sep 28, 2016, 12:45 pm

    I am 56, really would love to move there but a few things have stopped me. Namely money of course … would not have much to do this, no matter how much I try to save (stuck on the hamster wheel of working to live but really living to work) but also….I do not know where I would live there; if I could support myself somehow (very important of course) and do not know anyone at all there. Is there any very reputable, honest sites (blogs, etc.) that give insight to how people do this? I would be so grateful if you could share, if so. Thank you for sharing what you have. I realize this is not “current” information as it is now the end of 2016, but hope to hear from you. Thanks and very happy for you — hope it all worked out.

  • Sarah Apr 3, 2016, 2:13 am

    Hi Liliya,

    I am an undergraduate working on a thesis project about expatriates in South American cities, including Quito, and I would love if you could answer a few quick questions for me. Or anyone out there really who has lived/lives in Quito, your help would be amazing!

    Answers to any or all of these questions would be greatly appreciated:
    What neighborhood do you live in?
    Why did you choose to live there?
    In your impression, what types of people live there?
    What areas do you feel like most expats live in?
    Do you interact with mainly other expatriates or do you have many Ecuadorian friends? Was it difficult to make friends outside the expatriate community?
    Do you speak Spanish?
    Do you work, and if so what do you do?

  • James Schuh Dec 27, 2015, 9:39 am

    We are seeking Ex Pats in Quito as we are visiting soon, 3 adults, and two teenage children. We need help to find lodging near Plaza Grande in south Quito for last week of January and first week of February. Can you help?
    Thank you for your kindness,

  • Michael & Betty Jones Sep 8, 2014, 3:48 pm

    My wife, Betty and I, are retired from the healthcare industry in Texas. We are in Ecuador exploring the various areas of the country to find the area that most meets our relocation needs. We are both active painters and photographers. We will be in Quito until September 14 and would appreciate meeting with you for lunch or a drink to gain some of your insight into living in Quito. Thank you.
    Michael & Betty Jones

  • AmyMaude Jul 4, 2013, 5:49 pm

    My husband and I are coming to Ecuador in September. Could we meet with you some evening for dinner, our treat? We are compiling questions and many of them are being answered by blogs. However, it would still make us happy to visit face to face with a couple who found their way successfully in Ecuador!

  • Olga Dec 3, 2012, 6:53 pm

    Dear Liliya, my family is planning to move with children to Ecuador from USA. I would like to know if there is the Russian community (if any) in Quito? Thank you for your information in advance, Olga

    • DiDAN Feb 11, 2013, 10:55 pm

      Chack 😉

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.