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.