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GringosAbroad No More: Why Bryan & Dena Left Ecuador

Posted in: Our Perspective, Our Travels
view-from-santa-isabel-ecuador

View from our deck in Santa Isabel Ecuador

One week ago today we (along with 7 large bags of luggage, 2 bikes and our dog) left Ecuador, and not just for a vacation.

It was very difficult and emotional for our whole family.

The Sunday before, we packed everything and sold off all our belongings. Many of our friends came over to see us off.

We cried almost all the way from Santa Isabel (a small town about an hour outside of Cuenca) to Cuenca!

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At the airport in Quito with all our bags

We couldn’t leave Chica the “super puppy” behind!

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Chica at the Quito airport

We were a little worried about how Chica would make out on the trip (it was over 24 hours long!) but she did just fine 🙂

Why We Moved Back To Canada

Moving back to Canada was not in the plans. I couldn’t count the times that we talked about buying land and building a home in Yunguilla. We were happy we moved to Ecuador and we wanted to stay.

We didn’t think anything could uproot us, especially after we got over the robbery! But life in a foreign country can be challenging (as can life anywhere) and it can throw you a curve ball you weren’t expecting. Health problems were our curve ball.

My health had been getting increasingly worse and we realized that we had to make a change. Our doctor recommended that we return to Canada to get treatment. Because much of our money was tied up in our investment for residency, my doctor wrote a letter which enabled us to break the investment contract early giving us the money we needed to move back to Canada and receive treatment. My health problem is not new – I had it before moving to Ecuador – but it had gotten significantly worse over the past year. We aren’t sure how long recovery will take and what I’ll be able to handle in the future.

So here we are back in Canada.

We went from this…

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The park in Santa Isabel, Ecuador

To this…

back-in-canada

An unusually snowy April in N.S. Canada

Are We Sad To Be Back In Canada?

Are we sad to be back in Canada? Yes and no.

We loved so many things about our life in Ecuador and we miss our friends terribly, but it’s also nice to be back close to family and friends here.

We are enjoying the comfort of familiar surroundings, and our daughter is enjoying rediscovering everything. She was 8 when we moved and is 14 now, so in many ways Ecuador felt like home to her, memories of Canada were fuzzy. Although it was hard for her to leave and she misses it, she is very happy to be back.

She is also enjoying the snow, it’s April 8th and there is still snow!

We will never forget how amazing life was in Ecuador and all the friends we made, it will forever be part of who we are!

What Are Our Future Plans?

We don’t really know exactly what the future holds for us, or when we will be able to return to Ecuador.

Living there changed us for the better. We have a different outlook now, and we also learned new skills (like blogging) which will help us live a more simple life than we were before we moved.

We still have lots to share about Ecuador so we will keep blogging about it. Stay tuned for lots more posts, experiences and videos.

view-from-santa-isabel-ecuador

We want to say thank you to everyone who followed our life there, and we hope that this blog (and insideEcuador) continues to help people discover Ecuador.

Your Turn

Have you also had to move back to your home country? How did it make you feel? Please share with everyone by commenting on this post.

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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 Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

138 comments… add one
  • Francis May 13, 2017, 2:51 pm

    Hi Dena,

    Great to see your site, I found your site through an organic Google search for “Ecuador cheap oil prices” and somehow ended up signing up to Airbnb through your link, truly hope you get credit for that with Airbnb as it seems you’ve devoted great amount of time with this resourceful blog. Best wishes and hope you’re doing much better in health and up there in Canada 😉

    Regards from the Caribbean and US!

  • Dave Braun May 5, 2017, 8:43 am

    Hi, I am sorry you had to return due to health problems. I can fully understand that. I stumbled upon you post looking for information about schooling in Ecuador. I am an expat who has lived in Germany for 45 years. Health problems have put a damper on my wish to move to South America. I am hoping my health will stay stable to be able to travel to a country like Ecuador with my Peruvian wife and 5 year old son. But, I have more or less admitted to the fact that I will have to keep my German residency active in order to keep my health insurance. I am really interested to hear how your daughter adapts to the Canadian school system, and how she compares with the schooling she received in Ecuador. I hope you keep posting how the return is working out. I imagine it is quite a change. If you have any advice as to schools in Ecuador, I would really appreciate it. Our present biggest worry is his education. Hope you get better soon.

  • Deborah Hughes Feb 12, 2017, 2:31 pm

    Hello Bryan and Dena, 5 years ago our family simplified our lives and made the move to Ecuador. We settled in Manta on the Coast. Our lives here also have had their challenges. Im sorry to hear about your move back to Canada, and your health issues, it sounds like the decision was made with difficulty.
    My daughter and I have just entered the blogging world. Making an income away from the States has continued to be a challenge for us, so we are venturing into new waters. Of course if you have any suggestions we are open to these. We are also learning from your blog. How did you balance your blogging lives with your real life?
    This is our brand new blog, if you are interested in checking it out, and thanks for any suggestions. http://4000miles.com/

  • JDWalley Dec 3, 2016, 4:45 am

    Without knowing about your specific health issues, I must say it’s disconcerting to me to notice that virtually all of the many Cuenca expats whose blogs I have followed for many years have, by now, left and returned “home.” It almost seems like Cuenca is a great place in which to settle…for a few years at most. But not a place where norteamericanos can actually be happy for the long term.

    • Bryan Haines Dec 3, 2016, 7:16 am

      I can understand your concern. Many expats don’t stay indefinitely. In fact, many never plan on staying long term. That being said, factors beyond our control caused us to make a change. But there are many expats still in Ecuador that were there before we arrived in 2009.

  • anna gavilanes Nov 5, 2016, 10:04 pm

    Im an american whos been living in quito for 5 years. My husband is ecuadorian an we have 3 kids with double nationality. My 2nd son who was born premature at 30 weeks due to a doctors fault in centro de salud. So my son is turning 4 yrs old in dec. But he needs to have checkups with a pediatric neurologist as he suffered many many problems due to he was born at 30wks. Over here my husband has IESS and they sent my son to see a “pediatric neurologist” in clinica batan in north of quito. N boy i tell u he dr looked like he was drunk didnt even examen my son only said ponga la guagua en el piso para ver si camina. N when i tried to tell my sons history he so called dr didnt even listen. And to top it off the so called dr was a neurologist for adults and not for kids. and to pay apart to see a good dr u have to have money. As i stay home with my kids cause my 2 kids go to school here. My husband works and earns some what. I used to work bust my behind off teaching english institutes worked long hours and made little money. Dont get me wrong some parts of ecuador is beautiful. But we decided to go to the states cause one health insurance medicaid and hmo. Jobs u make more everyweek than u make here in a month. And best schools better education. Good doctors. Even for my husband its his first time traveling to the states but he wants to go even though he says ecuador is my country and i love it. But also he says its hard to live here, work over 12 hours and make little money. N boy i tell u the school my kids go to its terrible. The school always puts reunions and always asking for money for this and that. N im like the governmen pays the teachers n etc. Why the gov wont pay for printer paper, water n etc. Top it off my son goes to incial 2 and his class doesnt even have electricity and the director knows and doesnt do nothing about it. The school has broken windows n mice. Dirty bathrooms. But it makes me happy that we are returning to new jersey in june of 2017. Everyone has good and bad experience in ecuador. Some like it and ajust and some cant. Over here u make less and things cost less. Like apartments.we pay 100 monthly. If ur single u can live here cause the basic here is 350.00 monthly and up depends on what u do. But when u have kids everything changes. As a parent u want the best for ur kids. Many ecuadorians here in the south if quito ask me what are u doing here in ecuador? Most of us ecuadorians are trying to go to the states for a better life and ur the opposite ur living here. So yea just waiting for the time to fly by to go back home with our family.

    • Paula Jan 11, 2017, 10:20 pm

      Good for you and your family,your kids deserve a better school and a better health care,yes the weather is beautiful,the cost of living is much cheaper but…..
      That’s not the important thing in life, and good you are putting your kids first,
      Congratulations.

  • Philip N. Cole Oct 10, 2016, 8:44 am

    Hello,
    I have enjoyed your writings for a couple of years, appreciative of your comments about life/living in Ecuador.
    Canoa, Ecuador, tempts me, however, there is little information, other than the usual “hype” about hotel/motels, Salinas etc.. Is there a “site” you may recommend to get more basic information about Canoa? I continue to search, leaning to the “rustic” environment there…. not a romantic outlook, but prefer to avoid high rise condos on the beach, as such, I now reside in Florida and the onslaught of tourists, more high rise condos and never ending traffic, hurricane threats and rising prices, but a “damper” on living here.
    Thanking you in advance for any information you may have on Canoa.
    I wish your family good health .. and stay warm, snuggle up to one another this winter.
    Bless you all,
    Phil Cole

  • Charline Oct 18, 2015, 4:36 pm

    Now that you’ve had 6 months, sure hope your return to Canada has helped you get better, Dena!

    • Maria M Oct 19, 2016, 12:36 am

      HI Dena I am from Ecuador I live here Canada *Saskatchewan with my Canadian husband and 2 kids for 11 years I’m still missing my hole family back to my beautiful country I can understand you I’m glad you are back to Canada for you health conditions get better take care…

  • Mark Jun 17, 2015, 3:12 pm

    Hi Mr Haines –

    Good luck in your return to Canada and your health. My wife and I are considering retiring in Ecuador (her family is Ecuadoran) so I am compelled to ask if it is common for expats to discover that the medical facilities in Cuenca (and Ecuador in general) are inadequate for serious health issues?

    Without disclosing your personal health issue(s), can you comment further about if the health facilities and doctors in Cuenca and/or Ecuador are not advanced enough for many serious medical issues? I’m very interested to know since many expats are retired in Ecuador and inevitabley would be in need of advanced care, many for complex diseases. My question to you is also connected to my inability to find any relevant info. on if expats can purchase health insurance in Ecuador, and if yes, what type of coverage and how much?

    Thank you.

    • Krii Sep 19, 2015, 6:36 pm

      Hi Mark,

      I’d say that the problem is not the medical treatments available in Ecuador but their cost. Being an expat you won’t have the local insurance so you’ll have to pay for your treatment and that might get really expensive. You can also buy some medical insurance but most probably that won’t cover chronic illnesses. That’s why some people have to return to their home countries and be covered by their own social security systems.

      • Ken Nov 5, 2015, 1:04 pm

        I thought an expat with a residency visa will qualify for the local insurance. Is this not true?

      • karen Aug 28, 2016, 9:39 am

        Just a guess, but Brian and Dana aren’t
        seniors. That means their medical bills can cost a lot. However, some friends have purchased health insurance thru their bank or credit union and have found this to be cheap and effective. CACPE claims their insurance ignores pre-existing conditions. Myself, I arrived as a senior and pay $66 per month into the public health system which is pretty good – covering all tests, visits, medications, surgeries.

  • Linda Jun 13, 2015, 12:32 pm

    I have lived in Ecuador for two years and love it so I can imagine what it is like to return to Canada’s winters. There are times I miss my family and begin to wonder if I should do the same. How did you get so many bags on the airplane when you returned? And what did it cost? This could be a topic you, as experienced expats, might cover for those of us who might consider returning home in the future. God bless you and give you renewed health.

  • Jamie Stambaugh Jun 10, 2015, 10:01 pm

    Wishing you three All the best! Your blog, and your reaching out to us when we moved about, made a bigger impact on my family that I even know how to say. I echo everything you wrote in this post about coming back home, which we did as well.

    Really, I just wanted to say Thank You. 🙂

    Good Luck and Be Well,
    Jamie

  • Dr. David Bean May 27, 2015, 8:43 pm

    I, too, am an expat living in La Ceja, 1 hour away from Medellin, Colombia. I tried to go back to Miami last year but found that being over 60 made it impossible to get any call backs from resumes sent email. I am fluent in both English and Spanish and have five degrees. BA in Accounting, MBA, and was hoping to get a measley 20k a year job,,,,and never got a call, so I moved back. My rent here is $150 for 3 rooms. For $400 a month in Medellin can get a decent place in a good neighborhood. Utilites (elect $35, Int/TV/phone $60) Health Insurance $40 a month, food $150. Now of course some gringos spend absorbent prices $500 – 1,000 a month to be in gringo style communities but if you are a retiree as myself I live as a normal Colombian and keep the costs down. The minimum salary here is 700,000 pesos (or less than $300 a month) and it takes normally 2 minimum salaries to survive. Also, getting a permanent resident Visa is easier as most men live with a woman and can get a longer, better Visa by stating he is living with a Colombia as his “woman” and she can sponsor him as his “Conyuge”. My retirement of $700 is enough for me to “survive” on and about $100 a month in savings. Once a week I eat lunch out which costs $3 and includes, meat, rice, bean, salad, avocado, egg on top of rice, soup and small juice. The most expensive meal in my town that I have eaten is a half-pound filet mignon for 20,000 pesos or $9. Beer and sodas run about the same and cost between 80 and $1.50 in a restaurant. Weather here is between 50-80 degrees year-round. Live-in maids could cost as high as $250 a month. Thievery is common-place here….so an extra eye is needed for ANY visitor, Hand-guns are not allowed for the common citizen. Citizenry loves foreigners. In my town drugs (mostly marijuana) are usually done by teenagers, low-class workers and foreigners. The police don’t try to catch criminals here for the most part, nor drug users, only drug pushers. Therefore, corruption in the police force is very minimal. Yesterday I flew from Medellin to Cartagena and came back for $60 round trip on Viva Colombia airlines….a 50 minute air flight. The 15 hour bus ride costs the same. Avianca airlines can costs 3x as much. I booked 10 days in advance and they have luggage restrictions. Nowadays I have learned to travel with a backpack and never stop for baggage claim. I have enjoyed your emails over the past couple of years… thanks drdavidbean@gmail.com

  • Luther Cale May 12, 2015, 12:45 pm

    I just wanted to wish you and your family all the best in your transition and next chapter in life. You have helped so many people with all that you share and I know that you will continue to do so. Best wishes!

  • LuSinda Dionne May 12, 2015, 12:02 pm

    Hi Bryan and Dena
    So sorry to hear of your health problems and your return to Canada. I am a Canadian currently living in Toronto, Ontario. I have been considering moving to Ecuador for some time now and am wondering about your health problems necessitating your return to Canada.
    I have fibromyalgia, CFS, etc and am now wondering if moving to Ecuador would be a problem. I am finding the winters in Toronto too damp a cold that is causing real pain.
    My abovementioned website is only partially up. It is for people with health issues and where to start as it can be sooo expensive and so many meds, supplements, treatments can be a total waste of time. It is totally free and will have affiliate marketing on it. Perhaps you may find some hints there that may help you. Also You may email me at the above email or the contact on my website should you have any questions. SunflowerCircle is becoming the site I wish I had in my earlier years when I was bedridden most of the time. My health is improving by leaps and bounds. Again, may you find what is best for your healing.

  • Brittany May 9, 2015, 10:34 am

    Hello,

    I see that you brought your dog back with you. My husband and I are traveling back to the US next month and would like to bring our little dog for the visit. Could you please let me know where you bought your airline approved kennel, food containers and what you put in the kennel to have your pet feel comfortable? Also, any other suggestions/tips would be greatly appreciated! It’s our first time flying with our dog and we want to make the transition as comfy for him as possible. Also, did you have any problems with bringing him back to Canada?

    Thank you ahead of time for your speedy response 🙂

  • chris Apr 30, 2015, 9:10 pm

    Hello, love to read your blog. i too am Canadian, and am planning a move to Ecuador soon. However, I am a single man at the young age of 52 , young at heart and in spirit, very handy and independent, and am looking for a nice lady companion who is like minded and would like to come down with me. can you offer any help or advise?, thank you

    • Janice Jun 23, 2015, 3:46 pm

      Hi Chris, I am planning to go there myself in the fall. I have always wanted to go to Equador and now I have my chance. So today I have started researching and found this site. What are your plans when you get there? Which cities do you want to visit? How long are you staying? Can you speak Spanish? I thought I could take a course while there.

  • Susan wheeler Apr 26, 2015, 12:46 am

    I wish I was in Ecuador but because of health issues I am still hear Wating to see my next avenue.Hope your family is happy.

  • Susan Wheeler Apr 26, 2015, 12:19 am

    you had me convinced to move there .I may still .Last Oct I had to have my leg cut off because of smoking.I no longer do that.I am going to get my second prostatic next month.Now I am walking with it and a walker waiting for ins to kick in to give me a leg that is usable.Yes I got it early but I am creating bad habits.I do want to go there .Insurance sucks How are you doing Brian?

  • Dana Sceerey Apr 24, 2015, 4:30 pm

    Welcome back to NS. It was fun hiding in the background reading about your exploits. I am still in the apple capital of NS. Drop me a line to reconnect Bryan.

  • Mary Risley Apr 21, 2015, 10:21 am

    Becoming an ex-expat is an important subject that is barely covered in the expat information realm on the internet. Please continue sharing your experiences on life as an ex-expat. Best wishes.

    • Bryan Haines Apr 21, 2015, 11:11 am

      That’s true. We have plans to continue blogging. Thanks!

      • Leonardo DiGirolamo Jan 20, 2016, 8:15 pm

        Brian, I’m new to all the in’s and out’s of Cuenca. Live here in Los Angeles Mountain area. Frazier Park, Ca. I have high blood pressure which is now controlled by meds. Cuenca @ 8k elevation makes me wonder if it will work for me. Don’t need much @ 75 yrs of age. Have contacts there who can help me thru the retirement scenario. Have average small social security check that will work for me. Can the body of this old guy adjust? that’s the question. Any comments would be helpful.
        Planning on flying over there end of Feb 2016 God willing (psalms) 83:18 old King James version.

      • Dave Baron Sep 27, 2016, 12:48 pm

        Well I’m just waiting for my Taxi to take me to the Airport then I’m on my way to Salian Ecuador it’s sea level so my heart should be fine I’m controlled also by meds and I’m 77 I was an expat in Cambodia for several years so for me I’m just doing a switch but looking forward to it

  • Jim Apr 20, 2015, 9:09 am

    Welcome back Bryan, Dena and Drew. Keeping that different outlook on life is very valuable as we have found too. Wish you the best.

  • Kenneth Hanigan Apr 17, 2015, 3:37 pm

    I like so many others were surprised to hear about your decision. Of course I wish you luck on your re-entry. Also like so many I would like to hear more details. I was and am on a course to discover alternate places to live and thinking of moving from USA. One of the questions has and remains health care and so many articles speak of the great health care in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, etc. With this thought I was comfortable with the thought of moving someday. I have been visiting different places with each having its pros and cons and still searching. Im healthy but also getting older so I thought it possible to get any possible health care in most countries including Ecuador. Your change has made me question my assumption good health care is available in Ecuador as well as other South American countries. Please let us know why this may not be a good assumption. You say your doctor in Ecuador suggested you move back which validates this new feeling maybe I cant count on good health care in other countries. Can you please fill us in. The information would be important to future decisions as we have all learned to trust your blogs and comments. I would appreciate a better understanding of this change, and why the doctors in Ecuador couldnt handle your illness. Thank you for your past blogs and I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Raj Cherian Apr 15, 2015, 3:43 am

    Bryan & Dena
    Sorry to hear about your health issues and you had to leave for Canada. I really got lots of help from your articles. I will miss your gringos abroad. My prayers for your health and happiness. May be one day you will return to Ecuador or at least for visits.
    May God Almighty give you peace and courage to face any challenges that you may face.
    Raj

  • Mcooks Apr 13, 2015, 6:45 pm

    Thank you for telling us about your move. Be patient with yourself as you work towards feeling better. I have had my own health issues all my life, but the stress of the move, learning a new culture and language increased the issues. Things are stabilizing now, but I still have to watch my energy levels. Take care of all of yourselves. I am certain we’ll see you again someday, if not in this system, in the next. 🙂

  • Stacey Apr 12, 2015, 8:54 pm

    I’m sorry to hear it. I really hope your health improves!

  • Lourdes Marie Apr 12, 2015, 4:34 pm

    Hola,

    I am really sorry to hear you and your family have decided to leave Ecuador for health reasons.
    I’m sure it was a difficult decision to make, but your health and close to family members is very important to you.
    Wishing you best of health soon, and hope.
    Your information was very helpful to me and will continue to follow your blogs.

    All the best,

    Lourdes Marie

  • Idea Apr 12, 2015, 4:11 pm

    Dear Dena,

    So sorry to hear about your health problems. Wishing you the fastes recuperation.

    And wishing your family lots of fun in readjusting to the life in Canada. 🙂

    Please, write about yet another culture shock 🙂

  • Janet LeBlanc Apr 12, 2015, 3:25 pm

    Sending prayers that Bryan’s recovery is complete and quick. Like so many of your blog followers, I was both shocked and saddened to learn of your return to Canada, and probably disappointed too that you could not receive the medical treatment you need in Ecuador. I hope you are able to return … we haven’t moved yet and were looking forward to meeting you at some point!

  • Michele Apr 11, 2015, 10:32 pm

    I am so surprised to hear of your return to Canada, particularly as I just found your blog last week. Bryan, your assistance with the banking issue was spot on. We visited our local RBC today and opened up both a Canadian CDN and US account and have started the ball rolling for the US US dollar account. Your choice to return has got me questioning our plans to purchase. And having today read about your robbery back in 2012 gives one pause for thought as well. I lived in Quito for 4 and a half months last year and never really felt safe. I felt much safer on the coast and in Cuenca. I hope to hear that you are able to deal with your health issues and that you will find yourself back kn the pink, whatever those challenges are. Life is precious and too short not to seize those opportunities to experience it. Stay warm in Nova Scotia. Cheers from Vancouver Island (for now…)

    • Raj Cherian Apr 15, 2015, 3:12 am

      Michele
      I am surprised and felt sad as I heard Bryan and Dena left Ecuador. You were concerned about safety in Ecuador. As for safety it is safe here. I live in Tumbaco valley near Quito much warmer than Quito and safe. Ecuador has petty issues of crimes like any place. Is Canada safe? Yes but certain parts are not. The place here is with warm people. One has to be vigilant with safety where ever we are as this world is getting unsafe in general any way. By the way I am from Canada too. Bryan and Dena helped us a lot with their website and blog. I pray for their happiness and health.
      Raj

  • Grace Apr 11, 2015, 10:07 am

    Hi Dena,
    So sorry to hear you had to move back to the cold in Canada. Your health is most important. I am new to your bog. I have been following recently as my husband and I are very interested in moving to Ecuador in the next 3 years. I am approaching 60 and one of my main concerns is to be close to a good health care facility should the need arise for either of us. I am very concerned if Ecuador cannot provide good medical attention if needed. The cold winters and dampness we have here in Sudbury, Ontario is getting too much to bear. I wouldn’t ever miss the snow and cold winds. We both love the ocean but don’t want too live too close to it neither do we want to be near damp areas that have a lot of humidity. For all your readers who have lived in areas of Ecuador including yourselves which area can you recommend? Is it better in a gated community? What legalities need to be in order? We are thinking of visiting next year for approx. a month to view the areas. There is so much to learn. I wish you and your family the very best in your future endeavours and I sincerely hope your health improves.

    • Raj Cherian Apr 15, 2015, 3:37 am

      Grace
      Your concerns are genuine. You were concerned about health care in Ecuador compared to Canada. But there are good Hospitals here, some places have American trained Doctors as well. I prefer to stay near reasonably good health care. So we live near Quito. Guayaquil, Cuenca also has good hospitals. All specialties are here too but not up to the mark as in US or Canada. We both are 65 plus and we have concerns like you have. But we took a total picture of what we want and there are some give and takes. We love Ecuador. But it is good to come for a visit here with an open mind and explore before making the move.
      Tumbaco valley is dry and not cold like Quito. There are places like Yunguilla where Bryan and Dena were living, also it is warm. But I prefer near Quito as I often Travel to Canada as I have my children and Grandchildren there and I like near an International Airport to avoid further travel.
      I live in Cumbaya, Tumbaco valley near Quito much warmer than Quito and safe. Ecuador has petty issues of crimes like any place. Is Canada safe? Yes but certain parts are not. The place here is with warm people. One has to be vigilant with safety where ever we are as this world is getting unsafe in general any way. By the way I am from Canada too. Bryan and Dena helped us a lot with their website and blog. I pray for their happiness and health.
      Raj
      cherian@canfin.com

  • Max Apr 11, 2015, 8:39 am

    So sorry to hear of your health concerns and wish you and your family only the best in the future. We visited Ecuador in 2012 and hope to return soon for a more extended “vacation”. We loved everything about it! Much of our appreciation for the country and it’s people have come from your blog which we follow faithfully. We’d hoped to perhaps meet you during our next trip, but will continue to hold you and your family in our prayers as you recover from your illness. Thanks for making Ecuador so real to us during these past few years.

  • Howard Perry Apr 11, 2015, 2:30 am

    Hope your health problems can be fixed. Obviously the fact that Ecuador was unable to help in your case makes the claims about first class healthcare for little money in Ecuador seem rather dubious. Of course this may be exceptional but I would need further infomation on your problem and why it couldn’t be treated in Ecuador. It’s reminiscent of the case of Ronald Biggs, the Great Train Robber, who spent 30 years in Brazil and returned to UK to serve his sentence, because he couldn’t get or afford medical treatment for heart condition in Brazil.

    As for returning to my birth country, I’ve had to do that a couple of times for family and visa reasons. However, in each case it was temporary and i was able to return to my new home country at a later date. I have also been forced to take work abroad as there is no longer the demand for my skills in Australia, as there is elsewhere. In fact, at the moment, I am working in France.

    The sooner you can explain what the Ecuadorian health system can and cannot handle the better for the promotion of Ecuador as a retirement destination. Otherwise, it could be a major showstopper.

  • Laurie Apr 10, 2015, 10:52 pm

    I have enjoyed your articles tremendously. I have been to Ecuador twice and am moving to Cuenca in 2 1/2 years. A main reason is the health care. So. . . it is quite a shock to see that you moved from there back to Canada for health care. I don’t understand, because you didn’t say what was wrong with you. I thought Cuenca offered excellent care and that there is health insurance available, without being a resident. Please someone tell me. Thanks.

  • Susanna Perkins Apr 10, 2015, 3:34 pm

    Oh, man, can I relate. We left our life in Las Tablas, Panama, last August. My husband’s parents are quite elderly, and he felt the need to be geographically closer. It’s been the most difficult move I’ve ever made, and still is in many ways.The thing we miss most is the friendly people.

  • MaryAnn Saffery Apr 10, 2015, 11:38 am

    Dear Bryan & Dena and daughter! I am very sad that you’ve had to leave Ecuador. I have learned a lot and enjoyed your blog very much. I hope your health improves quickly.

    I suggest you continue a blog in Canada about “the return home”. Let us know what things in Canada that you missed in Ecuador. What impact the cost of living is having on you. Will you continue to home-school your child or let her experience public or private school in Canada? Are you having a “reverse” culture shock?

    As an expat myself living in Mexico and loving it, I will be faced soon enough with the prospect of returning to the US. I am 71 in good health but my legs/knees are giving me grief. The medical care here is excellent but I have to pay out of pocket. In the US my medical is free (I’ll discuss that later).

    I miss my sons and grandchildren, especially with a new baby coming in August. But the reality is that on my budget, I am living LARGE in Mexico and I’d be below the poverty level in the US. Very sad. I don’t want to return to the US to live but the reality is that I may have to face that. So I’d like to hear about your experiences on “re-entry”.

    I loved your blog and although I won’t move to Ecuador I plan to visit. My eldest granddaughter visited Quito recently and fell in love with Ecuador.

    I wish you well and thank you so much for sharing your life and adventures in Ecuador.

    MaryAnn

  • Robin Laurel Apr 10, 2015, 10:22 am

    Best wishes for a healthy recovery. Your blog helped to inspire me to attend the International Living conference in Quito in February . I enjoyed visiting Cuenca, loved hiking in the Andes, fell in love with the little town of Chordeleg as well as the indigenous people. I will return. My next stop is Vilcabamba. I have one foot in Ecuador. I’m waiting to see what they other one decides to do.
    Peaceful journeys to you both!

  • Ricardo Schillaci Apr 10, 2015, 4:49 am

    So sorry to read about your health problems.
    I will be praying for you.

  • Grant Willnow Apr 9, 2015, 10:21 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experiences in Ecuador, I always looked forward to reading your posts, your candid observations and anecdotal and chatty missives were great to read. My best wishes for a speedy recovery, and God be with you wherever you are.
    Grant

  • Jeanne Apr 9, 2015, 9:10 pm

    I was sad to hear that you have returned to Canada. I have been reading your blogs from when I was still in Australia before arriving in Cotacachi in November 2013. However, you must do what you need to do and I am sorry to hear about your health. I hope you find a cure in Canada. Good luck and take care.

  • Michele Apr 9, 2015, 9:07 pm

    I was apprehensive about reading the email about you leaving Ecuador. Then puzzled about the reason….health? Aren’t we all told Ecuador health cost are low, doctors are US trained and yet there exists a health issue that forces a Canadian to return to her home country for treatment. Have we been lied to all these years by ex-pats, in blogs and e-mails all over the web?

    Hopefully your situation will improve, and you”ll be able to return at some point in time. I do not envy you trying to convince a teenager who has discovered Starbucks, the mall, and a school system full of people just like her to return.
    Good Luck in all your trials and endeavors….
    Michele

  • Kat McKay Apr 9, 2015, 8:51 pm

    Sad to hear you’ve had to leave Paradise. Especially since wecarecplanning a trip to Ecuador in June and really wanted to meet you both. But I know how important your health is and you have young children.
    We havecfriendsxin Cuenca so I am sure they will show us a good time. Ecuador will miss you.

  • Ralph E Sabean Apr 9, 2015, 8:08 pm

    Glad you made it back home safely.

  • Troy blanchard Apr 9, 2015, 7:23 pm

    No, we are so sad to hear about your health. We love your blog! We love Ecuador! While living in Costa Rica last year we flew our family of 6 to Exuador for 2 weeks! bliss! We seem to be there about every three years. Thank you for the endless good tips. As most have written above, expat life typically comes to an end sooner or later. What we have to look forward to is our next adventure! Enjoy your journey back in Canada and may God bless you! And…. Never Stop Exploring even if it is in your own town…

    • Al Timm Apr 14, 2015, 7:04 pm

      Troy, are you living in Costa Rica now?
      If so, what area?
      We were there last year with the IL conference and stayed another 10 days exploring on our own renting a small Tico at Lake Arenal.
      I’d love to hear about you living in Costa Rica.

  • Jakob Apr 9, 2015, 7:03 pm

    Welcome back to Canada! No snow in southwestern Ontario since March, but when I worked in Montreal a few weeks ago I wasn’t feeling my legs walking to work every morning. Coming from Manabi that was a 50 degree instant drop for me.
    You have to do like we do, split your time between Canada and Ecuador. Our life revolves around our travel schedule. Flight options to Ecuador have improved a lot while you were away, but it helps being near one of the major airports.

  • Ann Apr 9, 2015, 6:27 pm

    I was shocked and saddened to see this article but fully understand. Thanks for sharing your lives with us and all the invaluable information that you gave us. God bless you and your family and I pray that you will have a smooth and quick recovery!

  • Sky Buddha Apr 9, 2015, 5:55 pm

    It is a huge loss to the community and you and the family will be badly missed. Yet, at the end know that all that is happening will turn our for your best and cheer up!
    Your blogs were anchored to the new comers and ex pats, they were informative and pleasant. I will miss that.

    Wishing you a speedy and a healthy recovery and always know that you are called for a much bigger purpose and you alone can find that out. Best wishes to you and the family and hopefully you will update your status.

    Cheers

  • Rocio Apr 9, 2015, 5:18 pm

    It was a little sad to know that you are not longer in Ecuador. We really enjoyed reading your news. Get well soon.

    Thanks for all your share about Ecuador.

    I wish you the best in your new aventure!!

    Rocio

  • Steve Gordon Apr 9, 2015, 5:10 pm

    And I was looking forward to running into you sometime in El Centro.

    Our prayers are with you fir your health problems.

  • lisa Apr 9, 2015, 4:36 pm

    HI. Always enjoy your blog, and still will even though you’re only minutes away. We are glad to have you back. I can imagine, as you said, it is with mixed emotions. Makes perfect sense. You had a great privilege that most of us may never experience, but have a desire to. Blessings will come from what you have learned over the past few years, no matter where you live. Not to mention, What a great education Drew has had!
    Hope your health improves.

  • THOMAS J. CHOATE Apr 9, 2015, 3:59 pm

    I DO HOPE YOUR HEALTH WILL RECOVER COMPLETELY! I ENJOYED READING YOUR BLOG!!!! 😉

  • Natalie Apr 9, 2015, 3:58 pm

    Hola amigos; In this temporal existance called LIFE, All good things come to an end…Gone too soon for those of us who found you to be a very much needed part of our lives. I found your blog after I joined my mother in Quito, Ecuador…and your personal blog assisted me through a very rough transition period. My elderly mother loves Quito, but in the past year she has fallen 3 times…she insists that she can’t get better AFFORDABLE healthcare anywhere else in the world. As for me, I am here to care for my mother…and I am just weighing out the risks and benefits of both countries. The language barrier is the only reason that I would have to return to the states…because it does not feel like home to me. Thanks for your much needed info. Dios te Bendiga, Natalie

  • TerryDarc Apr 9, 2015, 3:05 pm

    Dena & Bryan,
    Like many others here, we’ll miss your honest and warm comments from Cuenca’s environs over several years of reading. We got so much good information from your reporting, photography and comments that will be impossible to fill.

    But of course you must take care of yourselves the best way you know how. Good luck and I’m sure your travels will take afar again: Cuenca or new horizons. Best of luck to all three of you and Chica.

  • Charline Apr 9, 2015, 1:46 pm

    Dena and family,

    I’m so sorry to hear that your health problems tore you away from Ecuador – you always seemed to be enjoying it so much. I pray that you will have a swift and complete recovery and be off on your next adventure, whether it is in Canada, Ecuador, or some other exciting location. Blessings to you all!

    Charline

  • Sonnie Blaize Apr 9, 2015, 1:43 pm

    Bryan and Dena
    Sending ALL the LOVE and JOY you can stand. You have been a great support base for us.
    Try to live in the NOW-time ENJOY it to the fullest and your future will be as Successful as your Present.
    For what it is worth, my Dad use to tell me this: “TODAY is the Tomorrow we spoke of Yesterday, Tomorrow never Comes”. I take that to mean “Enjoy NOW, because the FUTURE is the NOW extended”… and is determined by Choices we make in the NOW… Hurry Back!!! You will be ok! Hugs Sonnie 🙂

  • Mike Apr 9, 2015, 1:33 pm

    Hi there Dena and Bryan;

    Welcome home! Ecuador’s loss is Canada’s gain! This will be another adventure for you two and your daughter and Chica!

    Good luck with your health.

    I have been following your websites for years and as long as you provide a window on the world as you see it, I will appreciate the opportunity to view it. Thank you for sharing!

    All the best,

    Mike.

  • Ruthi Apr 9, 2015, 1:24 pm

    This is so odd because the exact same thing just happened to us! We were in Chinarfor 3 years and just signed up to teach there for another year and then I needed emergency surgery and waz not keen to undergo it there so we flew to Hong Kong for it and now I am recuperating back home in Israel. We aren’t returning to China because the physical conditions are not good for me there now. Good luck with your readjustment. .

  • mike Rearic Apr 9, 2015, 1:16 pm

    So sorry to hear you had to leave Ecuador.
    I hope your health improves and it’s nothing serious. But I’ll still be waiting for the next installment of GringosAbroad or whatever else you do. You have a sincere way of connecting with the rest of us and I appreciate it. I can’t wait to learn more about your blogging experiences.
    Sincerely,
    T. Michael Rearic

  • Larry Hughes Apr 9, 2015, 1:14 pm

    Wow, so sorry to hear about your health, I’m a big fan of you guys, I know you will do what it takes to get well and you are seeing some best doctors in modern medicine, but what they not going to tell you is proper diet and exercise is key to your well being, when you have the time look up Gary Null, he can help with whatever condition you have, get well soon.

  • Arabella Apr 9, 2015, 1:05 pm

    Tears sprang to my eyes reading this article, I’ve traveled on your journey since 2009 with a possible eye of one day living in Ecuador and very much have enjoyed the blog.

    I too have returned to the States after living almost 2 years in the idyllic town of Boquete in the Republic of Panama. My husband died the beginning of December 2013 and it was with a very heavy heart, that I left.

    It has been difficult to adjust to the loss of leaving Panama and being alone without my husband.

    I pray the adjustment is not too difficult for your family and mostly, that Dena’s health issues get resolved.

    May G-D keep HIS hand on your family.

    Sincerely ~ Arabella

  • Aaron Apr 9, 2015, 1:03 pm

    I’m confused: which health issues were untreatable in Ecuador? Aren’t the hospitals quite good there? If not, should people really be considering relocating to a country where they won’t have proper health services?

    Maybe there were other issues going on other than health?? If so, what?

  • Margaret Weber Apr 9, 2015, 12:58 pm

    So sorry to hear about your health problems. We were under the impression that Ecuador has terrific health care. Is it the type of problem you have the is better treated in Canada? Now we are concerned that minor problems can be treated very well in Ecuador but major problems, not so much. Any way you can help us out with information?

    • gastonito Apr 10, 2015, 11:55 pm

      My experience with Ecuador health care is positive.
      In the last 3 months I went twice to Emergency in the small coastal town where I am.
      Both times I was seen by a doctor within half hour . I was sent to the pharmacy to buy the meds prescribed. Came back to Emerg, got the shots and was out in no time.

      I suffered from nothing life threatening but needed medical help. I got it fast and cheap (I had to buy the meds….roughly $8 to $10).

      In Québec I would have had to wait 8 to 10 hours to get to see a doctor.
      For simple problems…the care is great here. For serious illness that could be different
      Remember, Ecuador is a Third World country.
      It is not advisable to come here only because life is cheaper here and health is almost free

  • grahame Apr 9, 2015, 12:13 pm

    Wow! I am completely saddened by your move back to Canada from Ecuador. I was hoping to see you guys someday in Ecuador as Canada is not really on my bucket list. I only like the hot places. At 62 years young, I’m busy preparing for my final round the world trip from Thailand to Trinidad and Tobago. Ecuador was also on my list. So are Cuba, Mexico and Easter Island to name but a few. I’ve been around the world before, but now I’m going to all the other places I’ve always wanted to visit. Don’t know if I’m ever going to go back home. The whole world is home to me. Anyway, enough of my stuff – I really hope you get better from whatever it is that’s ailing you. You guys are still young and have a long way to go. And I love reading your stuff too.

  • Stewart Apr 9, 2015, 12:03 pm

    Dear Dena and Family,

    I have always admired your courage and determination to leave your home in Canada and venture into an unknown land. Ecuador was always somewhat familiar to me, but only visiting. Living here is definitely a different story, an adventure for sure with its ups and downs.

    For my wife´s health, the Quito doctors she has have been incredible to say the least. Work here has been a challenge. A lack of job security. I have often wondered about blogging, but our needs are probably too great for that to work for the family. Still I keep it in the back of my mind.

    Best wishes to all of you and hopefully with your home climate you will get better.

    Un fuerte abrazo,

    Stewart

  • Ted Apr 9, 2015, 11:39 am

    Thanks for all the interesting and informative articles! Best wishes going forward. I was hoping to meet you someday soon in Cuenca, sorry you had to leave such a beautiful place.

  • Debbie B Apr 9, 2015, 11:35 am

    Dena, I am so sorry you are unwell. I will pray for your recovery. We have followed you since before we moved here, and are so happy here. You have been so helpful to us. Funny, we left the US because of my health issues, and I am so much better since moving to Vilcabamba over 2 years ago. I hope you find the help you need and that you will be back some day. I am sure many people will still look to you for advice and information about this wonderful country.

  • Jamie Kite Apr 9, 2015, 11:34 am

    Hey guys! Oh no, I’m so sorry that things took a turn and you had to leave, but I’m sure your move home will be full of blessings too, and you can bring all of that enthusiasm about your life and experiences to the friends back in Canada. And maybe inspire a few more to reach out in the same way 🙂
    Keep up the great work.
    Cheers
    Jamie

  • Egyirba Apr 9, 2015, 11:26 am

    Sorry to hear this. I wish you the very best in your journey of recovery. Thank you for all you have shared.

  • Mike Gonsalves Apr 9, 2015, 11:07 am

    Deana, I am very sorry to hear about your health problems and wish you all the best and hope one day you and your family will be able to return to Ecuador. I have enjoyed reading your blog and following your journey and will miss your stories. Thank you for all the wonderful information about life in Ecuador.

  • NoDoSta Apr 9, 2015, 11:03 am

    Definitely surprising news which certainly comes with a lot of good wishes toward the betterment of your health concerns. Having to leave and restart in NS must be bitter sweet.

    With regard to the post from Libuse Leman, I’m hoping that you will blog on why you chose to return to Canada versus seeking medical treatment in Ecuador. Of course if this is too personal to report we will all understand.

    This is of interest to us, since we are close to retirement. It wouldn’t be as easy for us to pick up and re-establish back in Canada as we age further if medical issues become a factor.

    Ultimately you have to do what is best for you and your family and we wish you well.

  • Ann Dowdy Apr 9, 2015, 10:58 am

    Hi Bryan and Dena….I, too, am shocked to learn of your move back to Canada….you will be missed here! I love your blog and Dena, when I was in the States last month, I bought a Coolibar hat…every time I put it on, I think of you! Thank you so much for opening so many paths of direction for those of us here in Cuenca and for those who in the future, plan to come.
    Blessings and best of luck in your treatment and hopefully, one day, you may return.
    Ann

  • Joe Roy Apr 9, 2015, 10:46 am

    I am very sorry to hear of your health problems and your necessary move back to NS. I have read all your blog posts and have learned so much about Ecuador and Cuenca. As others have said, I admire your adventurousness and optimism.

    My best to you all.

  • Scott Apr 9, 2015, 10:41 am

    I have moved to and from Ecuador 3 times in my life. Each time has been stressful and full of mixed emotions. In my experience, each transition was full of constant comparison of countries, culture, people, values etc.. The good thing is that with these transitions, you learn a lot about yourself and also how to appreciate what each country has to offer. It appears you have been living outside of North America for a while now and I recommend you take a good look at what’s going on socially in Canada and the U.S.. I appreciate many things from the U.S. and Latin America, but one thing I appreciate about Ecuador is its support of traditional values and practically no political correctness agenda thrown at you. I always felt much more free in Ecuador than in the U.S.. I hope your health issue improves soon and you can get on with your lives. The good thing is you have careers you can take anywhere.

  • Dan and Lori Apr 9, 2015, 10:37 am

    We have been living the “Ecuador dream” thru your family for some time now although we did finally make it down for a month last year. Yes, health care can be very good in foreign countries, we have had surgeries in Columbia and Mexico but every situation is different. Clearly you put a lot of thought into this move. I hope your health situation gets better.

  • B. DAVID TURCOTTE Apr 9, 2015, 10:23 am

    HI BRYAN& DENA, I to just moved back to FLORIDA. I’m71 , but that makes no difference. I loved the weather in VILCABAMBA, and the cost of living was good! I just didn’t feel right, and was having a [hard time] learning SPANISH!
    I will go back to visit, someday. GET WELL! As always, DAVID.

  • Bev Anne Apr 9, 2015, 10:22 am

    My heart goes out to you. I, too, had to move back to Canada from Cuenca for personal reasons back in 2007. I had lived in Cuenca for about 6 years and part of my heart is still there. I started reading your blog as one of the ways of living there vicariously and keeping in touch with the area. I was looking forward to meeting you on my next visit to Ecuador but if our paths are meant to cross it will happen somewhere.

    Welcome back to Canada and I wish you well on your health issues.

    Bev Anne in BC

  • Amy W Apr 9, 2015, 10:21 am

    I am on my path to building an online income and moving abroad within the next year. Although I don’t see a reason for returning to Canada after I move, this is one of the beautiful options we have continue to have by being Canadians. Good for you guys for taking the brave steps that have helped you live the very best life you can with the circumstances you are given during that time. I also really enjoyed your comment about being able to enjoy a simpler life in Canada because you have learned to blog. I hope to have the same options to live in a less busy way no matter where I am in the world. Best wishes about your health.

  • Bev Horbay Apr 9, 2015, 10:16 am

    Welcome back to Canada! I must admit this was a huge surprise for me! I am so sorry to hear of your worsening health problem Bryan! I feel like I just lost my Canadian rock of Ecuador! Please know that I pray for better health and understand that I know it was difficult for you to leave. We have truly enjoyed reading your blogs and wish you all the best back home. Enjoy the snow and thank you for all of the information on Ecuador! You have helped me in ways you don’t know. I feel like you are our friends, although we haven’t met! It was an amazing journey for your family – thank you for sharing!! Take excellent care and good luck. We will stay in touch. Thank you also for the encouragement to blog! Sincerely, Bev

  • Scott Apr 9, 2015, 10:12 am

    sorry you had the health problem and had to go to the cold. My wife and I visited Quito and Cotaccachi in February. We were sick the whole time we were there. Needless to say we thought Ecuador was very beautiful but decided it was not for us.

  • CANDICE STEVENS Apr 9, 2015, 10:08 am

    I have followed you for quite a long time and felt I knew you in a small way and knew about Ecuador. First thing I did on Monday when I got to work was pull up your blog. It is great!

    I’m so sorry about your health. May God renew your strength and restore your health.

  • Rich Apr 9, 2015, 10:04 am

    Sorry to learn of your “opportunities.” I’ve enjoyed your sharing. Prayers and Best Wishes!

  • Peter L Apr 9, 2015, 9:41 am

    Thanks Bryan and Dena for the inspiration and I hope you get well over there in Canada.

    You rekindled with every newsletter and your site my memories from living in Ecuador in the 1960s and inspired me to seek new adventures and to move to a different country, Spain, in the rather unknown and hardly written about region of Galicia. This place is ‘asking’ for a travel blog like yours too. ))

    Good luck and new happiness!

  • Marlene Kimball Apr 9, 2015, 9:38 am

    I have enjoyed following your lives here in Ecuador and thank you. I am sorry your health is problematic and hoping you make a full recovery Dena. My one year anniversary was April 3rd and loving it here in Cotacachi. I have not been without challenges….not a perfect world yet. 🙂 I wish you all great love, happiness and peace.

  • Roger Apr 9, 2015, 9:24 am

    Wanted to say thank you for all the info over the years. I married a woman from Ecuador and have found your blog always interesting and helpful.
    I’m sorry to hear about your health and I hope and pray it gets better for you. You have been a blessing and an asset to have during your time down there.
    Welcome back to N. America (continent). 🙂
    Roger….

  • karen hobbs Apr 9, 2015, 9:23 am

    Hi folks. so sorry to hear of this decision you had to make. but, since you now have the means to support yourselves more meaningfully, and this was an original reason for moving, I think you will settle back in and truly enjoy this new phase of your life. Get well Dena.

  • Arden - The-ex-expat.com Apr 9, 2015, 9:16 am

    Actually, I can TOTALLY relate since we’d lived for 5+ years in Costa Rica, were very active in our community, were very “settled” and happy there, and then we moved back to the states causing a lot of the same kind of reaction as you’ve seen in the comments here. Interestingly, during the time we were planning for the move back, we thought and talked often about returning as often as possible to Costa Rica. We were even making plans to re-purchase our house in a fractional ownership situation so that we could continue to spend time there. BUT, we found once we were re-settled back “home” in the states that we actually lost our desire to go back. We often said that what we missed most was our friends, but now as more and more of our friends have returned, even that is less of a draw. And while a new grandchild was our original motivating force, we too ended up with health issues (for my husband) that have made us so, so, SO very grateful to be here for medical treatment completely unlike anything he could have gotten there. Costa Rica, too, (like Ecuador) boasts “top level” medical care, and that’s true up to a point, but truly can’t even be compared. I hope everything goes well for you. (And I used to live in Halifax myself, many years ago — what crazy snow NS has seen this year! Spring will come, though, and I suspect you’ll find many, many things to appreciate and enjoy about being back home. I know we sure did!

  • John Bennett Apr 9, 2015, 9:10 am

    Hello

    Boy, was I surprised! I read your blog now and then, and seemed to be very informative, and appeciate the ways to make money blogging, which I may do in my Golden years, in a place like Ecuador.

    Things are so dang expensive here in Miami, and know how you can live twice as good in a place like Ecuador with the same amount of money.

    Happy trails to you@

    john bennett md
    InternetMedicine.com

  • Joie Apr 9, 2015, 9:08 am

    Very sorry about your problems. Thanks to you and your blog, I was able to make an educated decision about moving to Ecuador. Many thanks and good luck for your future and health.

  • Denise and EdGar Toepel Apr 9, 2015, 8:44 am

    Congratulations on your choice, we know it was a hard decision and very brave. Ed and I want all three of you to know that when we read your blogs, it was a conversation you have with friends in a living room or over coffee, which in Ecuador blogs is rare. There is lots of information in other blogs but very few of them were as personal as yours. Thank you so much for all your help and friendship and encouragement. I send you ours and wish you the best of life.

  • Gary Jones Apr 9, 2015, 7:16 am

    Dena, your blog was an inspiration to many and I’m sure encouraged many people to consider a move to Ecuador. Although I respect that health issues are a private matter, I think a lot of people will question why you had to return to Canada and could not get the treatment you needed with the excellent health care available in Ecuador. Many people looking to retire in Ecuador are obviously concerned about the quality and availability of health care here. As someone who made the move myself and who’s involved in promoting Ecuador to Canadians with my websites I hope there were other reasons that you decided to return to Canada. Obviously I also wish you good health in the future.

    • SUSAN CORREA Apr 9, 2015, 12:49 pm

      From my experience health care in Cuenca is better than the U.S. And the doctors will listen to you regarding alternative medicine….. I have high blood pressure and an enlarged heart – the heart problem is long standing according to the Cardiologist and no other doctor has picked up on that….. You can read about my hospital stay on my blog… the care was excellent!!

      • Idea Apr 12, 2015, 4:07 pm

        Susan, I would like to read your blog. Where is it? Also have a high BP problem

  • Darrell Toole Apr 9, 2015, 2:54 am

    Bryan, Dena and Drew,

    Very sorry to hear about your health issues and the need to move back to Canada for treatment. Your blog and other sources of communication have been a source of information and inspiration for many of your readers. My wife and I have been living our own Middle East adventure for the past eleven years. Next winter we had hoped to meet up with you in Ecuador as we enjoy our retirement by house sitting around the world. I too have family in the Kingston/Greenwood area of Nova Scotia. Maybe we can get together there. Good luck with your health problems and thank you for sharing your Gringos Abroad experiences.

  • Connie Pombo Apr 8, 2015, 10:14 pm

    Praying that your health issues can be resolved! What a wonderful experience you have given your daughter; such a gift at her age. You will be greatly missed here and you’re the only website I recommend to folks for reliable and accurate information. What a blessing you’ve been to all of us who read your blog posts. Many heartfelt thanks and we wish you all the best in the future and look forward to hearing about your new adventures in Canada. Abrazitos desde Ecuador!

  • Max Sand Apr 8, 2015, 10:06 pm

    Hey, so sorry to hear about your health. I hope and pray for you that things work out. Your blog was one of the reasons that helped me in my decision to come to Ecuador, first to learn Spanish and then to stay here. I am currently in Toronto, arrived today for two weeks and the weather is dismal. Already I miss my beautiful mountains around Banos and the eternal spring weather and the thermal pools. 🙂
    Best of luck and thank you for all the great blogs

  • Heidi Wagoner Apr 8, 2015, 8:06 pm

    Sorry about the health issues and you are so right to focus on that and family. The travel will be there and there is no problem with “going back”. You are just starting a new chapter in a new location. You are very different people now and will see things in Canada differently. Three isn’t a forever anywhere, so anxious to see how your story unfolds and what adventures you begin. Best of luck to you and keep writing about where ever you are.

  • Jim Veinot Apr 8, 2015, 7:47 pm

    so sorry to hear the news, Bryan and Dena. I hope the medical whizzes here at home can help you, and then maybe you can go back. I’m leaving in the fall, and I’ll be almost 69 years old, so my health issues are about staying alive! I hope yours aren’t as serious, Bryan. All the best for the future, all four of you. (woof)!

    Jim Veinot

  • Martyn Apr 8, 2015, 6:18 pm

    This post touches me in so many ways. I have lived in Cuenca for two years and on Monday I will explore the Yunguilla Valley to see if I would like to move there.
    I also owned an old apple orchard in the Annapolis Valley at one time. I know the Kingston Greenwood area well with many good memories.

    Good luck

  • betty Wheeler Apr 8, 2015, 6:09 pm

    Ohhh I cried when I heard that you had to make the move back. I felt like I was living with you there. But alas, you have to make decisions that are right for you. I still look forward to following your blog and wish you and your family the best in your return ventures home.

  • Brian Roberto Apr 8, 2015, 6:02 pm

    Enjoyed your facebook page very much. Thank you and your husband very much for opening my eyes and mind to Ecuador. Stay healthy, stay strong and hope to see you back in Ecuador with more stories.

  • Ed Apr 8, 2015, 5:07 pm

    I have been a fan of your blog, and admired your adventurous spirit required to make the move. Hope the move to Canada helps your health. Now you can compare national healthcare systems!

  • Lisa Teifke Apr 8, 2015, 4:49 pm

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog! And best of luck to you in overcoming any and all health challenges. You’ve certainly been a big part of the inspiration for my little family to plan on a move to Ecuador in the next couple of years (concentrating on improving my Spanish until then!). I am a little saddened to realize that the health care in Ecuador, about which we’ve heard such good reports, is insufficient to meet your challenges. I suppose it is a cautionary tale for the rest of us to make sure we can realistically expect to get what we need there before making the plunge. Again, thanks for sharing your experiences.

  • Jack and Susan Benguerel Apr 8, 2015, 4:18 pm

    My wife and I have enjoyed al three of your blogs and ebook. We wish you the best and we will keep following what ever blogs you keep up or start new! Our payers are with you and your family.

  • David Akins Apr 8, 2015, 4:05 pm

    Bryan,

    We are sorry to hear about the health problems. We pray you get better soon. Like you, we had planned to stay in Ecuador longer, but the declining health of Karen’s mom required us to move back. There was no way my mother-in-law would move to Ecuador. So, we share the bitter sweet emotions of returning to the U.S. The stress and the costs are certainly much higher in the U.S. We are adjusting, but we miss the lifestyle of Cuenca. Best wishes.

  • Libuse Leman Apr 8, 2015, 3:57 pm

    Hmm, I heard that there is good medical care in big cities in Ecuador. Not sure why did you need to move back to Canada where sky is full of chemtrails that go down and we all breathe them. I never see lines from planes in Cuenca where I visited two times and plan to move to.

  • Dianne Holland Apr 8, 2015, 3:56 pm

    Hi Bryan & Dena – thanks so much for your post. Hubby (whose health issues are not good) and I have been contemplating a move to Cuenca but now I’m not so sure. Would you mind sharing what sort of health issues necessitated your return to Canada. We had understood that medical assistance was top notch in Cuenca and relatively inexpensive. Many thanks. Dianne

  • Robert Apr 8, 2015, 2:25 pm

    Best wishes to your family and especially for your health. This is a new chapter. You learned you can adapt to just about anything. Many of your readers envy and admire your adventure.

  • Judy Passos Apr 8, 2015, 1:14 pm

    Bryan and Dena, I’ve loved following your journey! Ty both for sharing so much of your life with us. My thirst for travel and living in a foreign country has been truly ignited by your posts!! My best wishes for your health and WELCOME BACK TO CANADA!! Have you ever thought of visiting Victoria, BC.? It’s the banana belt of Canada!! 😉

  • Grant Oxner Apr 8, 2015, 1:01 pm

    Welcome back to Nova Scotia and the snow. I’m so sorry for the circumstances that caused you to make the return trip. While a decision to return would have been difficult for any other reason I’m sure this was the right one to make. Maybe one day soon we’ll be able to connect in person either when you’re visiting the South Shore or we’re in the Valley, so Debra and I can hear all about your adventure.

  • Paul Acee Apr 8, 2015, 12:47 pm

    Wow! I’m in shock.
    You “guys” are probably responsible for paving the way to Ecuador for thousands of us, including me.

    Best of luck,

    Paul

  • David Apr 8, 2015, 12:30 pm

    So sorry to hear about your health problems! I pray Jesus’ healing touch over you right now.
    I’ve spent the last 2 years of my life in Ecuador as a missionary and unfortunately I leave in just a week back for the states. It has become home here. All the amazing things, and all the silly things. Here’s to smooth transitions

    • Beverly B. Petersen Apr 9, 2015, 11:57 am

      I hit the sent button by mistake! As I was saying, we had to travel to Manta and Guayaquil to do the testing and have results translated to English. Other than those inconveniences, we are pleased with care. I do believe that health issues are very individual and we handle them from a different perspective in our early 70’s than we did when younger. Love to you and your family. Always friends by the gift of technology. Bev

  • Dave Apr 8, 2015, 11:49 am

    Good luck with your health problems!!
    We’ve read all your posts and learned a lot from them. Our move is planned for December.
    Sorry about all the snow here in NS! This was our 1st spring trout fishing with snow shoes, ha.

  • Deborah Apr 8, 2015, 11:27 am

    Your fine blog has long been a source of excellent information for ex-pats. I wish your family the very BEST in this next part of your journey in the snow!

  • John Addison Apr 8, 2015, 11:18 am

    So sorry about your health problem Dena, and wish you all the best. I’ve enjoyed your and Bryan’s writings and look forward to more from wherever you end up.

  • Aaron Apr 8, 2015, 11:03 am

    Well, I may get to see you this side of forever then 🙂 I hope to get the family back to NS next summer, but time will tell. Take care!

  • Ann and Rod Rowley Apr 8, 2015, 11:01 am

    So sorry to hear about your health problems! You were very instumental in four of us thinking about living in Ecuador. We went down in 2013, but have had to push back our time to go. We hope all goes well with you for the future. Together in the same faith, Ann and Rod.

  • Jessamyn Apr 8, 2015, 10:49 am

    I’m so sad to hear you have had to move back. I’ve gone back and forth between the States and Ecuador for the last 18 years and it’s never easy. Ecuador is something that gets into your blood and you just can’t shake it! But…

    You can always come back!

  • Mary Ann Fogleman Apr 8, 2015, 10:43 am

    Bryan and Dena,
    You were the first people who gave us the idea of moving to Ecuador and also the first House Hunters we remember seeing about Ecuador. We researched a lot over several years, and ultimately decided not to make the move due to my health concerns and the inability to get treatment and medications there as I can get here. Best wishes and special thoughts to you concerning your health!

  • Bill Fox Apr 8, 2015, 10:38 am

    WOW, but not a big wow. Your a young family and there is no direct course or cast in stone plan in life. We met once briefly in Supermaxi, I doubt you remember but I do. Stay the course your health and your family come first and you do not need me to tell you that.

    Good luck and hope you get back to Cuenca and follow your dreams and work thru the health issues

    Bill

  • Gary Sisk Apr 8, 2015, 11:11 am

    Wow! Life changes seem to accrue along our path of life! I also just met you once in SuperMaxi! I have enjoyed reading all your posts and I thank you for having all the information I needed to move to Ecuador 3 years ago! And I will look forward to keeping up with you guys!
    I have a good Canadian friend who is moving to Mexico because high blood pressure is not good for her at this altitude! I will look forward to visiting her in the future. I do have asthma and get short on breath up here when I walk. Who knows I may end up at sea level sooner or later. I hope you get your health in order! And thanks again for the entertainment and help!

    • Deborah Apr 8, 2015, 11:25 am

      I’ll be waiting for your visit my ‘Murican friend!

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