The 23rd of July marked the two year anniversary of the day we landed in Guayaquil Ecuador. We spent one day there and then settled in Cuenca on the 24th.
Why Did We Move to Ecuador?
When we lived in Canada we had a fairly normal life, we had a nice house with a backyard, a car, a camper and our own business. We were happy, we lived close to our family in a small town in the beautiful Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia), but we were very busy. Our house was a fixer-upper, which meant ongoing renovations, and our business took too much of our time. We saw our daughter growing up much too fast as the busy months and years passed by, we wanted more time to enjoy her, and do the things we loved to do as a family.
We kept trying to readjust things in Canada to be able to have more time, but nothing worked. The main reason was because of the money we needed to provide for our family, and the amount of work that was required to generate it. So we started looking for a country where the cost of living was lower so that we could work less and still have the things we needed.
We looked into a lot of different countries before we settled on Ecuador. Cuenca Ecuador really stood out to us because of it’s reputation, which it has lived up to: it’s clean, has good healthcare, not many critters, modern infrastructure (shopping malls, grocery stores . . .) and is alive with culture. We had also heard about the reputation Ecuadorians have of being patient and thinking well of foreigners, this has proven true, without which we couldn’t stay here.
When we sold our house, business and belongings, it wasn’t easy, but at the same time it was very liberating. We were literally going to start over, and this time be determined to keeps tight reigns on the things that were taking time away from what was really important to us.
We have managed to do that for the most part, but we still have to keep an eye on life and at times make adjustments. We just reached the two year mark and have no desire to move back to Canada.
Why Are We Staying in Ecuador?
We miss many things about Canada, or family, friends, favorite places/foods, and the ease of communication, but the benefits of what this move have brought us will keep us here.
Life in a foreign country is very different than many people think. Often a negative impression exists because of what is featured on news programs. Life in Ecuador is better than what we had been expecting.
We love traveling around this country, we’ve been to Guayaquil, Salinas, Quito, and Galapagos. We’ve also been to many of the small towns surrounding Cuenca like Chordeleg, Paute, Giron and the Yunguilla Valley. We have plans to visit many more areas here in Ecuador and hopefully travel to other countries as well.
The process of being immersed in and learning a new language has taught us many things: patience, humility and the ability to laugh at our mistakes, to mention a few. Learning to adapt to cultural differences has sometimes pushed us outside our comfort zone, which as been very good for our family. We’ve grown in ways that we didn’t anticipate, and we’ve learned to recognize attitudes in ourselves and others, that at times are intolerant and unfair. These thing have helped us to become better people.
The things that our daughter has learned over the past two years have helped her in many of the same ways. Because she is experiencing these things at a young age, her future will be shaped by her experiences here. Seeing her learn, grow and change has been very fulfilling for us.
Living amongst a new culture and traveling around this diverse country has made us feel alive with a sense of exploration. We love to travel because we enjoy seeing new things and different ways of life, but living in a foreign country allows us to really understand the way life works in a different culture. This is a much different experience than just passing through. We are looking forward to many more years of our simpler lifestyle here in Ecuador.
It hasn’t been all fun and games, we have had our share of stress learning to adapt and communicate. Our immune systems have had a real workout as we’ve been assimilating to the introduction of new germs, but as they say, “it all makes us stronger.”
We’ve been very happy to be able to share our experiences over the past two years through this blog. And even happier that many have told us that by doing this we’ve helped them decided to do something similar. We look forward to sharing much more in the future.