When we lived in Canada we had our own business, home (a fixer upper) and car. We were also homeschooling our daughter. Things were very busy!
We were so occupied with making a living and fixing up our home that we didn’t have the time we wanted to do the things we loved to do as a family. Our daughter was growing up fast and we wanted more time with her.
So we started searching for a place where the cost of living was lower. With a lower cost of living we would work less and have more time to enjoy our family.
We did a lot of searching, we even took a trip to Margarita island, Venezuela to see if that would be right for us. When that didn’t work out, we started looking into Ecuador.
Ecuador stood out to us because they use U.S. currency, and even though we are Canadians we could easily set up a U.S. bank account. We also liked that the country had lots of travel opportunities. It’s kind of a small country, but with the Galapagos, the Andes, and the Amazon, there’s lots to explore.
As we looked into Ecuador, Cuenca quickly came to the top of our list. Cuenca is the third largest city in the country, the high altitude means no mosquito-born diseases and the climate is nice, not too hot, not too cold. There are also lots of good hospitals and some modern conveniences like shopping malls, grocery stores and movie theaters.
So we sold everything and moved in 2009. It was amazing to start over like that! And it was also very challenging. We didn’t even speak Spanish, we didn’t have any work and we had never lived in a foreign country before.
Sound crazy? Well, doing that crazy thing made us push ourselves to learn news ways to support our family, to learn a foreign language, and adapt to a new culture. All of those things made us pull closer together, become stronger and more resourceful. The move also gave us what we wanted, more time to do the things we loved doing as a family.
For more information about what it’s like to move abroad as a family, please check out our book, The Happy Expat Family. In the Happy Expat Family we talk about the 8 challenges faced by all expats and how to overcome them.
Parque Calderon in Cuenca Ecuador
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