In early April I very enthusiastically posted here about my initial look at Ecuador as a great option for living la vida cheapo in retirement. Apparently, we are definitely running with the herd in looking at South America. It feels a bit like being in line at 10:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving waiting for the doors to open at Best Buy. (I am proud to say that I have never actually been there/done that and plan to keep it that way) There is a mass migration about to take place. I’m not sure that is a good thing entirely, but that’s what it’s come down to for a lot of us who need to figure out how to s-t-r-e-t-c-h every last penny and feed our adventurous spirits at the same time.
We baby boomers are casting off the chains, kissing our loved ones goodbye and heading out into the great unknown in droves. I’m in love with the idea of becoming citizens of the world. Trying to figure out exactly what that means is a very interesting adventure in itself. I’ve looked briefly at Panama, Uruguay, Chile, Nicaragua and even the other side of the Big Pond in the rural (cheaper) parts of Europe, Spain and Portugal. More on these options later.
My recent Ecuador post garnered lots of comments and some great questions, including a few I hadn’t even thought of. Obviously, I had some more digging to do – this time in the form of some very cool blogs by folks who have already planted their flip-flops on terra firma in Ecuador. For me, nothing is better than information right from the source.
Want to know the name of the tea that cures altitude sickness? Is the medical care really that cheap and good? What’s the scoop on health insurance? Do I need a car? How do I meet other expats? What’s the deal with petty crime? Are all the gringos going to drive up the prices? What’s for dinner? Can two people really live a good life on $2,000 a month or less? Really? Reading through the blogs below, I found answers to all of these questions and so much more. Their own unique stories – in their own words. I love the very different viewpoints!
Gringos Abroad – Brian and Dena Haines are a Canadian family of three who moved to Cuenca, Ecuador in 2009. Their blog is full of solid information about life in Cuenca and the joys and pitfalls of living the expat life. Check out Brian’s recent post – everything you ever wanted to know about cable and internet services. Good stuff!
Rich and Nancy visited Ecuador in 2008. All it took was a one day visit to Cuenca and they were hooked. They went back to Oregon, sold the ranch and most of their belongings, and a year later, were living in their new home in Ecuador. They share a wealth of valuable information gleaned from three years in their new home and 20/20 hindsight.
At Travel Past 50 Tom and Kristen began their life as world travelers when they sold their
house, cars, most of their belongings, and closed their business. They gifted their kids with the dog and hit the road. They lived in Quito, Ecuador for quite a while and now have truly become citizens of the world. I connected with Tom when I read a couple of very thought provoking past posts on his not always good experiences in Quito. Tom has been kind enough to connect via email as well and I value the information he has willingly shared including his packing advice for the Camino de Santiago. Needless to say, these guys are great role models for hubs and I.
Cynthia Goes To Ecuador ~ I love this friendly, chatty blog by Cynthia, who as a “slightly older” single woman packed up and moved herself to Cotacachi, Ecuador. By all accounts, she is settling in very nicely. I really enjoy reading her posts – making the big decision to go it alone, the details of down-sizing and packing for her 3,000 mile move, finding her first tiny apartment, connecting with the local community and her recent post sharing some very important and relevant information on aging and health care as a single expat. Don’t be afraid, but be prepared.
I have no idea if Ecuador will be our final destination, but I do know that it is on the list for a long visit. And, after connecting with so many warm, wise and helpful expats already living there, I’m pretty sure we’ll have a some new friends to raise a glass with when we get there.
See you on the road,