Friday, May 24, 2013

Next steps.....

The decision is made, the family and friends have been notified and a tentative date has been picked. So what's next? First we have to continue living our daily life here in the US - family and friends to visit, motorcycle trips to be taken as well as trying to continue good eating and exercise patterns.

That said, we know that December will be here before we know it. As in the joke, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.", we will work slowly through the things that need to be done. Some of that has already started, watching for sales on items we want to bring with us. Since we do plan on coming back in 5-6 years, we don't want to strip all our belongings to take them to Ecuador. Plus, that would be too much weight and too much luggage.

The things we plan to bring, other than the requisite clothing items, are:
  • Pots/Pans (good ones are available but quite expensive)
  • Coffee grinder and French coffee press
  • Single serving size George Foreman grill
  • Tableware and kitchen knives
  • Sheets and towels
  • Electric blanket (maybe only a throw, not sure of size yet)
  • Oven thermometer/Hand can opener/Cooking utensils
  • Electric teakettle
  • Laptops, Kindles, iPhones, iPods, cameras (VERY expensive in EC)
  • Reusable shopping bags (used them a LOT during our visit)
  • Electric toothbrushes
  • Scuba gear
Some of the things we know we can get reasonably are:
  • Pillows
  • Blankets/Spreads
  • Dishes (definitely getting most of those at Artesa at the outlet on Fridays)
  • Glasses
  • Misc. general kitchen/dinner ware
  • Crockpot, toaster, blender & electric frying pan
  • Basic office supplies (pens, paper, rubber bands, paper clips, etc)
  • Printer (better to get there due to cartridge availability)
Some of the unknowns will depend on space/weight:
  • Silicone baking pans (may bring due to light weight and packability)
  • Travel iron (small but hefty, will we really need it?)
  • Dustbuster (handy but how much will we use it?)
  • Portable scanner
We will also be bringing some of the harder to find OTC meds like Benadryl and Tylenol as well as tooth flossers (Stu has one favorite brand), favorite toothpastes and Polident tablets (never found anything like that). Probably toss in a couple of boxes of baking soda, too, since that is regulated similar to Pseudoephedrine here in the US.

Most of the new items have already been purchased, next is to pick up a couple of Sterilite Foot Lockers from Wal-Mart. The come in a set of two for $40 and we know one expat that moved with a LOT of these. We figure these will be great for the heavier, bulkier, oddly shaped items with sheets and towels wrapped around them.

We plan to fly business class on American Airlines combined with our AA credit card, that means 3 free bags each - up to 70# each. We may have to do one more bag for Stu's scuba gear, that takes a bag by itself for the most part.

The other item that needs to get started is receiving the paperwork for our pensioner's visa. We will each apply rather than my being a dependent on Stu's. Next week I will write a letter to the four folks on our short list as facilitator's. Then we will make a decision on who to use.

Phew...I'm tired already! ;-)

PS. As always, feel free to post questions and we'll try to answer them in a new post.


  1. Wow, what an exciting chapter in your new life! Interesting to see the list of must have's for moving to a new country! How long will you live there?

    1. Jeannie, current plans call for 5-6 years, long enough to save significantly so we can pay cash for our future log cabin.

  2. Lots to consider, no decisions yet. Will post later about this. ;-)

  3. That was my first thought--what about Sadie?

  4. Where is the money savings? Why not stay on your place in TN in the rv and really buget. Just asking.

    1. The biggest areas are fuel (we won't be driving and transportation is very inexpensive with lots of healthy walking, taxi rides at $2-3, buses at .25 and longer bus/van rides for $8-12) and food (buying fresh at the mercados is SOOOO much cheaper as well as better for you).

      Then there is the cost of utilities - with no A/C or heat needed, electric and water usually run maybe $50 a month and bottled gas (cooking/hot water) is $2.50 for a tank that lasts 1-2 months.

      We can also do a lot of travel in the country for a reasonable price, thus allowing us to have mini-vacations.

      Last, since this is a 5 year plan, when we come back we will be snowbirding so we plan to drop a lot of annual memberships that we won't be using (and haven't but kept "just in case").

      Outside of any US bills, our budget for living there is $1600 a month and we hope to actually spend less once we get there and get settled.

  5. Wow. Considering most people we know who live on social security, do so on less than 1000. per month. LOL. Living there would be more expensive!

    1. I know folks living for $800 there, sharing an apartment for one things. We are talking about maintaining our current lifestyle at a significant savings. We could park on our land, turn off our cell phones & TV service, drop our Internet and go no where in order to live on the same budget. We chose to live the best quality of life for US on a budget that still allows us to save.

  6. You might consier checking out shipping costs for Stu's scuba gear - might be cheaper than the going airline rate for an extra bag????

    Sounds like the plans are well made. I mentioned to Bill that we might need to come visit while you are there- Ecuador is not on the bucket list but, hey, why not? Especially with friends in place! LOL

    1. Shipping is not an option...just sending a DHL flat envelope is $60. Plus we'd incur duty fees that we won't if we bring it in with us. It will only cost us the extra bag fee and if we can keep it to 6 bags/containers, then we will save that. (But I'm pretty sure we'll need all 7 bags...LOL!)

      Definitely plan to come visit...amazing country with much to see. We hope to travel throughout the country, including the Galapagos Islands. And we'll have at least a 2BR if not a 3BR place.

  7. Wow...wish you the best...really. But no amount of "savings" could persuade us to move to a foreign country, especially if we had to leave our beloved pets behind.
    Hope it works out for the best for you both. Good luck!


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