Thursday, June 27, 2013

Perspectives from another traveling expat

I've followed Talon and Tigger's adventures for over a year now. I always enjoy their posts but this one, The culture shock of living in Australia , really hit me. So many comparisons that are familiar - us in Ecuador versus us in the USA. I hope you will enjoy it and maybe follow along on their world travels.

1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure
Giving My Son the World. Inspiring Others.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Our Ecuadorian Mantra

I need to blow this up and hang it on the wall....this is how we will live in Ecuador, as we did in our month there. Ahhh...I feel the stress melting away already. 171 days and counting!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Otorongo Plaza Stairs Upgrade

If you remember, we walked these stairs almost EVERY day during our month in Cuenca. They were bland with a little graffiti.

Well, a new community project has started - both sides of the stairs are being redone in mosaic. My good friend Sherry Franklin is working on this project with her two kidlets and let me share these wonderful photos of the process. [click any photo for a larger image]

Can't wait to see it in person!! [Here is an official article, unless you speak Spanish you will have to use Google translate to read it.]

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Long Flights and Health

An online friend had an accident while in Ecuador and sustained a badly sprained ankle...just hours before her flight. When she got home they were worried about a blood clot but fortunately she is in the clear.

Her story reminded me of one thing we now both have - comfortable compression socks. I first found these after hubby had double knee replacements. He wanted something sturdier than the traditional TEDS that he had to wear for weeks after the surgery. He needed something to wear anytime he was traveling for more than a few hours.

Well, since we travel a lot in our RV lifestyle, I needed to find something that would work. He liked these so well that he continued to use them for long motorcycle rides, too. I had leg swelling at the end of a long office day in my younger years and it continues now on any day where my legs are in a vertical position for a long time (travel, motorcycle rides, airplanes). I decided to try these same socks for me.

I was unable to find a small (I wear a size 7 ladies US) but got the medium. They are a bit long so I don't pull the foot really tight.

I was amazed at the difference. I now wear them any time my feet will be in a down position for more than a few hours. Motorcycle rides, travel in the truck and airplane rides. I liked them so well, I got more for both of us!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Another step closer...

As I said in my last post, one thing I needed to do was find temporary housing for the first month in Cuenca. I had looked at rentals at the two major places - and - while we were in EC. I found several alternatives to Apartmentos Otorongo for the $500-600 range, but since we didn't have travel dates, I couldn't book anything.

Fast forward and all those rentals are gone and all that's left are higher priced ones, around what Apartmentos Otorongo rent is raised to in Dec-Jan (their high season since it's their summer). What we found was a nice two bedroom, 1.5 bath, fully furnished (including an oven, blender, microwave) with cable TV, internet and a QUEEN BED. That will be a treat for sure! No washer/dryer but we can still use Mr. Wash as we did in April-May.

There were two others that did have washer/dryers in the units but they had double beds and only one bath. All the prices were in the same range, more than we wanted to spend but at least we have a spot to stay for that first month while we look for permanent housing.

BTW, 179 days and counting!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Step Two?

Or is it step three? Actually, I've been working on two separate steps. Neither are critical right now but need to get done soon. The first was pinning down what paperwork will be needed for our Visas and Cedula (national ID card) and the facilitation costs. Thank goodness for Maite Duran of Ecuador Movers. She is a lifesaver! I'll be requesting our paperwork in July and sending it all to her for processing. She'll start things rolling in September while we are on our Route 66 motorcycle trip.

The other step is finding temporary housing for the first month while we look for something more permanent. I had looked about 6 weeks ago but when I checked the sites today, I noticed prices had gone up (or the less expensive spots were already booked).

We decided to not stay at Apartmentos Otorongo this time around since their rates are higher during December. For the same price I've found several apartments that are newer, better equipped and still in convenient areas. The biggest difference is going with one with queen beds but no washer/dryer or going for double beds but full size washer dryer. Right now the queen beds are winning for updates!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Why you SHOULDN'T move to Ecuador....

I read an excellent blog post today, one that everyone who is even remotely considering moving to any Latin American country should read - several times. Some tips apply to relocating anywhere.

We feel we've already addressed these items and know that we SHOULD make the move, even if only for a few years.

Friday, June 7, 2013

One step closer...

I was checking prices on American Airlines today and in the time it took us to decide to go for a lower business class fare but on a later date, that fare disappeared. Of course we know those seats are limited so we continued searching.

Stu pulled the trigger....we bought our tickets. We will now depart Miami for Guayaquil airport in Ecuador on December 12th. WOOT!! We went for a mixed ticket - business class out (which allows us three 70# bags each, plus our carry-ons), economy back (which we hope we don't have to use).

We have also decided on a facilitator for our Visa process, after interviewing several recommended people/companies, we have chosen Ecuador Movers. They have a distinct advantage since they have offices in the US and Ecuador. Maite Duran is our US contact and she has done an amazing job helping others. I'll order our original paperwork this summer and she will start the process in September. If all goes well, we will travel to the Ecuadorian Embassy in Atlanta sometime in November to get our Visas.

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