Here it is. We are Ecuador Wannabees, more aptly Gunnamoves. We tried to retire early but it’s not going so good and in order to maintain our health and lifestyle we were going to need to move and one of us was going to have to go back to work. Through the Internet search of “best places” Ecuador beckoned with a livable retirement and affordable health care. So we took a 180-degree turn around and are now heading south, way south, south of the equator, south of zero, land of soz, south.
We have started taking action towards this goal. The house is on the market (still waiting), we have cleared out the storage rental and hosted a garage sale, sent a lot of crap to charity and gave away some of the larger pieces. I am in the process of selling some old junk, we will see. We have had luck just placing things on the street with a FREE sign and if I brand it right (dog couch – chewed up with no back pillows) someone will take it.
We now have current U.S. passports and are in pursuit of the various necessary notarized/apostilized documentation towards a resident visa. I have a list of resources that I am going provide to anyone who might be thinking of a move such as ours. This is an extremely soul searching decision, after decision, of who you are, and what you want out of life, and what are you willing to do, and what are you willing to give up, to get it.
While we wait for the perfect buyer, we scour for information and confirmation. This blog is like the morning report… for my husband that wakes up later than I and kicks me off the computer. “Anything new?”
Coastal vs. Cuenca
This is our own personal dilemma, the excitement of the city with its restaurants and shopping and lots of gringos to show you the way, or the relaxation, warmth and perhaps isolation of the coast. Heat, or lack thereof, and altitude will come in to the decision.
OK, Mr. Peabody, turn back the way-back machine. Some background…
The boys grew up in Southern California. Dad first introduced Steve to surfing by taking him to the giant waves in Hermosa Beach. This scared him straight to knee boards. Dave took immediately to the surfer lifestyle and baked his brain. Mary grew up in the mountains of Northern Arizona but her family vacationed in Mexico at a primitive cabin on the beach. So, we could all handle living at the coast, but…
Would we be too bored? And, where would we have to go to see a dentist? And then there is the car issue. Unless we live in a condo in Salinas close to conveniences, we would have to buy a car and get the Ecuadorian drivers’ license. (You know that in Ecuador, the upper/working class will have two homes, one in the city and a vacation spot on the coast. Hmmm…)
Lucky for us the expats and bloggers have weighed in.
About this blog
When you venture out into the unknown and make a decision that will totally change your life, you seek out those who have gone before you. Thank God for giving man the genius to create the Internet, and the desire to share.
We had been looking to move for awhile now and thought we must relocate to a larger community for better job opportunities because this early retirement was just not working out. We had pretty much decided to head to the Pacific Northwest when I read an article about the best places in the world to retire. Number one this year was Cuenca, Ecuador. OK, whatever, I read the article and then clicked on the link to Ecuador: Live Like Royalty on Half Your Social Security.
Somewhere, buried down in the hyperbole, we discovered that Dave’s disability qualified him for the pensioner’s visa and that he could more than cover his own expenses including a live-in housekeeper/cook to take care of his daily needs. Light bulb! We should move to Ecuador!
But was it too good to be true? I went looking for everything Ecuador and expats that were living there now or planning to move there soon. I read several blogs and contacted the owners by email. I joined the two main forum groups for Ecuador: Expat Exchange and the Ecuador Expats Yahoo Group. Yes, it’s true that Ecuador is affordable, but the article was… somewhat exaggerated. It might be more than “half.” And depending on whether you purge your stuff and come down with only suitcases or ship everything by boat or plane, the logistics will be difficult. Apparently in Latin America efficiency is somewhat lacking.
When we first made the decision I started another blog written in the voice of our dog Kobe. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to make the move with us and I didn’t have the heart to continue. It took weeks to post that he had died. I wanted to start another blog, but the retelling of our daily life is… boring. I’m sure that others would not find it so interesting.
Steve has been bugging me to post all the links I have found for friends and family. And while I was starting that list it occurred to me: hey, why don’t I create a blog for gunnamoves with a daily news report of what’s going on in the Ecuador Expat blogosphere? I decided to write one offline and see if I could keep up with that ambitious goal. I might have to skip a day, and some of the bloggers will post later in the day, but it might really work. I hope you like it.
UPDATE: As I started writing and researching the Internet for everything Ecuador I discovered that there were several other blogs coming out of the soz: missionaries and short term assignments, sabbatical year off work, making our way through Ecuador on the world-wide travel trip, etc. I enjoy reading those types, but to keep up and report is not what we are all about. So I have decided to focus on the retired expat type that is relocating to this country, maybe for good. When I run across new blogs I will add them to the list. What I have found is that there is a flurry of posts for about two months then either they stop all together or continue posting somewhat erratically, my own past attempts included.