Ecuador scouting trip set for early August

My brother, my fiancee and I have set our scouting trip for early August.  We’ll be focusing primarily on the coastline north of Manta.  In general we are hoping for a smaller town environment (Crucita?  Jama?  Canoa?) where we will have no choice but to learn the language and embrace the culture.  We are not interested in disappearing behind an iron gate along with a hundred other expats.  We are all tired of a super-sanitized society where even liquid soap dispensers are touchless.  We’d rather build and maintain immune systems.  And that’s not going to happen in a country that is afraid of getting germs from soap.

I do have one concern though, I have a ridiculous fear of spiders.  This is from viewing a special edition of Ranger Rick Magazine as a child back in the 70’s.  It had page after page of macro closeups of various arachnids.  Some had 800 eyes, others had mandibles from Hell.  Bottom line, Diana kills (or more often “relocates”) the spiders in our home while I scream like a little girl.  And don’t even get me started about Tarantulas.  I should sue Ranger Rick for 40 years of emotional distress.

At any rate, after the scouting trip we will have about two months to finalize arrangements and be back on a southbound plane by mid-October.

In other news, we did manage to close down Diana’s massage studio last weekend.  It was hard, but I think I saw a little relief in her eyes as well.

Also, my boss tried to offer me another partnership last week.  The prick.

10 thoughts on “Ecuador scouting trip set for early August

  1. Hey John,
    Just stumbled on your blog via a post you left on one of the EC Expat forums. Great stuff!! My husband and I are also planning a move down to Quito and are set to leave on August 6th after months of extricating, planning, stressing, enjoying, indulging, etc.
    I wish I was brave enough to admit that the sole reason we were making this move was that we were ready to get out of the rat race and take control of our own destinies like you guys are doing. Our reality is more simply that we were bored. We’re both 37, owned our home for 10 years, been in our jobs longer and realized that “this is it” (he’s a teacher in an inner city school and I work for a health insurance company – blah!). That moment made us both want to turn and run! Lots of people like the comfort of feeling settled and secure, but I am finding it more and more suffocating. I don’t want to wake up in another 10 years in the same home doing the same job. Life is too short!
    It was only after we started down this new path (he got a job teaching at a school) that we were able to step back and look at all the other amazing benefits of doing this including – shedding years of crap we accumulated that I find myself constantly dusting (and I hate dusting), paying egregious taxes and fees for everything, but most annoyingly for the privilege of owning a car in my own community (thanks RI!), tearing my hair out at night while watching the local and national news as you so aptly put it “watching both sides argue with ear plugs in” (love this and may have to steal it).
    I could go on and on, but the point is, I am frustrated, beyond frustrated, with the current state of things in this country and I am over the moon with excitement to move to a new culture and reprioritize my way of thinking.
    Anyway, I too have JUST started a new blog (playing with it last night, but not ready to publish it for the world to see). I want to say so many of the things you’re saying about the mindless hamster wheel we are all stuck in and the paralyzing american mentality that keeps us working to the bone to afford things we don’t have time to enjoy, but the truth is I am not brave enough, yet.
    Our secret hope is that we will love our new life down there and either EC becomes our permanent home or the first of many places we will live outside of the US. But, for now, we are playing the safety card and holding our frustrations with the current state of the American Dream close to the vest while we check this out. I’ve built a good reputation and I may need to call on that if this doesn’t work out and we’re back in 2 years for whatever reason.
    Anyway, I’ve gone on too long, but I just wanted to say – BRAVO!! You are an inspiration and I hope that you continue down this ‘crazy’ path and continue to share your insights. You’re saying so much of what I want to say, but I’m not ready. I will keep following this blog, and when the time comes, maybe you’ll check out mine and we can share in this crazy experience as we break the ties that have bound us!

      • Because that’s where we got an offer. We were open to anything in South America, we’re pretty psyched!

      • Good for you Brooke. Can’t wait to jump off the hamster wheel too. Look forward to your blog. Exciting times ahead for you and the hubby.

      • Dang, Kew, you sound like you’re ready to go shopping for sunscreen! Have you started you blog yet? What’s your timeline looking like?

    • Thanks for the kind words, Brooke. I completely understand your reluctance to open up and vent everything before you’re ready. All I can tell you about that is, once you start, you don’t want to shut up! Sometimes I find myself thinking “Holy shit, am I really going to press ‘publish’ on this one!” But I’m really enjoying the feeling of purging my thoughts along with everything else. Maybe you start slow with the blog. Stick with the nuts and bolts of the process for now. My guess is you’ll find yourself opening a vein soon enough.
      Let me know when you’re ready to go public. You’re a couple months ahead of us and we’d love the opportunity to learn what we can.
      Best of luck to you both.

  2. Just set up the blog John. I am a total newbie to it though. My timeline is a 12-18 month plan. I need to research employment options, take a scouting trip, and begin the whole “exit process”. Once I feel more confident in the financial piece(I don’t have a large savings pot or 401k to pull out) my momentum will build quickly. Your blog, as well as others, will be used to stoke the fire! I have been in the distribution/logistics industry since I was 19 and, like you, am looking to get completely out and do something more fulfilling to my life, not my wallet. I enjoy your blogs and look forward to them every week. The grandchild picture is awesome and we can certainly relate to your comments about leaving him. Our only grandchild turns 4 this week. She is the apple of our eye. We live in the Phoenix area and own our home.Getting out of our upside down mortgage is one challenge we need to conquer along the way to our “escape”. BTW, our 30year reunion is this summer too. We won’t be attending.:-)

    • I feel your pain Kew. I went from having my home double in value to being upside down in less than a year. All I can say is eventually it comes to a head one way or another. Looking back on it now, the foreclosure was the best thing that could have happened to me. (Besides Diana, of course.) Humbling as it was, it forced me to finally make a serious decision about the course my life was on.

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