Okay, here’s the deal after a week of serious thought: Visiting Ecuador was like trying to fall in love with someone you like an awful lot. You can rationalize all you want, but in the end the heart wants what it wants.
That being said, if you followed our trip and were planning one of your own, I would encourage you to follow through with it. Ecuador is a beautiful country full of great people. Our two biggest hangups–if you want me to drill down into the matter–are distance/travel issues and concerns over the needs of my 82-year-old dad.
The distance thing is pretty self-explanatory. It’s in another hemisphere. That would not be a problem all by itself if the travel weren’t quite so expensive (twice the cost of Honduras, for instance). It also took four separate flights each way, which gave us way too many opportunities to miss connections. We ended up missing a total of two; one on the way down, one on the way back. Then there were the extra customs and immigration hassles in places like Panama City, the final destination countries, and–for reasons I still don’t understand–even as we departed Ecuador. In fact that last one was good for three full hours of standing in lines. Had we arrived the standard two hours in advance, we would have been standing in Meaningless Zig-Zag Line Number Three about the time our plane was taking flight. All totaled it was more than 30 hours each way.
Even if I wanted to do that every time I needed to come home to see family or meet face-to-face on a writing project, I can’t ask my dad to do it, even once.
Bottom line, we all agreed that in order to move that far away–at least initially–we needed to literally be in love with our destination. Instead, we sure liked Ecuador a lot. It had a great personality.
Chalk this up in the “due diligence” column. Plan B details currently in the making. For what it’s worth, the October target date has not moved.