Thursday, January 23, 2014

Why, you ask?

In the past month, we have been reading books and making lists. We have finalized our starting location, decided on Cuenca, Ecuador. We will rent something online, with a 3-6 month lease, from there who knows? Maybe something bigger, more extravagant, maybe another I said who knows. Cuenca has a large expat community and good transportation, it also is a great walking city, perfect for us just starting out. The apartment we will look for will be near the city center so we can walk to shopping and eating, see the sights and start the process of becoming "gringos".

In our research, we have found a shipping expert, and are in the process of emailing questions, concerns and time frames. We pretty much know what to ship, and what to sell. We have found housing rental websites, and know where to look when we know our arrival date. We know we will have to make a trip to Atlanta to the Ecuadorean consulate to finalize our visas, and we know a visit to the vet, no more than ten days before departure for valid paperwork for the pups. I would think, we know quite a lot...

We are doing this, this isn't a dream! It's a matter of when. Our timeline consists of getting visas, that's the biggest hurdle, after that process is done, it's adios! Well, it's yard sales, start to show the house to rent, sell the cars, pack our stuff to ship, then go. But, it's GO! So, we've started telling people, and the question is why? Why move? Why not visit, why Ecuador? The short answer is why not?! But I will share what we have learned.

Ecuador strattles the equator and has diverse landscape and climates. Mountain regions are cool year round, highs in low 60's- eternal spring is what they call it. Nice, but we want warmer...Cuenca is south of the equator by approx 200 miles, it's weather ranges from lows in 40's to highs in low 90's. And the average humidity hovers at 50% the rainy season is August -November but with rainfall at 40" yearly, not so different from here in North Carolina. Cuenca is 2500 ft above sea level, so we hear they don't have much of a bug population, great! Now if we choose to move to the coast, we would have more humidity, more rain and more bugs, but we will have to visit at different times of year to see if it's a deal breaker.

So, that's the weather. Ecuador adopted the US dollar in 2006, so we don't have to worry about that, and we probably know more Spanish than we think, but Rosetta stone is on the ready. Health care is the other issue, and improvements have been made by leaps and bounds in the past 10 years. Listed one of top 10 in the world. Cost of living here in the states is obscene, in Ecuador we can work less, and make our dollars go farther, perfect way to ease into retirement. So, again I say why not?

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