After being home for a month and a half, we still have many memories of Ecuador and our trip there and back. Our thoughts after Ecuador keep evolving as we live our lives back home, visiting with friends, going through our normal routines, and watching the happenings here and around the world. It’s good to be home…. but…. here are my afterthoughts.
Flying home from Ecuador was a long, weary trip. We left Quito at about 1:00 am and arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida about 5:30 am. There’s not much you can do in Ft. Lauderdale at 5;30 am, so we found a bench in the terminal and slept since we didn’t get much sleep on the plane. Our connecting flight didn’t leave until about 8:30 that evening, so our plan was to take a taxi to the beach and spend the day there. At 9:00 am, we checked our luggage at the terminal and took a Lyft ride to the beach. We had lunch, lounged on the beach, and enjoyed the sights of Spring break in Ft. Lauderdale (at least I did). At the end of the day, we caught a taxi back to the airport for our final ride home.
Thoughts Going Through Our Heads
Up until about the last week in Ecuador, we were in the moment of the place, really enjoying our time there. About the last week, we were eager to be back home with our animals, sleeping in our own bed. Our month long visit could not have been better, but like the saying goes, “there’s no place like home”. Our host and friend was wonderful to stay with and made our month long visit there possible.
Greeting The Dog & Cat
We arrived home late, about 11:30 pm. after taking a very comfortable Lyft ride with a nice driver. We were greeted by our dog Star and her waggy butt. I think she was very happy and surprised to see us after a month away. Our cat, Maya, played it cool at first, but then couldn’t stop purring and wrapping around us. She continued to stick to us for days after that. We can only imagine what they were both thinking while we were gone.
Life in the US After Ecuador
Now that we are home, we have Ecuador on our minds, a lot. We think about it as a place we could live, or visit for long stays at least. It’s friendly, has wonderful weather, beautiful scenery, and it’s very inexpensive to visit or live there. We met many expats while we were there and signed up for a few expat forums on Facebook. We’re keeping up with what’s going on down there on a day to day basis through these forums. We did this before we went there also, but now we recognize many of the people on the forums. That makes it a lot more personal.
Our month in Ecuador was very peaceful. We didn’t keep up with the news in the US much, and when we did check in, it was like watching a show from the outside. Someone described their experience with it as, “watching a brawl from outside the saloon doors versus being right in the middle of it”. We enjoyed the downtime.
For a month, all we did was sleep, walk around town, converse with expats and locals (when we could), eat fresh fruits & delicious pastries, take a hike, go to the markets, hang out with an old friend, and pretty much, nothing substantial, except the dental visits. There was not a single bad day or moment while we were in Ecuador.
Life is back to normal in the states. Grocery shopping, bill paying, lawn mowing, feeding the animals, tending the garden, and fixing things. We are both self-employed, so we are also both back to working at our businesses. The main difference now is, we wonder whether we should move to Ecuador, back to the slow paced simple life we experienced there. We have great friends and live in a beautiful place, but it can be wearing living in the states at times. The US is a country always at war with someone, with lots of political and social infighting, anxiety, anger & fear. We didn’t sense any of this in Ecuador, not where we were at. We weren’t there long enough to experience more of the country and its pros and cons, but we spent time with many expats who have lived there for many years. None that we met had a desire to return home to the stress. Many expressed that when they visit the U.S., they like to get in and get out quickly. The physical & emotional environment in Ecuador is more peaceful.
Language Is An Obstacle
Communication with the local people was our biggest obstacle in Ecuador, although we (mostly Bonnie) managed pretty well. The locals were very understanding and very helpful in helping us to communicate. Most don’t speak English. Even many of the expats haven’t learned much Spanish, which was surprising. For us, it would be a must if we lived there. Day to day life would be so much easier. We took a few hours of Spanish lessons and we are still working on it at home with Duolingo, but it’s coming along slowly. We also try to use a little Spanish when we communicate with each other around the house.
We just don’t know what our future will be yet! We’re looking at what may be coming in the US, such as more overseas wars, 5G microwaving of our neighborhoods, out of control shootings, rising cost of living, renewed environmental destruction or our air and water, and on, and on. We think it might be nice to live in a country that doesn’t have a military at war all over the world, one that not many people think about. Ecuador is off the radar for most people. It doesn’t have a mass shootings problem. It’s trying to protect its environment as much as possible. People seem to love it there, gringos and natives alike. It’s not perfect – no country is – but it has a lot of appeal right now.