How did we wind up in Ecuador? That is a great question. I’ve never been one to take risks. Always playing it safe and by the rules. Yet here we are are on another continent, and a whole world away from the United States, starting a whole new life, just as most folks our age are settling in to a cozy and secure life.
We have been living here in Cuenca, Ecuador for 9 months now. Less than a year and a half ago, I had never even heard of Cuenca, Ecuador, much less thought of living here.But a series of events led to us being here.
I had quit my job with the phone company a couple of years before due to fear of losing my job. I had seen most of my friends and coworkers laid off over the years due to downsizing and offshoring. Waiting for the hammer to fall on me got too stressful, so I quit and found a job programming for a health insurance company. It was a great company with great people, but my heart just wasn’t in it. Starting a new career after 27 years at my old job just didn’t appeal to me.
At about the same time, my girlfriend’s (now wife) mother passed away. Chrissy had spent the last couple of years caring for her and working as a trainer at a local restaurant chain, until the stress and time required to care for her mother had forced her to quit her job. After her mother had passed away, she needed time to rest and recharge her batteries.
With both of us tired and stressed out, we said jokingly that it would be great to just run away. And then one day we thought, seriously why don’t we run away? With my kids grown and on their own and with Chrissy free of taking care of her mom, we really didn’t have anything holding us back. I began to research places that we could live on the money that we had and Ecuador kept coming up at the top of the list.
As I continued to work, I left the research of how to actually make this happen in Chrissy’s hands. She took the ball and ran. Very soon, she had several new friends on Facebook that actually lived here and could give her practical advice. She found out what it would take to bring our dogs with us. She got recommendations for a realtor that specialized in rentals. After a certain point, there isn’t that much you can learn from the internet, Facebook and emails. It was time to pull the trigger. We set a date to go on an exploratory trip and I turned in my resignation. It was very scary to be unemployed at 53 years old.
We came down for a week in September of 2015 and immediately fell in love with Cuenca. Through the realtor, we found a house on the outskirts of town that would allow us to bring down our 4 dogs. We came back to the states and began making arrangements to move down and in just a little over a month, we were in Cuenca to begin our new life.