After our family decided we wanted to move to Ecuador, we had to take many steps to ensure a smooth transition. It took us almost 2 years to completely move to Ecuador. Of course you can do it faster than that if you want, but here are some steps you will want to take before taking the leap:
RESEARCH THE COUNTRY
Before you invest time, money and energy into moving somewhere so far away from home it is important to learn as much as you can about the place you are going. Some of the things you should learn about include:
- the currency
- the weather
- the government
- the history of the place
- the price of living
If possible, visit the place where you want to move. This will help you to know if you will be happy in your future destination.
GET THE APPROPRIATE VISA
First, decide which visa is applicable to your situation. Then start working on getting it. My family and I got the residency visa in Ecuador. We came as dependents of my grandpa who moved with us. Know which papers you need to have before you make the move. They might need to be translated, notarized, or apostilled. Start collecting your paperwork as soon as you can because this part of the process usually gets dragged out and causes frustration. We hired a lawyer who knew the process of getting our visas and who helped us out each step of the way, even though we didn’t have a clue what we were doing and didn’t speak Spanish.
It is never too early to start deciding what you will pack. I suggest packing what is most important to you but also to keep it simple. We sold almost all our furniture and two cars and threw away a lot of junk that had collected in our house.
HAVE A DESTINATION
When you first arrive in your new country, it is too difficult to explore the country with all your luggage. So know before you get on the plane or in the car where you will settle, at least temporarily. You can travel when you are more relaxed to find your ideal spot. When we moved to Ecuador, we headed straight for Manta. We already had a house rented where we could stay while we looked for more permanent housing. After that we started traveling around the country to scout out other places.
Written by Ashley