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A Typical day of Travel is no Typical Day

By May 13, 2017 Living Abroad, Travel

 

Traveling in a developing country is always an adventure. Thus, whenever we head out on a day of travel we prepare ourselves for the adventure to come. When we traveled from our home on the Coast of Ecuador to the mountains, the city of Cuenca, our adventure began. Our 240 mile (384 km) travel day took about 7 hours. The very same trip in the United States would take about 4 hours and 20 minutes. As always, something came up on the way to make the trip just a little bit longer and a lot more interesting. Read More

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5 Things That Will Determine Where You Eat While Traveling

By April 24, 2017 Food, Living Abroad, Travel

Location, Location, Location:

 

When my husband and I got married our honeymoon destination was Cabo, Mexico. We had heard such great things about the food (as well as other things) so we were pretty excited to try the local cuisine. As a bonus, we were told that the food was really inexpensive. Once we arrived at our hotel, situated in the heart of our honeymoon destination, we hesitated to wander too far from our hotel since we had never been out of the country before. Due to our  lack of adventure however, the food proved to be disappointing. Offered in the heart of a tourist town is food for tourists, expensive and not authentic. After a few days of enduring meals that disappointed, we decided to be brave and venture into the local community.  We discovered the best Mexican food we have ever eaten at a local corner cart for just a few dollars. There are a few funny stories to be told from this adventure since we did not speak the language, but this just added to the experience. We have taken this lesson with us wherever we travel, looking for the local spots just a bit off the beaten path. This new motto has lead us to find many a good meal, sometimes in the most unusual places.

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A day of living in Ecuador

By March 22, 2017 Living Abroad, Our Story

Living in Ecuador is an adventure every day. This is one of the days that we have recently had:

9:30 AM

I woke up on my day off with a swollen eye. The day before, the landlady had told us that our water tank is broken, so we had to turn the pump on when we needed water and turn it off when we were done.

12 AM

We ate  “brunch”.

1 PM – 2:30 PM

I worked online.

2:45 PM

Mom and I went to the grocery store. A lot of the people we know were shopping at the same time. One friend wasn’t given the correct change at the register. To ensure that she was telling the truth, the manager reviewed both the register and camera footage before they gave her the change they owed, one whole dollar.

4:05 PM

We finally made it home from the store only to discover that our house had no power and no water.

 5:00 PM

Our neighbor started fixing our water tank, and the power came back on.

5:01 PM

The power went off again.

 6:00 PM

We made dinner with no electricity and no water.

 6:20 PM

We discussed which movie to watch on the laptops with remaining battery power (thank goodness for DVD’s and the movies we have downloaded).

 6:30 PM

The power came back on again.

 6:31 PM

The power turned back off.

 6:50 PM

Our neighbor told us that we won’t have water for the night because they need a missing piece to fix the water tank.

 7:00 PM

The power turned back on, and we started watching a movie.

 9:00 PM

The movie ended, and so we started bringing in buckets of water.

 9:30 PM

We washed dishes with buckets of water.

 10:00 PM

I took a sponge bath.

 11:00 PM

And finally, I went to bed.

 

As you can see you need to be prepared for anything and learn to laugh instead of cry. This is just part of the adventure of living in a developing country. You might even find that moving back to your home country is boring after living abroad.

 

Written by Ashley

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Southern Beaches, Part 2

By March 5, 2017 Living Abroad, Travel

 

In my first post about the beaches of Ecuador, “The Southern Route From Manta”, we stopped in San Lorenzo. It has a beautiful beach and amazing views. In this post I would like to take you further down the coast to the next beautiful beach.
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Woody’s trip to the mechanic (February 21)

By February 23, 2017 Car Diary

February 21, 2017

As of Monday, Dad had to return to the States for some work. So three girls are left to take care of the car, which we know is high maintenance.

Dad left some instructions: “Make sure to check to the fluids (oil, power steering fluid, etc)”, “Don’t forget to fill it with gas regularly since the gas gauge is broken”, “Be careful about driving it here”, “Check the tires air pressure”, “Keep the radiator filled with water”, etc.

As you can see, there is much to do to keep our car running in good shape. So, after 14 hours of dad being gone, we heard from the car an already existing noise worsen, and of course, ran it to our mechanic, Roberto, to be safe. The mechanic got to work on the drive-shaft and replaced the u-joint bearings.

After all this, we took a drive around the block, but the noise was still there. After telling him that we were very concerned about the noise, he continued to work on finding what it was. He had one of his workers get under the car while he got in the driver’s seat. The worker would yell out “adelante” and Roberto would drive forward as the worker scooted up the asphalt on his back under the car. Then he would yell “atras” and Roberto would drive backward and the worker would scoot on his back. What a way to fix a car! My mom stared at it, stunned, and so, she forgot that this would make a great video.

Now, a day later, the car is still at the mechanics being worked on. We hope we get it back soon!

Written by Ashley

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Southern Beaches of Ecuador, Part 1

By February 22, 2017 Living Abroad, Travel

When we decided to move to Ecuador we needed to make a choice between the mountains or the coast. “Why?” you may ask. It was a fresh start in every aspect, including our surroundings.

Our family is from a mountainous region in California, and I have to say, I love the mountains. In our move however, we were going for different. For us different meant heading to the coast. So, now we are settled into Manta, Ecuador.

While living here, we have had the opportunity to travel up and down the coast. I’m going to introduce you to the beautiful coastline of Ecuador.

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New Favorite Foods

By February 13, 2017 Food, Living Abroad

Previously, I mentioned the opportunity to experience new cuisine when one moves out of country. Prior to moving I was a little nervous about this. I am a little picky about what I eat. My girls say I have meat issues. I would probably be a vegetarian if meat didn’t taste so good, but wouldn’t we all? Then, there is my husband who feels like a meal isn’t a meal without meat. On top of that, I don’t eat fish. I just don’t like it. Never-the-less, we have moved to the coast. These concerns were put aside, and I moved with an open mind ready to try new foods, even fish. Read More

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Should You Make The Move?

By February 12, 2017 Living Abroad, Uncategorized

Are you considering moving to another country? Seven years ago we considered the same thing, and two years later we made the big move. There are a lot of pro’s and con’s to every big decision you make; the following are a few that I can think of regarding making the move.
THE PRO’S
1. Your financial Situation
You may have retired and will be living on a pension. In some countries your pension will go a lot farther so this could be a huge motivating factor for you. In Ecuador, this is the case. Things like food and housing can be significantly cheaper. Those of you who can only afford a small house in a mid-west state can afford to live in a beach front condo in Ecuador. Or you may move for a new business opportunity. There can be many great opportunities if you have the time and business know how. Read More

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To Car Or Not To Car

By February 9, 2017 Living Abroad
Our first year and a half here, in Ecuador, we lived without a car.  Many move down here and plan on living without a car, relying on the public transportation. Our plan was a bit different.
We planned on buying a car as soon as we arrived, but because of circumstances beyond our control, it took longer than planned. This gave us an opportunity to experience public transportation. Thus, I can bring you this blog post.

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Guide to moving to a foreign country

By February 3, 2017 Living Abroad

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:

  1. the currency
  2. the weather
  3. the government
  4. visas
  5. the history of the place
  6. 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. Read More

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