Friday, May 6, 2011

Island in the Sun

Recently, our friends found their “island” in the sun—along the river at Rio Sol. This new development in Cuenca is a gated community with trails for bikes, wide streets, a riverfront view and close to a new shopping mall!

Shelley and Blaine are not your typical expats. They are a young family of four with elementary-age children who run an internet business from home (and the office!).

Originally, they came to Ecuador—ten years ago—to adopt, but instead they were blessed with two children of their own and decided to make Cuenca their home.

We were invited over for “almuerzo” to see their new place after months of anticipation. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. Their home is absolutely amazing with 3,000 square feet, three stories (or was it four?), a front yard, backyard, and amazing light streaming through the windows. Their home is open, airy and peaceful. My favorite room in the house is the master bedroom with a view of the river and a walk-in shower that’s as big as my kitchen!

So where did they find this spectacular place?

Blaine is a businessman in Cuenca and heard about this house for rent from a co-worker. They are renting with the option to buy. It’s absolutely perfect for their family of four and their dog, Princesa (Princess).

While we ate lunch we talked about the different housing options that are available in Cuenca and Blaine posed an interesting question, “What is it that you want and what are you willing to give up?”

I never heard it put that way before, but that question has a lot more to do with our lives than just real estate!

All of us gave up a certain way of life to come to Cuenca. For us, it meant living on one-tenth of what we made in the States. Think about that—one-tenth?!? I’m not quite sure what we did with all that money, but we never had enough. We felt like we had to keep up with the Jones: new house, new car, and a lifestyle that went with it. In the end, we were absolutely miserable.

We traded all that in to live simply and purposefully. We don’t have a car, we don’t own a house, and we don’t have to keep up with the Joneses anymore!

Yes, we did give up a lot to come down here, but in exchange we found what was elusive to us in the States—a life that money can’t buy!

We learned a long time ago that the accumulation of things, rarely—if ever—makes us happy. Our new life in Cuenca (more with less) has actually allowed us to create our own “island in the sun.”

Until next time…hasta luego!



Anonymous said...

Hi I'm just looking for a name of the condo or any others around the price you mentioned of $200.00. My wife and I are moving soon and we only need a small condo for the two of us. The condo sounds nice. please email me at

Connie Pombo said...

Phil and Christina,
I'm not sure if there's a place like ours for $200, but there may be some in that price range at Cuenca Condos with Michael Berger:

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