Sunday, January 31, 2010

Too Much to Do!

My to-do list grows stronger and longer each day: pack, sell the house, write a book, plan a wedding, and fill out reams of paperwork. This week we get our shots for everything from dengue fever to malaria. Mark makes his first exploratory trip at the end of the month. I feel like he's Christopher Columbus on his way to discover "Latin America."

I'm giving him the quick version of learning Spanish in three weeks (he can count to 100 already). Progress! Today I bought some grade school primers that will help him to start thinking in Spanish.

Although we lived in Sicily for six years, I had to forget my Spanish to learn Italian and now I'm doing the opposite: forgetting Italian to learn Spanish.

There are so many tiny details to attend to: what to keep, what to throw away, and what to store. We won't be bringing anything with us except what we can fit in our suitcases. Today I was slightly overwhelmed with all the pictures we have accumulated over the years.

Lots of decisions -- both big and small -- that need to be made. But one step and a time and we'll get there...our new adopted homeland.

Until next time...hasta luego!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Journey Begins Here

This is day one of our journey of living in Ecuador as retirees. We have done extensive research and found that Ecuador will provide us with a high quality of life and allow us the pleasure of enjoying our retirement years without having to worry about how we're going to pay the electric bill.

My husband, Mark, has worked for United Parcel Service for 20 years and is taking an early retirement which equates to about $1,400 a month; poverty level in the States. But in Ecuador, we can live well. My hubby's last day of work is April 1, 2010 (no joke!); our son is getting married May 30, 2010, and then our new live begins.

We will need to sell our home, take an exploratory trip to secure housing in Ecuador and then we're off!

We have looked at several places thus far: Cuenta, Quito, Cotacachi, and surrounding towns.

The springlike weather all year long in Ecuador appeals to us after having endured 20years of snow shoveling in Pennsylvania with subzero temperatures.

We have made appointments this week for our travel consult to include vaccinations for malaria, dengue fever, and typhoid. However, I'm not that concerned as we have lived in Sicily for six years and during that time I got cholera and survived!

The next appointment is with the Ecuadorian Embassy in Washington, D.C. to check out our pensioner's visa requirements. We are not in a rush to declare residency, although it does come with benefits as I will explain later.

We have been in touch with a wonderful lawyer in Quito who will expedite our resident visas if we wish (for a price!).

With so many Americans fleeing the U.S. in hopes of a better retirement in Ecuador, I have been amazed--shocked really at the blogs and websites cropping up daily. It was difficult to find a name for this blog because so many names have already been taken. Since we are not quite sure which town we will call "home," I decided to make this a general blog on retiring and living well Ecuador in general.

We have enjoyed the contact we have had with several American couples who now call Ecuador home and we can't wait to meet them soon.

This is where our journey begins. Hopefully, one day soon, we will look back as many have who have made this journey before us and say, "This was the best decision we have ever made!"

As a writer, I feel fortunate to begin this journey with a blog post. Many have asked if I will continue my writing. The answer is absolutely "yes."

I promise you I will tell it like it is: truthful, transparent, and no holds bar journey to retirement and living in Ecuador. Stayed tuned as I post every detail so you can follow in our footsteps if you wish.

Oh, did I mention we need do learn Spanish!). Most of the Ecuadorians say "Ciao" and write it "Chao" so I will end each post with at least one familiar word!

Ciao for now!

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