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I'm Not 'Lucky' to be Living in Ecuador

Nov 29, 2013


Ecuador is continually being hailed as a front-runner to live or retire in. Colonial cities, a stunning coast and cheap real estate… you’re familiar with these claims, right? But how can you believe it? How do you actually know it’s the best place for you… you don’t! Not unless you actually go, that is. So what are you waiting for? Life won’t wait, it just keeps plugging along… visit Ecuador’s spectacular coast on a Discovery Weekend and grab life by the proverbial horns already!

A big thanks to Sam for sending us his story about choosing Ecuador…

By: Sam Jackson

I wake up to the sound of clattering pans in the kitchen. Either my fiancé is trying to wake me up, or she’s having a particularly clumsy morning. I shouldn’t complain; chances are she’s whipping up one of my favorite breakfast dishes, ‘mote pillo’, a type of corn (hominy) sautéed with onions, garlic, eggs, milk, chives and cheese… along with, of course, fresh coffee. 

It’s Thursday morning, and just like every other morning, Karina and I enjoy a delicious breakfast, then walk 5 minutes to the beach with our bounding lab/collie cross, Lima – a nod to Karina’s hometown in Peru. Although this is always an enjoyable ritual, Thursdays are especially revitalizing… Wednesday night is jam night at one of our favorite bars in town (I play the ukulele, Karina sings), where we meet up with a variety of locals, expats and tourists to hang out, play some music and have an all-round good time. Maybe a bit too good for me though, since it sounds like Karina’s making breakfast right next to my pounding head this particular morning… 

But let me back the truck up a bit to provide you with some context. 

I was born in the USA, Portland, Oregon specifically. I had a happy, well-adjusted childhood… in fact, as a family we travelled several times a year to various locations around the world, mainly Europe though, as my father’s entire family still lives there. When I ‘grew up’, I dabbled as an artist while maintaining a day job at an accounting office; weird combo, I know! But it paid the bills. I wanted to do something ‘different’ for my 30th birthday, so my 2 brothers and I signed up for a surfing vacation in Ecuador. It was affordable, tropical and definitely different! We had an absolute blast.

During our week along Ecuador’s spectacular coast, chasing the waves, gorging ourselves on fresh seafood and thoroughly enjoying the laid-back vibe, I met Karina. She was in Ecuador on vacation from Peru, and we instantly hit it off. She was teaching Spanish to English-speaking students in an affluent area of Lima, so communication came easy. We kept in touch after going our respective ways, and fantasized about running away to Ecuador together, living on the coast and embracing life. During one of these conversations, we had an epiphany… why not just do it? What did we have to lose? We started looking into our options; with her bilingualism and my various skills (art and finance), finding a job was doable… our largest hurdle.

My friends and family were surprisingly supportive, with the exception of a few ‘inside the box’ folks who couldn’t wrap their heads around me wanting to leave the US. Of course, these were the same folks who have never even left their own state, let alone the country.  

And now, here we are. Settled in a home we purchased for less then $100,000 USD, 5 minutes from the beach and about 45 minutes north of Salinas, a large city that we visit about once a month to stock up on what we can’t get locally. Life is good. It’s simple. And although both Karina and I both still work, it’s not all about the ‘almighty dollar’… especially since it goes a lot further here then it did back in the US! 

My one complaint? Hearing the same thing every time I talk to or visit folks back in the US… ‘you’re so lucky! I wish I could do what you’re doing!’ Or the, what feels like, millions of variations thereof… the truth is, if someone had told me even 3 years ago that this would be my life, I would have literally laughed in their face. There’s nothing wrong with having a ‘plan’, but sometimes life’s best outcomes are spawned from discovering what’s outside the ‘plan’.


A great story and message… thank you Sam! Luck is only a small part of finding your ideal location abroad, but it’s certainly not a lifestyle reserved for only ‘lucky’ people.  

In this case, you’re lucky to have found Where International! Instead of having to guess if a location is safe, affordable, trustworthy or legitimate, we’ve done it for you. Ecuador’s coast is incredible, and if it’s a place you’ve been considering, it’s time to go! Visit on a Discovery Weekend, see what all the hullabaloo is about and prepare to be the envy of your friends and family! 

Go HERE now to book your Ecuador Discovery Weekend

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Where International exists to recommend a variety of International real estate options. Where International requires developers to meet stringent criteria before offering them to you. Conversely, any inspections we conduct on projects or individuals should not be misinterpreted as a guarantee by Where International. International real estate is not immune to the ups and downs that occur in North American real estate; property values are never guaranteed to increase.

Where International is not accountable for the orchestration or deliverance of Discovery Weekends. We provide them to you on behalf of our developer partners. We recommend that you purchase travel insurance, as you would with any trip out of your home country. In addition, we advise you complete your own due diligence, purchase title insurance and always use a local attorney to assist with all transactions. In the event that a reader purchases a property from a recommended developer, Where International receives a sum from the developer.