Ecuador

Starting today and ending March 25th 2021, you can enter a free giveaway drawing from GoodReads. One hundred lucky people will receive the Kindle version of my latest book, Living Abroad: Challenging the Myths of Expat Life . Goodreads Book Giveaway Living Abroad by Jim Santos Giveaway ends March 25, 2021. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway Use the links above to enter. You can also order the e-book or paperback direct from Amazon now. Here are a...

Read more

As we get closer to the one year mark for our pandemic-restricted lifestyle, there are at least a few plusses. I've made some limited progress in learning to play the Chapman Stick, I've become quite proficient at baking bread, and this week I just published my third book in eight months. Living Abroad: Challenging the Myths of Expat Life is available now on Amazon in a B&W print version as well as a full-color ebook (there are about 24 pictures...

Read more

Over eleven and a half years ago, on January 10th, 2009, an emotionally broken fat man sat down to try and write out some of his grief. He had lost his wife and companion of over 25 years to cancer just five weeks earlier, and was having trouble dealing with his pain, his job, and the mundanity of life in general. He began to write about what he had lost, and what it had been like to go through those...

Read more

“They say, timing is everything. But then they say, there is never a perfect time for anything.”― Anthony Liccione Well, it seems like half of the country is locked down in self-quarantine while the other half is out rioting and protesting. Nobody is flying to other countries unless they absolutely have to, and many people can't even return to their own nations even if they wanted to. At times like this, what is a sensible thing for a writer to do?...

Read more

For people around the world, a visit to the Galápagos Islands is a common “bucket list” destination. Unfortunately, visiting this unique but out-of-the-way spot can be a very expensive proposition. For example, a family of four visiting from North America may find that between airfare to Ecuador and then on to the Islands, entry fees, accommodations, tours, meals, etc., that the cost of a Galápagos trip can easily approach or even reach five figures, forcing it to remain a dream...

Read more

Rita and I recently returned to our home in Salinas on the southern Pacific Coast of Ecuador after our longest time away in the last five years. Between taking care of some business in the States, attending the International Living Boot Camp Conference in Santa Fe, and enjoying Thanksgiving with family, we were away from home for nearly four months. Once we returned to Ecuador, it didn’t take us long to remember the number one reason why we chose to...

Read more

There's a moment of clarity, just before you begin, when you think calmly to yourself, "Why am I doing this?" Then the calm is shattered by sheer terror as you are flung out over the abyss. Now your brain is screaming "WHY AM I DOING THIS?!" This was my experience with the "Casa del Arbol" in Baños, Ecuador. Sometimes called "the Swing at the End of the World", this site was made famous by a 2014 photo taken for a...

Read more

I could feel the urge building over the last few weeks, and then this Sunday, it finally happened. I woke up with a raging gumbo-ner. I just had to make my favorite New Orleans meal. Gumbo is not something to be taken casually. It is not one of those "one pot" dinners that you can "whip up". To do it up right, you really need to dedicate the whole day to preparing one meal. Sure, there are "quick and easy...

Read more

When you live in the most popular beach resort in Ecuador, one thing you can always find is a restaurant. Here on the southern Pacific coast, there is no shortage of places serving fresh seafood, traditional Ecuadorian, and even familiar fare like pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers. Heck, the Salinas area even has two French restaurants now. But like every tourist area, there are the “tourist trap” restaurants, and then there are the one’s where us locals like to eat....

Read more

Living in Ecuador, we have a big money problem. Or rather, we have a problem with big money. The sad truth is that the cost of things like cabs, buses, fresh produce, lunches, haircuts, and so on are so low, that no one likes to break large bills. Taxis frown at anything over a $5 bill, and trying to use anything larger than a $20 anywhere but a major chain store or restaurant is almost impossible. So here in our...

Read more