I was talking to someone in the States the other day about life in Ecuador, and he asked the question an expat hears fairly often – “Don’t you get homesick?” This is not a trivial question, and one that anyone thinking of moving to another country should consider. “Homesickness” has been recognized since ancient times, with references in the Old Testament of the Bible, and Homer’s Odyssey. Even Hippocrates recognized it as a valid complaint, suspecting it had to do...

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With the start of our Inca Trail Trek less than six months away now, we have passed some important milestones - despite almost constant preparatus interruptus over the few months. First milestone: we have now walked over 1,000 miles in our exercise walks. To put that in perspective, if we had set out from Washington DC heading south on US95 back in mid-August when the madness first consumed us, we would be between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida right now. Second...

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Who would have thought that moving to Ecuador would make Rita and me TV stars? Not that we are exactly the Kardashians of the southern hemisphere, but let me tell you about an interesting little event that happened at the end of last year. As happens with the most interesting things in life, this all started with a chain of small events. The first link in this particular chain started at the end of September, 2016. This humble blog was...

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Phone the neighbors, wake the kids, it is time for another Facebook rant! Today's topic: the misuse of memes as proof of the further dumbing down of America by Facebook. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few decades, you have run across memes on the Internet. Technically, a meme can be any trend on social media. This includes things like Rick-Rolling, LOLcats, Dancing Baby, Hamster Dance, the classic video "All Your Base Are Belong To Us", and...

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Health care is always an important topic for those considering the expat life. In Ecuador you have several options, and which one works best for you is something you should think about very carefully. You can’t have too much information making this decision, so here is a real-life example from our second experience with surgery in Ecuador, this time in January 2017, when my wife needed to get her gall bladder removed. First, let’s do a quick review of the...

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Welcome to the next stop in the Exploring Ecuador series - the beach resorts of Salinas and Chipipe, on the Santa Elena peninsula. The Santa Elena peninsula is one of the two largest concentrations of expats on the coast, the other being the Manta region. As such, many people are interested in what is is like to live there. It is a large area, with several different types of lifestyles possible, so I will be breaking it into sections to discuss....

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Here we are, 244 days from the start of our Inca Trail Hike, or 8 months and one day, and we have just received important news: our passes have officially been purchased in our names and registered. That means we now definitely have our passes to begin our hike on Monday August 28, 2017 and to enter the Machu Picchu site that Thursday. Now all we have to do is be ready for it. The past two months have been...

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Welcome to the second in a series of features on the many different choices available to you if you are thinking of living in Ecuador. Any of the places I will cover are great places to visit, but the goal is to provide you with enough information to decide if this is a place you would feel comfortable calling home. Our first stop was Machala, a modern city on the southern coast with almost zero expats. Today, we will take...

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After our typical Salinas Downpour yesterday (12 hours of rain, half-inch of precipitation), it was pleasant to take my walk this morning under clearing skies. In this part of December, by 9am the sun is already fairly high in the sky, shining brightly, and the temperature is creeping up to 80F. On the way, I was treated to a sight that I see fairly often on the beach here. A young gringa lady was setting herself up for a day on...

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First up in the Exploring Ecuador series, we will take a look at a city that is not on most people's radar when it comes to a place to settle in Ecuador. But Rita and I visited the city of Machala in the El Oro Province, and although it is not for me, there are some interesting features that this city of just over 200,000 has to offer. I recently wrote about it for International Living Magazine, but here is some...

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