Author: Jim Santos

Since I made the decision to resign as International Living's Ecuador Coastal Correspondent back in March, I've been ramping up the attempts to find more freelance work. I'm still writing articles for IL's magazines and website about places we have lived and visited - in fact, look for a Feature Article I co-authored due out in the May issue - but I'm looking to broaden my subject matter when it comes to writing. I'm now officially a "freelance writer". What...

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We've gone overboard on every album. But that's Queen.- Freddie Mercury Back in the States now, we've been catching up on our streaming of series and movies. One of the first movies on the list, was the Oscar-nominated Bohemian Rhapsody. In case you've been living under a rock since the 70's, the movie presents some of the background story of the rock group Queen, from their early days up to their record-setting performance at the Live Aid concert in Wembley Stadium in 1985, which many music publications have called the best live...

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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 LivingBoot 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 live...

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We are about to leave Knoxville, Tennessee to return to our home in Ecuador, and this time it is a little bitter-sweet. You see, the sun may be setting on our Ecuador adventure. We have our oceanfront condo on the market now, and if all goes well, we hope to have a buyer before the high-season is over. Salinas, Ecuador It is not that we don't love it in Ecuador. In fact, after living there for five years we love...

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Believe me, I have other things to do right now. I have to rehearse three public talks I'll be giving to crowds of several hundred people this week. There's a 2,000 word web article due for which I have so far composed only a title (which will probably change). We need to prep the house for a family Thanksgiving that may number as much as three out of four of our children and eight out of nine of our grandchildren,...

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Once you have made the decision to move to a foreign country, the next thing most people start to think about is “what should I bring with me?” This is an important question, but like most decisions when it comes to moving abroad, the answer is different for different people. When we decided to move to Ecuador, my wife and I shipped a 20-foot container. But I know several expats who brought only a couple of suitcases and are just...

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I would like to get some input from the readers of my blog on something. As some of you know, I have been working for some time now on a book framed around our decision to hike the Inca Trail, and our preparations for the journey. For me, most of the preparation revolved around losing enough weight to go from the morbidly obese category down to merely fat. That is only the framework, however. The heart of the book is...

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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...

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It looms like a doorway between two worlds, or a portal between two different times. I’m standing in front of the Puerta de la Ciudadela, the Gate of the Citadel, on a sunny afternoon in Montevideo, Uruguay. As I slowly take in this latest wonder that I’ve found in Uruguay, I realize that in many ways, this Gate really is a crossover point between the old and the new. When it was built around 1742, Montevideo was an important Spanish...

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I am an American. I was born in Annapolis Maryland, one of the oldest cities in the nation. I've lived and worked in her small towns, her big cities, and some of her beautiful rural lands. We own property in America, pay taxes, and are registered voters. I did tech support in the US Senate, where I shared an elevator and chatted with Ted Kennedy, helped Susan Collins with her Blackberry, talked with John McCain about his break with Jon...

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