"I savor the days that I can work completely from home," says Carolyn Hamilton. "Now that I don't have a 9-to-5 job, I can completely indulge my personal creativity and that's a great plus for me at this time in my life." Carolyn arrived in Cuenca, Ecuador in February, 2012,
"The very fact of being in Cuenca, Ecuador, sparks my creativity," says Kelly Mitchell. "I love its unique historical beauty and peaceful way of living. Being able to slow down and enjoy life is such a blessing."Kelly arrived in Cuenca in 2015 from the Baltimore/DC area, where she worked for a local nonprofit.
"I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason," says Scarlett Braden, "and everything happens just when it's supposed to in perfect time." Scarlett who is originally from Memphis, Tennessee came to Cuenca in 2014...and never left.
We were young retirees, aged 55, when my husband, Mark, and I retired to Ecuador in 2010. At the time, there were just a handful of expats roaming the cobblestone streets of Cuenca. Gringo sightings were rare and we’d point and whisper, “look, there’s an expat.”
Cuenca is known as the land of “eternal springtime” with moderate temperatures year-round (highs in the 70s F and lows in the 50s F), but for my husband, Mark, and me it’s the land of “eternal vacation.” When you go on vacation, you leave your stress and the daily grind behind for a place where you don’t have to be reminded of those things.
I don’t wear a watch. I have one (of course), but I don’t need it. In fact, I haven’t worn a watch in six years because our retirement in the Ecuadorian mountain city of Cuenca has given me back the gift of time. My husband, Mark, and I are so much more laidback; we’ve forgotten what stress feels like. The only time we feel it is when we go back to the States to visit family and friends.
It's not unusual for expats to describe living in the Andes of Ecuador as "Little Switzerland," with its verdant mountains, deep river valleys, and charming towns with church spires dotting the countryside.
One of the greatest things about life in Cuenca, Ecuador is that my husband Mark and I don’t have to keep up with the Joneses anymore. You know…that imaginary couple that you thought you had to keep pace with in terms of jobs, houses, cars, and stuff.
Imagine waking up in your mountaintop paradise to the fog rolling in from the ocean, watching the sun rise and set with all the vibrant colors of the rainbow, and eagles circling the cobalt blue sky above you, while you enjoy the serenity of your new home.
I admit it. I'm a country girl at heart and sometimes the call of the green acres of the countryside draws me to the outskirts of Cuenca, Ecuador. I can enjoy the scent of pine trees; the sapphire-blue skies that melt into darkness with the sun setting over the Andes Mountains, and gaze up at the stars.