Travel and adventure have been part of Tina and Keith Paul's 32-year marriage from the beginning. "I was fortunate to get a lot of vacation time each year, so our family traveled a lot," says Keith. "We owned a large RV and traveled all but three states in the U.S."...
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.
After six years of living in Cuenca, Ecuador, I’ve realized that I’m starting to take the “little” things here for granted. But each time my husband, Mark, and I return from the States after visiting our kids, it’s a crash course in never taking for granted what we have in Ecuador.
When Steve and Stacey Fenton told their family and friends that they were retiring to Cuenca, Ecuador, the reaction was almost unanimously positive. “They want us to have a fun-filled retirement while we’re still young and in good health,” Steve says.
Recently, we had some friends visit us in our home in Cuenca, Ecuador. They only had one day before leaving for Lima, Peru, so we did our best to show them around our beautiful hometown in less than 24 hours...
When my husband Mark and I first decided to move to Cuenca, Ecuador, six years ago it wasn’t because of the spring-like weather, the low cost of living, the abundant fruits and vegetables, the proximity to the U.S., or even the picturesque colonial architecture. It was the medical care that drew us to Ecuador.
If you don’t have thousands of dollars to pour into a Galapagos cruise, consider Isla de la Plata (Silver Island), affectionately termed the Poor Man’s Galapagos. The island supposedly derives its name from the centuries-old buried treasure of Sir Francis Drake, but my husband, Mark, and I haven’t found it—yet. Isla de la Plata is about 25 miles—an hour’s boat ride—from Puerto Lopez in the Machalilla National Park and contains some of the same flora and fauna found on the Galapagos…except the price tag is far less. In fact, the total cost for the day’s “cruise” is only $25 to $35 per person.