Ask anyone in the mountain town of Cotacachi, Ecuador, where to find the best homemade ice cream and they'll direct you straight to Coo Coo's Nest.
"In Arizona, it was hot in the summer and in the winter we got snow," says Beverley Scherberger. "I love the outdoors, but I never wanted to actually go out because of the weather."
Everyone has their own vision of paradise. Perhaps your perfect utopia involves sand beneath your toes, turquoise waves, and gently swaying palm trees. Or maybe you prefer the urban jungle where you're surrounded by the modern creations of man.
While most people in Canada are bundling up against the cold right now…and preparing for or enduring heavy snowfall and treacherous ice…Canadians Brian and Janette Sullivan are enjoying the temperate, weather of Cotacachi, Ecuador.
Five years ago, my husband David and I broke the news to our friends and family that we would be moving to Ecuador. We enjoyed much about our life in the States, but we didn’t like the high-pressure work environment and focus on consumerism.
The view from my seat looks out onto the sunny sidewalk covered with black-and-white-striped awnings, where smartly dressed couples break bread at umbrella-topped tables.
When people hear that I live in Ecuador, they often assume that I've given up many of the comforts I had back home. I've actually been asked if I can watch television, if I have internet service in my house, or even if there are international airports here.
What do you know about Bolivia? Chances are, not much. Sure, you've heard of Lake Titicaca and the Uyuni Salt Flats. You likely know it's in South America and has Andean as well as Amazonian terrain.
I've lived in Ecuador for five years now, and while I enjoy the slow pace of life, the surrealistic vistas, and the perfect weather every day of the year, I've also come to love the country's culture of celebration.
Ecuador is packed full of beauty, and it comes in many different forms. I've walked along golden beaches awash with turquoise waves. I've explored cloud forests under a lush canopy of broad-leaved trees.