In 2007, Robin Moulyn and her partner, Rob “literally sold the farm” near a small town in British Columbia to move to Ecuador.
“We decided we needed an adventure,” says Robin.
Rob had done some research and found that Ecuador offered a low cost of living and ranked highly in terms of safety and medical care. For six weeks, they traveled the country, visiting all the likely places they might want to live.
They were spoiled for choice. Ecuador has wonderful options from the coast to the valleys…from bustling towns to charming little villages.
In each place, Robin says, “We were asking ourselves if this was the place, but never coming to an agreement. Until, that is, we got to Banos.”
“As soon as we stepped off the bus, it felt like home. It’s beautiful here, lush with nature. Though it is a tourist town, Banos maintains its history and culture, and still embraces its visitors.”
The small picturesque village (population 15,000) sits on the flanks of Tungurahua, Ecuador’s feistiest active volcano. Here, green orchid-growing forests are fed by waterfalls from above and thermal springs bubbling from below.
If you love the outdoors as Robin and her family do, there is no better place to be than Banos which sits at an elevation of about 6,000 feet in the Andes Mountains, about a three-hour drive southeast from Ecuador’s capital city, Quito.
Hiking, rappelling, mountain climbing, horse riding, bungee jumping, zip lining, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, ATVing, and more. These are just a few of the exhilarating activities you can pursue in or near Banos, called the “Gateway to the Amazon,” for its location on the Pastaza River, flowing into Ecuador’s tropical rainforest.
After a brief trip back to Canada, the family bought a house, which Rob is now converting into a hostel. Robin went to work homeschooling the children, who are now grown. “Our daughter went back to Canada and for now, our son is still here in Ecuador.”
When the family moved to Ecuador, Robin was developing her art career. “So it was a bit difficult for me to come here to start over, as my art was starting to become successful.”
But, with Ecuador as her muse, creativity is her constant and welcome companion.
“When I first got here I painted over 60 paintings of wild life as illustrations for a book in Canada.”
She has also written a book on art supplies and created a line of Ecuador “Color Me” products, including a coloring book, postcards, and posters, celebrating the country’s wild life and culture.
“And I have a personal project where I go around and find amazing faces, create a drawing/painting of that face, find the owner of the face, give them the art and remind them how amazing they are,” she explains.
“They smile and say gracias…but the truth is that I’m the one who is grateful.”
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