I was talking to someone in the States the other day about my life in Ecuador, and he asked a question that an expat hears often: “Don’t you get homesick?”. This is not a trivial question, and one that anyone thinking of moving to another country should consider.
People often ask why I chose Placencia, Belize, to live and work, instead of all the other places in the Caribbean and Central America. When you first start to look at all the options, it can be overwhelming to find the right fit for you, or even to know how to start looking.
I am so excited to be returning to Quito this June....I can’t wait, in fact. Ecuador is my very favorite country on the planet. (While I am no longer living in Ecuador full time because of family obligation, I hope to do so again some day in the future.) As far as I am concerned, there is no better place than Ecuador for the great weather and even better scenery.
Turquoise waters lap the white-sand beach fringed with casuarina trees. There are no jet skis or banana boats here—just a few stand-up paddle boarders and a kayak or two. A few ubiquitous long-tail motor boats that sound like loud lawn mowers are scattered in the water, but you can still hear the birds singing away in the trees.
You hear a lot from International Living about the high-quality, low-cost healthcare enjoyed by people who have moved abroad. I’ve been taking advantage of that money saving aspect of expat life for 15 years now. But something happened recently that drove that point home to me again.
I’ve lived on Ambergris Caye in Belize for nearly nine years, but have never tired of watching the Caribbean’s powerful waves crash on the offshore barrier reef, creating a continuous fanfare of exploding sea spray. After their tumultuous encounter with the reef line, the waves flow serenely towards the shoreline and eventually roll onto the soft sand beach.
My husband, Marcos, and I moved to the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize four years ago with considerable knowledge of the country since we had made 12 trips here and were able to watch the country grow and change. Even so, being a tourist is quite different to actually living and working in a foreign country…we’ve learned many things since our arrival.
I think it's time we started looking at the whole idea of retirement in a different light. There's a general perception of the post-employment years as an opportunity to "do nothing." But recent research conducted by the Institute of Economic Affairs suggests that this may be an unhealthy way of thinking about retirement.
A year ago, I left my job and moved to Ecuador. When I told my co-workers I was moving 18 months before I actually did, they didn’t believe me. As the time got closer, they decided I was crazy to leave a well-paying, secure job to move to a “Third World country.”
If you had asked me three years ago if I would be living overseas, my answer would have been “no.” Not out of aversion to other cultures or changing up my life—I enjoy travel and trying different things—but simply because the idea didn’t present itself without a little push.