It seemed to be a magical evening on the beach. My wife, Susan, and I decided to find a place to sit in the sand to watch the sunset.
As we settled in, a couple of friendly dogs that probably belonged to local surfers, joined us. Soon people were coming from everywhere to find their little piece of real estate to watch what was turning out to be a beautiful sunset in Montanita, Ecuador during our first full week of a three-month visit to this amazing country.
We had planned to head straight to Riobamba to climb the highest point on this earth, Mt. Chimborazo…which because of the equatorial bulge, is actually closer to the sun than Everest. It’s quite attainable for people that would not consider an Everest ascent.
But our timing was off. Weather on the mountain was bad, so on the spur of the moment, we decided to head to the beach for the week instead.
That’s the way we travel…no reservations and nothing concrete in schedules or sightseeing. We prefer to go where we want to go, when we want to go, and to stay out of the big cities.
So, as we traveled around Ecuador for three months, we went where the locals hang out, and avoided most of the tourist spots. Our only requirement was to have internet…at least, most of the time. This kept us in touch with our clients, so we could appear to be “at the office” anywhere we were.
You see, I left a corporate job in marketing about four years ago at the age of 50. Now, I'm freelancing as a brand consultant. Susan has an online sales business.
So, we backpacked and took buses, we saw a good sampling of Ecuador, from Vilcabamba in the south, to the Colombian border up north…staying away from the mainstream, but staying available to freelance.
We even spent four days backpacking from village to small village across the central Andes highlands, where we were served a wonderful hot dinner on arrival, got a nice clean room for the night, and a big breakfast in the morning to send us up the trail, all for $15 each.
You can travel throughout Ecuador on less than you spend at home in a month.
A highlight of this trip was meeting and learning about many young travelers from all over the world. Some even had their young kids with them. It was a treat to become friends with many of them and commend them on getting out and seeing the world at their age.
We encourage anyone of any age to get out there. It will make lifetime memories and give you a new outlook on life.