How a Portable Income Funds Travels in Ecuador

Right now, my wife, Susan, and I are packing up our home and heading off on our travels—first on a road trip in the U.S. and then to Ecuador.

We’re going to fly to Guayaquil and then catch a bus down to Loja, a university town known for music and colonial architecture. This will be our base from which to explore the south of this beautiful country. We chose to check out this neat little town and its nearby villages because of all we’ve read about it. It seems to be the perfect climate for us—70 F to 75 F during the day and cooler at night.

So how do we afford to just take off on travels like this?

I left a corporate job in marketing about four years ago at the age of 50. I’m now freelancing. When I discovered just how much demand there was out there, I ramped up my profile on a freelance website. I was able to get this going in about six to eight months to a point where they contacted me about work.

Susan also resigned from her job—in shipping—and now we thoroughly enjoy our freedom from bosses and the constant thought of making them richer. We are free to go to afternoon movies whenever we want—or go on hikes and bike rides while everyone else is at work.

With all of this in place, we are free to live anywhere in the world. We can jump in the rig and head out any time we want and for however long we want. It’s very liberating.

So off to Ecuador we go in a few months, and wherever we want after that.

We spent a couple of weeks in the north of the country two years ago and thoroughly loved it. We roamed around in Quito, Cotacachi, and Ibarra—and even got down to Baños.

We enjoy activity, so we did a lot of hiking on that trip. We stayed near Ibarra, at Refugio Terra Esperanza, a very eclectic little place. Wonderful hosts, Emerson Obando and his mother. Emerson took us on a superb mountain climb just south of his hostel. We got up to about 11,000 feet.

A few days later, we did a series of hikes to waterfalls around Bańos as well as a great zip line tour…including a fresh trout lunch in the guide’s home. All for $20 each.

We are also intrigued by the Valley of Longevity because we are health-conscious and want to see how we can improve our diets. Susan is gluten intolerant and, on our previous two-week visit, she had no complications at all from the food we ate. And we had every meal out, three times a day.

We really like to give back and will be actively seeking ways to do that, either by volunteering in orphanages or helping build houses for those in need. It’s all part of the new life we’re creating with the help of my freelance income.

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