Comerford Dam, Vermont

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some Days it seems like an Impossible Dream

I guess it’s inevitable that doubt creeps in every once in a while. I can repeat all the positive affirmations that I’ve created until I’m blue in the face, but some days, Cuenca seems very very far away.
These are the days that I ask myself – WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? Uprooting yourself from all that’s familiar to move into the unknown. It’s like Halloween – scary. Who knows what might be lurking out there. WAH HAH HAH.
I’m already lonely, and I haven’t even left yet. The process of clearing my life of possessions and entanglements is making me sad. I’ve started a Sunday ritual of going through the house and putting together one box of books for the used bookstore, one bag of clothes for the donation bin, and one pile of stuff to take to the Salvation Army.
I’ve been doing this now for a couple of months – at first, after dumping off the three containers, I would come home and discover that there was still a mountain of extraneous crap lying around. But today, after dropping things off and coming home, it felt a little empty.
Now it’s coming down to – what can’t I bear to let go. An interesting question, since two weeks ago, I let go of the two beings I loved most in the world - my dogs – which has created a sadness in me that is beyond description.
But even on the worst days, a small voice inevitably makes its way through the melancholy: how can you stop now, after having given up so much?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why Ecuador?

That’s the question that everybody asks. So I’ll just say that, contrary to what most people around here think, there can be a better quality of life overseas. A better quality of life at less cost. And reasonably priced health care. Fresh food that hasn’t been radiated out the yingyang. Lots of other things appeal, but those are the biggies. Did I mention the Amazon?
Since I already have the itch, and I’ve lived overseas before (another blog entry), the prospect of moving to a foreign place is not as daunting as it would be for, say, the people living down the way who have never left Vermont.
Okay, my friend says to me, but why not Canada? CANADA??? I’m already living too far North, I say, watching the sun go down at 3:30 in the afternoon.
ECUADOR!! Twelve hour days ALL YEAR LONG! Apartments for rent for $350 a month, just a bus ride away from the Amazon, which I’ve been dreaming about all my life.
You might think I’m crazy, but International Living, a magazine/organization that has been scouting out overseas locations for 30 years, has just named Ecuador the top retirement destination in the world.
They say that a person can live pretty comfortably in Cuenca, a city in the Andes (no bugs) for about $800 a month. So that’s why Ecuador.
All I have to do is find a way to make $800 a month, sell  my house and all my belongings, except for a small air freight shipment, get rid of my dogs and cats, sell my car, renew my passport, figure out how to move money around, and I’m gone.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Now it begins

My travel itch was born when I was fifteen and my mother took an overseas teaching position in Medellin, Colombia. I didn't know I would get an itch - I was dragged kicking and screaming from my California teenage universe. I'd never been in a plane when I got on the flight to Miami.

On that flight from Miami to Barranquilla, an engine blew [chronological give-away] and my brother turned a pukey shade of green in the heat and humidity of the airport lounge where we waited while they repaired the plane. The delay meant we had to overnight in Bogota, because the Medellin airport had no lights for night landings.

The next day, a man pushed me down the escalator at the Bogota airport, as he rushed to get his seat on the plane to Medellin. Ruined my nylons and started a lifelong fear of getting on the down escalator.

So, okay, it might be hard to see how the itch to travel got started with this beginning scenario, but somehow, it did, and basically, I've been trying to get somewhere ever since.

After eight (8) years in rural Vermont, I'm getting pretty itchy, and have begun looking into how I can escape to another country. Today, my country of choice is Ecuador and this blog is going to take me there.