Living Abroad: 1 Year Later

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We’ve been in Ecuador a little over a year now and it seems a good time to evaluate things. A few months travelling or an extended exploration is quite different from a move abroad, a retire there plan, or a stay-as-long-as-humanly-possible plan.

I love the initial planning stages of a huge adventure, from the tiniest idea or mention of going somewhere into a full fledged rework-your-whole-life goal. I love the researching of countries, gazing at photos of foreign lands you might just step foot on. And then the excitement of it all slowly becoming an actual possibility, and then a reality.

I love the newness of a place, the adventure and wonder at every turn. Exploring a new area and all the interesting streets, shops, local customs. Gradually figuring things out until you can find any street in town and it starts to feel like home.

Thing is though, I like finding new places and getting to know them. And lately, I’ve seen photos of other places I’d love to see. But that’s not the plan. A year into a new place, and I love it here, it feels comfortable, but the newness, vacation, adventure feel has somewhat worn off. The explorer in me is tempted to try new places and things, but the logic in me knows we are where we want to be.

That I think is the main challenge, once the novelty or adventure has worn off, and living abroad becomes more of an every day way of life. When you don’t feel the need to take a million photos every day and aren’t sure what you’d take them of.

The other obvious challenge is missing friends and family. In a short year we’ve had friends get married, family get sick, major changes in friends lives. All going along without us there. While of course I assumed this would happen, it still catches me a little off guard.

We are settled here, and we love it. No regrets about choosing to move or about choosing Ecuador. We love the mountains, the people and friends we’ve made, the climate, the work we’re doing, the lifestyle. It’s time to settle in and hope for the long term.

Would you move abroad? What would be the biggest challenge for you? Or leave me a hello! Been missing you all lately.

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