My mom and her husband recently returned from a trip to Ecuador, where they were looking for property where they could build a home. Living is cheap there, and American money is worth a lot. From what I heard, they loved it. They found some land that they liked and talked to a lot of the people living nearby. My mom can speak a little bit of Spanish, which is completely essential there, because they aren’t very keen on English. She told one local that once they get the house built that her daughter will most likely come and keep it occupied while they’re away. She was talking about me. I told her she was absolutely right.
In lieu of their trip, I decided to read the two chapters my Conde Nast Traveler book had on Ecuador. They were quite different from one another. One was about a town this gentleman liked a lot, that he kept returning to, even when others questioned him on it. It had a colonial and lived-in feel, he said. That’s good because my mom will love that.
The second travelogue was about climbing the Andes and the volcanic peaks in Ecuador. I guess I didn’t really think about the Andes being in Ecuador, I always just associated them with Chile. Looking at a map I now realize they happen to be in a number of countries.
The author of that one describes how he worked really hard to get into shape prepping for the treks. I related to that somewhat because I’ve been trying to really work on my strength so I can surf and scuba in Australia without someone thinking I’m an American sissy.
He did however, break his collar bone. So hopefully I won’t relate to that. Though it wouldn’t necessarily surprise me if something really unfortunate like that resulted from my inherent clumsiness.
He also talked about the emotional strength he felt (before the falling incident) making it to the tops of the mountains and doing something he didn’t initially think he could do. I hope when I’m in Australia I feel like that. I certainly didn’t in New Mexico hiking up one of those mountains. I felt like a weak pansy. That’s one way to find motivation to get your butt back to the gym after a cold spell in the middle of the continent.
I really would move to Ecuador though. Maybe I’d freelance throughout South America writing for National Geographic or Fodor’s or something like that. I could live happily that way.