Moving to a new country does not have to be too stressful; in fact if we follow a few strategies for de stressing our lives, moving can be fun and adventurous, with only a little bit of stress, which realistically speaking is inevitable. As most of us know, even moving within the same city into a different house can be stressful, imagine how much more stressful moving to another country!
It is far more pleasant to be healthy in all areas of our lifestyle when making a major change in our lives, such as relocating to another country! Having physical, emotional, and spiritual health is wealth beyond belief. There is so much more you can feel, see, do, and enjoy in life when you are healthy in all aspects of your life.
So with that said, here is our “7 ways to make your new life in Ecuador more enjoyable”
Walk more: Start a walking regime and maybe even an exercise program before you move to Ecuador; it will make it that much easier for you to do things such as walk around once you get here. There is no reason why 40. 50, 60, and even 70 year olds that are thinking about moving here, can’t improve on their health if they need to. We’ve met both types of expats here, some have heath issues and some are healthier and more fit and can do more; it really depends on how healthy a person is before they come here if they will truly enjoy all that Ecuador has to offer.
Yes, the medical care system is good in Cuenca and less expensive. We know that some retirees come to Cuenca because of the good health care system but let’s hope you will not have to use it for many, many years, or never for that matter. Our attitude should not be, “I’m getting older and my health isn’t getting any better and Cuenca has inexpensive health care so I’ll move there”. Our attitude should be, “I want to enjoy my latter years in good health and Cuenca, with all of the fresh foods and mountain air, might be a great place to start walking more and improving on my health”.
Anyone can get healthy, no matter what age they are, or what kind of health afflictions they may have. Health can improve if we make an effort. If we can do it, so can you. If this sounds intriguing see our other website at: http://www.heavenministries.com/Health.htm
And the fact of the matter is being healthy does make life more enjoyable. We have talked with elderly folks when we lived in South Carolina and they didn’t want to continue living because they were in pain every day. This is really sad because it can be avoided; we allow ourselves to have 99% of the health problems we have through the lifestyle choices we make starting at a young age!
Eat Healthier: It should be easier to eat healthier when you move here because the food is cleaner, and that is a fact! The meat does not have the hormones or antibiotics in it like in the states, but there is a lot of junk food here too. So it depends on your lifestyle choices. We think it is far better to start eating a good diet before you arrive in Ecuador so you’ll want to continue improving your diet with the abundance of fresh food at your fingertips here in Cuenca.
BTW, imported junk food items are REALLY, really expensive here; try a three times markup in price. A Hershey’s candy bar cost $4 and a can of Pringle potato chips is $3.50 here.
You will lose weight when you move to Ecuador because without all of the hormones in the meat and dairy it just comes off. When we first arrived here we were like eating pastries every single day, no kidding, but we were still losing weight because of the fresh food and the prices of fresh produce allows for you to eat more of it at the dinner table. You don’t have to fill up on meat and potatoes; there is such a wonderful variety of foods here and the prices are not prohibitive.
Bring Family with You: If at all possible, if your children have not already made a family for themselves or even if they have, invite them along with you to Ecuador. Why? Missing your family (children and parents) is one of the main reasons that expats leave Ecuador and move back to their home country. If you move before your children begin their independence from mom and dad or when your parents are still willing and able to move, then the move is well timed.
We’ve talked to many expats who have already made the move here or are going to, and they are like “Yippee my kids are out of the home now and we can now do what we want”. But after a year or two that sentiment changes, you miss your children and your grandchildren. It’s reality.
Ecuador is a great place to raise your children. Really, you don’t need a bilingual school for your children—they will pick up on the language quicker than you; it’s good for them and teaches them discipline. More and younger families with children are contemplating a move to Ecuador and we think that’s great!
After You Move Here Do Things You Enjoy: Many people when they retire they don’t just stop working, they stop living. That’s not right. Now is the time to do all the things you couldn’t do before because you were working too much! You could even brush up on some skills online and work part time once you get here. Perhaps you can join a club, or volunteer, take Spanish classes, teach English, or start a garden. These are just examples, of course. You do whatever it is you like to do. Staying active really does prolong our life and that’s because keeping our brains and body active brings us purpose in life. Sitting around watching TV all day does not.
Make Ecuadorian Friends: This is something that comes very slowly if you do not speak the language. This is why it is important to learn the language so you can interact with the community and make friends with not just other gringos but with Ecuadorians. We have met some wonderful Ecuadorian friends; some of them speak English, but some don't, but that's ok because it helps us want to learn Spanish even more. “Spanish for Dummies” comes in handy and I’m a pretty big dummy when it comes to learning a new language. They say that children pick it up at a much quicker rate than us older folks. LOL
Be Content and Happy: If you think that moving to a new country is going to somehow bring happiness into your life then it is a poor reason to move to a new country. Joining a church when you get here isn’t going to make you happy either. Happiness is not about religion, actually far from it. Reading (studying) the bible and asking God’s direction for your life and seeking fellowship with others that do the same leads to contentment.
We’ve seen it over and over again, expats move here for the wrong reasons. At first, it’s all euphoric because of the newness of everything. But then, after just a few months they begin to let things around them bring them to the place they were before they moved here—unhappy with their lives. It’s true, there are some things of discontent everywhere you go and live, even in the U.S but things that are beyond our control to change we should not fret over because it is unhealthy; it really is!
People think our 12 annoyances video are things that truly bother us and we are sitting here stewing over every day, but it’s not about us, it’s about you and if you are going to be able to handle the annoyances. The purpose of making the 12 annoyances video was for YOU! It was to show that what you read and hear about in newsletters and reality television shows is publicity—this is a third world country, full of things that some people cannot handle, such as not being able to buy Skippy peanut butter or their favorite brand of baloney, or the having to be surrounded by tall metal bars at their residence, or guards at every corner with sawed-off shotguns.
If a person doesn’t adjust well to change in their environment or if they are picky and fussy they may want to reconsider staying put where they are. (The above reasons why expats move from Ecuador are real).
We have read on blogs and forums how people want to bring all their furniture, dogs, and other farm animals to Ecuador with them because they can’t give that stuff up. Uh? I don’t think people realize how much trouble and stress they are making for themselves. Our furniture should not be what fulfills us in the first place. In the old ancient writings, when Jacob traveled to a far country to seek a wife, what happened? A thief stole all his stuff…this caused Jacob to renew his wits about him and strengthen his commitment to God. This is ancient wisdom.
Having a pet to love is nice and should be an added enjoyment to our already positive outlook on life. If you want to bring your pet, go for it; it’s filling out a little bit of paper work, pet vaccines, and putting the pet in the cargo area of the plane, etc. But lugging our furniture across borders so we’ll have it in Ecuador is another thing. If a person is that attached to their stuff then we feel that for them moving here may not be a good idea. And here’s why?
When we attach ourselves to our stuff we believe it is our things that make us happy. It’s partly a comfort thing but mostly an attitude thing. “I’ve gotta have my big screen television, can’t be without my oak desk, definitely need to have my mattress, I can’t live without my living room suite, dining room set…” so on and so forth. If you have this attitude, you may find many reasons why you will NOT like it here. It’s not that you cannot find nice, quality furniture here, because you can, but it’s because you can’t be without YOUR furniture you already have…you see that’s the key.
You have one leg hanging over the fence, not sure if the move is the right thing, but at least you’ll have your stuff with you; your pet, your furniture, your car, you know your stuff! You want to leave but in your heart you don’t want to leave your stuff. Think about what we’re saying here. Contemplate it carefully in your mind and then ask yourself, “am I really ready to make the move without all of my stuff?” If the answer is still no, then you probably won’t like it here in the long run.
Happiness is something that we must search for through our internal spiritual self and when we find it don’t let it go…nurture it…baby it…because no amount of stuff, animals, or different country is going to make us happy. When we see retirees living here that are happy, content, and not attached to their stuff, they are the ones who were happy and had a positive outlook on life before they moved to Ecuador. They did not move to Ecuador to find happiness they already had it. That’s who will thrive here.