Edd: When we’re back in the States visiting family it doesn’t take long to get reacquainted with the hustle/bustle of life there.
Cynthia: Like as soon as we step into the terminal at the airport—–.
E: Well, we most often land in the New York area and folks there seem to move faster than anyone on the planet but, yeah, the vibe of always being in a hurry is palpable.
C: I’m ready for a break and looking forward to spending time with our family. But I don’t miss the lifestyle we left one bit. Our retirement life abroad is a beautiful thing.
E: People reading this who aren’t expats honestly can’t imagine how simple our life has become. I say “has become” because it wasn’t always that way. Even almost eight years later we continue to find ways to make our lives easier and more enjoyable.
C: That’s so true. Those first six months were pretty intense. We embraced our new sense of freedom, and got totally carried away with the social scene.
E: Gosh, it seems like we were out partying more nights than we stayed at home. Those first few years were exhausting, but what a blast!
C: There was no way we could keep up that pace. Now we limit our outings to no more than three a week. Just saying those words sounds crazy, doesn’t it? When we were living and working in the States, we maybe had three evenings out with friends a year!
E: And honestly, most of our get-togethers now are for lunch instead of dinner. Are we getting old?
C: Well, yes, but we’re also getting wiser. And maybe more Latin American, since that’s when the major meal of the day is eaten. I like meeting friends for lunch, then having a light dinner at home and getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Wow, our simple life suddenly sounds a little boring!
E: And lately we’ve discovered the wonderful world of home meal delivery. That’s translated into less time spent on kitchen clean-up and more time to enjoy other activities. We both like to cook but——-. What other ways would you say we’ve simplified our lives?
C: Let’s see, having a maid every week is a biggie for me. That’s an affordable luxury here that I really appreciate. We buy most of our food and household goods at Supermaxi, which eliminates a lot of running around. The mercados here are great, but there’s not one close to our home and the grocery store is just a 10-minute walk.
E: I finally wised up and opened an Ecuadorian bank account. I can’t believe I used to go around to all the utility companies every month and stand in line to pay our bills. Now they’re automatically deducted from my account, and my monthly IVA (sales tax) refund is direct deposited. Better!
C: Okay, so we don’t go out as much, we don’t clean our house, grocery shopping is on autopilot, and we don’t even have to pay our bills. Readers might properly wonder, “So what in the hell do you do all day??”
E: Let’s save that for another time.