And why am I blogging about it?
To begin with, anyone who knows me even a little, knows that travel is a passion of mine. Photography is a huge passion of mine. Combining the two is, well, heaven for me. Anyone who has been in my office has seen my photos from Africa and knows that Africa was a life changer for me. Subsequently, I refer to myself as an "American-African" because of my love for that country. So travel is in my blood (probably along with a little malaria, but what the heck).
Why do I feel this way? Despite being verbose, words really fail me. However, to the best of my ability, I get excited about meeting people from different cultures, and learning new things. I want to understand the geography, and how people and places that I have read about in history books and in current event articles live, and how they fit in with us and affect the world around us. To me, it is an adventure.
I look through my view finder and it helps me see different perspectives that I often times might walk past without noticing. I frequently have to assume contorted positions to get the "perfect" shot, and this too, lets me see things that perhaps no one else sees. Finally, the camera does not "see" like the human eye sees, and this forces me to look at everything around me differently, see light differently, and see compositions and beauty in ways that I never noticed before. Animals especially LARGE mammals are my particular passion. So why Ecuador?
Many of my facebook "friends", patients, and colleagues, and "real life" friends over the past months undoubtedly have heard me talk about Ecuador- a lot! As you who know me, know that I love to read. It seems that I keep reading about Ecuador. Everywhere I go, Ecuador.
Ecuador has been at the top of the list of "ex-pat" retirement destinations for years, along with Panama. The reasons are for the climate, stable government, the currency ( they use the US dollar), they welcome Gringos, the standard of living (live a great life for about $1,800.00/month), more privacy and less government spying, easy lifestyle, friendly people. Also, and very important, less taxes, excellent investment and business opportunities. Real estate taxes for a year may run $300!
I love the idea hiking and photographing the Andes and Amazon, and living on the Pacific watching the yearly whale migration. Ecuador is among the most biologically diverse countries in the world, and has the largest concentration of free roaming jaguars.
Image taken from: http://www.wcs.org/where-we-work/latin-america/ecuador.aspx
In an earlier post, I mentioned the regions of Ecuador ( coast, Siera, Andes, Galapagos- sometimes, they go by slightly different names). The weather in these areas is vastly different and hence, you can choose what suits your sensibilities best. Want eternal spring like conditions- check out Cuenca or perhaps the capital, Quito. Don't mind a bit of humidity, and love the sun and beach, go to the coast. You get the idea.
Photo taken from: https://www.google.com/search?q=regions+of+Ecuador&client=firefox-beta&hs=jzT&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=eCzOUoWjEPS-sQSl0oGQDA&ved=0CEcQsAQ&biw=1853&bih=1073#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=6yJ40qO2dfZEsM%253A%3BCwuaS0hDg-Zb5M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fimages.travelpod.com%252Ftripwow%252Fphotos4%252Fta-05c9-cb1e-0b12%252Ffour-regions-ecuador-ecuador%25252B1152_13412009708-tpfil02aw-28769.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Ftripwow.tripadvisor.com%252Fslideshow-photo%252Ffour-regions-ecuador-ecuador.html%253Fsid%253D97110814%2526fid%253Dupload_13412009708-tpfil02aw-28769%3B576%3B272
In Ecuador, the language is Spanish, and the culture is a mix of many cultures over centuries, that has been shaped by the land. In short, for the young at heart, with a spirit of adventure, this is an adventure. I am going with an open mind looking to finish out my final adventure (retirement). Hopefully, it will be Ecuador, but , if not, at least it will be an adventure!
Here is a brief youTube video to give a bit of Ecudorian flavor:
A visual "taste" of Ecuador
If you want to read some admittedly biased information, here are some links:
Copyright ©2014, Scott E. Kasden, M.D., all rights reserved.