Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in Ecuador:
Some expats come to Ecuador and expect that things will run exactly as they do in the States. Those are the folks that end up packing it in and going back home. Instead I tell future expats to view their new life as an adventure, keep an open mind and bring a boat-load of patience! You’re not going to change the culture, so you need to adapt and change your mind-set. Driving is crazy in Cuenca and pedestrians don’t have the right of way. If you try to change the system by stepping off the sidewalk—expecting the car to stop—you just might be dead right!
Of course, there are many things I had to adjust to upon moving to Ecuador, but to be honest, Quito is a lot more developed and Americanized than I had originally thought. A few of the things I specifically had to adjust to were the public transportation system, which is crowded and often unreliable; safety issues, which are now always on my mind; and the machismo of Ecuadorian men, who have no shame in whistling or cat-calling you at any time of the day.
My life in Ecuador is totally different from before. What a blessing to choose what to do with my time, and to pursue interests that have long beckoned. The transition here was easy because I knew things would be different and sometimes difficult, and I decided to approach everything with a smile and never take myself too seriously.
I can’t really say that I experienced real culture shock when I moved to Ecuador. I find that I am quite adaptable to new situations. I did however find myself thrown the first time I went home to visit my family after I had been living here for quite some time. I had done such a good job of evolving to fit an Ecuadorian lifestyle that when I returned, I found myself confused and uncomfortable. The feeling passed after a few days, but it is interesting to me that the return home gave me more culture shock then the move here.
Coming to Ecuador did not give me that much culture shock, other than shockingly surprised at the year round comfortably nice temperatures and very friendly locals.
Living is Ecuador is a much simpler life and time seems not to exist. Getting used to “South American” time was definitely a challenge…
I don’t think I realized the actual scope of moving an entire family and all of its earthly possessions into another country. It was extremely nerve racking. I am positive I gained 5 to 7 years of aging in the 4 or 5 months it took us to get here, find an apartment, get our possessions here, get our kid in a school, and find work.
I love the simple lifestyle we live in Ecuador. I don’t need a car. I don’t get stress induced headaches like I did living in the States. But it wasn’t all easy. Learning Spanish was challenging and I still have more to learn. Also getting used to a whole new way of cooking continues to challenge my imagination and creativity.
I live in Cuenca which has a sizable expat community. There's an overwhelming number of activities and events that like-minded expats can engage in so it's very easy to participate in as many or as few as you'd like.