[color-box color=”gray”][dropcap] Join[/dropcap] Ed O’Connor or Eddy The Ex Pat as he retells the story behind moving to Cuenca Ecuador. Ed writes a monthly column for his hometown newspaper in Middletown, PA – The Press & Journal. This article is the first in the series so stay tuned for the continuation. [/color-box]
An Idea Was Planted
In retrospect the journey “HERE” really began in 2010 when a friend from church, Bill, mentioned that he was thinking about traveling to another country and possibly buying a home. We were both very disenchanted with the United States and the oppressive government which we saw as only getting worse. In fact my wife, Olga, who was born in Siberia, raised in the former Soviet Union, said that she felt she had more freedom in the Soviet Union than in the USA – a very eye opening statement for me to hear.
Bill went to Panama and indeed purchased a beautiful property in a most exclusive area of that country. He and his wife invited us for a visit and in March 2011, we winged our way from Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg International Airport to Panama City, Panama. After a 90 minute commute from Panama City we arrived at Bill’s new home, a large, beautiful complex complete with pool and swim up bar in a gated community in Coronado Beach.
[pullquote] We spent 10 days in Panama and after returning to the US really had something to think about. [/pullquote] We knew we could not afford anything near that lifestyle plus the weather was hotter than the hinges of hell there, so we searched online for an alternative location in Panama and found Boquete. It was in the mountains hence the climate was bearable and it was also was much more affordable. We bought books about Panama, books about retiring abroad, and studied what we could find on the Internet.
We both had jobs so there was no real urgency to do anything or make any plans, but it was fun to dream.
The Start Of Moving To Cuenca Ecuador
Then came April Fool’s Day.
On April 1, 2011, the supervisor where I worked said that he needed to see me. I was told that the company no longer required my services. I thought it was an April Fool’s joke – it definitely was not. At age 64 I was unemployed.
To put the proverbial icing on the cake, the Tuesday after Labor Day, September 6, 2011, 5 months after losing my job, we lost our home and possessions in the flood waters of Tropical Storm Lee. After applying for 101 jobs and receiving but one interview I figured that there had to be something better somewhere. So back to the books and the Internet. We noticed that the cost of living was rising in Panama and since we would have only one income, my social security, Panama was no longer an option. Now what do we do? After months and months of more research we decided on moving to Cuenca Ecuador.
We departed from Harrisburg International Airport on December 11, 2012 with nothing but faith and nine pieces of luggage. 2989 miles later we were “HERE” in Cuenca, Ecuador. Ironically we arrived on 12/12/12/ at 12 noon.
Cuenca has been consistently named as one of the top locations in the world in which to retire and after living here for almost four years I must whole heartedly agree. In moving to Cuenca Ecuador many people have said we were foolish, insane and other adjectives I cannot use. Probably the biggest response and question we have heard is,
Why would you leave the number one country in the world and move to a third world country, Ecuador?
I have been asked that by friends, relatives, tourists, print and video journalists. What an easy question to answer! After working for nearly 50 years, including four years in the military, I was totally disillusioned with the US regimes at every level telling me how to live every aspect of my government regulated life and being taxed into poverty.
Whats In A Number?
Is the USA Number One – you bet it is- it ranks number one in the world in:
1.) Largest prison population on the planet
2.) 2nd highest percentage of obese people of any country (Mexico has surpassed the US and is now #1)
3.) Highest divorce rate in the world by a large margin
4.) Most hours of television watched each week
5.) Highest use of illegal drugs on the planet
6.) More car thefts by far than any place in the world
7.) More reported rapes than any place else in the world
8.) More reported murders than any other country
9.) More reported crimes than any other country
10.) More police officers than any place else in the world
11.) More money spent on health care as a percentage of gross domestic product
12.) More people on pharmaceutical drugs than any other country
13.) More women on more anti-depressants than any other country in the world
14.) Americans have more student loan debt than any other country
15.) The USA created 89 per cent of all pornography
16.) The USA has the highest trade deficit in the world
17.) The USA has the most complicated tax system in the world
18.) The USA has the most lawyers in the world
19.) The USA has far more military bases than any other country
20.) The USA has the largest debt that the world has ever seen[/color-box]
Yes, the USA is NUMBER ONE!!!……………and it is no longer for me!!! I didn’t leave the country, the country left me!
Since leaving the US and moving to Cuenca Ecuador, I now know how it must have felt to be on a life boat as the Titanic sunk…
[color-box color=”gray”]Stay tuned this Thursday for the next instalment of Ed O Connor’s Journey in moving to Cuenca Ecuador. Have something to add? What was behind your move to Cuenca? Let us know in the comments below.[/color-box]