It's All About The Software

How To Be A Successful Expat: It’s All About the “Software”

[color-box color=”gray”][dropcap]Today[/dropcap] we have for our readers an introduction to  “Relocating to Ecuador- Eyes Wide OPEN” a quick reading book with bulleted do’s and don’ts that author, Terry Roberts, wished had been available to clarify things before his own move to Cuenca.  Since its initial release date last July, Terry has already updated the book twice with additional information.  Start your expat journey here by discovering the biggest determining factor for expat success- your “software.”[/color-box]

Finding The Right Information For The Move To Cuenca

For several years now, Ecuador has been a hot destination for Gringo relocation. There have been plenty of online resources spreading information and disinformation about Ecuador as a retirement or part-time living destination.

Some sources are biased due to their ulterior motive to sell you something that’s related to your relocation.

Others are blogs that don’t differentiate facts from opinion, or focus only on the writer’s quirky interests.

Some are forums, in which much of the information is not only obsolete, but it’s from disgruntled dissidents hanging out to spread discontent, cynicism, and anger because they have nothing else in their miserable lives to occupy them. (Sorry for the bluntness, but my book is about sharing the true “skinny” on things. I invite you to spend ten minutes on an expat forum and see if you disagree.) Forums with disgruntled participants do a great deal of damage by creating a false picture of what living in Ecuador is like for a Gringo. In fact, within about four to five comments in any given discussion thread, the dialogue has deteriorated into people calling each other ugly names.

With the help of “Relocating to Ecuador—Eyes Wide OPEN”, you’ll learn what the idiosyncrasies are for Ecuador and be able to make good decisions for you with your Eyes Wide OPEN.

Much of the important stuff to think about regarding moving to Ecuador is out there—but it’s scattered all over creation. And the little gold nuggets of knowledge that you really need to guide you get lost in the mayhem.

The Overriding Observation For Expat Success

In my book, I focus largely on clarifying topics that I’ve found to be confusing, elusive, under-appreciated, and/or misunderstood. I’ve drawn the insights and recommendations from my own experience, those of other expats who I’ve gotten to know, and from facilitators who specialize in helping expats here navigate through the maze of getting settled and daily living.

I have not attempted to describe in detail processes like how to get a permanent visa. Not only is there a ton of information already out there on such things, but the process requirements change all the time. It’s best to contact a specialist when the time comes and get the latest, most accurate information and help.

The primary purpose of my book is to consolidate in one easy place what I consider the MOST important things to know as a Gringo in regard to relocating to Ecuador. Much of the info is also relevant to moving overseas in general. You’ll recognize it when you see it.

Before getting into lists of do’s and Don’ts, I’ll introduce my overriding observation that colors all the advice that I will offer about this topic:

It’s all about the software,

not the hardware!!!

In that analogy, the software is all the programming (read baggage) that you carry around in your head. Obviously, it travels with you wherever you go, meaning you don’t change it merely by moving. (Or, as someone once quipped, “Wherever you go, there you are!”)

The hardware is the environment in which you live—in this case Ecuador, more specifically, Cuenca, Ecuador.
My point is, Ecuador is Ecuador. Like most anywhere, it has pleasant attributes—in Ecuador’s case, many of them—and some off-putting attributes. It is what it is.

But, everyone experiences everything through their unique filters (programming). And that programming has 100 times more impact on how you view your life experience than the environment itself.

I can hear peoples’ programming/baggage come through in every discussion among expats that I witness. It ranges on one end from fretting about financial instability throughout the world and the political winds in South America, to, on the other end of the spectrum, being put off by seeing some guy urinating in public off the side of the road.

Let’s look at that through some other analogies:

There are homeless street people who possess nothing but what is in the shopping cart that they push around. And some are quite content, thank you. Some even turn down paid work offers, considering it a downgrade.

Yet there are multimillionaires living in high-rise penthouses and possessing all the material possessions they could possible want, who throw themselves off their luxurious terraces to commit suicide.

There are people who revel in making nothing, or next to it, for doing good works in war-torn, impoverished, disease-ridden villages.

Yet there are members of private golf clubs who paid $50,000 upfront and $400 a month for their membership who bitch continually about such things as the club letting women golfers on the golf course. Women!!!

In summary, people, your programming determines 95 percent of whether you will thrive in Ecuador or not. Ecuador itself kicks in 5 percent.

Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me be abundantly clear that while Ecuador has idiosyncrasies, I love my life in Cuenca, Ecuador. Here are some of the things I personally love and am grateful for every day:

(They have to cut down digits, right? I saw it in an online forum.)

Instead of “coasting” through the rest of my life, every day is a grand new adventure.
Beautiful scenery.
Lovely Ecuadorians, most of whom will embrace you, at least figuratively if not physically.
Moderate, mostly spring-like weather. (In my prior home town of Seattle, WA the rains starts in November and kind of thinks about stopping in May. In Cuenca, it might rain from 3:00 to 3:45 pm, then the evening might be that of a gorgeous spring day.)
Four refreshing, natural rivers running through town, one across the street from where I live.
The colorfulness throughout the architecture, people, and culture.
Low cost of living.
Relaxed, easy-going atmosphere.
No struggling for an identity as the United States now is . . . in spades.
Strong family focus.
Respectful kids and teenagers.
Respect for elders.
Wide diversity of indigenous peoples.
Ready access to South American and European travel.
Always learning new things.
Connection with the world via the Internet.
Easy communication with friends and family.
Fresh air.
Glorious sunshine and warmth from being at 8,400 feet elevation and only 12 degrees from the equator.
I could go on, but I’d rather not cut down any more digits.

relocating-to-ecuadorHow is your “software” affecting you expat experience? Do you think another factor contributes more? Sound off in the comment section below

Stay tuned for another upcoming excerpt of “Relocating to Ecuador- Eyes Wide OPEN” where we will discover some of Terry’s biggest “do’s” and “don’t” for moving to Cuenca Ecuador.

Can’t wait for the next article and want to know more? Grab your copy of the book from the following choices:

  • Kindle and softcover printed versions: Amazon
  • Free excerpt of the book and downloadable PDF: The Relocating to Ecuador Website



7 Responses

  1. Terry Roberts interesting. We also live in the Seattle area and are hoping to relocate to Ecuador, likely Cuenca, in the next year or so. We quite enjoyed our visit to Ecuador two years ago.

  2. I found your opening comments regarding online resources hypocritical. You are selling something and these are your opinions. Perhaps some based on fact. Best of luck with your book sales!

  3. Cynthia,

    I totally agree with you. Very self serving article. All in an effort to sell his book. Future Expats are so desperate to get information about moving here, that they fall for scams like this. I fell for this when I was looking to move here 4 years ago. Bought something similar called DIY Ecuador. That was $25 down the drain. I have helped dozens of people move here by providing them with FREE up to date and accurate information. No compensation or ulterior motives. If there are any future Expats who read this article and have questions about moving to Cuenca, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].


    1. Agree. Found nothing here to make me even curious. Another guy trying to make money on newbies.
      I met a woman who was selling market tours for $100.oo.If someone is too afraid to walk around and explore, they surely should not be me moving to a foreign country.
      Things may change after the election then ya gotta write a whole new book.
      BTW, how much do you make on the renals you “share”.

  4. Your PDF preview rightly mentions working online “The good news is that there are many grand benefits to running certain online businesses from Ecuador, registered as US businesses, and marketing to the United States and other foreign countries.”
    Does the main book also talk about tax implications as one of the many grand benefits? Both the US and Ecuador tax income not earned in each respective country, with Ecuador giving an exemption if the income is taxed elsewhere. And the US giving a dollar amount exemption for income earned outside the US. Do you cover this taxation issue?

  5. I appreciate the way you cut through the BS in a straight forward, yet almost humorous fashion, in some aspects. As far as cities go, I like Cuenca myself, having ridden over a great deal of it on a mountain bike. Most places have pros and cons to consider for living there. Think twice about listening to all the cons from folks who claim to be pros…..Might want to check it out yourself first.

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