As the clocked ticked its way from 2012 to 2013, we gathered around the bonfire and ceremoniously offered our human-size effigy to the flames. That's the Año Viejo (or "Old Year") tradition here in Ecuador, and one worth adopting no matter where you live.
My husband, Dan, and I will soon celebrate 11 years of living the expat life. We've lived in seven different locations (in Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Ecuador) and spent a considerable amount of time in many, many more - especially Belize and Costa Rica.
I first met Laura and Joel (not their real names) a decade ago on the shores of Mexico's Lake Chapala where they were vacationing. He was retired and she was happily working as a network television sales executive. He wanted her to quit her job and move to Mexico with him and she was having none of it.
"I don't like being called an ex-patriot," my friend Jack said. He's a former elected official and about as red-white-and-blue as they come. His wife is a former trial judge. But now they're retired and living in Ecuador...for the adventure, the pleasurable lifestyle, and the lower cost of living.
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