Friday, January 28, 2011

Found a nice condo to rent

We found a great condo to rent for the month of May in Cuenca. Labeled a "mini-penthouse," it should be perfect for our second "test-drive" of that historic city. Fortunately, we know people there (ex-pats) who serve as a wonderful support network for us. The purpose of this visit is to see if we really like it there - not as tourists- but as residents. We don't want to jump into anything too quickly as moving abroad is a major life decision with many ramifications. We like to think of ourselves as adventurous, but not foolish! So, we are proceeding cautiously, all the while contemplating why we want to do it!  The wrong motivation is to move to a foreign country to escape something here. I believe the right motivation is to want to move toward something new and different. Will keep you posted....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

We are planning a return trip to Cuenca

It has been a long time since our last blog entry, mostly because of all that has been going on back here in Southern California. But, it seems now like a good time to bring everything up to date, especially for those of you who have been faithfully following our adventures.

After first returning from Cuenca, Ecuador in July of last year, we began preparations for our move. Then reality struck. There was SO MUCH to do to prepare for the big move! We called a Realtor to list our house and advise us on what we would have to do to prepare our home of 30 years for sale in today's real estate market.  We fixed the pool, painted some rooms, put stuff in storage to make parts of the house look roomier, and generally improved the "curb appeal" of our southern California dwelling.Yet, if we sell now, we will still lose at least 30% of our home value compared to its peak three years ago.

Then came the retirement part of the plan. I am a psychologist in private practice and I thought I was ready to take down the shingle and retire. But, instead I decided to leave the group practice I was in for the last 12 years due to "creative differences" and open up my own office because I wasn't financially able to completely just shut down yet. Since doing that on October 15th, my practice has mushroomed, I have gained a "second wind" for my profession and I find myself not wanting to retire yet. Go figure!

So, where does this put us in regard to moving to Ecuador? In short, the plan is on the back burner now until real estate values rise again and I am ready to really take down the shingle! But wait! We still love Ecuador. So....the plan now is to sort of semi-retire by taking one month vacations there at least several times a year. We will rent a condo by the month which will have the advantage of giving us a long "test-drive" of what it is like to live in Cuenca on a day-to-day basis before we ultimately make the big leap.

In the meantime I continue to keep up with what is going on down there by reading newsletters (by Gary Scott, Gary Phillips, and another one by Dixie Davey,  which are highly informative. I also read the blogs regularly written by expats who are living in Cuenca, most notably  a blog called Eddsaid which is a very well written chronicle of daily life in Cuenca.

Our next planned trip is for May of 2011. Interestingly, it is much more difficult to find rental condos there than it was one year ago, but I think I am hot on a trail.  Will keep you all posted.....