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Living Abroad: Happy Anniversary to Us!

Edd:  Wow, 14 years ago, on May 17, 2010, we got off the plane here in Cuenca to begin our expat life. As the Grateful Dead sang, “What a long strange trip it’s been.”

Cynthia:  Well, with who knows how many flights back to the States to visit family and friends, full-time globetrotting for 2½ years, and all the other travel we’ve done, we haven’t really lived here the entire time. But, yeah, it has been quite a journey.

E:  Maybe this expat anniversary feels more meaningful because we are actually back in Cuenca to celebrate it. I vividly remember my first encounter with the local culture shortly after we checked into the hotel all those years ago.

C:  Ha! Me too. We were pooped, and I mentioned how much I would love a cappuccino. You gallantly offered to go get one for us both.

E:  So I stride into a coffee shop nearby and in my best pathetic Spanish say, “Dos cappuccinos to go, por favor.” I pay, wait, and...

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Living Abroad: What's Cuenca like a year later?

Edd:  Finding ourselves in Cuenca to start 2022 is the most unexpected thing we’ve done in quite some time.

Cynthia:  Two months ago we were talking about spending the winter months in South America, but going back to Ecuador wasn’t even on the radar. Yet here we are.

E:  When we left last March I couldn’t wait to get on the plane. We’d been in Cuenca for 11 years and I felt so ready to move on. Which makes my happiness to return incredibly surprising to me.

C:  I’m pleased to be here as well. Maybe your feelings are a variation of the old saying that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

E:  Yeah, quite possibly. It’s all too easy to take things like Cuenca’s ideal year-round climate for granted, isn’t it? The frigid temps we experienced in the States during the holidays were hard for us to handle.

C:  As was the brutal heat in parts of Mexico last year. Particularly in Mérida. When...

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Living Abroad: A Surprising Start to 2022

Edd:  Our followers will probably be surprised to learn where we are now.

Cynthia:  Well, so are we! Our plans were to say goodbye to cold weather after the holidays and head south to Peru or Colombia. But we learned both countries currently have restrictive policies in place regarding COVID-19.

E:  Right. And we didn’t want to go to the trouble and expense of traveling somewhere new without the freedom we enjoyed in Mexico.

C:  Plus, we discovered when we’re constantly on the move it’s difficult to focus on creating new content and products for our website.

E:  So we decided to spend the winter and get caught up on work projects in…our hometown of Cuenca, Ecuador!

C:  Finding ourselves back in the same neighborhood wasn’t the way we’d envisioned 2022 beginning. When our original plan didn’t work out, we quickly pivoted and decided going home for a few months makes the most sense.

E:  To be clear, Ecuador...

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Retirement: What a Wild Decade!

Cynthia:  I was lying in bed this morning thinking back to ten years ago. So much has happened since then!

Edd:  Let’s see. At that time we’re still in a desperate financial situation in Las Vegas. We’re preparing to move to Ecuador, and in the midst of that chaos you’re about to be diagnosed with breast cancer. What an ultra-stressful period! You’re right—we not only live in a different country now, it’s really like an entirely different life.

C:  Plus we had no grandchildren then, and now we have four! Most of our “exotic” travel has taken us to New Jersey and North Carolina. No regrets about that though. We just got back from spending a wonderful Christmas in both places and had so much fun, right? 

E:  For sure. Decorating two trees and going to the mall for Santa photos twice was a double treat! You know, Cynthia, we could have never predicted creating three best-selling Books and a successful...

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Expat Life: Renewing Your U.S. Passport When Living Abroad

Edd:  Thinking about your passport usually only happens when you’re about to go on a trip abroad. It’s amazing you remembered that ours needed renewing.

Cynthia:  I must have been daydreaming about exotic travel destinations when I realized our passports expire in about nine months. We advise in our Program that most countries’ entry requirement is at least six months remaining on a passport. It was definitely time to take our own advice, especially since we don’t have an out-of-country trip planned at the moment.

E:  And how lucky was it that I just happened to see a notification online that representatives from the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil were going to be in town specifically to accept applications for passport renewals. I made an appointment for us immediately.

C:  Or maybe the universe coming to our rescue! We didn’t know if we were going to have to drive or fly to Guayaquil to retrieve the new passports, but what a blessing...

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