See family, have fun and save some money Every summer, back to my country with my kids, 11-year-old daughter Isabela and 8-year-old son Sebastian, we go. Initially it is just us, for a month or two, and then my husband joins us. From beautiful San Francisco, where we reside, we go. For many reasons we go:
- To immerse the kids in both the language and the culture of Ecuador. See articles: Mama’s don’t cut your umbilical culture or Familia Trilingue, that explain our trilingual live in San Francisco.
- It is also important for me to maintain alive the connections with my friends and family.
- To create a bond between my kids and their Ecuadorian family and cousins. (A long term bond with her cousins that thanks to Skype my kids keep and cherish: it is funny to see them dance to the same tune with their cousins miles away)
- To save money and not have to kill ourselves with two full time jobs. Because living in Ecuador is at least one third cheaper than in San Francisco. Summer camps for the kids, if we do any, are also a third of the price
I would say that for the past 11 years, we’ve lived at least one forth, sometimes even one third, of our lives in Ecuador. The startup I worked for, when I had my first child, went out of business and I stayed as the main caregiver for my kids working just part-time or as a consultant. We’ve managed to stay living in the city with a salary and a half thanks to:
- Living in the same apartment we bought 20 years ago when we both worked full-time
- Sending the kids to public schools
- Living modestly so we can travel as much as possible
- Spending everything in the credit card so we could travel getting the tickets with miles we used to reserve a year ahead. Unfortunately, this won’t work as well any more as American Airlines has doubled the amount of miles needed for summer travel.
- Subletting our apartment for the month my husband is in Ecuador as well.
- Frankly, thanks to the fact that I have a place to arrive to in Ecuador.
As my kids get bigger, expenses are greater and we need to save much more than we do now for college, so I will need to and want to work full time. Also, as they get older, we will have less flexibility go, or they may not want to as much. For now, I’m very happy with the time dedicated to the kids and the exposure to diverse cultures we’ve given them.
Ecuador not only has a gorgeous countryside, but for a small country, it has one of the greatest per square foot vegetation, climate, culture and environmental diversity in the world. Therefore, it is an awesome place to travel around and visit diverse ecosystems and cultures. See video from Ecuador’s Ministry of tourism For more information about traveling in Ecuador see Viva Travel Guides