9/10/10. I have spent the last month getting ready for my three month stay in Ecuador. There were so many details to take care of! I started making a list of these things and checked them off as I completed them. Why did I choose Ecuador? Because it is rated one of the top retirement destinations in the world based on several criteria. I wanted to find out for myself what all the hoopla was about.
The first thing I needed to do was renew my passport which had expired in March. To make sure it arrived in time, I paid the expedite fee. To my surprise, it showed up in less than 10 days. Check.
The next project was deciding where I wanted to stay. I knew it was going to be on the coast, so I checked out all the towns and villages from the Northern border to the Southern border. Ecuador is reputed to have wonderful white sand beaches. Some of the areas were party towns and I knew that wasn’t for me. Some of them were surfer towns – that’s not going to happen. And others were for the rich and famous. On my limited budget, I knew those wouldn’t work. I decided on a quiet little town; Bahia de Caraquez, or as it is known to the locals, simply “Bahia”. It is located between a river and the Pacific Ocean on a peninsula in the central part of the country. Check.
Now for accommodations. I had seen an article by a gentleman who operated a bed and breakfast and I emailed him to find out where I should stay. He kindly responded that he was no longer in Bahia but to contact Susie at Coco Bongo Hostal. I checked it out online first and it looked very inviting. Then I emailed Susie and she had a room available for me for the whole time I was going to be there and at a decent price. Reserved and check.
Looking for a flight took a long time. It is not cheap to fly to Ecuador from Texas. Booking took about two weeks as I was all over the internet looking for the best and cheapest way to get there. I also had to coordinate my departure with my friend CeCe, as it was her house and dog I was sitting. I finally purchased enough frequent flyer points to book my flight and it was about one half the cost of a purchased ticket. I was restricted on dates and I had to be careful to book my return flight within 90 days of my arrival or I would be required to get a visa before I could leave the country. Did I mention I was a Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.)? Born shopper-that’s me. Booked and check.
There was one important detail I needed to take care of that I kept putting off. Updating my Will. I knew I had to do it but every time I started it, I would get "distracted" by another "task." Yesterday I finally sat down at the computer and drafted it. I still need to get it signed and witnessed, but at least it's done. Check.