Quality of Life
Ways that my quality of life has increased in the last 5 months:
Taxis. I can afford to take taxis pretty much anywhere in Quito. Most places I go cost a dollar or two.
Dance Classes. I go to a professional dance studio 8 times a month. It’s a Middle Eastern studio that specializes in belly dance! I’m not sure I ever feel more ‘myself’ than when I am expressing myself through dance. I have been in dance classes for 15 years and I can’t imagine my life without it, so I am really happy that it is so affordable here.
Bellydancing back in the States
Private Spanish Classes. I have a tutor who comes to my apartment for 2 hours each week. She and I talk, drink coffee, work on some more advanced grammar stuff that still confuses me, and she customizes lessons for me. If she catches me repeatedly making the same mistake, she will bring in some activities the next class to help me drill whatever topic I need.
Restaurants. Food is so cheap, and even fancy restaurants are about the cost of an Applebee’s at home, so I can afford to eat out. I do love exploring food culture!
Creme Brulee sampler from Zazu, a New York Times reviewed restaurant
Apartments. Most of my friends, and myself, are living in super awesome apartments. I know that I will probably never live in an apartment this fancy looking again. (although sometimes I feel like I am living in a dollhouse because even though it looks really nice, there is constantly something big that is not working. tonight I had to wash the dishes in the bathroom sink, for example.)
View of Pichincha Volcano from our apartment
Spas. I had never had a professional massage until I lived in Ecuador. I plan on getting another this week. Ha!
Phone Service. I pay $30 bucks a month for unlimited internet and a good amount of phone calls and texts. Verizon back home was constantly plotting ways to bankrupt my family.
Surroundings. Because Ecuador is so small, I can go for weekend trips to the beach, around the Andes mountains, colonial towns, the cloud forest, or the jungle. I took advantage of this as much as possible these last 5 months.