Why am I in Ecuador?

Growing up, I always wanted to live abroad. Now that I am finishing my first year actually living in a foreign country, I have been trying to meaningfully reflect on my experience here. Was it everything I wanted? Am I cut out for this? Why am I even here?

It would undoubtedly be easier if I wanted to stay in Florida, live near my family, and get a teaching job in a local high school. Sadly, that is not who I am. I feel a need to explore with every fiber of my being. If I am not on the road, I dream of dirty hostels, of foreign public transportation systems, of 20 hour bus rides through unknown territory, of exciting language barriers to conquer.

I’m not sure if I am looking for a place that I will ultimately call home. Maybe that will never happen. Ecuador is definitely not that place. I think 2 years here is the perfect amount of time for me. If I were more outdoorsy, this would be heaven. For my coworkers who love mountain climbing, Ecuador is a good fit. I thrive off of culture, grand architecture, dramatic tales of kings and queens, concerts, gardens, whimsical boutiques, dive bars, comics and fantasy nerds, tattoo parlors, dancing to eletronic music in grungy warehouses.

Ecuador has been all about growth for me. I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone constantly and it has been a wonderful experience. I never dreamed I would be able to go camping in the Andes Mountains, hitchhike on the back of a motorcycle, trek on an ice covered mountain, haggle with indigenous people in an artisan market, or go white water rafting in the jungle.

Eventually I will need to leave this place, because while it was been amazing, it just isn’t me. I’m not sure where I will end up thriving the most, or if I will ever settle down. I am very fortunate that I started this journey so young in life, because it gives me plenty of time to hop around the planet and discover new things about myself.

My confidence in myself has grown exponentially this year. I am confident that I will always find happiness in my surroundings because that is just who I am. I am confident in my ability to reach out and make friends. I am confident about my comfort with being alone. I am confident that trusting my instincts is the way to go. I am confident about my ability to remain level-headed in troublesome situations. I am confident about my career choice. I am confident about my capability and commitment to learning foreign languages.

Did I accomplish anything this year in Ecuador? I don’t think that was the point. I am just living day to day here, and I really believe that I am living life to the fullest.

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  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKFFXebkFR4

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  3. I started out traveling decades ago and still don't know where I'll eventually end up. You have lots of time, and the world is very big, and there are wonderful places to visit or live in! Just go for it!

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