My wife and I had been back in the States for a good part of 2013, so our return to Cotacachi a couple of weeks ago gave us a chance to see the changes from a different perspective. After departing the barren tundra, also known as the Midwest, we arrived in Quito late at night and our trusted driver was waiting to take us to our casa. The next morning, we awoke feeling like we had died and gone to heaven. The sun was shining brightly over the mountains while we lounged on our terrace, our winter-dried skin soaking up the warmth and sunshine. After a peaceful walk through the countryside into town, we had a chance to chat with old friends whom we passed on the street. In Cotacachi, if you don't see someone on the first day, you'll almost certainly bump into them on the second. It was the slow pace and small town feel where "everybody knows your name" that had attracted us here in the first place. When contrasted with the busy life of friends and family in the U.S, it was nice to be in a place where hurrying is a foreign concept and nearly everyone has time to pause on the street and chat.
We stopped for lunch at Serendipity restaurant for long awaited fajitas and cold "cerveza.” My wife and I reflected on the contrast between the place we had left just over 24 hours earlier and the one we were now experiencing. We were not sure if our life Stateside was just a dream and we had awakened and found ourselves back home, or if our life in the States was reality and Cotacachi was the dream. Either way, we were just happy to be here.
This is not to say that every day since has been one of joy and eternal bliss. The inconveniences and inefficiencies of living in a developing country are still here. We find that the highs are higher and the lows are lower in Ecuador as compared to our life in the U.S. There is always a trade off in every choice that we make. We have found that dividing our time between Ecuador and the U.S. is the right mix for us at this time, but each individual/couple has to find the balance that works for them.