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Dealing with homesickness in Ecuador

Hello everyone,

Being an expat in Ecuador can turn out to be a wonderful human, social or professional adventure... with potential moments of nostalgia and homesickness along the way.

What are your personal tips to prevent homesickness?

How do you deal with such feelings?

Are there shops or stores offering products from your home country in Ecuador? Or maybe venues with music and ambiance from your homeland?

Thanks for sharing your experience,

Priscilla

For a Top Ten list on this subject that is relevant in Ecuador, please visit Report #2 at the Colombia forum....

www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=609493#3362724

  -- cccmedia

Having been an expat for a long time, I learned to let go. If you’re going to be an expat and lead an expat life you’ll eventually let go of “home.” And this is my opinion, and this transformation if you want to call that means you build a life where you are at

You’ll always miss home if you feel like an outsider. You have to make your new country “home”, if that makes any kind of sense. You can always keep in touch with friends and family and even visit them or vice versa, but to defeat homesickness you have to make the country you want to live in home too. It may seem impossible, but that’s exactly what you have to do, and it can be achieved with assimilating in your new home.

My perspective is for the long term, not someone who is doing a one or two year expat stint. You want to alleviate or better yet eliminate homesickness, make your new country home. Ecuador is a beautiful place to do that. Beautiful, calm, and understanding people.

And personally. I've been here almost a year, and it's not "home", yet but working on it.

I don't feel very homesick becuase I have direc tv and I get bloomberg news like I had in the USA and it keeps me up to date on whats going on in the USA. It makes me feel in touch with my homeland.

schrifty :

I don't feel very homesick because I have direc tv and I get bloomberg news like I had in the USA and it keeps me up to date on whats going on in the USA. It makes me feel in touch with my homeland.

Righty-oh, Schrifty, to borrow a phrase from expat.com’s Top Cat.  How many of these shows do you catch during a typical week these days, Schrifty?...

Top 10 Shows Available to Expats in South America Via DirecTV .. on the Bloomberg TV Channel and CNN International....

10.  “Charlie Rose”: in-depth interviews on politics, theatre, the cinema and other topics.  Bloomberg.

9.  “Anderson Cooper” .. an evening news wrap-up with coverage of late-breaking developments, hosted by the white-haired whiz.  CNN.

8.  “Political Mann,” a weekend wrap-up of the political doings in the U.S. hosted by Jonathan Mann.  CNN.

7.  “With All Due Respect,” daily political insights with plentiful guests, discussions of major U.S. news -- especially the Trump-Clinton contest, hosted by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.  Bloomberg.

6.  “Wolf,” Mr. Blitzer’s take on the news of the day.  CNN.

5.   “World Sport,” a Europe-heavy roundup that also includes NFL clips and -- in season -- highlights from events including the Super Bowl, the NBA playoffs and the World Series.  CNN.

4.  “Amanpour”:  Globe-trotting Christiane Amanpour may be interviewing the ex-president of Colombia about the FARC peace treaty one night .. and breaking down the European refugee situation the next.  CNN.

3.  “State of the Race”:  Spirited Kate Bolduan presents a zippy review on weekdays of the latest Trump vs. Clinton dustups .. with the back half of the 30-minute program devoted to a panel discussion of topics concerning the presidential race.  CNN.

2.  “Vital Signs,” in which health-related topics are presented by host Sanjay Gupta.  CNN.

And the #1 show on CNN and Bloomberg, for Expats....

1.  “Quest Means Business,” in which the muscular and irrepressible Brit, Richard Quest, presents financial news and interviews with business chieftains.  The weekend version, “The Best of Quest,” includes highlights from the past week’s shows.  Richard Quest visited the U.S. this summer -- presenting reports from Mount Rushmore, the national parks and Las Vegas.  Heading east, he was called away last weekend in his short-sleeved shirt from a downtown Manhattan dinner party .. and pressed into service for his network doing live reports during the early hours of the West 23rd Street explosion story.  CNN.

cccmedia

My decision to move to Ecuador had been well researched, at least as far as what you could learn on the internet. I was sick of winter and the overly regulated life in Canada, plus I was not ready to just mold away what years I had left and wanted some adventure. I left Canada fully intending to never return.

Then culture shock reared its ugly head. Having spent two years in Panama I thought I was ready for it. My Spanish was weak but I knew I could improve. I expected that Ecuadorians would be similar to Panamanians in that they value family and religion and they lead a much slower pace of life. I welcomed that.

Nothing could have prepared me for the very bad things that happened to me. In Panama I always felt that the rule with the locals was "if you've got it they'll just take it". I hoped that Ecuador would be different. It wasn't. Between getting ripped off and all the normal things I missed in Canada I soon longed to be back. There was the ever present barking of the dogs. There was the ugly bare concrete block walls everywhere. There was a very frustrating government to deal with. I thought the government in Canada was bad but nothing prepares you for Ecuador.

In a way I was lucky because I didn't have to make the tough decision to go back to Canada. The falling Canadian dollar left me with not enough to live on, even in Ecuador, and I had to return. Now that the costs of visas and residency have doubled I doubt I will go back. Although I met some wonderful Ecuadorians, the many people who ripped me off left me with a poor impression of Ecuador.

ChecMark :

There was the ever present barking of the dogs. There was the ugly bare concrete block walls everywhere. There was a very frustrating government to deal with. I thought the government in Canada was bad, but nothing prepares you for Ecuador.

Mark’s report of bare walls and ever-present barking of dogs is highly credible for someone who is scraping by financially in Ecuador.

Someone with an income of $1,500 a month* or more -- including enough extra money to move out of such a challenged neighborhood, if necessary -- can live under more pleasant circumstances in the highland cities.  Of course, if one insists on moving to Nalgas del Cerdo, Sucumbíos province, one probably will hear round-the-clock barking dogs.

Even Expats with conversational Spanish will find the Spanish legalese challenging when dealing with the visa bureaucracy.  I am aware that a few newcomers enjoy the challenge of obtaining a visa on their own.  However, 92 percent of arriving Expats should use a recommended attorney or visa facilitator if they can afford it.

cccmedia in Quito

*This figure is arbitrary.  Some folks can find a rental in a relatively quiet neighborhood and get by on a monthly budget of less than this.

ChecMark :

Between getting ripped off and all the normal things I missed in Canada....

....the many people who ripped me off left me with a poor impression of Ecuador.

Since there’s no indication you got robbed by ladrones on the street, I have no idea what you mean by “ripped off.”

Living in Quito for 3-1/2 years, I can think of few times I’ve been “ripped off” -- and I’ve hired a variety of folks to upgrade my condo, do various repairs, assist me in getting a visa and drivers license .. and so forth.  The lone exceptions were a taxi driver who got me to cough up an extra $10 while we were going through a desolate area of Quito late at night .. and losing a cheap phone and cheaper sunglasses to pickpocketing on the Ecovía transit line.   

If you post again, Mark, perhaps you could be more specific about your experiences.

cccmedia in Quito

Home is where the heart is. Since we are a couple we are always at home, no matter where we are. In the last 10 years we have lived in:

Bulgaria
India
Thailand
Chile
Argentina
Kuala Lumpur
And now Ecuador

(We have visited many more countries in the same period)

We just had a brief visit in the US (a few months to get a winery set up, I am a wine consultant) and being back was a bigger culture shock than anything we got traveling. Outside of the US we expect things to be different, but it was "home" that turned out to be by far the strangest experience.

The Internet keeps us more or less up to date on the news, and Netflix gives us Emglish entertainment. We haven't found that we need much more

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