Changes that expats have to deal with sometimes

So in the negatives about retiring in Ecuadorthread I stated that the ultimate negative was change. These kinds of changes are not limited to Ecuador they are true for many other countries and a simple example is Brexit if negotiations don’t go well many people’s lives will be turned upside down.

So what are some changes that expats should anticipate to help them better deal with situations.

Currency exchange is one you should be wary of and it is not in your best interest to plan and make a budget based on favorable exchange rates because exchange rates IMO are both favorable and unfavorable at some point and usually for periods at a time. I personally had to endure this at one point in my life when the US dollar (salary based on) took a hit against many currencies. Everything increased including my children’s school fees which alone were substantial but we overcame that because my wife got a job.

Health insurance, as was pointed out in the negative thread. We all know that many people found it enticing when comprehensive health insurance was only $70 a month. And many planned their budgets based on that.

Changes in the law whether it’s immigration or employment, usually people with proper qualifications and updated paperwork are able to deal with these situations. But many are also helpless look at Brexit, DACA, and other situations unfolding around the world to get an idea of the anxiety that people are experiencing.

Changes due to natural disasters if you are living in area but found out for example it’s flood prone or whatever because of lack of insight.

So what’s the solution to these changes that expats at some point must face? One of the obvious ones is to have a flexible budget and that is something that is completely in your hands. You can achieve this by having additional means to pay for increases or you can downgrade your lifestyle and there is no shame in that especially if you love the place.

I'm sure there are more examples of changes and solutions that can be discussed.

All great and valid points that I totally agree with!!  For me the biggest “change” that I have struggled the most with is safety.  Not that I’m not safe, but more with the perception and warnings from other expats, who have experienced issues.  And that leads to my biggest “challenge” of adapting, especially as a younger expat gringa, the female independence that doesn’t exist here.  I have never relied on anyone in my life for anything.  That includes monetary, safety, or anything pertaining to a US lifestyle.  Here, I have to argue with pharmacy employees to charge my entire amount of medicine on my international credit card in my name for half an hour.  Apparently, here credit card limit charges per transaction can decline over $100.  At mega maxi, I have actually had cashiers, yell at their co-worker in the checkout beside me, to show my amount and credit card. I have no idea what they said, but I usually just want them to hurry up and finish so I can leave.  I’m not used to people counting out change, having to wait for a factura, or write a check for their purchases.  Some retailers, now in the US, no longer accept checks or cash as a form of payment.  Tommy Bahama being one, at least in Florida, where I’m from. 

My male gringo friend’s Ecuadorian wife’s Canadian brother in law’s (if you can follow, lol) car was just robbed the other day while I was on the phone with him.  It was in his neighborhood and the “banditos” were walking on his street when he hurriedly got off the phone, when he heard the police sirens to watch what was happening from his balcony.  Quite early for that this holiday season, which I was only exposed to last year.  So now I must be extra careful to go out on my own, which really sucks.  But, as I’ve now come to terms with all of that, I’m probably more of a danger to myself.  Since, without being prejudice or racial profiling, most Latin American men, are shorter than me, I think I have just as good a chance of defending myself as any man.  I no longer walk around in fear of my safety, but also don’t go out alone as much as I once did, since my expat friends have moved back to North America. 

I still think it’s what you are used to, as I feel more comfortable traveling alone in Miami than Manta, I would assume many Manta Ecuadorians would feel the opposite.  Just an alternative example of expats having to come to terms with change in their living environment.

Safety is a huge change and thanks for bringing it up, Sophems.   :top:

Initially when moving here I changed many things about my life from a safety perspective, and your sentence that I quoted below pretty much explains the reason why.

Not that I’m not safe, but more with the perception and warnings from other expats, who have experienced issues.

Prior to moving I read and researched extensively, ad nauseam, to be on the safe side. I read what expats and advisory authorities stated but relied on statistics. And the statistics, so far have been a true indicator of life in Ecuador for me.

Statistics don’t sensationalize. 

Ecuador is changing, as recent as 2015, some expats were blogging about people not using smartphones in public because of danger of being robbed. Now, in 2017, who doesn’t use a smartphone in public, in Quito anyway? On the streets, on buses, on the Ecovia people are openly using their smartphones, but what impresses me is that many seemingly have internet connection as they are messaging back and forth.

Another perception is that public transport is dangerous at night. I have been using buses and Ecovia at all hours with no issues. It’s the most convenient way to travel especially in centro north Quito, but I do take precautions, but not because of lack of safety on public transport but because in some areas after 10:00 pm I don’t feel comfortable walking to stations that are a bit far.

For instance after 10:00 pm, if I’m at Mariscal (nightlife district) I would take a taxi home because walking from Plaza Foch to 6 de diciembre to catch the Ecovia I would have to walk through dark streets with few people and shops closed.

So this is definitely a change in how I approach things from a safety perspective. Another change is that I only carry an ATM card that has minimal money.

Ecuador is changing and many changes are for the better. Once upon a time there were reports that Carolina Park was dangerous at night. Not in 2017.

And in all, I feel safe, and simply living my life.

From now until after the first of the year, it’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings.  The robberies of what the “perception” of gringo wealth has already started here in Manta.  I was never aware of this until Christmas Day last year when a tienda’s owner ,close to my house, realized when I was buying wine and booze, realized my intention was to share with my Security of my development.  She made her husband walk me back to my “casa”, & he didn’t want to leave my side even when I stopped at my security’s area.  I told the “jefe” of our Security to tell him it was ok, & of course, I had to tip him well.  My Security refused to take “alcoholic” beverages from me because of the cameras, but they almost beat me to my house to take it.  (They were on bikes and I was on foot), but they look out for us, so I will contribute any way I know how.

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Ecuador

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Ecuador

Moving to Ecuador

Find tips from professionals about moving to Ecuador

Travel insurance in Ecuador

Enjoy stress-free travel to Ecuador