(Originally written in December)
This journey of ours is not practical per se, but practicality has its place.
Money. We don’t have a job so naturally there is no income, but we do have assets: a house, 2 cars, and stuff we have collected for over a decade. So in light of all that, we decided to sell as much as we could, saved our books and art and sentimental stuff, and donated the rest. Not everyone would take this route, but we wanted to fully commit to this. We reduced it all down to, well, not that much.
Passports. Grant and I already had ours but the kids all needed some. We went back in November to get them, and through mishaps, misunderstandings, and misdirection we finally found ourselves writing checks for each passport. And happy to say on Dec 12, 2015 we received them in the mail! The kids were jumping out of their seats:)
School. Our plans for school will be an easier transition than most because we already homeschool the girls. And I think part of the continued desire to do so was in case we took on such an endeavor as this. .
Language. Grant and I first heard about Tim Ferris via a Creative Live show with Chase Jarvis. Tim Ferris is known for figuring out life hacks. One of those hacks happens to be language. So we started to use efficient methods of learning a new language. I also downloaded an app called duolingo to speed along our progress. (Present day. Sorry to say but because of everything we were doing, our efficiency was low. We still don’t know the language. Hopefully, now that we are here, immersion and implementing those methods will bring about fluency!)
Resources. We are very fortunate to know a family who started an orphanage down in Quito. They’ve been an invaluable resource and support to us already. My advice, reach out to people! I thought I could find what I needed to know on blogs and internet searches… not so much. Our friend, who grew up in Quito, emailed us 3 pages of advice on hospitals, when to take a cab, how to secure your apartment, grocery stores, all the details that really make all the difference. Now I feel a greater sense of security and comfort in taking our 4 children to the unknown with us.
That all being said, now that we are here, planning and reality meet each other and don’t exactly follow the same path. We are now at our 3rd hotel in 3 nights. The first night we spent at the airport hotel (easily accessible especially considering our flight came in at 10:30pm but also way too expensive). The second night we spent at a crummier hotel (cheaper but still too expensive, I think we received the “gringo tax”). Tonight and for the rest of the week we are at a nice Airbnb for a fair price and an absolutely beautiful view. Hopefully we can find a more permanent location soon!
(View from our Airbnb)
(I will update on other practical things, which include, products, airlines, airfare tricks, insurance, advice, etc.)