The oil stains on the roads, the uneven stairs, the chipped concrete, missing handrails, the noise; for those who are accustomed to things being more…“even”, can the reader adjust to this, or will it drive them crazy? Will the fabulous almuerzos, be sufficient to overcome the changing, maddening bureaucratic hoops? Will the wonderful sips of coffee allow a person to overcome the crisp cold air in the middle of the night when running to the bathroom? Will the moving, empathetic, weather worn faces of the indigenous folks be sufficient to overlook the hard lives that they live?

Because for those who choose to live here, this is what they’ll see, and hear, and feel every day. A $3 taxi fare to pay a $5.58 government fee, can light a person up faster than a Christmas tree on New Year’s Day. Are you ready for that? Can a person take those several deep breaths, while their eyelids almost close in disbelief? That’s the question each person has to answer for themselves. Several extended visits can help simulate living here. But how can one simulate the “Honeymoon’s over” syndrome? We tried it with three one-month long stays. It gave us a pretty good idea.

For those who are habitual whiners, they’ll forever be unhappy. But they’ll probably reeeallllly be unhappy here. There are reportedly several stages that one goes through after one retires. Will the reader be able to adapt to these changes while living in a foreign country? Will it help to adjust, or will it aggravate an already difficult situation?

Will one learn Spanish, Quichua, and / or Shuar and learn their beautiful eloquence? Or will it be seen as another irritant? It has been said that there are several psychological and / or physical benefits and / or changes for the one who learns a foreign language (Google Linguistic Relativity). Will the reader find that out for themselves? Or will they quit in frustration? What about end-of-life decisions? How easy will it be to adapt to a country where most everything is both figuratively and literally foreign? Will it be possible to admit that some things from the home country are done better here?

Each one of us must answer these questions. It seems that there are close to 10,000 expats in Cuenca alone. But this is a deceptive number. Because some have just arrived, while others are going to wash out and some of them are in the process of leaving. The question each one must ask themselves is which one am I? Can I adapt to all the changes, both good and bad? Hopefully this website will help each one to make a more informed decision.