WHY MOVE TO ECUADOR? – An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey

Why would an American Woman in her mid fifties move her entire life to Ecuador? Good question.

I’ve travelled all over the world, both for work and pleasure. These trips deeply enriched my life and opened my eyes to how other people think, live and work. However, after each trip, I always came back “Home,” home to my world in the U.S. where I felt I was safe and secure, my friends and family were within easy reach, I was working hard, I believed that I was doing my very best to be “a good person,” and overall, life was good. Then I got sick and everything changed.

As many people know, Cancer can really knock you on your ass. Several cancers right in a row, radiation treatments and two bad accidents have the potential to obliterate a person. In severe pain and suffering, I had to make my mind go some place else: on a fantasy journey to my “happy place,” where my I played games with myself and went places in my mind to take my mind off the reality of the pain and suffering I was actually in.

My “mind travels” sometimes didn’t work. It was then that I had to face square on that I might die, leaving two grown children to fend for themselves and ponder the grandchildren as yet unborn, who I would never meet.

When my “mind travels” worked, I imagined the books of my life experiences that I would write someday, the people I would meet as I signed my books and all the places I would travel to. I often wondered, “If I live through all this crap, what would it really be like to actually move to and live in another country?”

But those thoughts of actual travel were fleeting as the responsibilities of cancer recovery and physical rehabilitation, keeping my business running without anyone knowing how truly sick and incapacitated I actually was, trying to remain a good mother to my two kids when I felt like crap, writing a book  with whatever energy was left and just plain staying alive kept me so busy, I barely had time to breathe, let alone truly dream of living anywhere else.

So why move to Ecuador? Well, I did survive cancer. I did get back to work coaching people in their public speaking at my business, My Real Voice. I did write and publish my book, “Words to Thrive By: Powerful Stories of Courage and Hope.” I finally accepted the fact that my children were really doing just fine in their own lives and could survive without me as thriving successful adults. And after some more deep Soul Searching, I finally got my courage up, took a leap of Faith, sold most all of my stuff and in October 2013, I moved to Ecuador.

Initially, a change of hemisphere, a year round pleasant warm climate, friendly people, low cost of living, abundance of healthy, fresh, non GMO food were all very appealing to me. Geographically, Ecuador is also in a very good location to explore other emerging foreign countries such as Chile, Uruguay and Peru, places where I’ve never been and always wanted to visit. But more than anything, I wanted to see and understand the wisdom of how others, in a completely different culture to my own, figured out how to create a high quality and happy life with really very little in terms of money or modern conveniences.

What I did not realize it at the time I moved here, was that living in Ecuador would ultimately not only change my entire perspective about myself and my purpose in life, my belief’s about myself as a mother, friend, wife and coach, help me understand my own cultural blind spots about my life as An American Woman From The United States, but also give me time to reflect upon my life – not only where I’ve been but also where I’m going.

“Footprints in Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey”  is my daily experiences and thoughts, leaving gentle footprints wherever I travel. I hope you enjoy it.

Additional Links:

  • For More on the Life and Work of Mary Anne Dorward, please go to: www.maryannedorward.com
  • For Professional Speaking Coaching and Speech Writing, please go to: www.myrealvoice.com or for video http://bit.ly/1fmLjuL
  • To Learn more about my book, “Words To Thrive By: Powerful Stories of Courage and Hope,” please go to: www.wordstothriveby.com or  for video http://bit.ly/1hlyGoc
  • To Buy The Book, go to Amazon: http://amzn.to/L9NYkl
  • Note: All photos in “Footprints in Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” have been taken by Mary Anne Dorward. All photos and writing on this blog are protected under the U.S. Trademark: Words To Thrive By.  For more information, to schedule an inspirational speech or interview, please contact Mary Anne at ma@maryannedorward.com.

21 thoughts on “WHY MOVE TO ECUADOR? – An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey

    • Mimi, Thank you for your kind words of support and encouragement. Life has been a really interesting trip so far for me…haha….The opportunities for growth as well as challenge never cease to amaze me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


    • Blue Eyed Spirit AKA Cheryl Relf,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. I always try to to my best with the Light I have to See by at the time. I hope to post even a little something every day so stay tuned for more adventures and thoughts! And a Merry Holiday Season to you as well! ~Mary Anne


  1. Thanks for sharing your journey in your writing, and now your impressions of Ecuador. Very inspiring! My son has the opportunity to travel there this summer for a combination community service/baseball tour. I’m excited for him. Looking forward to reading more of your posts. Lori Friedman


    • Lori,
      You are most welcome! What city in Ecuador will your son be traveling to this summer for his community service/baseball tour? That sounds exciting! I hear there are lots of opportunities to teach English here in schools if he is interested in that too.
      Mary Anne


  2. Pingback: ECUADOR FRIDAY FOTO: Puppy in Canoa | Footprints In Ecuador

  3. I very much enjoyed reading your story. I am also a cancer survivor and Ecuador lover. We travelled there for 3 much too short weeks about 6 years ago, and I look forward to returning to explore more of this beautiful country. Where did you end up choosing to live?


    • Hi Laurel,

      Thanks for your note! Ecuador is indeed a very, very beautiful country packed into a very small area overall!

      My husband and I chose to live in Crucita, Ecuador (on the coast just south of Manta) as a home base for about 2 years and took many trips around Ecuador over that time….as you know obviously from reading this blog, and perhaps my book: Words To Thrive By for World Traveller: Footprints In Ecuador.

      Ultimately my husband and I decided that, much as we loved Ecuador as a country and it’s beautiful hearted people, living long term in Ecuador was not where we wanted to be for several important reasons.

      So we moved to Chile for six months and then New Zealand. Lots of adventures in these places just like we had in Ecuador!

      Would you ever consider living in Ecuador yourselves?

      Thanks for writing Laurel. And congratulations for being a cancer survivor! That is an amazing accomplishment!

      Mary Anne


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