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” did work, 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, 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. But more than anything, I wanted to see and understand the wisdom of how others, in a completely different culture to my own, have created a really 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 but also my belief’s about myself as a mother, friend, wife and coach. The people of Ecuador would help me understand my own cultural blind spots about my life as an American Woman from The United States,. Living in the country of Ecuador would give me the gift of 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” are my daily experiences and thoughts, leaving gentle footprints wherever I travel.

I hope that you enjoy reading about my adventures here in Ecuador. I welcome your comments! Please feel free to share your own travel experiences and photos from around the world. Sharing together will help us all grow and expand as Citizens of The World.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Crucita, Ecuador

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Crucita, Ecuador

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.


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