End Of An Era

Now that I have been back in the States for almost a week, I decided to write one last post about my time in Ecuador.  The last post was about my epic trip to Peru and not a lot happened between then and now.

For my last month in Ecuador, I wanted to spend as much time with friends as possible.  I was very lucky that Ecuador had another 2-day national holiday at the beginning of November, which of course allowed for one last weekend trip.  While in Peru, Betsy and I met many people that were backpacking around South America and we managed to convince one of our new friends to come visit Ecuador.  Before our trip, Betsy had a work party and she was able to invite most of us to join.  We ended up going to one of our favorite places in Quito.

Can you tell why this is my favorite bar??

After this fun night out, we took our visitor to Banos for my last weekend trip away.  This made my time in Ecuador come full circle because, if you remember, Banos was the first trip I took in Ecuador when my family was here.  Thank goodness this trip didn’t end up with me in the hospital with food poisoning like the first!  A friend that came with us knew of a good hostel, so he booked us a room there.  To me, all hostels are kinda the same, but this hostel had a rooftop patio with a beautiful view of the city.

You just don’t get to wake up to views like this everyday!  We spent our time here biking to the waterfalls, relaxing, and enjoying our time away from the big city of Quito.  I had the best time with this group of friends because everyone got along so well, there was no drama, and we were surrounded by the natural beauty of the Andes Mountains!  I think at this point, I had taken the never-ending green mountains for granted and forgot that most of the world doesn’t have this scenery.

Once we got back from Banos, I only had 1 1/2 weeks left in Ecuador.  For my last weekend, I decided I would host Beer Olympics or what really just turned into game night.  All of my friends were there and we just played games all night=PERFECT!  And of course we also had some great food!

Roommate picture including the dogs

Looking back on the past almost 10 months makes me see just how much I have changed in a relatively short period of time.  I came to Ecuador not having a clue what would happen or if I would even be able to find a job.  Not only did I find a job, but I found some incredible friends from all over the world that I know will stay in my life.  I faced my fears by jumping off a bridge, climbing up volcanoes, and rock climbing while hiking a volcano-just to name a few.

I will never forget the people that I have met and some of the unique aspects of my time here.  For example, who can say that their apartment was protected by Spiderman?

Yes, in fact our landlord had a mural of Spiderman on one of the bedroom walls.  And no, she wouldn’t let us paint over it.  Just one of the things that made our apartment so fun and interesting.  Another thing I will never forget is the incredible view of Quito that our massive balcony offered.

I am so proud of myself for taking this leap of faith and moving to Ecuador to pursue a lifelong dream of mine.  The only problem is that I don’t want to stop traveling and challenging myself now-sorry family and friends but I won’t be living in the US for a while.  I will be leaving for Asia sometime in February, so stay tuned for my next blog from Asia!!

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