Becoming an Expat: Ecuador – Book Review
My book, Live Like a Local in Loja, shares many stories of our experience living in this beautiful southern Ecuadorian city. In it I did my best to provide an accurate description of what to expect. I also included helpful resources and advice for successful integration into the community, for anyone interested in living there for a month or longer.
While my book contains lots of information specific to Loja, I did not research and write about the more general issues of moving to Ecuador—things such as residency requirements, how to go about setting up a business, and details about Cuenca other parts of Ecuador. These topics are already covered in more detail by other books.
Last week I had the privilege of being interviewed by Shannon Enete on Becoming an Expat Podcast. In addition to hosting a podcast, Shannon also has written a line of very helpful Becoming an Expat books for various countries, including Ecuador. I picked up a copy of the book and read it this week.
Becoming an Expat: Ecuador dovetails perfectly with my book, Live Like a Local in Loja. It picks up where I left off, talking about the requirements for becoming a legal resident of Ecuador, describing other regions of the country that a person might want to consider, exploring ways a non-retired person might find work or start a business, pointing out obscure laws that would be useful to know, and much more.
Here’s a basic list of what she covers in the book:
- Overall picture of the country, history, culture, safety, economy, environment, climate, etc.
- The basic facts on immigration options, paperwork required, etc.
- A complete overview of all the regions of the country, what it is like there, which areas are most expat-friendly, etc.
- A full overview of the cost of living in Ecuador, from housing to transportation to medical care and more
- Logistics of moving to Ecuador including mail, banking, moving with pets, required documents, international moving companies, electronics and applications you might wish to bring/have with you in Ecuador, etc.
- The process of finding a home to rent or buy, paperwork to expect and how to set everything up
- How to buy a car in Ecuador, and what to expect for insurance, etc.
- Considerations when moving with children, including lists of schools, safety concerns, and some great ideas for acclimating the kids to Ecuador
- Options for creating a business in Ecuador, including important legal and cultural considerations
- Other options for finding work/creating an income while in Ecuador
- Tax considerations for expats in Ecuador
- Ideas for free lodging
- Considerations for retirees, including healthcare options and taking opportunities for learning fun new skills, finding activities, staying active, learning Spanish, and more
- A special section on seasonal expats and the logistics of living away from home for months at a time, including property management and travel insurance
- A description of the culture shock you will go through when you move
- A list of slang words and useful phrases that will be good to know in Ecuador
- A big list of tips and advice from other expats to Ecuador
- Packing tips for moving your household items to Ecuador
Of course, when you are ready to make the leap I strongly urge you to double-check the current facts since laws and policies can change at any time. Shannon wrote this book in the latter half of 2014, so it is quite recent.
Shannon writes in a very conversational tone with an edge of humor. If you’ve listened to the podcast, you’ll soon recognize her personal style shining through in her writing. Despite the occasional typo or malapropism, Shannon has a way with words and is very fun to read.
There is a good reason that Becoming an Expat: Ecuador has all 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon, except for the two who left two-star reviews, saying:
- “I don’t know why I bought it … I am not becoming an expat…I am going on a vacation there.” Seriously? That’s a reflection of the reviewer’s ignorance and/or oversight of the word “expat” which is prominently displayed on the cover of the book, not the content of the book… and
- “Next time, please check that the pages are printed correctly. Half my book has left pages that have large blank spaces from top to bottom, vertically.” Hm, that sounds like a printer error, not a problem with the content of the book. (By the way, Shannon showed great customer service by replying right away and offering to send another copy to the customer.)
Overall I found Becoming an Expat: Ecuador to be extremely comprehensive and informative. It will answer many of the questions people may still be left with after finishing Live Like a Local in Loja. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone considering a move to Loja or anywhere else in Ecuador!
My husband and I are nomads, having lived in over a dozen U.S. states, plus Mexico, Antarctica, and Ecuador. I write. I recently released the 2nd edition of my 2nd book, "Live Like a Local in Loja," and I'm looking for a publisher for my third book, "Seven Years Running"--the true story of my fugitive childhood.