So of course with all this, "Where to now?" thinking I've been looking back on trips I have taken and picking out the moments I want to recreate. I always get called back to the mountains. I blame it on Ecuador and the Andes. I wouldn't mind going to Chile or Bolivia for somewhere new. Maybe that's why I want to know more about Nepal and the Himalayas. I want to see if they have the same effect on me as the Andes.
Speaking of Ecuador, here's my old blog from when I was there in 2011. If you want to know more about Ecuador, check out the Ecuador Travel Blog Carnival. I was invited to share my stories from Ecuador and of course I said yes! I love looking back, five years after the fact, so I'm going to answer their prompts to help sum up my three months in the beautiful country. Of course nostalgia has kicked in, so I highly suggest reading my original blog posts!
- Did you visit some of the destinations mentioned above so far?
I did! I stayed in Quito for most of my trip and went around to places like Papallacta. I went on a girls' trip to Tonsupa and two other trips with other teachers to Mindo and another to a lodge in Yasuni National Park. At the end of my trip I got to take a solo week-long trip to the Galapagos.
- What was your favorite place?
That's tough to answer! The juxtaposition of the city of Quito against the backdrop of the Andes was breathtaking. However, the Galapagos were, obviously, so unique. I felt very safe on those little islands. Except when a bull sea lion tried to take over my beach towel- with me still on it!
- What was the craziest thing that happened to you?
The sea lion "attack" for one. But one day in Quito I remember walking down the sidewalk and seeing a man with a thick, "marshmallow" jacket (it was really warm that day), jeans down below the belt line (with no undies!), he picked up a half-smoked cigarette from the ground, took a puff, and kept on walking! Haha! Oh! And I got to meet Miss Ecuador! Of course I had just hiked up a volcano and looked extra terrible next to such a beauty!
- Have you made any bad experiences you had to deal with during your trip?
Fortunately, I did not. I did have very good advice from my host mom about using the ATMs with the guards, taking cabs with numbers on the side and running meters or call from a company, and don't carry too much cash on you. It's general safety tips to know when traveling anywhere. Some of my friends there had a few dangerous experiences, but they came out unscathed.
- What were the differences compared to your home country and how did you like them?
I loved the warmth and liveliness of the people. Everyone I met was so welcoming, ready to eat and dance the salsa! They tried to teach me and were very patient with my stiff hips.
- Did you travel alone or were your accompanied by anyone?
I took the trip alone, but I stayed with a host mother and grandmother. I also made friends along the way with people I met and worked with.
- Did you plan your trip all by yourself or did you book it through a travel agency/organization?
My trip was planned through the COST program. They set up the living and teaching situation. I handled the flights and all the side trips on my own.
- How did you like the people?
They were so kind! Especially on the Galapagos. Imagine how nice everyone is at Disney World, but now imagine them as surfers. And now add that they also have that small town, family-like mentality.
- And the most important thing: According to your overall experience, would you recommend Ecuador as must–travel destination and why?
YES! It has everything you could want- beaches, mountains, rain forest, hot springs, snow (if you go high enough!), delicious foods, awesome night life, gorgeous outdoor activities, I could go on! If I were to go back I would stay in Quito a few days and then go to the Galapagos for at least a week.
I hope you all have somewhere great in mind to go! If you have any questions about Ecuador, please ask! Or if you have a suggestion on where Hubs and I can go next please leave a comment below. Thanks!