After eight days away and two spent sleeping to recover, P and I are home from Ecuador. We’re rested, thankful and still quite mesmerized by a remarkable week spent in South America.
When we began planning this trip four months or so ago, I had two wishes: get out of my comfort zone and get outside.
When we stumbled upon a trip to Ecuador on the Clymb over the summer and the itinerary and price fit the bill, we booked it on a whim. It wasn’t until the night before heading out that I frantically looked up weather patterns in the cities we would be visiting, so to say we were going into this one blind was an understatement.
While our packing may have been slightly sub-par (when the packing list calls for rain pants, pack rain pants), the trip in its entirety blew our expectations away at every turn.
We booked the trip with Ecuador Pure Life, which meant they took care of all of our reservations, activities and transportation. Phew. We traveled with a driver and tour guide for the entire trip, making our language barrier much more manageable (thank goodness for snippets from college rushing back), and I couldn’t have hand picked a better group of fifteen strangers as companions.
I’ll save all of our adventures for a few posts to come (seriously there were SO many activities), because, by far, the best part of the entire trip was the people. The people we traveled with. The people we met. The people who guided us.
Of all of the places I’ve been in the world (which is not an exhaustive list), the Ecuadorians are the most welcoming, humble and positive group of people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Ecuador Pure Life works to carefully select local guides, restaurants and partners across the country, leaving us with a balance of sketchy activities (like P’s bridge jump), to authentic Andean and Amazon home stays and to no shortage of gas station ice cream runs.
While we’re happy to be home (and so are our animals), eight days away to a place unknown with people who became family was just the retreat we needed. Friday night, as we sat in the airport and watched the news from Paris unfold, we were comforted in knowing that while there are bad people in this world, they are far outnumbered by the good.
Thank you Ecuador for welcoming us to into your homes, for inspiring us to have deeper conversations with people unknown, for challenging us to be more curious (but maybe not so curious to eat live grubs) and for encouraging us to embrace every adventure that life throws our way, together. For the best eight days we can remember, thank you.
South America, we’ll be back, maybe not for the grubs, but as for the rest, count us in.